Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar. 120 credits at Pace University, masochistic electives like Introduction to Forensic Sciences and The History of Psychology despite the fact that I was aiming for a career in marketing, and THAT is what I came away with nearly 2 decades ago, in my 2nd year of college. But sometimes, a cocktail is apparently not just a cocktail. Question: If there is absolutely no sipping involved, is it still a cocktail? Answer quick—gut instinct. Forget all the sordid Jell-O shots you did during that blurry haze you call youth. If you are chewing—if it leaves you…ummmm…thirsty—can it technically still be considered a cocktail?!? Some mixoligists in New York seem to think so, but I guess they never bothered to button up on their Freud.
“Solids” aren’t exactly new on the cocktail scene. For the last couple of years several alchemists have been experimenting with ways of engaging you in a drink that you don’t drink. I believe they’ve even got t-shirts with the motto “fuck the straw” on them, but don’t quote me on that. Tailor (a restaurant in SoHo), for instance, has a trio of solids that include a gelatinized Cuba Libre, a Gin Fizz marshmallow, and a White Russian-flavored Rice Krispies treat. The Benoit Bar, in Midtown, serves a concoction called La Fondue, which involves nestling a ceramic bowl in crushed ice, filling it with a Piña Colada-style reduction, and serving it with dunkable marshmallows and pineapple chunks. Me, personally, I’d just wanna yell “seco y volteado*” and down the entire bowl in one shot—fruit is for sissies. They’ve also got one called the French Toast (pictured above). Basically, strawberry-flavored vodka and Chambord are cooked and reduced into a jam which gets spread on a warm baguette slice. This may be delicious, but it is emphatically NOT a cocktail. It’s a snack that’ll just happen to kick your ass. Oh, and not to be outdone by these kooks, er I mean geniuses, Dave Arnold of the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan created (with the aid of a vacuum machine) a martini in the form of a pickle. There are so many wiseass Freudian remarks that could be made here I don’t even know where to begin. I do, however, wonder if it’s Kosher.
Is this fun? Yeah. Whimsical? Definitely. Worth a try? Probably. A cocktail? Gimme a break.
*Don’t know what that means? Tough—that’s what Google is for.