Book Club Cocktails

Mrs. Mai Tai hosted her monthly Book Club with friends and asked me to make cocktails for the group. This was the menu I came up with, intended to present some different kinds of flavors than are usually seen on mainstream cocktail menus.

  • The Pampanito: a Smuggler’s Cove recipe featuring Molasses Syrup
  • Saturn: a Gin-based cocktail with exotic cocktail sweeteners
  • Blue Hawaii: I included a little quarter ounce of Wray & Nephew Overproof to give this a little extra kick of flavor
  • Tradewinds: a great combination of coconut plus Apricot Liqueur

The cocktail that blew everyone away was the Saturn, served up. Even the attendees who said they didn’t like Gin found this delightful. I made more of these than the other cocktails combined.

I can see why people build or acquire bars for their homes; trying to make this many drinks sink-side in the kitchen is kind of a pain. But at least the results came out great.

imPASTA Straws

I moved past plastic straws at home quite a while ago and have felt that Hay Straws were better than paper or glass or metal. I’d tried pasta straws at Trader Vic’s and found them okay, though fatter than I prefer and definitely the kind that can break apart if left in the drink for too long.

Enter imPASTA straws (“imposter” – get it?), who provided the box for review. This retails for $9 for a box of 45 7½” straws. Quite solid. They’re definitely not easily breakable like the hay straws. And the radius for these straws is noticeable smaller than those big fat ones at I’d used previously.

The true test would be how long these last in the cocktail, so I made up a tall Margarita and outfitted it with plenty of crushed ice.

  • An hour later it was working perfectly, still able to easily stir the cocktail.

  • Two hours later it was still very solid.

  • Three and a half hours later the straw could still clang on the glass.

  • After five and a half hours there was a noticeable bend, but was still solid enough to drink through. And who’s nursing a cocktail for over five hours?!?

Gotta say, I was very impressed with imPASTA straws.

I would prefer these be closer to 8″, to work better in tall Collins/Zombie glasses. And you know I’d like to see a short 5½” version for Mai Tais and other Double Rocks cocktails. But for an initial product offering, imPASTA is on the right track.

Lesson: Stick to Tiki

Sometimes it is good to challenge your assumptions and revisit spirits and cocktails that you haven’t loved (or enjoyed at all) in the past.

Such was the case when I made two Martinis. While I preferred the Gin Martini over the one with Vodka, neither was enjoyable. Glad I tried it but won’t be coming back anytime soon.