As a Korean-American foodie who resides in West Oakland, I’m lucky that there’s a slew of fine eateries not too far from our home all along Telegraph Avenue in Temescal.
Generations of children have been charmed by Shirley Temple onscreen, and in a glass. The drink that bears her name, it seems, has a shelf life as long as her movies.
Chefs and mixologists have been pushing the envelope with soda recipes since the craft cocktail movement surfaced a few years back. And since most soda recipes take little time, effort and money, it’s easy to try something new.
A vegetable that often masquerades as a fruit in sweet dishes, rhubarb is a true harbinger of the season, appearing in April and, if we’re lucky, lasting until July. You can save some for an off-season fix, too, because it freezes and thaws beautifully.
The whole notion of kiddie cocktails centers around their ability to allow children to participate somewhat benignly in adult cocktail culture– preparing them in a sense for their futures as alcohol-swigging grown-ups to whom they look up, both physically and morally.
Maybe they’re not so benign, after all.
The idea of the Shirley Temple Black is entirely upside down. It is a drink that allows me to mix and mingle with the wee ‘uns from time to time without having them point at my Manhattan and ask what’s in it. With an innocent-looking, yet boozy Shirley Temple Black, I can gently tone down those shrieks of bouncy castle delight, or steel myself for the twenty-seventh consecutive screening of Thomas the Tank Engine more or less unnoticed.
At the next children’s party I am obliged to attend, when the host or hostess asks me what I’m having, you know my answer’s going to be:
“I’ll have a Shirley Temple, and make it Black.”
The LA Coffee Mill, tres chic in Silverlake, does a very fabulous morning mojito, made with muddled mint and lime in a a base of chilled green tea, topped with a splash of soda water. It’s tangy, refreshing, and very post-Pilates. But what if you want something a little more lush, a little more beignet-friendly? Welcome to your new favorite brunch drink: white peach Meyer lemonade.
I decided to start my mocktail quest off with that simplest of drinks, the gin and tonic. With multiple nuances brought on by using different gins, it’s probably my favorite cocktail — biting, tart, and tinged with bitterness, it reminds me of myself on my best days.
Given the whole pregnancy thing, I’ve been sourcing non-alcoholic alternatives to my usual alcoholic libations. Cocktails aren’t too hard to fake with mocktails, because while you may miss the satisfying bite of the gin or the underlying sweetness of rum, at least you can still make it a tasty drink with high-end mixers, homemade syrups, fresh herbs, and fruit, right?
So after the last Pregnant Pause post about food making me sick and now with this one being all about not drinking, you’re probably asking, “Um, isn’t this supposed to be a food blog?” It’s a fair point, but I think you’d much rather read stuff like this instead of cooings about the purple unicorniness of pregnancy and how gestating is like sitting on a cloud of cotton candy. (Because it’s not, and there are no unicorns, purple or otherwise.)