Before any of your senses can react to a drink, you instinctively assess it by name. There are drink names that, quite rightly, resound with dignity. (Vieux Carre. Sazerac.) Others fittingly squeal "fun!" (Mimosa! Margarita! Mai Tai!) A cocktail dubbed Cute but Psycho, then, warns "Buyer beware. Mischief lurks." Here's what happens when you order this original cider-topped rum cocktail off the menu at Ward 8 in the North End: You expect a somewhat enhanced daiquiri (rum, lime, sweetener), but what you get is a full-blown tiki drink. See, the cider's natural spices fuse with the deep sweetness of the aged rum to yield an unexpected nutty flavor similar to falernum, a sweet, almond-y syrup common in island drinks. That's mischief that I invite.
CUTE BUT PSYCHO
Makes 1 drink
1 ounce Ron Zacapa 23 Year (or any aged rum)
¾ ounce simple syrup (add ¼ cup sugar to ¼ cup water and stir until integrated)
½ ounce grapefruit juice
½ ounce lemon juice
2 ounces Bantam Wunderkind cider (or any dry cider)
1 edible flower (for garnish)
1. Into a shaker, over ice, pour rum, simple syrup, grapefruit juice, and lemon juice. Shake gently for 20 seconds (just long enough to combine ingredients).
2. Strain into a highball glass over ice.
3. Top with cider and garnish with flower.