Girl Scout Cookie season is an enduring part of spring, as grocery store entrances — and sometimes dispensaries — are inundated with enterprising young girls selling boxes of Do-Si-Dos and Thin Mints by the case. Now the team at Marina restaurant Causwells is celebrating cookie season with a menu of inventive cocktail takes on the confections, courtesy of co-owner and barman extraordinaire Elmer Mejicanos.
But rather than a line of sweet drinks, Mejicanos went deep into infusions, moles, and syrups, drawing out the flavors of the cookies and deploying them into cocktails. After buying 250 boxes of cookies from different scouts, Mejicanos worked them into unusual cocktails in partnership with Stoli Group. He generally hates making drinks that are too “on the nose” and strove to do something different. “Basically, we are playing off of different things,” Mejicanos says. “We either are comparing the flavors or contrasting the flavors, which is, we either follow that same flavor profile and we build something unique, or we build on a contrasting flavor and then make it all meet at the end.”
For example, there’s the restaurant’s take on Do-Si-Dos, an oatmeal sandwich cookie with a peanut butter filling. Mejicanos approached it from the angle of a Thai green papaya salad, often topped with peanuts. He made a drink that he says feels more refreshing than rich, deconstructing the salad into cocktail form. The drink incorporates cold-pressed green papaya juice with Thai basil, tart calamansi, and a nori-peanut cookie syrup — with a requisite Do-Si-Do as garnish. “I wanted to make it so that all of these drinks are not overly sweet because they already have a base of a sweet cookie,” Mejicanos says. “I wanted to make sure that they were still vibrant and fresh and approachable, but still making it interesting.” Mejicanos pulled on the flavor thread of chocolate- and caramel-flavored Adventurefuls by creating a mole with pasilla chiles, cinnamon, sesame seeds, and the cookies and turning it into syrup. Then he used that syrup in a tequila-centered Old Fashioned.
The showstopper of the drink menu comes in the form of a cocktail version of s’mores. It’s a coffee-centric drink made with coffee liqueur, rye whiskey, and chicory. The drink gets topped with marshmallow fluff that’s then toasted — the layered appearance is akin to a parfait, Mejicanos says. The drink is then infused with smoke and covered before it’s brought tableside and unveiled, evoking campfire smoke and toasted marshmallow. The new menu has six cookie-themed drinks in total to enjoy for the month of April.
It’s a project that’s partly inspired by Mejicanos’ desire to give back to the community. When the idea first came up for Girl Scout cookie cocktails, he deep dove into where the donations go and chose to donate to the Girl Scout Opportunity Fund, which benefits local under-served communities in the city. With each drink order, $1 will be donated to the charity. “It’s something that I’ve always been driving towards is trying to do more than just make cool drinks,” Mejicanos says. “And I think it’s also a good way to make cool drinks while still being able to do more.”
Causwells (2346 Chestnut Street) will run this Girl Scout Cookies cocktail menu through the month of April, starting Friday, April 7.