Cheap perfumes, beef logs and s’mores kits. Every December, the cavalcade of crappy gift sets comes back out of hiding, charming the great many of us who refuse to put real work into locating decent Christmas presents.
They’re considered “bad” presents almost by default, no matter what’s in them, or to some degree, what they cost. I’m here to tell you that this is COMPLETELY UNFAIR. Even the worst of the prepackaged gift sets are never boring, and I’d rather get a wicker basket full of cheese or Old Spice than yet another book about something I’ve made a lifelong career of taking no interest in. Bring it on, baby.
In a department store that had a type of gift set for virtually every salable item you could think of, I found this. The official Tabasco Bloody Mary Gift Set, consisting of two tall glasses and a bottle of “mildly seasoned” Tabasco Bloody Mary mix. I draw a blank at explaining how a Tabasco-branded mix could ever be “mild,” but then, I can’t say that I’m really trying.
I loooove Bloody Marys, and if drinking them didn’t instantly turn me into a balloon, I’d down three of them every day. At $14, this was an easy sell.
…but my decision to purchase it had nothing to do with the mix, nor the glasses. I could find those elsewhere, separately, for cheaper. Though inexcusably unmentioned, the set comes with a special exclusive that is worth ten times its retail price:
A pair of cardboard “Bloody Mary innards.”
They’re presumably only there to make the still-packaged glasses look more interesting, but man, they are inarguably the stars of this set. I never knew how much I wanted cardboard Bloody Mary innards until I saw them. Now I don’t want to know a world without them.
The thought that some paper goods wholesaler might be peddling these by the gross is going to keep me up so incredibly late tonight.
Best of all (or at least second best of all), the mix makes for a pretty good Bloody Mary! Connoisseurs will tell you to avoid premade mixes altogether, and that the best Bloody Marys require spices of your own design. There’s something to that, but sometimes, you really just want a “bad bar” Bloody Mary. This mix makes those. I almost feel that I’ve done my cocktail a disservice by giving it the proper celery stalk, because in keeping with the “bad bar” theme, it should be two tiny olives.
The Tabasco flavor is prominent, but not to the point where you feel as though you’re just drinking a glass of it. It’s more like you asked for the bartender to add Tabasco, but made the mistake of not qualifying it with a “…but not half the bottle.” I like it!
If forced to summarize this post’s connection to the Christmas season in one word, I suppose I’d go with “tenuous.” On the other hand, “tenuous” does seem like one of those words I’d horribly misuse. I bet it means “chalky.”