Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Fun Ship Special

A funny thing happens when March arrives: This winter-loving writer’s mind switches to spring. Once we reach the year’s third month, my affair with winter is over. The weather can get warmer (but not too warm) and the snow can cease for another year.

Of course, Nature doesn't always comply. So far winter is holding on for dear life. This weekend is projected to be nice in Kansas, but I know many of you are growing weary of the cold and snow.

Hopefully, this Fun Ship Special can put you in a warmer mood. On my recent cruise aboard the Carnival Magic, waitstaff carried trays of these festive, tropical drinks around the lobby area as guests boarded. They looked so refreshing I was tempted to pluck one off of a tray. However, I’m allergic to pineapple (crazy, but true), so I asked a server what was in the drink. Yes, pineapple juice was on the ingredient list, so I reluctantly passed.

A few days later, I was chatting with Keith Patel, the beverage operations manager for the Magic. He said the most popular cocktail was the Fun Ship Special. When I mentioned my pineapple issue, he grinned and said, “You know, we can make it without the pineapple juice.”

A short while later, some of my family and I met with Keith in the ship’s RedFrog Pub to give the drink a try. (Check out the bartender in action!) It was wonderful. Tropical and fruity, with a great kick!

I also tasted the ThirstyFrog Red, the pub’s private label beer. Refreshing, clean, not too hoppy, and full of flavor. This is my kind of beer.

Some of my tablemates avoid alcohol, but they gave the virgin strawberry pina coladas a thumbs-up. We also tested some of the pub grub fare.

The coconut shrimp was a winner.

So were the kicked-up conch fritters and these West Indies Roti, filled with curried chicken and dipped in a mango chutney.

The Ditch clan is already planning next year’s cruise, and I can picture myself spending a lot of time in the RedFrog Pub. (Trouble!) Until then, I intend to make many Fun Ship Specials to get me through the blistering Kansas summer to come…sans pineapple.

(Read more about the cuisine on the Magic in my recent newspaper article here.)

The Fun Ship Special
Makes 1 serving

1/2 ounce Barcardi Superior Rum
1/4 ounce Skyy Vodka
1/4 ounce Disaronno Amaretto
1/4 ounce Apricot Brandy
1 1/4 ounce orange juice
1 1/4 ounce pineapple juice
1/2 ounce lime or lemon juice
1/4 ounce Grenadine

Fill a large pub glass with ice. Mix all of the ingredients together. Shake until a good foam is noticed. Pour over the ice. Garnish with an orange slice, cherry, and umbrella, and serve with a smile.

Disclaimer: While the crew and employees of Carnival Cruise Lines and the Magic were very hospitable and accommodating during my time on board, I paid for the trip myself. I’m not being paid by Carnival to make this or any upcoming posts with recipes from the cruise. All of the opinions and experiences are my own. 

1 comment:

  1. This looks so much fun :) I literally stared at that shrimp for ages with jealousy.