(Note: I’ll be taping the Imbiber Show podcast on Saturday, Jan. 28th, at the 3rd Annual Southern California Pinot Days in Santa Monica. Visit the website and use offer code FOODREPUBLICSC12 for discount admission)
I received an email about a week or so ago from a publicist touting a drink named after Jay Z and Beyonce’s new baby. Fittingly, I happened to be taking a dump when it came through on my iPhone.
Look, there’s no shortage of cheechako flaks that wade in the shallow end of the spirits industry pool. And as any spirits writer who lived through the interminable Sex in the City heyday can tell you, it’s best to just ignore their incessant efforts to spatchcock the insipid preoccupations of US Weekly devotees into cocktails.
But when they start exploiting babies to sell booze, well, that’s when the adults in the room need to stand up and call bullshit.
According to this particular taste offender, the Blue Ivy Cocktail was created by a bartender named Nathan DeWitt from Tampa and is intended to appeal to those under-appreciated souls who “want to feel like an exclusive celebrity too.” (Paging Andy Dick! Andy Dick, your cocktail is ready!)
Now, if the drink were made with arsenic or cyanide, I’d be the first to buy the wannabe famous a round. Alas, it is not. The most toxic ingredient in the Blue Ivy Cocktail appears to be Blue Curacao, which has been known to cause long-term emasculation and, in extreme cases, fatal shame in adult males.
I don’t know Nathan DeWitt or what his angle is in this ridiculous Blue Ivy Cocktail business. A Google search turned up a recent Forbes.com piece about an Occupy Movement-inspired concoction he created called “No Love in Oakland.” Okay, so maybe the dude is a current events junkie with too much time on his hands. Or he’s down on his luck and got offered a pretty penny to pander to the unwashed masses’ obsession with what Sean Penn recently referred to as the “obscene disease of celebrity.” (Penn said this while doing press to promote his latest film, yet the irony doesn’t make it any less true.)
It’s also possible DeWitt was merely trying on a little irony himself, to see if it fits. You know, having some fun with the foolish predilections of the hoi polloi. Or perhaps he’s just a subpar bartender working in some Hello Kitty-esque nightclub that caters to nattering ninnies. Frankly I don’t know what led him to create the Blue Ivy Cocktail, and I really don’t care either.
Quite simply, there are things bartenders should know – how to cut someone off with class, the “usuals” of the regulars – and things bartenders shouldn’t know – what it feels like to wake up at 7 a.m., my girlfriend’s phone number and, for fuck sake, the name of Jay-Z and Beyonce’s kid!
Under no circumstances should cocktails be named after children, even if they do belong to the fabulously rich and famous. One exception to this rule would be virgin cocktails, and Shirley Temple already has that covered. I guess another could be the “Jaden,” so named for the overexposed progeny of Will Smith because, well, they kinda asked for it.
One can only imagine how fired up Jay-Z would be if he hears about this cocktail in Tampa. Of course, the reason one can only imagine it is that there’s no way Jay-Z is ever actually going to hear about it. Or, at least, that we will ever hear about him hearing about it. He may have 99 problems, but this drink ain’t one.
But that’s beside the point. The point is, mature adults have no goddamn business putting Blue Ivys or any other children of celebrities in their mouths… wait, that didn’t come out right… what I mean is that if we’re going to sit by and allow alcoholic beverages to be named after the spawn of famous people, we must insist that said spawn be of legal drinking age, or at the very least old enough to vote. And preferably they will have been to rehab too, like Drew Barrymore. (The Drew would have to be something that starts out sweet and young, like blanco tequila and honey, but then becomes tiresome when it won’t go away… like wheat beer served in a yardarm glass.)
So with that said, I challenge Nathan DeWitt to put his knowledge of current events to better use by coming up with some drinks named for Mary Anne, Liddy, and Abby, the age-appropriate, smokin’ hot daughters of former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman.
Sure, their father may have fallen short in his quest to win the most powerful office in the free world, but there’s no doubt drinkers the world over would gladly elect to tie one on with those three lovelies.