A kindly publicist sent us a new bottle of booze last week, about which I offer the following mixed review. Let's lead with the bad news that Malibu Red is a pretty lackluster name for a tequila, rum, and coconut liqueur hybrid. There's a good bit of red on the label, but the liquid itself is clear. Malibu Black—which is basically just a higher-proof version of the original Malibu coconut rum—has the good sense to be black, but I can't think of any reason why the Red isn't named Blue or Kai or any other little word.
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When was the last time anyone invented a new category of spirit? There's that very nice St. Germain elderflower liqueur that's in everything these days, but for the most part, the new stuff I see on the shelves is just reflavored versions of the old stuff. Vodka was the first, but it seems that now they've come for our rum. In the case of Malibu, they've now come for our rum thrice: First we had the original coconut Malibu, then we had all sorts of cranberry-cherry perversions of that, and now we've got imitators of these adulterations.