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A Vancouver bar has created a concoction to resolve the quandary currently facing vegan mixologists determined to stay ahead of trends, a fairly significant demographic

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Vancouver Debuts the Vegetarian Bone Luge

tofuluge.jpg
A Vancouver bar has created a concoction to resolve the quandary currently facing vegan mixologists determined to stay ahead of trends, a fairly significant demographic in the Pacific Northwest.

Uva Wine Bar, a fabulously hospitable bar with regular access to marrow bones, this week hosted a bone luge event for Tales of the Cocktail staffers and a few early arrivals to the alcohol extravaganza. As attendee and cocktail scholar Wayne Curtis wrote on his blog, "Meat was presented. Meat was eaten. Sherry was consumed," curtly describing the brand new practice of shooting after-dinner drinks down a hollowed-out bone slide.

But since meat's a deal breaker for some cocktail aficionados, Uva also prepared a vegetarian alternative, carving drink delivery tubes out of tofu. "It's really fun," bar manager David Bain said.

It's also aromatically bizarre, as I discovered when I followed a Tales' staffer's tip to the bar so I could luge humanely. Since it's difficult to luge without assistance -- a fact that may have more to do with the drinks that typically precede a luge than the actual geometry of luging -- protocol calls for the drinker to steady the luge while the bartender pours a shot of sherry down it. But baked tofu has a distinct smell that I associate with health and virtue. So a vegetarian luger first gets a whiff of wellness, and then a mouthful of fortified wine.

Tofu absorbs rather than radiates flavor, so sherry tastes exactly the same at both ends of the luge. And since tofu isn't smooth as marble after it's been hacked apart in a bar kitchen, the liquor's trip down the slide isn't always tidy. Still, Uva gets credit for making bone-luging an inclusive sport. Now the question is whether anyone other than fad-happy bloggers will ever want to play.

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