Lava lush

The barman was on a beach in Thailand a week or so ago when the shop had someone else’s logo in the window, and the Drug Store’s precious elixirs were only available on-line. But in just a few days a vintage neon sign was sent courtesy of e-bay from Texas, menus and mugs were printed, and lemons arrived in a flurry from Florida. Around the corner, jars layered with cake cream and custard were making the same splash. One day the space is empty, the next day there is a sign in the window demanding ‘Don’t call me cupcake’. This is the latest wave of enterprising entrepreneurs in town for the summer season. Welcome to the popup!

Until the Drug Store materialized in Elizabeth Street, the only way to order a detox of filtered water, cold pressed lemon juice, dandelion root, muddled ginger root, and activated charcoal (made from coconut shells) was by text. Good grief. If only I had known. How fortunate then that this trendy tenant provided just the opportunity to experience a whole new taste sensation by opening a storefront, albeit temporary, in the heart of Nolita. On a hot summer’s day just the idea of a cool stopover with lots of lemon and ice was irresistible – and a detox would never go amiss.

According to the PR person, patient and non-plussed at my intrigue, activated charcoal creates an adsorbing effect to toxins. She quoted a famous experiment in France in 1831, when a professor ingested a deadly dose of poison, but lived to tell the tale because he mixed activated charcoal with the strychnine. Apparently the charcoal prevented the poison from being absorbed into the body. While this was not a selling point in itself, tasting charcoal in a controlled environment did have curiosity value. And who can resist a cocktail at 11am? In all honesty, if I was blindfolded I would have believed I was drinking lemonade. However, the concoction did leave a lingering texture in my mouth that had me thinking about the beach all afternoon…

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