Calling it a cocktail may be a stretch, but this month’s Remix candidate is definitely a classic. It may not meet the standards of propriety and taste of some of our more time-honored and traditional drinks – the Manhattan, the Sazerac – but it’s undeniable summer fun wrapped up in a physics demonstration.
The Mexican Bulldog is called by many other names: Corona-rita, cervezarita, margarona – even, in New Mexico, a Lava Lamp (which is no more random than “bulldog,” I guess). It’s a margarita (usually a slushy frozen one) with a Corona (sometimes a pony, but usually a full-size bottle) jammed upside-down into the glass. Obviously this requires special barware, either a really big glass with a hollow stem or a plastic holder that clips onto the glass and stabilizes the beer bottle. Like that tiki-bar classic the Volcano Bowl, the Bulldog falls into a category of cocktails we might classify as thrill rides: a weird visual appeal plus the ability to get you smashed fast.
The physics part? The beer in a Bulldog (or the liquor in our Remixed Bulldog) seeps slowly into the drink – not all at once, but increasingly as the margarita (or mixer) level goes down. In a Bulldog, that means you end with a limey beer chaser. In this Remix, that means the drink gets stronger as you sip, not weaker – especially since there’s no ice diluting it. As for the mechanics of it, Neil DeGrasse Tyson could probably explain better than I, but it’s got something to do with Bernoulli’s principle or Pascal’s law or hydrostatic pressure or fluid dynamics or something. Leave me alone, science nerds.
Unlike a restaurant that sells Mexican Bulldogs, your kitchen will require very little investment in the way of special equipment for this Remix, and no glassware at all. All you need is an assortment of canned mixers (the short 6- or 8-ounce cans are best), a handful of mini airplane bottles of your favorite liquors, straws (full-length ones, not short) and a churchkey can opener (see photo above).
Back in the day before pop tabs, beer drinkers used the pointy end to “pop a top”; you might still use a churchkey now to get at Hershey’s syrup or any other canned liquid. In the case of this drink, you’re going to use it to make an extra hole in your mixer can, in which you’ll insert a mini liquor bottle. Et voila, a magically self-mixing, stronger-as-you-sip summer cocktail!
Margarita, regular or frozen
Bottle of Corona
Pour your already-mixed margarita into a large, salt-rimmed margarita glass, preferable with a hollow stem. Open the Corona and invert into the glass.
Mini bottle of liquor*
Can of soda*
Churchkey can opener
First, lay a towel down on your work surface; spillage is inevitable. Remove the top of the liquor mini (if there’s a plastic or metal ring left on the neck, remove that too). Next, open the soda and bend the tab so it’s over the opening. Insert your straw. (The tab will keep it from floating out on the carbonation.)
Now use the churchkey to punch at least one and as many as three extra holes on the side opposite the standard opening.** In one smooth movement, invert the bottle over the can and jam it into the extra opening you made. (Use the straw that you already inserted to deal with the little bit of overflow that will fizz out.) Enjoy!
* The choices are limited only by the selection at your liquor and grocery stores, but some of our favorite combos were: lime-basil vodka with a short can of lime tonic, Sailor Jerry’s rum with Barritt’s ginger beer, and the classic Jack and Coke. Structural challenges were encountered when attempting to insert a Patrón Silver mini into a San Pellegrino grapefruit soda; the Patrón’s flared lip necessitated four punches and a pretty hard push. Basic conclusion: The shorter the can, the longer the neck of the mini, the better the drink. With a shorter bottle or a taller can, the meeting point between the two liquid levels is broken earlier, so you miss out on the fun of the slowly changing mix.
** MASSIVE MASSIVE DISCLAIMER: There WILL be sharp metal edges so DO NOT put your mouth on the can. USE A STRAW. And pay attention while you’re making the extra hole – if you see metal shards drop into the can or something, don’t drink it, dummy.