My Fellow Inebriates,
You’d think there’d have been something interesting in the backpack my parents used throughout their day at the Pacific National Exhibition, but its contents were in fact so boring that no one bothered to clean it out. Still, it seemed sensible to check for some booze. Could they really have managed eleven hours of kiddy rides, farm animals, dog shows, and carny people without a flask? I didn’t think so.
But apparently they had drained the flask while walking the fairgrounds. Typical. I clambered right into the pack and found nothing but old popcorn and pink cotton candy. This latter item my dad immediately grabbed. He needed, I kid you not, something that wouldn’t require chewing for breakfast before a 10 a.m. root canal, and he thinks oatmeal is really gross. (I do too, but have you ever tried adding a tablespoon of Jack Daniel’s to your bowl? Try it.)
Most people, when they see cotton candy, do one or even several things:
- They salivate, imagining a much yummier product than it actually turns out to be.
- They wonder how many insects have gotten swirled up into the floss.
- Their teeth hurt. They they wonder if they need a root canal.
- They wonder which is worse: denying the kids a quintessential carnival treat, or letting them consume a bag of sugar, additives, and stray bugs.
- They wonder how a bag of it can cost five freaking dollars.
- They wish cotton candy contained at least a little alcohol.
Okay, maybe most PNE visitors don’t think that. For those who do, there’s a post-fair solution. Get the kiddies into bed and whip up a Cotton Candy Martini.
Now, you can’t get cotton candy just anywhere—at least not near LBHQ—so if you’re going to pull off this drink, you’ll have to visit a fair. Perhaps a relatively mainstream one like the PNE, or maybe a nasty little midway with multi-nippled circus geeks gobbling chicken heads and gropists throwing knives at each other. Either way, be sure to escape with some candy floss.
One other piece of foresight is necessary: have some sub-zero (sub-32 if you prefer) Smirnoff in your freezer. After a day of freaks with meter-long armpit hair offering you deep-fried Mars bars, you’ll want that vodka to be ready. And Smirnoff is only really tolerable when it’s near-freezing.
If, unlike my parents, you have any sort of respectable bar, you’ll have all the other items, or at least improvisational ones. Grenadine? Coca-Cola? Vanilla rim sugar? Sure…. Not at my house, perhaps, but I hope this stuff is at yours. Here’s the recipe:
- 8 ounces of freezing Smirnoff vodka
- 1 tablespoon of cola
- 1 teaspoon of Grenadine
- A chunk of cotton candy (about 2″ x 2″)
- 2 small chunks of cotton candy for garnish
- Vanilla cocktail candy rim sugar
Rim the glasses, load your martini shakers with ice, toss in the first four ingredients, and close tightly. Shake it like a carny wigging out on paint thinner. The cotton candy will disappear like a pickpocketed wallet. Strain the concoction into your sugared martini glasses and garnish with tufts of cotton candy. UNLESS your dad ate all of it for breakfast before having a root canal.