How Regina George Reacts to an Order of Rum and Diet Coke

At the bar of TNT, something quite shiny—and useful—replaces plastic straws.

Photo by Stefanie Gans

I heard the order and my mouth dropped. Sometimes, I’m a cartoon character, which is not necessarily ideal for a food critic, and is something I’m working on. I hear something, I see something, I taste something and I react in dramatic tones. 

An order of rum and Diet Coke solicited such a mind-boggling pose, a look of Regina George‘s, as if Cady dared to wear a ponytail more than one day in a week.

I turned to my now-husband, who reminded me that such bold reactions are one, impolite, and two, inappropriate for someone under the guise of anonymity. I shut my mouth, turned my back to the assailant, eyes still bulging, and whispered to Bennett: “How could he order a rum and Diet HERE?!”

Here was where Bennett and I ordered a $12 and $11 cocktail, respectively, made from such varied ingredients as historic Blenheim Ginger Ale, house-made mint bitters, maple syrup water and brown lager from Brooklyn Brewery.

We sat at the bar of TNT <<read NoVA Mag’s feature from the December issue, “We Don’t Need No Fancy Cocktails”>>, within the second outpost of Eamonn’s, the fish and chips joint from the crew behind Restaurant Eve

While the broseph, with a tattoo adorning the underside of his forearm, waited for his sophomoric drink, I resubmitted to mine. Admiring the bite of ginger, underlined with sweetness, I twirled around its own stirrer.

The bartender swirled his own foot-long instrument of wizardry while creating the drinks, but guests leased a mini-version. It was a win over the standard twin-set of plastic straws, a nuisance to the drinker and to the environment. 

Instead, there’s metal, with a slightly rounded paddle at the end, and the stirrer doubles as a straw. I felt fancy and powerful, continuing to mix my drink with my own metallic device. 

I never bothered to look if Mr. Rum and Diet earned his own stirrer. 

// Todd Thrasher started using the “spoon straws” at PX about six or seven years ago, he said, and has only ever seen then “in one or two other cocktail bars in New York. I haven’t seen any in D.C. yet.” They are sold at Society Fair.