Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cotton Candy Cocktails: The Movie

Like most adults, I have this nostalgia about the foods of childhood. I mean how great is it that a simple grilled cheese sandwich, a caramel apple or a cupcake can take you back to happy-go-lucky time of life when you had no idea how complicated being a grownup would be. Cotton candy has just that power, and when combined with some alcohol? Even better!

So when I saw a cotton-candy laced "Magic Mojito" on the menu at SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, I knew I had to try it. Beverage Directory Lucas Paya brought over a martini glass filled with a whorl of white cotton candy. As he poured the mojito from a silver shaker, the pouf disappeared, leaving behind the lovely aroma of fresh mint and lime. And rather than being sticky sweet, the drink offered a perfect balance between tart and sweet. The drink sets me to thinking: with say vanilla bean infused sugar and a home cotton candy machine, it wouldn't be difficult to a a frothy vanilla garnish for any cocktail.

Cotton candy, sweet ephemeral stuff that it is, was totally in line with most of the decor in its lovely extravagance. We sat in a glass lined enclosure on a settee covered in a photo printed vinyl. Out front there's a huge $250,000 tea pot sculpture covered in white gold tiles. Digital screens like huge iPhones showed portraits of lords that morphed into monkeys. The Moss boutique next door to Bar Centro features all sorts of deluxe gifts like Fornasetti Themes & Variations plates and the Marc Newson-designed Dom Perignon champagne chiller for a cool grand. Being a light fixture junkie, I was most intrigued by the Fornasetti lamps in the lobby lounge and this giant art glass piece over the long communal table that reminded me of a giant agave. Next time, I'll order tequila

For more updates from food and drink expert Maria Hunt on the latest and best when it comes to cocktails, wine and cuisine, visit and sign up for her free quarterly newsletter The Bubbly Girl Chronicles.

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