Review: Parrot Bay Frozen Cocktails
The Negroni, Manhattan and Old Fashioned might be topping the cool charts right now, but your good old frozen cocktails of late 20th century fame aren’t giving up the fight that easily. Whilst we wholeheartedly approve of the increasing presence of slushy machines in the capital’s top cocktail bars, they are admittedly a little too large to slide in between the bread machine and kettle at home. Thank heavens for those charged with ‘brand innovation’ therefore and their attempts to flog us an easy-peasy way to drink frozen cocktails at home.
‘Freeze and squeeze’ is the technical term. You pop a pouch of liquid pre-mix cocktail into your freezer, then when it’s frozen you warm it up until it’s a bit mushy and squeeze it into your glass. The behemoth that is Diageo have packaged up their version under the Parrot Bay brand, although it’s unclear which of their products they have put inside. The website lays claim to a copyright wonder by Captain Morgan, which would fit with these homemade boozy slushies being described as Daiquiri’s and a Pina Colada, but the packaging steering very clear of specifying rum (instead describing them as a ‘spirit drink’) might engender some concern these are made with the cheapest stuff they can get away with.
It’s wrong to judge a book by it’s cover, but it’s fair to say we weren’t expecting great things from a product clearly aimed at the low end of the market. But it’s OK; well, if we’re honest, it’s more than OK, but only just. Lots of coconut and pineapple makes for the foundations of what one expects from a pina colada, and it’s a flavour combo that’s pretty hard to stuff up. There’s the bitter finish so often present in packaged fruit juices designed for a long shelf-life, and unfortunately little to be noted of rum or any unspecified spirit. Pimp it up with a bit of rum from your own stocks, plus maybe a little extra sugar however, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a perfectly quaffable, and way easier than making fresh, cocktail.
I spy a theme here; a Daiquiri should taste of rum, and this doesn’t. The berry flavour is hardly sophisticated, but nor does it taste as horrendously artificial as the lurid red colour might cause you to anticipate. It is however in need of a good slug of lime juice, and of course some rum. That’s the trouble with the ‘freeze and squeeze’ concept, too much alcohol and the stuff won’t freeze quickly enough in the average not-very-cold freezer section of the average student fridge.
By citrus, I guess they mean ‘regular’, for that is what a Daiquiri is, no? Let’s not be pompous though, for this isn’t too bad at all. It’s sour all right, quite the lip-smacker. Perhaps a bit too much so, but a drizzle of grenadine is necessary anyway to ensure it doesn’t feel outshone by its sister Berry. They’ve even gone and managed to make the citrus taste respectably fresh, an achievement, but perhaps not quite the claimed “sunshine in a glass”.