101 cocktails that shook the world #4: The Scarlett O'Hara

Being the most effective of all legal aphrodisiacs, cocktails are ideally suited for Valentine's Day, which falls on Monday. The intended effect may, however, be undermined if you essay such vulgar appellations as the Slow Comfortable Screw or Knickerdropper Glory.

Instead, go for the Scarlett O'Hara. This drink possesses numerous assets: 1) the name has the right connotation of headstrong passion; 2) the colour is a seductive pink; 3) it won't break the bank if you happen to have a bottle of Southern Comfort at the back of the cupboard. Despite having fallen from favour as a straight drink, this peachy liqueur is fine in cocktails when its sugar is balanced by tart citrus.

The Scarlett O'Hara was created either to celebrate the launch of Gone With The Wind in 1939 or (more prosaically) by Ocean Spray in the Fifties to promote the consumption of cranberry juice. Oddly enough, the first taste to assail your palate is more like strawberry - at least that is how your cortex may interpret the peach and cranberry hybrid. This is followed by a sour blast of lime, then the zing of sweet red-fruit returns. After succumbing to two or three of these southern charmers, frankly you won't give a damn.

2 parts Southern Comfort

1 part freshly squeezed lime juice

2 parts cranberry juice

Shake vigorously with whole ice cubes and strain into a cocktail glass.

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