Update, May 7, 2019: Lakewood, Ohio bar Yuzu has stopped garnishing its specialty cocktail with a tampon applicator after the county board of health instructed them to do so. The board of health reportedly wants the applicators tested for possible chemicals, FOX 8 Cleveland reports.
Original story, May 6, 2019: Menstruation-themed cocktails have precedent, actually. Back in February, a London bar set up a Bloody Mary special and “period pancakes” to raise money for Bloody Big Brunch, an organization that donates sanitary products to women in poverty. A related cocktail now on the menu at a Lakewood, Ohio bar called Yuzu, is causing quite the ruckus, perhaps because it’s garnished with an empty plastic tampon applicator.
In a Facebook post, Yuzu announced the new cocktail—called Even Can’t Literally—which is a margarita with bright red berries and juice in it. The post notes that $1 from each cocktail will be donated to a Cleveland-area women’s shelter. FOX 8 Cleveland further reports the bartender behind the drink, Sarah Krueger, says she intends the cocktail to raise awareness about women’s health. (And, presumably, the cost of sanitary products which can put them out of reach for two-thirds of women living in poverty.) This drink isn’t the first Yuzu special to make headlines: In February, the bar owner apologized for a brunch promotion that joked about fentanyl, a synthetic opioid responsible for more than 28,000 overdose deaths nationally in 2017.
According to FOX 8, patrons who don’t want to sip their drink while dodging a plastic applicator can ask the bar to hold the tampon, and instead donate it to the shelter. I’m glad to read that, because using an empty applicator to garnish the drink seems like just a huge waste of tampons—as previously mentioned, they’re expensive. So, in summation, raising awareness of the high cost of sanitary products and the burden that places on women in poverty = great. Wasting such products in the service of a gimmicky drink = not great.