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April 27, 2009

Kiddie cocktails

girl drink

This, dear readers, is Owl Meat Gravy's second guest post on Midnight Sun. Enjoy:

Apparently they used to sell candy cigarettes years ago (before the liberals ruined the world).

Ah, think about it: Coming home after a hard half-day at kindergarten, putting your little feet up and dragging deep on a candy Pall Mall. Yeah, puffing out a swirl of powdered sugar. That's living.

Recently I saw a gruff older man (reminiscent of the psychotic father from American Beauty) order a root beer at a bar.

Rebuffed, he barked out, "A Shirley Temple then!" I had to look. Standing behind him was a twitchy boy, maybe 13. I could read his mind: "I hate you, Dad, I hate you, Dad, I hate you, Dad."

Why would he do that? Get the poor kid a soda, not an emasculating trip to the 1930s.
So what's the deal with kiddie cocktails?  As far as I can tell they haven't changed in 50 years ...  

There's the Shirley Temple: 7-Up (Sprite) and grenadine. Then there's the Roy Roger: Coke and grenadine.

Can't we come up with something more current?
The idea of feeding your antsy kids super-saturated sugar drinks with extra red sugar seems like pure madness. But why teach your kids that it ain't a party without a cocktail? Sure, they are going to get worse messages from the media. But still.

I think the French have a much better idea: Give the kids some watered-down wine. It teaches them how to drink responsibly and best of all – knocks them out cold. Zut alors!

(Photo by Getty Images)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:00 AM | | Comments (24)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays


I get the incessant begging for virgin smoothies, daquiris and other frozen drinks. I know the bartenders hate to make them. But many restaurants advertise them well to the kiddies. Hey, why sell a $1.25 soda when you can get a parent to shell out $4.99 for some fruit juice and ice.

I've seen other places "toy up" their drinks. Glory Days has a "Shark Bite" which is basically the aforementioned Shirley Temple with the grenadine placed into a plastic shark. The kids get to "bloody" the water. The also have one with a lizard and some green sugar water (I think they use green apple cosmo mix).

When I was a kid, we'd buy a ton of candy cigarettes from the ice cream man in the summer, then wait for winter to "smoke" them when our breath was visible, and looked like real smoke. I don't think we were fooling anyone, but we thought we were really cool.

Owl Meat Gravy,

Explain "Zut alors"

Zut alors = something French people say that I think is funny. Imagine Pepe Le Pew seeing a sexy black cat with a white tripe. Zut alors! Like, damn! Holy mackerel. Something like that.

Best drink order ever: someone insisted on ordering a virgin frozen maragrita. $6.95 dumbass.

I'm pretty sure I am reading this entry as the Sun tacitly endorsing underage drinking.

Zut alors = something French people say that I think is funny. Imagine Pepe Le Pew seeing a sexy black cat with a white tripe. Zut alors! Like, damn! Holy mackerel. Something like that.

Best drink order ever: someone insisted on ordering a virgin frozen maragrita. $6.95 dumbass.

I remember the candy and gum cigarettes, the Pall Mall box was "Pell Mell." Loved that first 'puff' of powdered sugar with the gum cigs.

Why didn't the gpa order the kid a Roy Rogers then? Still a kiddie drink but much less embarrassing.

Why is the guy dragging his kid around to bars with him?

"Zut alors": y'all need to meet Pierre to fully appreciate that phrase. Maybe sometime this week...

And for reasons I don't understand, candy cigarettes are a no-no, but Big League Chew bubblegum is still ok.

It was the bar in a restaurant where people were waiting for a dining room table. I doubt that he hangs anywhere with his kid given his clueless behavior.

I'm pretty sure I am reading this entry as the Sun tacitly endorsing underage drinking.

WHAT? I don't endorse any such thing. I'm pretty sure that France is another country.

My dad would always order me a Shirley Temple when I was little when we went out to dinner. I hated them.

My grandmother had soothed my teething pains by dipping a pacifier in anisette (which explains my love for sambuca, ouzo, absinthe, etc.). At home, I was allowed to drink a little wine, and he always gave me the gin-soaked olives from his martini --but often when his back was turned, I would take a sip or two of his beer, his martini or his G&T. You can understand my confusion and disgust when faced with Shirley Temples during restaurant dinners.

Finally one evening, as my dad ordered me yet another Shirley Temple, I told the waitress "Excuse me, please, but I'd rather have something else." "Of course, honey" she replied, ready to write down milk or juice. "What would you like?" I leaned against the back of the banquette and said " A very dry martini with three olives, please."

My dad loved to tell that story. My mom, not so much.

Somebody loves Photoshop

YumPorchetta's here! Everybody run, swine flu, swine flu, swine flu...

It's not a cocktail/mocktail, but we serve the kids Martinelli's Sparkling Cider as our "celebration" drink at home. Actually, sometimes I have it, too!

My son has never been a soda drinker, but he did venture a sip of my niece's Shirley Temple once and declared it, "okay for a fizzy drink, but too girly." So the waiter told him that there was a drink for boys called the "Buzz Lightyear." He thought that was okay and ordered it. (It was indeed a Shirley Temple by another name.)

One night weeks later, he decided he wanted to order it again and asked the waiter (different restaurant) for a Buzz Lightyear. The waiter took a step back and gave us a horrified look. He didn't say anything, but kept staring. So I said, "A Buzz Lightyear -it's like a Shirley Temple, but for boys.

The waiter took a deep breath and smiled. "Oh, good," he said. "I thought he was ordering a Bud Light."

Oh, OMG, how could you...Here I am, leaving the comfort and security of D@L to provide you with support by posting, and you respond by stirring up hysteria.

Oh YumPo why you gotta be like that? Don't take your tiara and leave in a huff.

Thanks, that was an excellent anecdote. Will D@L let you back across the border?

But you know I love stirring up hysteria.

You daft cad, sullying Lady Yummington's honor like that.

Shall I dispatch manservant Griffin Tong to throttle him?

What is the significance of your url yumpo? It leads nowhere. Is that a statement on life in general?

I don't know. Last time I tried, it meant the Walk of Shame.

Lord M, I appreciate your defence of my honor. No physical violence is necessary at this time. Please relax with a Pimm's Cup and prepare for the yodeling competition tomorrow. You are England's last, best hope for the title.

"...why teach your kids that it ain't a party without a cocktail?"

The only way you don't teach your kids that it ain't a party without a cocktail is not to be ordering or having one in their presence. Remember you most effectively teach is by example and they will notice and question moments of hypocricy.

Given social mores, you really need to teach them how to indulge with responsible moderation when with others who do. Partaking in one or two can enhance the moment, getting really hammered is stupid, reckless, and behaving badly.

YumPo, great story! This reminds me of my first taste of a martini when the family was gathered at my uncle's house. My father expected me to make a "yuck" face and was quite upset when I smiled and took the martini away from me very quickly.

OMG, yes, I wanted to see if by chance it would lead somewhere unexpected. Of course it didn't.

Thank you, Dahlink. Parents are always surprised, aren't they? Even though it seems more often than not that kids like the taste.

Someone has a blog on mocktails for kids.

What's wrong with people? I saw a birthday party fr a dog yesterday.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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