This past weekend my husband and I decided to throw a children’s party for all of our adult friends. I was inspired by an ingenious episode of Difficult People wherein two friends turn a Manhattan bistro into a haven for adults who still enjoy eating like they’re five years old (see “The Children’s Menu”). I love this… so much. Why should kids be the only ones who get to eat pizza bagels and macaroni and cheese? Why can’t I have my PB&J and a cocktail too? Why does it have to be either/or?
A movie that fully embraces this concept of celebrating the kid in all of us is the Tom Hanks classic Big (DVD/Download). I consider this to be essential viewing within the Golden Age of Hanks, when this comedic genius actually made comedies. After You’ve Got Mail the man pretty much went down a Spielberg rabbit hole and never told a joke in cinema again. But back in the late 80’s, he was just a child, trapped in a man’s body, let loose on the streets of New York. After watching this movie, I’m pretty sure every kid in America aspired to one day have an enormous Manhattan loft with a trampoline and bunkbeds. I know I did. And come on, working for a toy company? Coolest job ever!!!! It saddens me to see the iconic piano scene with Robert Loggia in FAO Schwarz now that the toy store has closed its New York flagship. I remember when my mother took us as children, and I was too shy to get on the piano keys. Ah, regret.
I had to consult an essential book in my cocktail library this week, Kiddie Cocktails. Being married to a non-drinker, I’m always on the hunt for interesting virgin beverages. What I love about this book is that they have wonderful non-alcoholic recipes, which I can easily spike for myself. It’s a win-win for our household. While watching Big, I recommend drinking a Zoltar Zinger*.
8 oz ginger ale
1.5 oz vodka (optional)
¼ oz grenadine
½ oz lemon juice
4 dashes Angostura bitters
Build drink in a highball glass over ice, topping with ginger ale and stirring gently.
*adapted from a recipe for “The Chomp”, pg 45
I may have grown up and developed a taste for hard liquor, but gastronomically I never aged beyond seven. Maybe that’s why I’ve always loved Big so much. Tom Hanks is stuck in a world of uptight grown-ups, but he still just does his own thing and eats his baby corn like he’s at a 4th of July barbecue. And people kind of love him for it. So for all the healthy adults out there who want to serve me marinated Brussels sprouts or cauliflower steaks, thanks but no thanks. I’ll be over here in the corner with a plain cheese sandwich and a smile on my face. Cheers!