Recently I helped throw a 60’s beach party-themed celebration for a 50th birthday. It was fun researching all the foods that made their grand debut during this time (think spray cheese and Doritos) but one thing I was struggling with was the cocktail. Sure, the martini was one of the first things that came to mind followed by foo-foo drinks like the Pink Squirrel or Mai Thai, but 1) I needed to make the drink by the gallon (scratch the martini off the list), it needed to hold up outside on a hot day (strike Pink Squirrel) and it shouldn’t be so strong that people would be passed out before the badminton net was even set up (that ruled out the Mai Thai plus a second strike against the martini).
I started thinking about what I drank as a kid and Kool-aid came to mind. That could work… certainly lots of flavors to use as a base. Hawaiian Punch fit both the time period and the beach theme. But then, even more quintensential of the 60’s than either of these, in my opinion, was Tang – the sugary drink made famous by John Glenn on his 1962 space excursion. The over-saturated orange color only rivaled perhaps by Kraft macaroni and cheese. Oh yes. This was something I could made a good cocktail out of! And that it tastes like a Dreamsicle was an added bonus for my 60’s theme.
60’s Dreamsicle Party Punch
1 20 oz container of Tang, unprepared
1 gallon of water
3 one liter bottles of tonic (I used diet)
1 750mL bottle of Whipped Cream Vodka
Mix together and adjust to taste. My version uses more liquid than the standard preps on the Tang container, but their version was just too sweet to me, so I watered it down a bit. I’m thinking the water could be completely skipped in favor of all tonic or soda. Pour on ice, garnish with an orange slice and break out the Beach Boys!