Survey Bayshore Boulevard on Gasparilla Saturday and you're bound to see more than a few college-aged bros with CamelBak hydration packs strapped to their shoulders.
Trust us, it's not because they're trying to stay hydrated.
Many of those wearable thermoses are filled with some nasty blend of rotgut vodka and saccharine energy drink designed to keep the wearer nicely toasted, yet alert and mobile on Tampa's biggest party day.
This practice needs to stop. Not the practice of drinking on the streets, mind you — good luck getting Tampa's krewes to agree to that — but the practice of drinking cheap, disgusting hooch. Seriously, if you're going to be sipping the same punch for hours at a time, shouldn't it actually taste good?
We asked mixologist Danny Guess, the beverage director at Tampa's Fly Bar and Restaurant, for a cocktail recipe that would be suitable for a classy Gasparilla party, yet wouldn't taste terrible if mixed in bulk and served from a thermos. He responded with a recipe he called Bacchanal Punch, a rummy yet refreshing cocktail that even the most basic bartender should be able to mix.
"What's nice is it is easy to make, easy to drink, has some easily attainable ingredients, it's refreshing and also has the addition of coconut water, which is very hydrating," Guess said. "Coconut water is all the craze right now so I think it's a good fit."
Hey, what party-hearty pirate doesn't love bold flavors?