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February 4, 2010

Cocktails with toys and other odd drink accessories

Lego my Fun Snacks!

I've always been torn over the little paper umbrellas that come in South of the Border drinks. They look nice and all, but it's hard to drink around them, and I'm never sure what to do with them after I pluck them out of my drink. I tried eating one once but that didn't go down well.

In this guest column, Owl Meat has some pretty wild ideas about cocktail accessories. Dig it:

Once, I was at a quirky bar in Tucson that had some inventive drinks. One of them was called a Choking Hazard. It had a small plastic toy in it.

Another one had Lego candy in it. Lego candy? Do kids need more incentives to eat their toys? Talk about a choking hazard.

I remember candy coins being popular when I was young. Also a sketchy idea, but nothing beats candy cigarettes for pernicious influence.

I don't think they make candy cigarettes anymore, but there is still some demand. Consider the incredibly stupid fad of kids "smoking" Smarties candies. They crush the candy into dust and roll it up into a big fattie, inhaling and puffing out the dust that resembles smoke.

This place in Arizona was clearly trying to maximize the hipster cred vibe, but I wonder if drinks aren't getting a little too precious? Or maybe not enough? What is the weirdest drink accessory you have seen? ...

I wouldn't mind stirring my bloody Mary with a crisp piece of bacon or moose jerky -- but not a Slim Jim. A cucumber wedge is the perfect accoutrement for Pimm's and soda. The floating slice of cucumber in the sake martini at Minato's Sushi Bar is ichi-ban. A peperoncino in a vodka martini is bracing.

I heard that in North Carolina they serve martinis with a pickled green bean instead of olives. I experimented with a variety of olives other than the ho-hum stuffed manzanilla and loved the results.

I challenge mixologists to up their pickled fruit and vegetable game. How about kalamata, picholine, niçoise, or gaeta olives? Don't you think there is a drink out there just dying to be served with a gherkin?

I have method of lightly fermenting grapes so that they are internally carbonated like little champagne bombs. Pow! Dream big, dream fizzy.

(Photo courtesy of Kellogg's)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:30 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Owl Meat's Tipsy Tuesdays


Any mixed drink made with soda would be more exciting when served with a couple of wintergreen lifesavers thrown in.

Red Maple's Heavenly is fun—it features a lychee nut bobbing up and down from the carbonation in a champagne flute.

(I like having a drink that moves on its own—it's like I'm drinking a lava lamp.)

On a personal note, I once threw a party where I served shots in hollowed out horned melons. So people had to pick up their shots carefully or spear their hands...

The pickled green bean is very popular in the South.

The most famous drink is probably a Rock and Rye, made with rock candy, bitters, and rye whiskey.

Golden West has a drink that comes with plastic vampire teeth hanging off the edge.

Who's the genius who asked why Sam went to Argentina? Looks like a genius move now as everyone in town is paralyzed or frenzied by snow panic.

Candy Cigarettes?! Those are still around... You can get them at a number of the little boutique shops up in Hampden or at the art supply shop on North Avenue. I'm just amazed that you don't see them more often; it seems like they would catch on.

Bad Decisions (probably the greatest drink list around) served me a killer spicy pickle martini a few weeks ago, with a big ole slice of fat kosher pickle in it. Maybe the best drink ever.

I had a pickle juice martini once. Surprisingly good. Crazy idea: Wasabi martini. Kanpai!

a Taco Mary is surprisingly good: made with a toothpick or two of black olives and jalapeno cheese cubes in, and shakes of chili powder and extra tabasco on (see also the Crabby Mary, with Old Bay)
Another surprising drink is a tall rum and coke with a couple Mentos mints added tableside...

Bad decisions makes an excellent spicy pickle martini. It's got some real heat and tanginess from spicy pickle juice and a few pickle slices. It's essentially a dirty martini with spicy pickle instead of olive. After drinking a couple I decided that pickles should succeed bacon as the under-appreciated-cum-hip food that people in the know start working into everything. Bacon has run its course...time for the pickle in all its forms.

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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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