Boozehound 101: The Fuzzy Navel

-- photo by Mariela M. via Flickr Creative Commons
The fuzzy navel is a mixed drink from the ’80s. — photo by Mariela M. via Flickr Creative Commons

You can blame this Boozehound 101 on Netflix.

I was binge-watching my way through Archer when I reached the episode where he binge-drank his way through a hefty load of first fuzzy, then hairy navels. And thus, inspiration struck — even though I’ve been faithfully working my way through David Embury’s six classic cocktails, sometimes, you just want to go off on a delicious, delicious tangent.

Finding out that the fuzzy navel emerged from the Day-Glo excess of the 1980s didn’t surprise me all that much. It seems like a very ‘80s drink: simple, sweet and something you could sip or slam on your Wellcraft Scarab Powerboat as you rocked your pastel suits and fought crime and stuff.

Yet despite the nostalgia for all things ‘80s, the fuzzy navel doesn’t seem to get much love. There’s also an overall feeling of barely-concealed disdain for the navel, with no one really fighting to lay claim to inventing it. New York Times critic William Grimes condemns the fuzzy navel and other early ‘80s mixed drinks in his book Straight Up or on the Rocks as “a kind of cult, rallying points for young drinkers in search of fun and not too picky about taste.”

Well, if this a cult, then shave my head, hand me a saffron colored robe and some pamphlets, because it’s a damn tasty one. Let’s take a peek, shall we?

What You Need: Peach schnapps and orange juice. That’s all. The peach schnapps is going to run you about $13 at your local liquor emporium, and depending on how fancy you like your orange juice, you’ll spend another $2 – $4. If you add some vodka, you get a hairy navel. Replace orange juice with cranberry juice and you get a Woo Woo. Use grapefruit juice and you get a Fuzzy Pucker. The possibilities are endless, really. This recipe is easy, and it’s this simplicity that I think is the source of the shade that gets thrown at the fuzzy navel.

What You Measure: This is the beautiful part — you really don’t need to. Put your fancy measuring spoons and shot glasses away, fill a glass with ice and add equal parts schnapps and orange juice.

Overall: Sometimes, you like to sip a martini. Other times, you like to pour some liquor into your orange juice and just enjoy the pants right off your morning or night.

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