“Do you have persimmon vodka?” a customer asked me Wednesday night.
I replied that we did not. He requested several other flavors of rare fruits one might find at Whole Foods, or in the rain forest, if one were lucky.
Later in the evening, a regular ordered himself a Stella and a Loopy Diet for the DJ, Loopy being Fruit Loop-flavored vodka. I informed him we were out of Loopy. The DJ approached the bar and asked me about the bottle with the colorful stripes.
“That’s Tartz,” I said.
“So it tastes like Life Savers?”
“No. It tastes like Sweet Tarts, as its name suggests.”
“Do you like it?”
“I drink whiskey.”
On my way home from the bar, I stopped at a 24-hour mini mart to indulge a serious chip hankering. This is just one of my post-bartending rituals: a cold brew and a bowl ‘o’ potato chips.
The options lining the shelves overwhelmed me. Feeling adventurous, I snagged a bag of Beer and Cheddar-flavored chips, rather than going with the classic Lay’s.
The chips packed a potent beer-and-cheddar punch. Yet as I neared the bottom of the bowl, I couldn’t help feeling they left something to be desired. In a sense, they were a tease, an artificial suggestion of multiple flavors that ultimately failed to deliver the satisfaction of eating the thing itself.
My conclusion: Instead of buying beer and cheddar chips, I should’ve bought real cheddar and regular chips to go with my beer. For the same reason, I would never drink persimmon- or Fruit Loop-flavored vodka. I’d much rather slice a ripe persimmon or pour myself a bowl of Fruit Loops to go with a chilled shot of Ketel One.
But this is me. And I mean no disrespect for those who enjoy flavored spirits.