In America’s second spookiest town after Silent Hill, across the street from the statue of Elizabeth Montgomery riding a broom, lies the famous Daniel Low Building. Formerly a church, the building became a department store in 1874 and became famous for their souvenir “Witch Spoons”. Sadly though, one cannot stay in business on spoons alone, especially if you’re not a spoon specific store, and Daniel Low & Co eventually closed its doors. These same doors (maybe they replaced the doors, idk) were later reopened as Rockafellas, “A PREMIER CASUAL RESTAURANT IN HISTORIC DOWNTOWN SALEM, MA WITH SUPERIOR FOOD, DRINKS, ENTERTAINMENT AND SERVICE.” And also Nachos Rockafellas, which are not to be confused with Nachos Rockefeller, which are a play on Oysters Rockefeller that probably doesn’t exist. Oh, and also THE HELLTINI.
Now you might be asking, “The Helltini? That sounds like some kind of food challenge thing. Oh jeeze, I see what’s going on, you just decided to go to Rockafellas because there’s some food challenge thing and since they also have nachos you’re just going to slip that in too right?” To which I say, “Shut up.” Oh, by the way, let me tell you about the Helltini.
Firstly, they never made me sign a waiver, so I obviously missed my chance to sue them for everything they’re worth. Secondly, while this did look like a devil’s brew of ingredients, how spicy could it REALLY be? It’s not like this is an Indian or Asian restaurant where spicy is just how the culture goes. It’s an American place, it can’t get spicier than jalapeno or horseradish right? Well, I was about to get a lesson in cultural stereotypes.
The drink arrived and I let the waitress know what size shirt I wanted, medium, which was several sizes smaller than my bravado before I took a sip and felt me eyes dilate in pain and lips burn in fury. Being in the nacho business you sample a fair amount of hot peppers, but this was just a nightmare mess. I don’t know what “Secret Hell Sauce” is, but I have to assume it was Mace, or maybe just pure Carolina Reaper oil. Basically I was drinking a mugging deterrent, not a beverage that tasted of iced tea and pain.
Fortunately there were no caveats on how or under what conditions or time frame the beverage needed to be consumed. The smart way to do this is that you eat a bunch of antacid of choice beforehand, then get an order of nachos, with pulled pork and no olives of course, chew them up into a big wad in your mouth, then drink the beverage through the slurry to disperse the spiciness. As we’ve always said on this website, there’s no better way to eat nachos than using them as a mushy filter to get the spices out of whatever poisonous beverage you’ve been tricked into buying in order to win a shirt. If I had been smart I would have ordered extra sour cream and guac too. Maybe just a stick of chalk as well I could suck on.
The issue with taking a long time to drink your hell drink is that the ingredients slowly start to separate, and because the devil lives in hell, all the spicy stuff settles to the bottom of the glass. This means that every sip you take is going to be hotter than the last, until finally you get to the bottom of the glass and all that’s left is a mouthful of pain. And not just linearly hotter than the last, but exponentially hotter. But I finished it, by God I finished it, and got my free shirt.
Never get the Helltini, it’s not worth it under any situation. I’d eat a whole bag of Haunted Ghost Pepper chips in one sitting before I drank this again. You might as well just have someone on the street give you a shirt and then spray Mace in your mouth. I’ve made a lot of bad food challenge based choices in my life, but this was by far the worst. I earned every thread of the shirt, and I will wear it with pride around people I don’t mind thinking that I have an alcohol problem until it rots off my body. Oh yeah, the nachos were ok too, but basic and but nothing to write home about.