Bottoms Up: The Williams ‘Cactail

If you’ve ever been at the College on a Friday or Saturday night, you’ve probably experienced the ripe, slightly rotting smell (and taste) of Keystone Light. But we at the Record strive to bring you something better, something that makes you focus less on getting the job done and more on enjoying the experience of being a fun-loving Eph embarking on a night of endless possibilities – possibilities that typically range from ending the night at the Red Herring or at Snack Bar. In pursuit of this “ephoria,” we took it upon ourselves to rise to the challenge of popular blog “In the ’Cac” to bring you “the Purple Cow,” Williams’ very own ’Cactail.

As the designated scribe for the adventure of creating the Purple Cow, I invited several of your most beloved Record editors over to mix, match and sample a variety of alcohols and mixers with the only goal of turning the liquid purple. Key to this task was Blue Curacao, which is an orange liqueur that is dyed blue and thus incredibly useful for turning otherwise innocuous drinks purple. Additionally, we worked with Malibu, Triple Sec, a questionable handle of Popov, cranberry juice, grenadine, Sprite and – naturally – whole milk.

We began by making a couple of straight recipes, with the ultimate intention of picking one to add milk to and thus create the Purple Cow. The first drink included Malibu, Triple Sec, Blue Curacao and cranberry juice. We were satisfied with the flavor, which tasted like a citrus punch and went down smoothly. But we were not yet overwhelmed by its excellence. Our next drink included Blue Curacao, Popov, cranberry juice, grenadine and Sprite. Using the facial expression of Photo Editor Robert Yang ’15 as our trusty barometer, this drink was an abject failure. Our frugality was likely to blame here, as Popov is definitely the Keystone Light of vodkas. However, this unfortunate reality reflects the life of the Williams student – Grey Goose is certainly a rarity for the typical college student.

We then decided to introduce whole milk to the drink, hoping to add an element of cow to the concoction. We made the first drink and added three ounces of milk, shook and then poured into a tall glass. While Yang’s nose wrinkle was less pronounced with this drink than it was with the Popov cocktail, we knew something was off. The drink was extremely sugary and the creamy milk made the drink simply too saccharine. While Ephs may have a reputation for being infallibly polite, we’re much sassier than we are sweet.

At this point, we knew we had to call an audible. The Popov was off the table because it’s Popov and, as such, should have never really been on the table. In a moment of brilliance, Yang suggested we swap the Popov out of our second recipe and replace it with Malibu. Protests arose that if we used the second drink, we’d be mixing Sprite and milk, which made our stomachs churn at the thought. We decided to replace the Sprite with milk, thereby eliminating the alarming possibility of fizzy milk.

The amended recipe called for one ounce of Mailbu, one ounce of Blue Curacao, one and a half ounces of milk and a large splash of grenadine. The drink was a pastel purple that, like many Ephs, would have made Lilly Pulitzer blush. Approving of the color, we passed the drink to Yang, whose taste testing had become ever more refined as the process wore on. Our fearless photo editor confirmed that this version was sufficiently less sweet than the first drink we had put milk in, and we each tasted a bit of the creamy, fruity mixture.

We ultimately gave this drink our stamp of approval to become the Purple Cow. For those of you taste testing, expect a flavor similar to a creamsicle. The Blue Curacao and Malibu combine to give the drink a tropical flavor, which becomes richer with the addition of milk. But be aware, this is not a drink that will fit smoothly into your fast-paced Williams lifestyle. Indeed, chugging this milky mixture is sure to end badly. The Purple Cow must be enjoyed slowly and with a curious mind ready to embrace the many facets of the flavor. This drink is not intended to replace the efficacy of Keystone Light. Rather, the Purple Cow is intended to distinguish your weekend from the jam-packed schedule of your week. Cows are ruminating creatures, plodding and chewing slowly and without a care in the world. We recommend you take a page out of the bovine book and take your time with the Purple Cow. Enjoy the process of drinking it, and take a few steps back to admire the green pastures around you.