Who says cotton candy’s just for kids?

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.

Monday morning pick-me-up

My Fellow Inebriates,

I’m a big fan of Drinks Mixer, so I often find myself there on Monday morning looking for a pick-me-up. The question is, am I going to acquire any gin anytime soon?

You see, the random drink function on Drinks Mixer has commanded me to fix myself a Dick Cheney shooter. Now, this is a relatively new drink, originated by ShotDrinks.com eponymously after a certain hunting incident in the US, and containing these ingredients:

  • 1 part gin
  • 1 part lemon lime soda
  • 1/2 part rum
  • splash grenadine

Instructions say to use just enough grenadine to give the drink a reddish tint, not make it as “red as the blood that Dick Cheney inflicted on his hunting partner.” Ouch!

I don’t have any grenadine, so my drink—should my gin arrive today—is going to be bloodless, which is fine, because blood really, really freaks me out. Also, I don’t have a clue who Dick Cheney is. I’m just a bear, after all.

I spent a few minutes trying to contact him this morning but learned he is uncontactable (is that like “unaccountable”?). I thought, if I managed to get hold of him, I would ask him to send me some gin. But then I started worrying that he might have some bear-hunting experience and come after me. I would probably be easier to hit than a quail but slightly more difficult than Harry Whittington.

I started worrying about bears getting shot, then, and went ahead and resorted to drinking leftover Malibu, my fallback in a household where liquor shopping is not sufficiently prioritized and my cries for spirits go heedless. And through the Malibu blur I started wondering how I could help animals, especially animals staring down the barrel of a gun, punk animals who don’t feel so lucky. So I dicked around with my site a bit and learned that I could add a charity area that you guys can click on to support animals. I’m excited about being able to support the World Wildlife Fund, and I hope you’ll do your bit and click your support as well. Cheers, friends!