Bartender: Raw Egg Crackdown as Bad as Hurricane Katrina

If you wanna make an omelet – or a pisco sour for that matter — you gotta crack a few eggs. But after what seems like a recent Health Department crackdown, bartenders who prepare drinks with raw egg are on the rocks. The victim of a recent bust, Pegu Club in SoHo, has stopped serving its MarTEAni, a drink featuring egg whites to balance out tannin-infused gin, after a health inspector issued the bar a citation and summons to court for serving the drink without checking to make sure the patron knew he was exposing himself to salmonella. The Health Department would prefer that bars use pasteurized eggs, which have been warmed up to prevent the growth of bacteria, but they leave drinks smelling like a “funky wet diaper,” according to Audrey Saunders, who owns Pegu and created the MarTEAni.

Halting the MarTEAni not only feels like an affront to cocktail creativity, it’s also been bad for business. Over $2,000 worth of the drink was sold each week at the bar (that’s eight dozen eggs), according to the New York Times.

In this particular instance, it’s hard to tell who’s being more ridiculous, the Health Department or rebel-without-a-cause bartenders. Nobody has ever gotten sick from drinking a cocktail with eggs at Pegu, (at least according to Saunders), and raw egg is listed on the menu along with a reminder that it may be dangerous to consume, “like sushi.” Still, the health inspector who nabbed Pegu claims that the drink was ordered by a patron who hadn’t seen the menu. The severity of Pegu’s citation has been scaled back considerably, and the bartender on duty insists that no MarTEAnis were served while the inspector was present.

But then there’s this, which makes us think that fancy bartenders could use a little shakedown themselves:

“If they make it illegal to serve egg-white drinks, that would be Hurricane Katrina for us,” said one of several bartenders and club owners who said they had been challenged by inspectors but declined to be quoted on the record, for fear of antagonizing health officials.

Or maybe it was out of fear of sounding totally ridiculous.

To Abstain or Not to Abstain, That Is the Unsexy Question

There doesn’t seem to be any consensus whatsoever among adults about the best way to teach teenagers about sex. Does abstinence-only education work? Does showing teens how to use a condom just give them ideas? If we try to hide sex from them entirely will they ever figure it out? Each theory holds some water. In the last week, two studies have come out about the efficacy of abstinence-only education and, basically, they just muck everything up further.

The Archive of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine reports that abstinence-only education works for young teens. On the other hand, the Guttmacher Institute published data from 2006 that shows that teen pregnancy rose for the first time in a decade while President Bush was pouring tens of millions of dollars into abstinence-only education (correlation does not imply causality, mind you). Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. The lesson has to be that teaching abstinence has value, maybe as a complement to other curricula, but it’s not so great as a stand-alone.

So back to the drawing board we go. Perhaps HJs-only-until-your-eighteen education or more C-section scar photographs in health textbooks. What say you, Scientific Community?

What’s That Smell? Just Tween Boys Tying to Get Noticed

Love at first sight gets plenty of hype, leaving love at first smell all but forgotten. But not by middle-schoolers. First, a primer on love at first smell for the unitiated: Maybe you see somebody — he’s decent, probably a 5 or 6 — and then he moves closer and you catch some of his smell. Bang, pheromones, game change. The animal brain has taken over and he has become a 9 or a 10, an Adonis of smells that only your nose can appreciate. Or maybe you start thinking your low-ball snap judgment was generous because he smells like he spent all day sweating through his shirt in a law office or, worse, in gym class.

The way you smell is more than just a nice punctuation mark for a middle-schooler, it’s very serious business. Not only are you, a 10- to 14-year-old boy, lost in the ever-changing chaos of your own body, but you have no idea how to get noticed and hardly any idea what it means to be a man. If somebody told you that $7-worth of spray deodorant would buy you the solutions to those riddles and leave you with confidence in reserve, of course you would want a can of Axe or Tag or any of the other scents marketed to teens.

But tween boys, those even younger than the target audience for such products, are an increasingly large part of the multibillion-dollar male grooming products market, according to a feature in the New York Times. Marketers and tween girls (always ready to text the entire school when you smell bad) have cornered young boys into thinking they need to douse themselves in all kinds of of washes, sprays, deodorants, hydrators and exfoliators if they’re to have any chance at going out in the world and at least passing for their gender.

The problem with this whole transaction, which is otherwise good for business and good for confidence, is that all the scents that are marketed to teen boys smell wretched. How could they not with (admittedly cool-sounding) names like Swagger, Vice, Gameday and Dark Temptation?

Our apologies to tween boys out there. Things are going to get a lot better for you soon! In the meantime, if we can’t convince you that regular showers are going to do the trick, please stop choking your pores with nauseous gases. Maybe just sext for now, and we can worry about love at first smell when you’re older.

The Way We Were, Beer Can Edition

These days, beer cans are all about bells and whistles. Mountains that turn blue when the beer has been chilled to optimum drinking temperature. Can liners. Wide mouths for smoother chugging. There are even beer cans now that let everyone else know that you are interested in being skinny —  the newest Heineken Light receptacle, for example, which is closer in size to a Red Bull can. Things weren’t always so. Today we hearken back to the days of beer-packaging of yore, before light brews taught beer-drinkers how to be self-conscious and before beer packaging became ashamed of beer-drinkers. A time when a beer could call itself Champagne Velvet with a straight face.

(‘DiggThis’) From Quaff, via TheDieline. image We like to imagine what this picture smells like.

Naked Women Arrive on Scotch Bottles

Stuck in its ways and sometimes smelling distinctively of peat moss, scotch is the old man of liquors. It’s increasingly difficult for scotch makers, who are subject to rigid regulations affecting everything from distilling to bottling, to move their product into new markets and compete with younger, freer American whiskey brands. Desperate times call for desperate measures: Naked women coming soon to a bottle of Macallan near you.

(‘DiggThis’)Sales for scotch priced under $40 per bottles have remained relatively flat for the last decade, according to Forbes. Under $40, scotch has to compete against the Maker’s Mark ilk of whiskeys and its arsenal of flashy bottling and smooth tastes, ready for drinking or mixing (even brandy is getting buzz). The only room for Scotch to grow is in the “super-premium segment.” To usher sales along, some scotch makers have begun paying attention to which casks they use, handpicking leftovers used in the production of sherry and whiskey to create new tastes and hopefully capture a larger share of the American market.

At least one brand is turning to the oldest marketing trick in the book to get bottles off the shelves. Macallan hired fashion photographer Rankin to shoot a series of raunchy Polaroids for some of its 30-year, and all 1,000 bottles, priced at $1,700 each, sold almost immediately. A dirty old man is a smart old man.

We Dare You to Build Something in Greenwich Village without Consulting Anna Wintour

New York City developer John Wu has two problems: His plans for an eight-story building at 178 Bleecker Street are going to block the light in the private gardens behind Vogue editor Anna Wintour’s house on Sullivan Street, and he’s never heard of Anna Wintour before. He’s so screwed.

(‘DiggThis’)When Wintour caught wind of the plans to tear down an 19th-century row house and replace it with a jazz club–art gallery–apartment building last February, Anna Wintour penned a letter to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, calling the plans “totally out-of-scale” and “inappropriate,” according to The Post. Change of plans, John.

The Department of Buildings sent a Jan. 7 letter to Wu saying it intended to revoke its approval of the project if its objections were not addressed. Among the objections are that the new building would be too tall, violating the city’s “sliver law” which regulates height on narrow plots.

We wonder if she recycled the same letter for Thom Browne after his runway show for Moncler Gamme Bleu.

image

The secret gardens behind Anna Wintour’s house on Sullivan Street, hemmed in by Bleecker, MacDougal and West Houston.

Without Tiger, Golf is Back to Being Boring and Less Profitable

Remember when golf was just a bunch of greasy guys in silly clothes knocking balls around in a park? It wasn’t that sexy. Then Tiger Woods came along and golf got cool. Every Sunday you could watch this handsome, young guy crush everyone else in the field, and he would even fist pump and curse and stop his club mid-swing if somebody was trying to take his picture. He did tricks! Golf was fun to watch, but not without Woods.

(‘DiggThis’)Now that the 2010 PGA tour has begun and the best golfer is nowhere to be found, it’s painfully obvious that Tiger Woods’ affairs weren’t just bad for marriage, they were bad for golf — the other, other love of his life, after Ambien sex and, ostensibly, his wife. Going into Torrey Pines this week, the tournament where Tiger traditionally began his season, tickets and hospitality tents are undersold, sponsorships aren’t worth as much, and television audiences are way down.

Somewhere between 20 and 30 percent fewer people than last year watched the SBS championship in Hawaii and the Sony Open, and Tiger doesn’t even normally play in those tournaments. “The concern is that for a sport whose identity is so closely tied to the idea of honor, what he’s gone through has to be incredibly damaging,” one former programming VP for CBS Sports told The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile Tiger’s video games are selling just fine.

The good news for golf is that Tiger will come back eventually, and when he does everybody’s going to be watching. In the meantime, maybe Jim Furyk will murder somebody before Torrey Pines and things will get interesting again. Just an idea.

Eleven Days and One Bottle of Whiskey Later, Haitian Man Emerges Safely from Earthquake Rubble

The expression “I need a drink” is officially off limits. Wismond Exantus, the 24-year-old Haitian man who emerged Saturday after 11 days trapped in rubble, needed a drink. Exantus was working as a cashier in a shop on the ground floor of a four-story building in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake struck. He ducked under a desk for protection, and when the dust settled he was able to reach a bottle of whiskey, a few beers and some chips and candy. With no concept of night or day and a dead cell phone, Exantus waited in the rubble, rationing his snacks and drinking the whiskey when he wanted to sleep. He dreamed of riding horses and swimming in the ocean, according to The Guardian.

(‘DiggThis’) On Saturday, the day after the rescue efforts were called to a halt, scavengers picking over the collapsed building heard Exantus’ tapping, and within 10 minutes a Greek rescue was on the scene and talking to him. Later that afternoon, he was pulled out of the collapsed building dehydrated and scraped-up, and after receiving medical attention he is in excellent condition. Somebody please make this man rich and famous with alcohol sponsorships.

Eleven Days and One Bottle of Whiskey Later, Haitian Man Emerges Safely from Earthquake Rubble

The expression “I need a drink” is officially off limits. Wismond Exantus, the 24-year-old Haitian man who emerged Saturday after 11 days trapped in rubble, needed a drink.

(‘DiggThis’)Exantus was working as a cashier in a shop on the ground floor of a four-story building in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake struck. He ducked under a desk for protection, and when the dust settled he was able to reach a bottle of whiskey, a few beers and some chips and candy. With no concept of night or day and a dead cell phone, Exantus waited in the rubble, rationing his snacks and drinking the whiskey when he wanted to sleep. He dreamed of riding horses and swimming in the ocean, according to The Guardian.

On Saturday, the day after the rescue efforts were called to a halt, scavengers picking over the collapsed building heard Exantus’ tapping, and within 10 minutes a Greek rescue was on the scene and talking to him. Later that afternoon, he was pulled out of the collapsed building dehydrated and scraped-up, and after receiving medical attention he is in excellent condition. Somebody please make this man rich and famous with alcohol sponsorships.