[Updated: a reader tells me they are available at Porto Terra in the Hilton]
Is this a dumb idea? Red Kiva, a Chicago cocktail lounge, is offering customers a cocktail that is inhaled.
From NPR’s The Salt:
That’s right, folks, the “Vaportini” has arrived. And it’s making a big splash on the cocktail scene in Chicago.
Vaportini provides a revolutionary way of consuming alcohol. It is inhaled rather than swallowed, smooth and flavorful, and the subtleties of the individual liquors used are apparent. It is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. The advantage is no calories, no impurities and the effects are immediately felt; so it’s easier to responsibly imbibe.
Yeah, that’s right. You get drunker faster, which is more responsible.
The alcohol is placed into a glass globe with a metal base. The bartenders pour the alcohol into the glass globe, then heat it to 110 degrees. Customers “sip” the vapors for approximately 20 minutes.
According to Vaportini.com, “Vaportinis give more control , shortly after exhaling all of the effects of the alcohol consumed are felt. In contrast, it takes 20 to 30 minutes to feel the full effects of liquor that is swallowed.” The math on this doesn’t quite work if you take into account that it takes so long to inhale the drink, but I digress.
This reminds me of regular at a place where I bartended who always gulped a last drink and ran out the door, claiming he would be home before it hit him.
Here is the Red Kiva Vaportini menu:
Effen Black Cherry Vanilla vodka with a chocolate-covered cherry garnish
Tanqueray Rangpur with a candied citrus peel garnish
Knob Creek with a griottine garnish [Griottines are cherries macerated in eau de vie or kirsch. I had to look it up]
Absolut Raspberri served with raspberry candy and chocolates
At first I um, sniffed at this idea, but after thinking about it, I’ve come around a bit.
Over the years I’ve opened many bottles of wine that had such a good nose, a glass lasted me much longer than it normally would; I was happy just swirling and sniffing. The same can be said of good Madeira, brandy and bourbons. For me, inhaling is a huge part of the experience1. On the other hand, I’m paying for the drink, so at some point I’d like to actually ingest it, though I can’t help but wonder what it will taste like once the alcohol has been burned off.
As Portland is the home of “bone luging“, I am pretty sure you’ll be able to get this somewhere locally soon.
They sell the kit for $30, but this doesn’t seem like it would be complicated to replicate at home. Hmm… all you’d need is a clear glass bong, a candle… I feel an experiment coming on. It might not be elegant, but for experimentation purposes, why not. I shall report back. In the meantime, take a look at this spoof on Parks and Recreation, starting 1 minute in. If you don’t laugh, see your doctor:
1. Why yes, I didn’t make the requisite joke here! I must be growing up.