I was watching one of my favorite cooking shows a little while back where the theme was comfort foods. The host began the show by saying that if there is a word to define 21st century marketing, it is ‘comfort’. My mind raced through all the late night infomercials that entertain the service industry’s downtime after work around 3 am: Pajama Jeans, Snuggies, heated seats, heated steering wheels, ergonomic desk chairs, Cloud Pillows, Easy Feet, Naked Wallet. This list goes on and on. Look at how popular day spas, message, and yoga have become! Most if us know, in this day and age that the Good Life, a life of Luxury, and retirement at 35 just ain’t gonna happen. But what we can do is live a comfortable life especially as our economic, and sociopolitical outlook is not improving no matter which side you are on.
So this got me thinking about comfort in reference to cocktails. What would be a comfort cocktail? The more I thought the more I began to realize that any drink could be considered a Comfort Cocktail, given the right circumstances. When I do demonstrations for the Santa Fe School of Cooking, I always tell the attendees theat when they come to Secreto Lounge, I don’t want them just to have a drink: I want them to have a drink experience. And I think that begins our definition of comfort cocktails.
Trader Vic figured it out in the 1940’s by creating a Polynesian themed restaurant. In the trying times of WWII, it was not necessary to take a trip to Hawaii or even the Caribbean for a little forget. No time off work, hectic travel plans, finding a weekend babysitter, or mass expense on the budget. Just a quick drive to 65th and San Pablo put you into another world even if for just a couple of hours as you sipped a Mai Tai and munched on Ahi Poke.
So, most any libation in the right atmosphere leads us to a comfort cocktail experience whether in a regional vacation, a stay-cation in town, or a night out with friends. Here is the encouragement. Don;t just have the same ole thing. Make your drink count as part of your experience. Have a margarita at your favorite Mexican place, a sazerac with your favorite Cajun cuisine, or a pina coloada with Don Q rum as you roast a pork loin doused with sofrito. Think about how fun and relaxing that Bloody MAry is with Sunday Bruch. All these are comforting!
These are the things that set the tone for all of us. You can have a whiskey and coke, any time and anywhere. And yes that could be the best thing to satisfy your cravings of comfort. If so, go for it!
It is always nice to let life slow down, to ‘forget’ your cellphone on a quick errand down the street, or flat-out tune it all of so you can get a little turned on. Meanwhile, pour yourself something that will make you happy and let you bask in the comfort of a glass.