King Kong? Pynchon helpfully explains that it’s “Crown Royal plus banana liqueur.” (Banana for the monkey, Crown for the King–a little poem in itself.) The internet helpfully elaborates that you can down your King Kong either as a shooter or over ice. Or both! Here we go:
As a shot, the King Kong tastes primarily of cough medicine. Then again, I imagine that’s about the best you can hope for with a mixed alcohol shooter thing like this. It’s maybe not so bad. The cough medicine taste of cough medicine was always pretty enjoyable as a child after all. Reviews from my drinking companions were mixed. It certainly isn’t a difficult shot to down, being diluted somewhat by the 20%ish liqueur.
Over ice, King Kong’s much mellower. The smell is all but entirely banana–or more like those delicious lolly bananas everyone seems to hate. Tastewise, there’s a generic whiskey warmth and spice crawling out from under a thick syrupy banana glaze. Pretty much all the whiskey’s fire is cut, especially as the ice melts. It’s very sweet, but with enough body to stay very drinkable. An expected downside is that you really can’t taste the whiskey that much–it’s gotta be Crown Royal to make a King Kong, but it tastes like it could be anything.
These show up in Bleeding Edge, where Vyrva, Justin and Lucas down them “at the brightly lit bar of some tourist motel way over in the West Fifties.” The bar sounds like quite a place: “Huge screen TVs tuned to sports channels, fake trees, some of them twenty feet tall, long-haired blond waitresses, an old-school mahogany bar.” Very King Kongey–mixing the bright and syrupy with the dark, rich, and old-school.