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Tiki Central Forums ╗ ╗ Tiki Drinks and Food ╗ ╗ The straw question
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The straw question
bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11244
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-03-12 08:24 am   Permalink

I just saw those photos on Big Al's thread where he cuts off those big-ass Scorpion bowl straws for a correct Planter's Punch and was reminded that I don't recall seeing any discussion here about sipping straws vs regular straws for Polynesian concoctions. When I can't find the short Mai Tai glass sipping straws, I cut the long thin ones, rather than using the regular size ones you find in the super market.

I would guess that there are some home mixology fans out there that are not aware of the fact that the size of your straw impacts your imbibing experience. Just like with top mixers vs bottom blenders, and crushed ice vs cubed ice, there are subtle differences. Sipping straws are getting used less and less nowadays, and are harder to find in regular super markets, so the tendency is to use the readily available regular party straws:



The ones on the left are the correct Mai Tai glass height sipping straws, nowadays also sold as stirrers. In the middle are the long sipping straws, on the right are the regular, wide, store-found party straws.

In my experience, the thinner straw not only prolongs the imbibing experience, but really allows the flavors to unfold on your tongue because because it is not flooded with the gusher that comes out of a regular sized straw. As we all know, properly mixed Polynesian potion are to be savored slowly, and not gulped down. This is where ol' Don Ho's "Sucke'em Up" motto is misleading.

As another method to put the emphasis on the taste experience, in hardcore home mixology circles, when having friends over, drinks are now being served in small sized glasses, just like at wine or rum tastings, so that one can experience a greater variety of concoctions and their flavors in one evening without getting completely hammered.




 
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Thunderlips
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 04, 2005
Posts: 135
From: Massachusetts
Posted: 2009-03-12 10:35 am   Permalink

Bigbro,

View a recent discussion about this sucky topic

here

and a earlier one

here

After much consideration I've decided to just pour the drinks on my head.





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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11244
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-03-12 8:30 pm   Permalink

You are missing the point. Those discussions are primarily about straws vs NO straws.
I have no doubt in my mind that traditional Polynesian cocktails are supposed to be enjoyed via a straw, no matter what folks LIKE to do nowadays. I am suggesting that, in addition, they should be SIPPING straws, not the regular large ones. But I am happy to hear different opinions.


 
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tikipedia
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 25, 2004
Posts: 490
From: San Diego
Posted: 2009-03-12 10:03 pm   Permalink

I agree that a smaller sized straw allows you to nurse your drink. And the flavor impact from the melting ice diluting your drink can be readily brought out, if you are prolonging the consumption of the beverage.

Beyond that, I haven't noticed the flavor subtlety from drinking out of a much smaller straw, but it certainly makes sense.

I usually grab a couple of long drink straws from places like 7-11 for bowl-based drinks. But the diameter of these straws seem even greater than your standard drink straws. They are find for drinking a Big Gulp, but lousy for a tropical cocktail.

Thanks a lot. Now you got me obsessed to experiment with a smaller sized drink straw. Wasn't it enough to fuel my obsession with the Book of Tiki?
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Bongo Bungalow
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Joined: Aug 20, 2007
Posts: 1275
From: Indiana
Posted: 2009-03-13 03:09 am   Permalink

The large diameter white-with-a-stripe straws from the grocery store, with or without the bending feature are never right in a cocktail. They really take the drink down to the level of fast food "dining". They are not allowed in my home bar. For some drinks I do use a wide diameter black straw. Nice.

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Limbo Lizard
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Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 701
From: Aboard the 'Leaky Tiki', Dallas
Posted: 2009-03-13 11:59 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-03-13 03:09, Bongo Bungalow wrote:
... For some drinks I do use a wide diameter black straw. Nice.



Heavens, not a black straw! Didn't you realize that the high thermal absorption factor of the black surface turns your straw into a veritable heating column, like a miniature solar water heater!
Now, you may reason that the amount of temperature increase of your cocktail, as it travels through the straw, will be unnoticeable. But surely you've been around Tiki Central long enough to have learned that it's exactly this type of minutiŠ that demands the most attention, when it comes to mixing and serving drinks. The importance placed on scrupulous fidelity to detail - in ingredients, mixing technique, etc. - is in direct proportion to the imperceptibility of the effect of that detail on the final product. (By 'imperceptible', I mean by the uneducated neophyte palate, of course.)

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[ This Message was edited by: Limbo Lizard 2009-03-18 07:56 ]


 
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Thunderlips
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 04, 2005
Posts: 135
From: Massachusetts
Posted: 2009-03-13 5:57 pm   Permalink

Forgive me, I misread the original post.

Generally at odds with the notion of restraint, I dislike getting sippers at bars and restaurants and thus have never used them at home.

However, if one is going to spend the money and time it takes to prep a top shelf cocktail then why not make an effort to appreciate its many layers?

Never thought about it before but perhaps the widespread use of party-straws is but another symptom of the sickness that plagues our age: an obsession with instant gratification.

The use of sipping straws could then be viewed as an "escape" from the type of mindless consumption driving the larger culture.


 
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Murph
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jul 11, 2006
Posts: 719
From: SoCal
Posted: 2009-03-13 9:46 pm   Permalink


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WaikikiWomb

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Bongo Bungalow
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2007
Posts: 1275
From: Indiana
Posted: 2009-03-14 03:00 am   Permalink

Did I neglect to mention that you should refrigerate your black straws prior to use?

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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3530
From: HELL
Posted: 2009-03-14 06:16 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-03-13 17:57, Thunderlips wrote:
Forgive me, I misread the original post.

Generally at odds with the notion of restraint, I dislike getting sippers at bars and restaurants and thus have never used them at home.

However, if one is going to spend the money and time it takes to prep a top shelf cocktail then why not make an effort to appreciate its many layers?

Never thought about it before but perhaps the widespread use of party-straws is but another symptom of the sickness that plagues our age: an obsession with instant gratification.

The use of sipping straws could then be viewed as an "escape" from the type of mindless consumption driving the larger culture.





.........welcome to the back pedal response !!!!!.........sorry, but i thought your original response to this thread was much better and more honest as well as one of the funniest things i've read on this forum yet!!


 
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Thunderlips
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 04, 2005
Posts: 135
From: Massachusetts
Posted: 2009-03-14 06:51 am   Permalink

Oh, pshaw!

 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1771
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2009-03-14 12:25 pm   Permalink

I admit I am somewhat obsessed with straws. Wide straws, no. White straws with the little blue line down them, no. Bendy straws, dear heavens, no! My general rule of straw selection is thus:

- If it's in a double old-fashioned glass or smaller, I reach for the thin cocktail straws, almost always white and always in pairs. The otherwise-dreaded Party City sells them. As Sven says, they force you to sip and not gulp. They also prevent you from sucking up any ice shrapnel, which is not a good thing.

- Taller drinks get longer, but not too wide straws. Generally, I prefer red here. Don't ask why. Maybe it's because I just like the way a long red straw looks in a Zombie glass sticking straight up next to a fresh mint garnish.

I don't like blue straws. Just don't think the color blue belongs in a glass at all.

I do like black straws. They're very elegant looking in the right drink. But probably too elegant and contemporary for tiki drinks.


 
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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3530
From: HELL
Posted: 2009-03-14 2:27 pm   Permalink







 
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KuKu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 07, 2008
Posts: 436
From: Santa Cruz, CA. norcal
Posted: 2009-03-14 7:13 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-03-12 20:30, bigbrotiki wrote:
...traditional Polynesian cocktails are supposed to be enjoyed via a straw, no matter what folks LIKE to do nowadays. But I am happy to hear different opinions.


I like straws...

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That's the day I'll throw my rum away...



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Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2215
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2009-03-14 7:43 pm   Permalink

I got some nice straws at Ikea the other day. They are otherwise a regular straw but the colors are orange, green, and black. Not together, about a 1/3 of the package of each color.

And, now you are saying so.....

They are only colored on half of the straw. If you look at the straw, they are colored on half and clear on the other half.





OK, I have been drinking tonight and I thought this would be helpful.


 
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