On April 29 we’re mixing the Mr. Burns cocktail in honor of The Simpsons. You see, it was the day in 2018 that The Simpsons surpassed the prior record of 635 episodes of Gunsmoke that were filmed. That, of course, made Homer Simpson the most influential man to ever appear on TV, and he’s now delivered more than 30 years of stupidity, irreverence and snark.
Homer Simpson, of course, is the character most associated with quips of astonishing insight and equally astounding idiocy. But at least he’s a discerning drinker. As he noted when speaking of his bartender in 2010, “He knows just how I like my martini – full of alcohol.”
Homer may have enjoyed a good martini, but we’ve already covered that here. And as we will soon see, Homer’s other drinks weren’t generally up to our discerning standards. So instead we turn to the series’ resident tycoon, Charles Montgomery Burns, the owner of the local nuclear power plant. And for that we have the Mr. Burns cocktail.
The Simpsons and Drinking
There’s little point in outlining the framework of The Simpsons or describing all the odd characters. By now you either know them or never will. Instead we find it appropriate to review some of the show’s drinking history.
As you know, Duff Beer is Homer Simpson’s beer of choice. It appears in nearly every episode, most frequently consumed at Moe’s Tavern. Duff’s slogan is “Can’t get enough of that wonderful Duff” and their spokesperson is Duffman. This character, Duffman, is a blonde, muscular man who wears a blue leotard and cape, a red Duff ballcap, mirrored sunglasses and a utility belt full of Duff Beer. He also moves like a male exotic dancer: lots of groin thrusting, hip shaking and rubbing his buttocks with a towel. A class act.
While Duff Beer comes in several varieties, we learn in one episode that regular Duff, Duff Light and Duff Dry are really the same beer. Homer, with his characteristically sharp mind, remains oblivious to the fact.
But it’s not all beer, there are other drinks in The Simpsons. Bart Simpson prefers Buzz Cola Energy Drink, but near as we can tell that’s not a cocktail. In the Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment episode Homer becomes a bootlegger to keep Moe’s Tavern open. Unfortunately, Homer’s stills began to explode.
The series’ best-known cocktail is the Flaming Moe. Homer created it and dubbed it the Flaming Homer, but after drinking it Moe packaged it as his own and it became the Flaming Moe. The recipe is simple: liquor from assorted near-empty bottles mixed with a bottle of Krusty brand cough syrup and set on fire. This was in the running for Drink of the Day, but procuring genuine Krusty’s Non Narkotik Kough Syrup is as difficult as finding Chartreuse these days.
The Mr. Burns Cocktail
Because the Flaming Homer does not meet our rigorous editorial standards we’ll be mixing the Mr. Burns cocktail today. As mentioned above, Mr. Burns is the resident tycoon of The Simpsons, the evil antagonist of Homer Simpson and other characters. He owns the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant where Homer works. He’s famous for his trademark phrase, “Excellent” which is muttered slowly in a sinister tone while steepling his fingers.
The Mr. Burns cocktail has a less illustrious history than Mr. Burns. We are unsure about who first created it, but it’s a clear variation on the classic Bobby Burns, which we covered for his birthday.
The key difference between the Mr. Burns and the Bobby Burns is that the former uses a single malt Scotch whisky rather than blended Scotch and substitutes dry vermouth for sweet. It still uses the distinctly sweet Benedictine, but doesn’t pour sweet on sweet through the use of sweet vermouth. For the Scotch whisky we suggest using something like a Speyside whisky – in other words something on the less-peated side. Heavily peated Islay malts like we’d use in the Drunk Uncle should be avoided here.
Mr. Burns Cocktail
- 2 oz Scotch whiskey A single malt Scotch from Highlands or Speyside is recommended. Avoid highly-peated whiskeys from Islay.
- ½ oz Dry vermouth
- ¼ oz Benedictine
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- Garnish: Orange twist
- Add all ingredients to your trusty mixing glass.
- Add ice and stir to chill.
- Strain into pre-chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish with orange twist.
- Queue up some episodes of The Simpsons.