When one makes cocktails that look and taste exactly like beverages for children, it does not seem surprising that every once in a while there would be errors. That happened recently when a Joe’s Crab Shack accidentally gave a toddler a giant novelty frat boy cocktail with a toy in it, which just goes to show that maybe restaurants should not be serving kiddie cocktails and actual cocktails that look exactly the same.
According to Grub Street, last week six kids between the ages of two and eight years old were served hard liquor at a Joe’s Crab Shack in Colorado Springs. All six kids ordered “Shark Nibbles” drinks off the kids’ menu, but were accidentally served “Shark Bites” off the adult menu. Both drinks look the same. They’re bright blue with a little toy plastic shark as a garnish, and the shark is full of grenadine so it looks like blood in the water when you tip it in. Both drinks are also sweet and fruity, but the grown-up version has vodka, rum, and blue curaÃ§ao.
The kid version is supposed to be served in plastic cups while the adult version comes in a glass, but that wasn’t enough of a distinction to prevent a server from accidentally handing six kids alcoholic cocktails, which they immediately drank. The two-year-old even finished the drink before the server came rushing over to say the drinks had been made “with the wrong ingredients.”
Paramedics were called and police are currently investigating. Honestly, it seems like an easy mistake to make. There are two cocktails that look alike and have very similar names, and somewhere between the bartender and the server it seems like it would be easy to confuse one for the other. But it’s exactly because such a mistake would be easy to make that more effort should be made to keep it from happening. Like, I don’t know, maybe we don’t need to give grown-ups toys in their cocktails.
I understand that even adults can take joy in the grown-up equivalent of a Happy Meal toy. I’ve been a drunk grad student at Trader Vic’s, so I get it. But sometimes orders get mixed up. Giving a Long Island Iced Tea to a two-year-old can be dangerous, so it would behoove restaurants to make sure their kids’ drinks and specialty cocktails do not look enough alike to be easily confused. Making the Shark Nibbles red so they don’t look exactly like the blue Shark Bites might be a step in the right direction.
Photo: Twitter/Joe’s Crab Shack