Big Browns

I had a couple cola drinks the last few days so I mixed them up last night.

The first one was a shooter that called for Galliano, the yellow liqueur in the funny-shaped obelisk bottle. The vivid yellow color reportedly comes from a "lemon-yellow azo dye"; that's reassuring. Star anise and other anises are main ingredients, but it doesn't taste licoricey like Herbsaint or Sambuca do; Galliano has a lot of vanilla and other flavors to tone it down. And, if you've ever heard of the Harvey Wallbanger (not that guy in the next condo), Galliano is the main ingredient.

When I tasted it, it was very herbal, not licorice at all, more like root beer. And, in fact, the shooter's called a Root Beer shooter: Galliano, Kahlua, topped off with cola. Not bad. You can taste a little of the coffee from the Kahlua, a little of the root beer from the Galliano. Sort of a collegiate drink.

The second drink was a Cuba Libre, Spanish for rum and coke, but with a whole half a lime squeezed in the glass. I drank them in my 20s but got tired of them - too sweet - and moved on to Budweisers. For the first go, I used Bacardi gold. It was a little strong, or maybe my pour was a little heavy. Not that I threw it out. For the second try, I used 10 Cane rum. Much smoother, a good drink, and I liked all the lime in it. I'll have to give rum and cokes, whatever you call them, a second chance.