When we were kids, it was always a treat to get a maraschino cherry speared with a decorative toothpick in your 'Shirley Temple' cocktail but it was really extra special (and worthy of saving for your dolls) to get a colorful paper umbrella at a vacation spot or if you were lucky enough to eat in a Chinese restaurant. I
looked up the origin of those umbrellas and found this information from Wikipedia:
ktail umbrella is believed to have arrived on the bar scene as early as 1932 courtesy of Victor Bergeron of Trader Vic's
in San Francisco although it is, by Vic's own admission, a presentation picked up from Don the Beachcomber
(now closed). Although the purpose of the umbrella is purely decorative.....Upon introduction, umbrellas were considered very exotic
as were most things from the Pacific Rim."
I'm sure there aren't many of us who were able to go to Trader Vic's but thanks to consumer demand (and international trade), those coveted umbrellas are available to buy (in bulk even) if you having a luau or any outdoor summer party.
Back in the July 2000 issue of Martha Stewart's Living magazine, there were instructions on how to make your own beverage umbrellas. These aren't collapsible like the original but they probably will last longer and the short toothpick can be substituted with a bamboo barbecue skewer for a taller iced tea or tropical drink. I thought of getting plastic skewers and using fabric to make a more permanent set and I'm on the lookout for those and will make a set for a friend as a hostess gift on an upcoming weekend.
Here is my one-hour version.
I used some leftover double sided gift wrap that had some weight to it. The paper, some skewers, glue and scissors are you'll need.
1. Cut 3.25 inch circles out of paper, decorative or plain
2. Find the center and cut a straight line to it.
3. Form circles into a cone and glue to form shape. They'll need to be held together for a few minutes until they stick.
4. Let dry for about a half hour then poke the pointy end of the skewer through the top. Reverse the skewer and push the flat end through the top and place a drop of glue to hold in place. Let that dry and they're pretty much ready for serving.
I put foam cutout shapes on the top of mine to get away from the black, white and red theme but that's totally optional.
I placed them in a tall glass with a bow - a nice way to give as a gift but a tall bud vase will work just as well. Make your own gift tag and invent a personal drink for your hostess. These will become the 'Le Suzettes' packaged with some ingredients for a punch for my niece's 30th birthday this weekend. Will post the final result tomorrow.
Over the Weekend: A cute baby gift that is really useful.