So I’ve been hearing a lot this week about a new trend on the Chicago cocktail scene: the Vaportini. It’s a device invented by the owner of Red Kiva, a cocktail lounge in the West Loop, that evaporates flavor-infused spirits so you can inhale your cocktail through a glass straw, rather than drink it.
“Think of it as something between warming a brandy snifter over a candle and freebasing Knob Creek bourbon,” NPR wrote in a story about the Vaportini.
NPR quotes scientists as saying that since inhalation is an efficient way to deliver drugs to the brain, you might get intoxicated pretty quickly using the Vaportini – except that it also contains so much water that the effect would likely be diluted.
Jake Malooley with Time Out Chicago tried out the Vaportini and declared the experience unsatisfying. “Part of why we drink beer and cocktails is for the taste — it’s cold and refreshing. The Vaportini eliminates a lot of the sensual elements of the cocktail experience,” he told NPR.
I haven’t tried it, but that was my initial reaction. Part of what I enjoy about cocktails, particularly bourbon cocktails, is savoring them slowly, and feeling the warm essence of the alcohol wash over me. Inhaling a Manhattan through a straw doesn’t sound appealing at all.
Breathe in the entire NPR story here, and then tell me: Would you try the Vaportini?