As the Twig Is Bent

When we were quite young, my brother and I used to puff on candy cigarettes. Do you remember them? They were big in the age of wax lips and Sugar Daddies.

Made of pink bubble gum, brown chocolate or white sugar (with one tip end dyed red) they were an innocent and giggly introduction to the pleasures of smoking, a habit my brother and I took up for real in our teen years. The evolution was natural, which is why several of the major tobacco companies conspired in the manufacture and marketing of candy cigarettes.

But now that smoking is as socially acceptable as farting, candy cigarettes are hard to find. The unhealthy, corrupting candies are pariahs unsuitable for goodie bags and Halloween distribution.

How, then, is youth to be corrupted?

Introducing Lollyphile, San Francisco’s award-winning gourmet lollipop company, which just announced its newest flavor — White Russian.

“It took us a while to get it just right,” said Jason Lewis, who owns and runs Lollyphile. “A White Russian cocktail has surprisingly complex flavors and we had to work to make sure that the strong coffee liquor didn’t overpower the more subtle flavor of vodka, and that the drink’s creamy texture was able to translate over to the medium of hard candy. Which is to say: if you like White Russians, you’re going to love our White Russian lollipops.”

Maybe the reverse is true: if you love hard candy, you’re going to love hard liquor. What’s not to love about White Russians or the other flavors in the Lollyphile family of lickable liquors: Absinthe and Bourbon?

This all brings to mind the Ogden Nash ditty about vehicles for breaking the ice at a party — Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker. If one’s goal is to cultivate a new generation of hard drinkers, clearly, candy is dandy.

But don’t worry. There is no alcohol in the Lollyphile confections. Of course, there was no tobacco in those candy cigarettes my brother and I smoked.

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