For an authentic British-themed drinking experience in Orange County, The Olde Ship in Fullerton is hard to match. British-owned, with Premier League matches broadcasting on a loop from the telly, where even the bartenders sport accents that range from Cockney to Liverpudlian, Mancunian to Irish, and refer to patrons as "mates." Beers and ales get most of the love, but the signature cocktail list at this cozy little pub features some British themes. Among them is the Blackbeard Martini.
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This is a tasty little number that flows down the gullet with the facility of fruit punch. The bartender shakes the simple concoction with ice in a mixer and pours it in a Martini glass. It's comprised of black currant vodka, cranberry juice and a British-produced blackberry juice known as Ribena. An uncarbonated soft drink, Ribena features real black currant juice, none of that fake corn syrup shit.
Certain cocktails induce involuntary facial twitching; these are the drinks we sip. The Blackbeard Martini on the other hand, is incredibly easy to gulp. Were it not for the warm, fuzzy feeling that possessed my soul as I emptied the final dregs of the Martini glass, I wouldn't have known it had alcohol in it.
At the risk of sounding sexist, I'd say this is a drink more in touch with alcohol's feminine side. But no matter what your gender, drinker beware: it would be incredibly easy to indulge in too many of these, stumble outside the establishment and tumble face first into the alley. Perhaps the $9 price tag will keep you in check. Enjoy.
The Olde Ship, 709 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 871-7447. 1120 W. 17th St., Santa Ana, (714) 550-6700.