Look Normal

Look Normal by Matt Robold-Wide-OK

2 oz White Rum 
3/4 oz Lime Juice 
1/2 oz Orgeat
2 tsp Absinthe
1 tsp Maraschino 
1 tsp Simple Syrup

Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a Double Old Fashioned glass and fill with crushed ice. Garnish with an orange twist and a cherry. 

Matt Robold: I created the Look Normal at the behest of another person - something that doesn’t happen often. I had been traveling for a lot of rum and cocktail related shows and came home to find an email from The Daily Beast asking me if I could craft a cocktail for the release of “The Rum Diary,” starring Johnny Depp.

When I asked how much time I had to preapre a new recipe (the movie was set for release in two days), they said I had all of a day and a half to come up with something. My first inclination was to decline the request because I didn’t have enough time to really think of something new.  But …

Matt Robold Pouring-PK

… I had been working on a drink recipe in the Daiquiri family as a sort of tribute to Constantino Ribalaigua Vert, the famed bartender of La Floridita in Havana and creator of the Hemingway Daiquiri. It occurred to me that Hunter S. Thompson had been a big fan and student of Hemingway, and so therefore this might be an appropriate place to cheat for the drink.

I started with the Hemingway, which is rum, grapefruit, sugar, and maraschino, and subbed out the grapefruit for absinthe (and then doubling it) and the sugar for orgeat. Depending on how sweet your orgeat is that may be all that’s necessary, but if you have drier orgeat you’ll want that added teaspoon of sugar to round the drink out.

Oddly enough, the finished recipe is almost a Mai Tai - which ranks right along the Hemingway Daiquiri as my two favorite cocktails. Take a Mai Tai and swap the curacao for the absinthe/ maraschino mix and the proportions are even the same (maybe I should channel a little Don The Beachcomber and call that mixture “Dood’s Mix”).

I named the drink after one of my favorite parts of the trailer for The Rum Diaries preview (I hadn’t seen the movie yet).  Two characters are driving in a tiny car with no doors or roof - and one of the characters is riding on the other’s lap, bouncing along. The driver says to the other, “Just look normal.” It seemed like a pretty fitting name.

Matt Robold Bartend-B&W-OK

Celebrity Mixologist
Matt Robold is an Orange County, California-based rum connoisseur and cocktail enthusiast that likes to write about his passions on his blog RumDood.com. What started as a small hobby in 2006 ballooned into a full-fledged unpaid job and over two hundred bottles of rum.

Matt can be found behind the bar at 320 Main in Seal Beach, or MCing the monthly meetings of Rum Society at Caña Rum Bar in Downtown Los Angeles or the Bartender’s Cabinet in Orange County, California.  Matt lives in Orange, California with his special lady friend, his rum, and an abusive mint plant.

© Dave Russell 2017