February 14, 2006

The Cocktails of Truth (and a contest!)

SO! It appears I am going to change the focus of this blog... It is going to become a cocktail blog. Or rather, POMtail blog. Since cocktails seem to equal blog entries, I better get serious about drinking them with, like, breakfast, and then I can blog about my ha ha so funny drinking all the time, ah ha ha, laughing right up until my liver goes leaping out my throat and tries to crawl away. It's all good fun until someone loses a liver.

Please do not stage an intervention just yet --- I can't even drink right now because my wretched LUNG FUNGUS has put me off everything but nourishing soups and toast points, AND I swear I'll get a new topic any second, I just have to tell you one more string of cocktail-themed stories from the On The Brink conference because there is something IN IT for you if you can help me. And ANYWAY, I can stop talking about cocktails anytime. I just don't CHOOSE to stop talking about cocktails yet.

BUT before we get to the CONTEST, I meant to tell you that one of the conference organizers had a DIFFERENT POMtail recipe, in case you don't care for Vodka but still want your cocktail to double as an antioxidant superpower. It's called a Blueberry Smash and it is from GOURMET magazine or something like that. I did not try it, because it is my feeling that those who switch cocktails midstream end up sorrysorrysorry later, but those who went with it SWORE that they could feel the tingle of renewed delicious youth way way down deep in their gnarled old toe-sies. I do not know the proportions, but I watched the guy mix it, and it went a little something like this.

Some POM Blueberry-Pomegranate Wonderful
Some Makers Mark
A Little Clover Honey
Some Ice.

I do have to confess that when the Blueberry Smashers were lipsmacking and vigorously BLOOMING with health, the POMtini contingent was feeling tiny jealous twinges about the new cocktail's pedigree of FANCINESS. Honey stirred up in there? Recipe from Gourmet Magazine? Alas! We could find no maraschino cherries on pink plastic swords to console ourselves with. SO I started digging around in the mixers trying to see how we could gussy up our rawther plain VandP's.

That's when I saw it....The bottle was kinda shaped like a DEKUYPER'S Amaretto bottle, brown like that, but on closer inspection, I saw the label read, STRARETTO.
"Um, what?" you say.
And I say, YOU HEARD ME.

If you say it three times fast you sound like a cat horking up a gobbet of mouse parts.

It was some sort of strawberry amaretto BLENDED LIQUEUR, and I adopted it as my especial pet freakish object. EVERYONE needs an especial pet freakish object to tote around at a cocktail party, and another author had already laid claim to the old fashioned A-OOOOO!-GA Klaxon-y clown horn thing. So. I went around to the POMtini people offering to freshen up (or possibly ruin) their cocktails by the addition of a little dollop of STRARETTO, and I even put a modest dash in my POMtini (it was...interesting) and it became this whole big thing. At the end of the night, the bottle was close to empty, and I was VERY TEMPTED TO STEAL IT, but 1)That would have been WRONG. 2) It would have been bad manners, considering what a lovely man our host was and also, 3) (and this was truly compelling) The spirit may have been willing, but the jacket pockets were small. *grin*


I got home and I was telling Karen (She is MINNA in the comments) about the horrors of STRARETTO, and she tried to GOOGLE IT and... she said there was no such thing. We googled it it 75 ways from Sunday, and then we YAHOO'd it, and then we asked Jeeves. Nothing but strawberry amaretto cheesecake recipes.

My Hypothesis: HOLY GODS this liqueur was SO horrifying that it was only made from 1968 to 1972 and was the greatest factor in MANY fabulous trends from the 70's including keys-in-the-fishbowl wife swapping and these pants. AND this guy, our host, had bought a bottle in about 1970 and accidentally forgotten it existed for 36 years and then some party guest dug it out of the very very very way-most back of the pantry and put it out and I DRANK SOME OF IT and my internal organs are slowly liquifying and I will be dead by Thursday.

It is not a good or cheerful hypothesis, but it is a BETTER hypothesis than EITHER of KAREN's impugning and cruel ones which are:

2) I was so CHARGED UP with antioxidants that I HALLUCINATED Straretto, and believed so FIRMLY in it that I made other people see it too OR they did not see it but just thought I was weird. After all, these people had been afflicted with the knowledge of what I once did to lipgloss. SO. They were expecting me to be weird.

AND SHE CONTINUES TO MOCK ME WITH THE NON-GOOGLE-ABILITY of this liqueur that I SWEAR on the grave of my grandma's dead poodle Suzette EXISTED. I DRANK some. I SAW it.

I went to the DEKUYPER's website and tried to send them a letter asking them to CONFIRM straretto, but their "send us a comment" function is broken and sends me to an error page. SO I sent them a snail mail letter, but that will take WEEKS.

LISTEN -- if ANY OF YOU can find proof of STRARETTO'S EXISTENCE before I hear from DEKUYPER's you will get a prize. Mind you, it must be evidence that KAREN WILL ACCEPT, like a picture of the bottle on the web, anything concrete---Karen will NOT accept a sworn statement where you say, "Um yeah, I once took a bunch of heroin and saw some Straretto. It had long pink legs like a flamingo and was singing 'Marsy Dotes.' Totally exists."

ANYWAY, prove I am not crazy or a BIG LIAR, and I will send you a SECRET BETWEEN LOOT, and either an audio version of gods in Alabama OR a signed first ed, your pick.

(By the by, the Bad Pants pop up is from Bad Fads dot com )

Posted by joshilyn at February 14, 2006 9:32 AM

I want to go out drinking with you some time. You get MUCH more fun drinks than I ever think to order. I've got to get some bluepomberry & makers mark and honey.

Posted by: liz at February 14, 2006 10:38 AM

Well, let's start by spelling it correctly ;) --- try Stramaretto -- while I still can not find photographic evidence of the bottle you describe -- this is an ACTUAL drink - though most barkeeps blend amaretto and strawberries together to make it. Still hunting something that will make your friend believe you.

Posted by: Patricia at February 14, 2006 12:52 PM

"Cocktails are society's most enduring invention."

--Elsa Maxwell

And on the subject of sheets, while there are higher thread counts of yumminess, if I ever win the lottery I plan to deck myself in Porthault for the duration (from NY Magazine):


18 69th St., New York, NY 10023
near Madison Ave.

Specialties: Linens

New York ladies live for this French shop’s statusy linens for tables and beds. Floral-print sheet sets (from $600 for a queen set) are good enough for most, but there are hand-scalloped or embroidered custom-made sets (from $3,000) for you robber barons.


I especially like that it is pronounced "poorTOE," my toe being the least of it, when it comes to the poverty thing.

I knew I could hammer the first people we bought a house from down on the asking price, when I saw they had Porthault sheets on their DAUGHTER'S bed. I mean, HELLO... no. mercy.

Posted by: Cornelia Read at February 14, 2006 1:46 PM

This is the closest I've been able to come, and this most definitely makes it sound like the Stramaretto is a cocktail, not a bottled beverage. Scroll down to the Cedar Lounge restaurant to see what it says. Still looking for an actual bottle.


Posted by: Aimee at February 14, 2006 2:41 PM

I couldn't find it either, which does not mean I've given up trying, but I do know that I now want to try a Strawmeretto Colada, I need a vacation with icy umbrella drinks now.

Posted by: Cele at February 14, 2006 4:29 PM

There is another possibility: perhaps your *host* made it up. With Photoshop and a printer and everything. Which you could also do, and convince Karen, as long as she doesn't read this.

Your host is a genius. I wish I'd thought of that.

Posted by: kate q at February 14, 2006 4:56 PM

Hello, you SO don't know me. I can't recall how in the world I came across your bl0g but I just wanted to state that it is in my bookmarks folder and I check it everyday. I don't drink and I'm not southern. I love fiction, but I doubt I'll ever get around to reading your books.

But you are a wonderful writer and I laugh uncontrollably with every one of your posts.

Thank you for many midday pick-me-ups.

Ray "Raedien" Devine

Posted by: Ray Devine at February 14, 2006 5:04 PM

I'm still looking but I'm starting to think you were hallucinating. Makes you wonder what else was in that bottle. Heh. You should have stolen it. [grin] There are plenty of drinks using the two -- namely the above found Stramaretto/Strawmaretto coladas and a Strawberry Shortcake (amaretto, strawberry, and vanilla ice cream - yum!).

This is the first time I've ever been stumped Googling something. Now I have to find it, just to prove Google wrong!

Posted by: dragonfly at February 14, 2006 5:12 PM

Can I come with you, Cornelia? Just to run my fingers over the forbidden sheetery?

Luckily, I didn't read this post until 5:00 ish, since it has made me want to drink, though having nothing as fancy as Blue Pomtinis (or whatever), I think I'll quaff a glass of red wine. Here's to you and your quick recovery from lung fungus, Joshilyn.

Posted by: Edgy Mama at February 14, 2006 5:18 PM

Oh Edgy M, I would love that... we will have to do quick finger-running before they chase me out of the store, though. I don't even have SHOES fancy enough to pass muster at a place like that!

Posted by: Cornelia Read at February 14, 2006 6:33 PM

In other madness.... Happy Valentine's Joshilyn

Posted by: tina at February 14, 2006 7:44 PM

Dang. These are the moments that camera-phones were made for. If nothing else, it would prove whether or not someone was RWD (reading while drunk).

Posted by: Lulu at February 14, 2006 10:04 PM

Well, I've given up looking, but I SO want to try this drink now.

And as for the sheets - I got zillion-count sheets for Valentines Day! Well, okay, only 480-count, but STILL. I heart high thread-count rich people sheets.

Posted by: Shelley at February 15, 2006 12:19 AM

It might be Suntory strawberry. Google it and look or maybe it's just too darn early and I really need to get to work.

Posted by: Gabi at February 15, 2006 5:46 AM

Hello, my pretty--

I DO believe you. And a tall frothy vat of stramaretto will be awaiting you tomorrow. So GET BETTER.

And I must say, Cornelia's dream sheets sound divine... I think I'm going back to bed for a bit (though mine, sadly, are from T.J. Maxx and not Porthault).

Posted by: Karen Abbott at February 15, 2006 7:40 AM

How about if I just ask Steve (the host) to produce the bottle?

Posted by: Joe at February 15, 2006 11:56 AM


Posted by: Laume at February 15, 2006 10:49 PM

Sorry, my earlier comment posted to the wrong heading. Here it is again under the right one, I hope.

Thought you all might find this reference to POM amusing:


Maybe we should just go ahead right now and change the name of our institution to Pomegranate State University. Sounds kind of nice -- POM State. Yeah, I like it.

Posted by: Joe at February 16, 2006 11:23 AM