A few weeks ago some fella with the same last name hit me up on Twitter to tell me about Ficks, a cocktail fortifier that serves your drink the same way a garnish does.
From his pitch, the syrup he's created is packed with electrolytes, milk thistle, B-Vitamins and a bunch of other stuff that you lose when you drink alcohol. The fortifier is designed for professionals who frequent cocktail hours on the weekdays and need to be up early in the morning.
"We're doing for cocktails what Gatorade does for athletes," Alvarado says.
Ficks launched its IndieGogo campaign a few weeks ago to seek funding. The product is sourced throughout the Bay Area, with bottling in Napa, an office in the city, and flavors developed in Santa Cruz by Venus Research, the same people behind Whole Foods 365.
Skeptical of this end-all formula that would supposedly wipe away my hangovers, I had Ron send me a couple bottles. A few days later, the box arrived, right before I went on vacation. I pulled the bottles out from under the bubble wrap and raised the syrup above my head. Would this be the end of what seems to be my eternal hangover? Would I really be able to continue to party as hard as I do and wake up as sharp as I would on a full night's rest?
I decided that I would put Ficks to the ultimate test. The night before my Maui getaway, a few classmates and I were going to celebrate our mid-semester achievements over a whole lot of drinking and rug cutting. I vowed to shut the bar down and be up before the crack of dawn to make my 8 a.m. flight.
Ficks comes in ginger, lemon, and lime. Ginger Ficks for your buck; Lemon Ficks for your gin and tonic; Lime Ficks for your vodka soda. I eyeballed half an ounce of the ginger flavor into my Jameson and ginger, and another half ounce into a Scotch and soda. This stuff compliments a drink well. It smells like a vitamin bottle and leaves you with a slightly silty mouthfeel, but overall, it tastes pretty good.
It's perfect for the home bartender, but I wouldn't go adding it to a serious, five-part cocktail. You might just offend the person on the other side of the grain. And if I weren't hanging out at a dive, I'd feel pretty awkward pouring it in my drink.
After shutting the bar down, my friend dropped me off just after 2 a.m. I somehow woke up alert and in time to pack. After only three hours of sleep, I was obviously still tired, but rose without that sharp brain-drain and body pain that I am accustomed to. I might even go as far as saying that I was sharper in the morning than I was the previous night prior to hitting the bottle.
I've gotta say that this stuff works, at least based on my highly unscientific experiment.