WATERING HOLE: Sloshied in Driggs

By on October 11, 2017

My sloshies – pina colada, Moscow Mule, Greyhound and watermelon — sunbathing in the freezing temperatures of Driggs, Idaho prior to their entrance into my belly. (Photo: Angelica Leicht)

A sloshie newbie imbibes in a frozen rainbow of regret

JACKSO HOLE, WY — I have a confession to make, you guys. On Monday night I did the walk of shame. The sloshie walk of shame.

As a Jackson newbie, I spend a lot of my time trying to figure out just how this little mountain town runs. What I’ve come to realize is that Jackson is mostly fueled by sloshies, those alcohol-laden slushies available in every flavor under the sun at nearly every quick stop or market in town.

Given that I’m a Texas (and flatland) native, I’d never heard of sloshies until I stepped foot in Teton County, and the mix of alcohol, gas station slushie and magic had me intrigued. The idea of slurping down booze-fueled ice and sugar was a double-dog liquor dare.

I finally gave into that sloshie curiosity this week with the help of a Planet staffer who knows quite a bit about this frozen madness. She directed me to the mecca of sloshies: Jackson Hole Marketplace.

JH Marketplace, if you’re not familiar, is a little market, liquor store and grocer right off of South Highway 89 as you head toward Hoback. It’s easy to pass if you don’t know where it is, and pass it I did.

A quick U-turn and a quick lap around the aisles and I came upon it: A row of frozen booze, lined up in a rainbow of regret and early morning headaches. Being the moderate drinker that I am, I chose four: Moscow Mule, Greyhound, watermelon and pina colada.

“They sent you in to get sloshies, huh,” said the dude in camo pants behind me.

“Yes,” I said, throwing my invisible friends under the bus. “I also took all the lids.”

The walk of sloshie shame to the counter was an exercise in humility, what with my towering stack of sloshies threatening to jump ship at any moment.

“Do you need a box?” asked the chick behind the counter while totally not judging me.

I nodded, afraid to make eye contact.

With my newly-purchased sloshies stacked in their temporary cardboard home, I made my way to the car to head back to Driggs, that lovely Idaho town where I rented the only apartment that was available in the greater, uh, Teton area. 

A couple of first impressions about these evil frozen concoctions: A.) It’s frigging cold outside, so you’d think these bad boys would survive a quick jaunt over the hill. Wrong. They were a mix of frozen ice, boozy liquid and cup sweat by the time I got to Driggs, and B.) I probably should have eaten something – anything – before I took on this exercise in sloshie madness.

I’d initially intended to rank the sloshie flavors, giving my totally unbiased opinion for other sloshie newbies. I will still do that, but I want you to know I’m probably lying. I don’t actually remember much from about two sips of the Moscow Mule flavored sloshie onward.

I think the issue here is two-ply: I meant to eat – I really did – and even stopped at to grab some frozen stuff on my way to the apartment, risking my sloshie integrity (and their frozen contents) altogether.  But when I got home and went to preheat the oven to christen my belly with frozen pizza and sloshies, I was met with a horrible, horrible noise: The incessant beeping of the oven.

Turns out my oven in the apartment I’ve been renting for six days is broken. No food was being warmed in that thing.

I pulled the plug out of the wall and did what any smart alt-weekly editor would do: I drank my dinner.

Well, most of it.

The first sloshie I tried was the Moscow Mule, and I’m sure glad I started with that one. It’s by far the best flavor of the four I tried, with a slight hint of ginger underneath a hefty layer of alcohol. From first sip it became clear to me why sloshies are a thing: They’re delicious and they do the trick.

It all went downhill from there, though. Next flavor to make a move into my now-tipsy belly was pina colada, a solid second choice. I don’t mind heavy pours in my regular ol’ pina coladas, and this one was precisely that, only in sloshie form. The mixture masking what had to be a 20-second pour was just sweet and heavy enough to feel like the real thing, and I dug it. The next two? Not so much.

Perhaps my taste buds were tainted by the deliciousness of the first two, or perhaps I was just drunk, but I really, really hated the Greyhound flavor. I don’t know what I expected by the name, but it wasn’t to take a mouthful of rank grapefruit and booze. Why…why would y’all do that to yourselves?

My final sloshie to conquer was the Watermelon, which seemed when I poured it into its clear plastic container to be the least risky of the four. A nice pink color, super frosty and supposedly watermelon flavored. What could be wrong with that?

Everything. Everything could be wrong with that. By the time I got to that pink cup, my brain was screaming at me to stop, but I knew in the name of journalism and this bar column that I had to go on.

I took one sip of that concoction and stuck it in what I’m pretty sure is a broken mini-fridge to forget it ever existed. My apartment – and the watermelon flavored sloshie – both suck. Or at least they did last night, sans food and while half-drunk on other sloshies. I’ll have to try watermelon again without the Moscow Mule and pina colada appetizer. Perhaps I’m being too harsh.

Y’all are some liver punishers, Jackson. I’m not sure how you drink these things and survive, but I can tell you that my Texan liver hates me this morning. It also hates grapefruit. Like renting an apartment in Driggs off Craigslist sight unseen, that grapefruit flavored nightmare is something I will never, ever try again. PJH

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