Everyone knows that compulsive drunks swill whatever's around. For those occasions, perfume works great: it's generally free (a true alkie doesn't buy perfume, they steal it), it's less indigestible than rubbing alcohol, and they can give the impression that the addict is, in fact, a clean and well-kept person. But be assured it's not the color, the smell, or much less the cute little package that attracts the drunk, but actually the quantity of alcohol, a whopping 95 percent ethanol.
Three perfumed elixirs were concocted by three bartenders from different bars in São Paulo, and the results were plenty weird, which, frankly, was expected.
70 ml pear vodka
50 ml gin
30 ml orange juice blended with ice
2 spritzes of Chanel No. 5
The first bar was all fancy with a ton of special martinis so we decided to use sweet spritzes of the super "chic" Chanel No. 5. Tony, the lush, loved it: “Very tasty! Especially the taste of blackberry at the end. The fruit went best with the perfume used. The scent was sharper. But I couldn't quite taste it. Maybe because I never drank perfume before.” It's worth noting that this was the drink that left our guinea pig with a slight fear of becoming addicted to perfume.
55 ml gin
35 ml Cointreau orange liquer
half a lime, squeezed
1 spoon of sugar
12 basil leaves
50 ml cashew juice
5 spritzes Burberry
At our next bar, a joint that attracts a fashionable crowd, Fernando, the bartender, used Burberry's The Beat, which was marketed exactly toward the kind of people who suck down drinks there. Fernando's shaken drinks with dubious ingredients before, like caipirinhas with salami, pepper, and even cleaning alcohol. “I think the novelty of it can take hold, but it has to be quality perfume, because that way the alcohol in it will also be quality. It depends on the hands of the bartender in adapting the cocktail.”
Tony thought the amount of perfume a little much, with five spritzes this time. “I thought the taste of the perfume was strong. I could tell there was something different in the drink. Definitely this is not a perfume I'd recommend drinking.”
The final destination was the most traditional of the three, where they specialize in simple drinks. That's why waiter Paulo de Souza picked the traditional caipirosca, a caipirinha with vodka, which got refined with four intense sprays of Stella McCartney's Sheer. “The secret is the quantity of ingredients used. It's all very simple,” Paulo said. He's never prepared much of anything but three basic Brazilian drinks. Tony approved. “The citrus and the perfume went well together. I admit that I prefer a good strawberry and kiwi caipirinha with sake, but this is a possibility. The vodka and the perfume were imported and combined adequately. For those who like citrus drinks it's a good choice.” Tony is a fucking fruitcake.
As we left the last bar Tony was still quite stable, even with three pretty fucking strong perfumed drinks coursing through his bloodstream. This requalifies him as a drunk. “I loved the experience and I feel a little buzzed from the drinks," he said, "but I wonder what a breath test would say."
AMÌLCAR PACKER and KEITY ALAVER