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Monday, August 24, 2009

Innovations in Sneaking: The Solid-State Cocktail

Posted By on Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 6:00 PM

  • Fernando de Sousa, Wikimedia Commons
While I'm constantly amazed at the number of movie theaters in St. Louis that offer beer, wine and decent coffee, there still aren't many places you can enjoy a good cocktail during the show. What's a sneak to do?

1. Pre-mix the cocktail and bring it in a bottle or thermos.

This is all right for simple cocktails, like a screwdriver, but for something more complicated or garnished, this is a poor choice. It's also hard to get an appropriately-sized serving for a two-hour movie.

2. Assemble the cocktail in the theater.

Admirable -- but unnecessarily complicated. I appreciate the panache it takes to carry a cup and separate containers of gin, vermouth and olives into the theater, but I abhor the potential mess and the distraction of projected light transcribing the arc of a silver cocktail shaker in the dark.

3. Go without.

Absolutely unacceptable. A quick perusal through the archives of this blog will shortly inform you that reasonable self-denial is not one of my virtues.

4. Whip up some solid-state cocktails.

click to enlarge This is not what Dara is talking about. - USER "ROBBIE1981," WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • User "Robbie1981," Wikimedia Commons
  • This is not what Dara is talking about.
Solid-state cocktails are exactly what they sound like: your favorite cocktail, garnish included, rendered solid and remarkably portable with gelatin (or agar for sneaky vegans). Solid-state cocktails retain all the color, flavor and aroma of their liquid form but also stack easily for sneakability. Even with a group a friends at the same movie, everyone can have a different cocktail, easily told apart because of the garnishes sitting as if in amber. A dozen servings, at least, will fit in a gallon plastic bag inside a bag, and a stack of three or four fits the deep pocket of a winter coat. Watch out for lint, the garnish you'd rather do without.

Solid-state cocktails are not Jell-O shots. Jell-O shots, like casual smoking and Dane Cook, are the necessary repugnancies of youth, a crucible in the development of taste. Jello shots are meant to be devoured as quickly as possible, before the cover of what a sentient factory in New Jersey believes a lemon tastes like dissolves to reveal pure grain alcohol. Solid-state cocktails use an unflavored solidifying agent so the character of the liquor is showcased, not concealed.

The following example was quite popular (and potent!) with my incredibly scientific testing group of the two people I like to take to the track.

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