Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mojito trough

When did mojitos become such a big thing?

I don't think I'd heard of the damn drink until I came to Beijing. I was first introduced to them 6 or 7 years ago by the rather fine interpretation produced by Mr Cho at Café Sambal; but in those days, not too many other people seemed to be drinking them; they certainly weren't as ubiquitous - inescapable - as they have become today.

Now, I have nothing against the mojito as such. It is a very tasty and refreshing drink, and I'm partial to one myself on occasion.

It's just that it is, well, how shall I put this, a f***ing selfish thing to order in a busy bar.

You ought to have some consideration for how labour intensive this drink is to make - if you're going to muddle the mint delicately (rather than just bashing the shit out of it for a few seconds), if you're going to juice a lime (rather than just mashing a few wedges in the bottom of the glass), if you're going to stir in the sugar properly..... it takes a little time. If you order six of them at once, it takes quite a lot of time. It is not a polite or considerate thing to order when the bar staff are a bit overstretched, when a lot of other people are waiting to be served.

Then, the other night, it struck me - to satisfy these people who want to order multiple mojitos (and to satisfy these people who crave endless new cheap drink promotions), why not have a MOJITO TROUGH? 50 or 80 or 100 RMB for all the mojito you can drink, but.... you have to drink it from a communal trough on the bar counter. (Well, maybe from a mini-trough with three or four friends.)

What do you mean, there are hygiene issues? This is China - if you're worried about hygiene, you should be living somewhere else. How many barmen use a scoop or tongs for the ice rather than just their fingers? And how clean do you suppose the tongs are anyway? And how do they make the ice??

Well, OK, maybe we could get some kind of fancy straw with a little valve mechanism to stop anything dribbling back into the trough. Happy now, Mr Hygiene Freak?

Of course, this is where the money really lies - the One-Way Hygienic Straw. I'm working on some technical drawings now, will be applying for patent soon.

I'm an ideas man, you see.

[Acknowledgements: In an early John Belushi skit on Saturday Night Live, they had a fast-food restaurant where people ate from a communal trough. I think it was supposed to be German food? Couldn't dig the clip out on YouTube.

A bar owner friend was telling me recently that she's contemplating having a 'same glass' promotion to address the irritating mojito orderers problem (or rather, the problem of people who order a mojito... and then a mint julep... and then a John Collins... and then another mojito): cheap drinks or all-you-can drink, provided you use the same glass for everything all night. I like the idea!

I hear Chad has been offering mojitos rather than martinis as his 1-kuai special for the 'First of the Month Madness' promotion at Fubar. I'm sceptical as to how well that works, but.... it's a bold pioneering step in the mass production of mojitos.

And, of course, Huxley at the old Nanjie used to do a 'fishbowl' of cocktails or mixed drinks - 1.5 litres, I think - which was pioneering the idea of sharing drinks through straws, albeit with 2 or 3 close friends rather than anyone who happens to be sitting next to you at the bar.]

No comments: