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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: 11249
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-03-15 12:25 am   Permalink

I apologize if I did not make myself clear in that I was talking about the DIAMETER of the straw, not size as in length (and not color).
Again I am surprised that some folks seem to feel that bringing up this subject is being too pedantic.

The DEvolution of Tiki culture is as fascinating as the evolution to me. The above theory is about ONE facet of the Tiki devolution:
In my opinion, the decline of cocktail mixology and the resulting sweet, syrupy "girlie drinks" were a major contributor to the fall from grace of the Tiki lounge in America. When you drink from a sipping straw you can discern the layers and quality of a cocktail better than sucking it up through a big gulp. But it sells more drinks -in the short run.

Like Tiki decor, Polynesian cocktail mixology had its peak when all the right things came together. If one element gets altered after that, the decline begins. Maybe dropping the use of the sipper was the last straw...


 
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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3531
From: HELL
Posted: 2009-03-15 06:48 am   Permalink


..it's interesting to note, that as mixology was dying out in the tiki industry, the early nineties was starting to witness the rebirth of cocktail culture in the form of the martini craze that was sweeping the nation about that time......this lead to more variations than your standard martini that you can order at a bar....flavored vodkas were showing up as well as a host of other flavored booze and such. seemed like folks were getting interested again in cocktail mixology and it was also about that time that the tiki resurgence and it's emphasis on lounge and cocktails were getting under way. Oddly enough though, while all this was going on, there still was no mainstream interest in tropical drink mixology like there was with the martini trend. Sven is right in that alot of the ritual that was part of the cocktail culture back then was lost....probably due to the faster pace at which folks were now living their lives.....the nineties were all about "grab all you can, while you can, as fast as you can".

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[ This Message was edited by: Tipsy McStagger 2009-03-15 06:49 ]


 
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The Granite Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 02, 2005
Posts: 812
From: Nashua, NH
Posted: 2009-03-15 06:51 am   Permalink

What, no love for my favorite cocktail straw?!?!

http://www.centurynovelty.com/catImages/209-067_large.jpg

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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3531
From: HELL
Posted: 2009-03-15 06:56 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-03-15 06:51, The Granite Tiki wrote:
What, no love for my favorite cocktail straw?!?!

http://www.centurynovelty.com/catImages/209-067_large.jpg




..don't let sven see that!!!
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The Granite Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 02, 2005
Posts: 812
From: Nashua, NH
Posted: 2009-03-15 07:05 am   Permalink

Ahh, but the extra length of the Crazy Straw prolongs the drinking experience. The Crazy Straw also adds a visual element that is pleasing to the eye.

Those very thin straws have some hidden danger as well, undo stress on the roof of your mouth. After many drinks through small bore straws one can begin to experience a sensation not unlike the much discussed Captain Crunch effect.


 
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uncle trav
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 1818
From: Kalamazoo
Posted: 2009-03-15 07:33 am   Permalink

Captain Crunch effect yes. Don't forget what I call the "pirate eye". This is when you have had a couple of powerful drinks and forget the small straw is in the drink and go for a sip from the glass the straw pokes you in the eye. "AARRRR". Also for frozen drinks you may have the "cerebral hemorrhage" effect of trying to suck a frozen beverage through a small straw until your head caves in. Now for a serious question. Was the Mai Tai always served with a short sipping straw or no straw? I myself use no straw as I enjoy the fragrance of the ingredients and the mint melding together. But one may still get this effect with a short sipping straw.


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Murph
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jul 11, 2006
Posts: 719
From: SoCal
Posted: 2009-03-15 10:58 am   Permalink

Interesting post that got me searching.
The modern day straw was designed to replace the natural rye grass straw.
Did you know there is a National Drinking Straw Day... yup, January 3rd if you want to mark your calendars.
And last I found this neat project to recycle the used straws from my parties:
Straw Swag Lamp

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GentleHangman
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Jun 23, 2006
Posts: 464
From: Stuart, Florida
Posted: 2009-03-15 12:50 pm   Permalink

I remember those short 'sipping' straws from back in the mid '60s . . . I think that's how I got my hernia . . . trying to sip a Mai Tai at the Kowloon!

 
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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3531
From: HELL
Posted: 2009-03-15 2:42 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-03-15 07:33, uncle trav wrote:
Captain Crunch effect yes. Don't forget what I call the "pirate eye". This is when you have had a couple of powerful drinks and forget the small straw is in the drink and go for a sip from the glass the straw pokes you in the eye. "AARRRR". Also for frozen drinks you may have the "cerebral hemorrhage" effect of trying to suck a frozen beverage through a small straw until your head caves in. Now for a serious question. Was the Mai Tai always served with a short sipping straw or no straw? I myself use no straw as I enjoy the fragrance of the ingredients and the mint melding together. But one may still get this effect with a short sipping straw.









...arrrrgh!!!! "eye-eye" uncle trav!!!!



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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11249
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-03-15 3:19 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-03-15 07:33, uncle trav wrote:
Was the Mai Tai always served with a short sipping straw or no straw? I myself use no straw as I enjoy the fragrance of the ingredients and the mint melding together. But one may still get this effect with a short sipping straw.



Indeed! I confess to be in love with the flavor of fresh mint so much that my Mai Tais end up being almost Mai-jitos: Not only do I garnish with a tree branch-sized mint sprig, but I drop in 2-3 mint leaves and muddle them at the bottom of the glass. The sipping straw then goes to the bottom as well, and the mint leaves work like taste-filters, intensifying the mint flavor.

The devolution of the tropical cocktail began in the mid- 70s, here is one reason, as stated by Stephen Crane in 1978 (The Luau was already sold, but not yet closed by then):

"We've seen a tremendous increase in the popularity of wines in the past five years. We will sell more wine in one day than we sold in 15 days -maybe even a month- 10 years ago."
Stephen suggests that some of the growth in the popularity of white wines can be attributed to the kids, who "two to five years ago were very heavy into pot....which is not so chic today as it was then. So, those kids who haven't graduated to heavier stuff like sniffing coke have dropped drugs for white wine."

Ol' Stephen's talking from his Hollywood/Beverly Hills experience here! The cocktails were too "hard" for these hippies turned Yuppies, too, the only cocktail they drank were WINE SPRITZERS !


 
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VampiressRN
  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5797
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2009-03-15 4:00 pm   Permalink

Great topic, I always learn about everything I have done wrong and how I can try to rectify my bar set-up on this board. Bless Al for his fabulous mixology knowledge, h KNOWS how to make a drink.

I am lucky, in that one or two of the guys usually pops behind my bar to make decent drinks for the gang. I have sipping straws (purely by accident) and the usual party-size straws available. I don't have any long straws for bowls, but have not progressed enough to offer those kind of drinks yet. I do always have a good offering of rums and mixers, although I think I need to get a juicer to provide higher quality lime juice.

OK...back to straws, as this is a very timely topic for me. Usually I have the Mai Tais in Hurricane glasses with party sized straws...well obviously that is alllllllll wrong!!! Last weekend I had a party and we used some new glasses for our Mai Tais, they hold 8 ounces, but with a few ice chips, a cherry, slice of lime, an umbrella, a sipping straw and mint, there is probably only about 5 ounces of liquid. I thoroughly enjoyed these Mai Tais much more than the ones I have had with the party straw in the hurricane glasses. Mind you...this is a Gin & Tonic gal talking!!! Which reminds me...I love Gin & Tonic in a rocks glass with ice, lime and a sipping straw. And now that you mention it, the flavors really do work better with the sipping straw.

I always thought you needed the bigger straw to suck up the pulp of the fruit, but realize now that I was wrong. Sippers and smaller glasses from now on for me.
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irishf
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 19, 2007
Posts: 97
From: Athens, Georgia
Posted: 2009-03-17 7:24 pm   Permalink

Well I for one am tremendously heartened by BigBroTiki's post. I always liked using the stirrer straws, and used them for sipping...but thought I was doing something gauche. Now I know that is not the case and I can use sipper straws with a relaxed mind. I didn't know they are really a sipper straw.

Some of the reactions I've seen BigBro get on these boards...unless I am missing something, I'm amazed he posts at all what with all the sarcasm. I'm hoping you all know each other and this is how you demonstrate camaraderie...

Of course my ability to assess anything is currently colored by rum, vodka, pineapple and cranberry...but I am glad to know about sipper straws.


 
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KuKu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 07, 2008
Posts: 436
From: Santa Cruz, CA. norcal
Posted: 2009-03-18 8:00 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-03-17 19:24, irishf wrote:
Well I for one am tremendously heartened by BigBroTiki's post. I always liked using the stirrer straws, and used them for sipping...but thought I was doing something gauche. Now I know that is not the case and I can use sipper straws with a relaxed mind. I didn't know they are really a sipper straw.



Some folks just need to be assured it's OK to like what they already thought they liked...
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That's the day I'll throw my rum away...



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Limbo Lizard
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 701
From: Aboard the 'Leaky Tiki', Dallas
Posted: 2009-03-20 1:12 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-03-18 20:00, KuKu wrote:

Some folks just need to be assured it's OK to like what they already thought they liked...



Right, and some let themselves be dragged off to Tiki Re-education Camp, and "cured" from shamefully liking things that they're not supposed to
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Tikiwahine
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3288
From: Victoria, BC
Posted: 2009-03-20 2:08 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-03-15 15:19, bigbrotiki wrote:
Indeed! I confess to be in love with the flavor of fresh mint so much that my Mai Tais end up being almost Mai-jitos: Not only do I garnish with a tree branch-sized mint sprig, but I drop in 2-3 mint leaves and muddle them at the bottom of the glass. The sipping straw then goes to the bottom as well, and the mint leaves work like taste-filters, intensifying the mint flavor.



I also belong to the heavy-on-the-mint crowd, only I shake my mai tai with mint then strain it, garnishing with more, less bruised mint. I find that otherwise, as much as I try not to, I often suck up some of the crushed herb, blocking the path to my salivating mouth!

I like a smaller diameter straw, only because I have the tendency to slurp the thing down too fast otherwise. I buy packs of two or four different colours, then trim them to the desired length, removing the bendy part at the same time. I used black, or whatever strikes my fancy.

If someone were to serve me a drink with a too-large diameter straw, too bad for me! I'll take what I'm served, thankyouverymuch. At home is a different story. When I'm in charge, I'm in charge.
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