Friday, March 19, 2010


Yesterday's TDN theme was "Orange", calling for whatever orange liqueurs, bitters, or juice you wanted to use. (UPDATE: Check out all the recipes here.)  The drink I made I called the SunnySide:
SunnySide (of the Street)
  • 1 oz Smith&Cross Traditional Jamaican Rum
  • 1 oz Cruzan aged white rum
  • ¾ oz Grand Mariner
  • ¼ oz raspberry syrup
  • ¼ oz cinnamon syrup
  • ¼ oz orgeat
  • ¾ oz lemon
  • 2  dashes Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters
  • 1 dash Bitter Truth Orange Bitters
shake, strain over crushed ice, lemon twist garnish
The drink recipe ended up looking sorta like a bittered Mai Tai with lemon instead of lime and modified sweetener and orange liqueur, but in fact that's not where I started and the addition of orgeat was added to the mix last because I felt it needed something extra and I liked the tsp of orgeat in a recipe I've tried for a Strega Daiquiri.  The small amounts of the three sweeteners play well nicely, none dominating and each adding subtle flavor notes in the background.
I was having trouble coming up with a name, but I was in a good mood walking home from work yesterday because I was enjoying just about the first nice day we've had so far in NY, and crossed over to the sunny side of the street just to more enjoy my stroll home.  Also contributing to my good mood was Murray St's last second buzzer beater upset over Vandy in the NCAA tourney, not because I know anything about the school (it's in KY, btw, I looked it up), but because I had picked them in my friend's crazy pool and got massive bonus points for a 13 seed winning at least one game.  If you are curious, here's how the pool works:
Instead of filling out a complete bracket like you're used to doing in other pools, you just pick 8 teams out of the 64. Each team will get a score based on their seed and how well they do in the tournament.  Then add up the scores of each of your teams to get your overall score.
The general idea is still that if you pick an underdog that wins a couple of games, that's as impressive as picking a heavily favored team that goes to the Final Four.

You start by taking the number of wins the team gets, squaring it, and multiplying by (1 + the team's seed).  IN ADDITION, teams that are seeded 10 through 16 will get a bonus added if they win at least one game, according to the following table:

Seed    Bonus
10        9
11       16
12       25
13       36
14       49
15       64
16       81

The bonuses are designed to encourage picking worse-seeded teams.

Here are some examples so you can see how this works:
If Georgetown, a 3-seed, wins exactly 4 games in the tournament, they'll get (4*4)*(1+3) = 64 points.  No bonus applies to 3 seeds, so that's the final score.
But if 10-seed Georgia Tech wins exactly 2 games, they'll get (2*2)*(1+10) = 44 points, PLUS a bonus of 9 points for winning at least one game, for a grand total of 53 points.  If a 10 seed wins exactly 1 game, they'll still get 11 + 9 = 20 points.
Based on the last few years, it seems like it's important to pick better-seeded teams if they are going to win at least 3 games, or worse-seeded teams that win at least 2 games.  Because of the bonuses, picking teams seeded 11 & higher will very likely pay off even if they only win 1 game.
That's right, pick 8 teams and your score for each is number of wins squared times seed plus one, plus possible bonus. Told you it was crazy. But the scoring actually turns out to be remarkably robust and makes for a very fun and exciting tournament. Even if there's a game on without any of your teams, you will have someone to pull for (or against) because someone else picked them, or perhaps one of your teams will play the winner next round. It ends up being way more fun than a pool where you fill out the whole bracket.

Also, GO DUKE!

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