|Photo Credit: Annette Slade Photography|
A pretty drink which, strangely, I did not Instagram, I think it's the red one in the background. We were served drinks that looked like the yellow one in the foreground, I think. It's all kind of of a blur. Whatever it looked like, I took a sip… and then another. There was something in it that I could not identify. "What does aloe taste like?" I asked. I took one more sip. And then I knew. The thing that I could not identify was alcohol, lots of proofy alcohol. It wasn't the taste of alcohol that I identified, though. It was my heart that I felt, starting to pound, pound, pound. What ensued was a bad case of Asian Flush. So bad that I contemplated using my EpiPen.
If you've never witnessed Asian Flush, it can be rather disturbing. Within minutes, I turned fairly white yet red at the same time. I'm pretty sure it's related to low blood pressure, when you're heart isn't beating hard enough to really circulate your blood and it compensates by beating more. A lot more. Like 110-beats-per-minute more. It was just like when I got stung by that bee and learned what tachycardia is. My heart was racing so fast I thought using my EpiPen just might kill me. Everyone at the table was certain I needed to go to the ER. Instead I proceeded to drink glass after glass of water. We'd waited a long time to be seated and for some reason our food still hadn't arrived, so my stomach was empty. I needed to dilute the drink ASAP. They serve tap at Acorn, BTW. BLECH! Denver water sucks.
The server apologized – not for the water – she'd served us CDT Sunsets. I must've looked pretty bad because she left then returned with the GM. He apologized profusely and for the trouble comped my meal. A smart manager would've comped the whole table. So what it was 8 people? I was dying! Needless to say, we haven't been back.
Anyway, I already knew I had an issue with alcohol before the Acorn incident but the CDT Sunset affected me so badly I decided to look for a connection with my VIT, seasonal allergies, or anything really. After a bit of research, I learned that certain foods release histamine, alcohol and citrus among them. The CDT Sunset ingredient list is Campari (citrus-based and 48 proof), Pimm’s (50 proof), pêche de vigne (36 proof), mint, blood orange, lime. I don't think I could've been served anything worse.
My allergist confirmed Asian Flush is a genetic predisposition, not at all related to venom immunotherapy, so don't be afraid to partake if you're undergoing VIT. Rather than use the EpiPen, she advised me to include Pepcid or Tagamet in my anaphylaxis kit. You may know them as antacids, but they are both a type of antihistamine that can fix Asian Flush. At the ER when I was treated for being allergic to beestings, Tagamet is what they gave me. Anaphylaxis for some means a closed throat, for others vomiting, for me cardiac distress. It's really a mixed bag so it's wise to keep a variety of antihistamines in an anaphylaxis kit.
I hope this post was helpful but I also hope you never have to use the info.