Half-cocked Tails.

Source: gfycat

Campbell’s, the soup company, and also the inspiration for some of Andy Warhol’s iconic works, has come out with recipes for savory cocktails, or, as they’re calling them, “brothtails”, and it would be really easy to make fun of them for this so of course I’m going to make fun of them for this.

Actually they’ve gotten a lot of flack from other bloggers who have actually tried the concoctions and also a whole hilarious segment on Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me! and it got me thinking about cocktails generally, which have made a strong comeback in recent years, and which date back to at least the early 19th century. At least that’s when the word “cocktail” first came to mean a mixed drink, although they really became popular during Prohibition when something was needed to mask the taste of all that bootleg alcohol that was mostly made from old furniture, but that’s another story.

The Campbell’s “brothtails” aren’t exactly a new idea either. The Bloody Mary, which dates from some time between 1920 and 1930, is basically alcoholic gazpacho, and there’s also the Bunny Mary, made with carrot juice, which was the perfect thing during Prohibition to keep that bootleg rotgut from making you go blind, and margaritas and salty dogs have been around long before people thought of adding salt to candy, mainly chocolate and caramel, to give it a savory kick.

There’s also the term “cocktail” as it came to be used in the late 19th century for a dish, usually an appetizer or a side, usually made up of small pieces—hence fruit cocktail, the staple of school lunches everywhere, and shrimp cocktail, lobster cocktail, and oyster cocktail.

And now we get to the part where I really do make fun of Campbell’s for two aspects of this new marketing ploy that seem, well, spectacularly boneheaded but which no one has brought up before. First of all they came out with these “brothtail” recipes at a time when a lot of people are practicing “dry January” after the excesses of December, especially New Year’s Eve. A good friend of mine has spent the month making some excellent “mocktails”, some sweet, some savory, basically just playing around with different non-alcoholic drink ingredients, proving you don’t need to be drunk to be sophisticated.

The other problem with the “brothtails” is the broth bases Campbell’s is suggesting aren’t sold in the United States–the closest they get is Canada–which is an enormous missed opportunity. By all accounts “brothtails” are terrible, but that doesn’t matter. We Americans are known for our willingness to try anything, even if we just do it so we can make fun of how bad it is.

 

 

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8 Comments

  1. Supernatural Hippie

    Interesting article. Also like the song which I’ve never heard before. 🍹🍹🍹

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m so glad I can pass on my appreciation of The Kinks. And also pass on the warning that, at least according to those who’ve tried them, brothtails are awful.

      Reply
  2. markbialczak

    I recall my dad drinking an Old-Fashioned or a Whiskey Sour at dinner time, Christopher. I must admit that when I came of age, the Whiskey Sour tasted OK. Old-Fashioned, not so much. The cocktail has not made it into my life routine, though.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’ve had a few Whiskey Sours and it seems to me they’re a cocktail mostly designed to hide the taste of whiskey. An Old-Fashioned, on the other hand, well, mixing sugar with whiskey seems to me to be a waste of both sugar and whiskey. Perhaps that’s why cocktails have never become a routine for me either, although once in a great while I do enjoy a good Manhattan.

      Reply
  3. mydangblog

    Ugh, why would I ever drink alcohol mixed with chicken broth?! That’s as disgusting as drinking pureed cocktail sausage!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Quick, put a patent on that pureed cocktail sausage idea because you know someone’s going to try it.

      Reply
  4. ANN J KOPLOW

    Thanks for another tasty concoction, bro.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Cheers!

      Reply

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