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Friday, November 21, 2008

Ecological Ain't the Same As Good for You

I found this bizarre press release today.

When leaders of the 21 economies that comprise the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum formally launch their annual meeting Saturday, their greatest temptation might well be "Divine Sin." The "Divine Sin" in question is actually a cocktail that Peruvian expert Eladio Espinoza has created from two products that Peru is most proud of: Pisco, a liquor and chirimoya, a type of custard apple.

APEC leaders were to be offered the treat at lunch and dinner.

"All its ingredients are ecological, with a low content of alcohol, sugars and lactose, so that they can be taken by people who suffer from intolerance to lactose or diabetes," Espinoza said.

Peru, whose prestige in gastronomy is on a remarkable rise, sees the APEC summit as a chance to further enhance its reputation.

First, notice the claim that it's low in lactose. It's nice that people are thinking of us. That's a huge change from earlier years. But for Pete's sake. This is a cocktail. It contains liquor and fruit. Of course it doesn't have lactose. Neither does a martini or a daiquiri or a margarita. Or a hurricane or a screwdriver or a Long Island Iced Tea.

It's true that some liqueurs - not liquors - contain real cream. Irish Cream in all its variations is the prime example. And some cocktails are made with liqueurs added. A screaming orgasm is made with kahlua, amaretto, vodka, and Irish Cream. You can even find mixed drinks - I hope that not even the most rabid Sex and the City fan would dare call them cocktails - that have ice cream at their base.

Creme, it needs to be said, is not real cream. Creme de cassis, Creme de Noyaux, Crème de cacao, Creme de violette, and Creme de Menthe all do not contain any real cream. I can't guarantee whether all concoctions named creme are truly cream free, though. The site lists abominations like Creme De Cachaca, made with Irish Cream; Creme de Cafe, made with light cream; and Ponche De Creme, made with condensed milk.

Even so, liquor is milk-free and fruit is milk-free. I'm not sure who you think you're enticing.

My other peeve is calling a Divine Sin ecological. Perhaps the word is the victim of a bad translation from the Spanish. But remember folks, we're talking about a cocktail here. Liquor and fruit. I'd drink it. I'm not condemning the concept of a cocktail, though I don't drink many. Ecological may be many things to many people, but you're simply perverting the notion when you apply the term to a cocktail. With fruit or pure Pesco.

And where did this bizarre perversion of the Earth movement appear?

On The Earth Times Online Newspaper. The Earth Times, a environmental legend that has for years preached about ecology, sustainability, the green movement, organic products, and all the things that might cause some to label them as archetypal treehuggers. Pushing ecological Peruvian cocktails doesn't seem to fit in their mission statement.

We all make compromises for our causes. Some are subtle; others are all too obvious. I don't raise my drink in salute.

UPDATE: I thought the original article was bizarre. The follow-up is ten times so.

As I was writing this posting, President George W. Bush was in Peru for the 2008 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. Here's an official picture of him from the festivities sounding the event.

That's pisco that he's drinking.

An amusing coicindence except for the fact that pisco is an alcoholic beverage. This has caused a huge flurry by the punditry and in the blogosphere.
With the cares of office soon to be behind him, has George Bush started drinking again? The US President, who gave up alcohol 22 years ago, has been dogged by a recent spate of rumours that he has gone back on the sauce, and while attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the Peruvian capital Lima at the weekend he was photographed downing a glass of Pisco Sour (pictured), a brandy-like alcoholic drink.

It could be that Bush was unaware that Pisco Sour was alcoholic, or that he merely took a sip so as not offend his hosts – the beverage is the country's national drink – but drink it he did.

Anyone who has sampled a Pisco Sour will know it needs to be approached with extreme caution. It was invented in the 1920s as a variation of the whiskey sour by an American expatriate called Victor V. ‘Gringo’ Morris at the Morris Bar in Lima, and packs quite a punch.

It can't be satire. Satire is obsolete before it gets written these days.

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