Cocktail named 'Tuskegee Experiment' draws outcry from restaurant's customers

A Connecticut restaurant has removed from its menu a cocktail called “The Tuskegee Experiment” after a customer complaint.

323 Main Restaurant in Westport offered the drink, the name of which referred to a U.S. government experiment that left many African-American men with syphilis in order for scientists to study the disease’s progression, the Westport News reported Tuesday.

The drink included Myers dark rum, Malibu pineapple juice, fresh lime, pineapple, jalapeno mash and a dash of Tabasco, according to a photo posted on Facebook.

Eric Armour posted the photo of the menu on Facebook last week, saying “Umm. This is ridiculously horrible.”

Leah Bornstein noticed the cocktail when she went to the restaurant to see a band on Aug. 11, she told the Westport News. She emailed the restaurant owner to have the drink removed and it was gone by Aug. 17, according to the news site.

“I was appalled when I saw it,” she said.

Emily Clayton, the bar’s manager, said she never heard of “The Tuskegee Experiment” cocktail and said when she looked through the bar menus it looked like it had been updated.

“I was appalled when I saw it.”

— Leah Bornstein, restaurant patron

Norwalk NAACP President Brenda Penn-Williams condemned the restaurant in a statement to the Westport News.

“To conduct such an experiment on rural, uneducated African-American men, which was the leading cause of death, is a travesty of injustice and a lack of human regard,” the statement said. “It is a shame that 323 Main Restaurant continued with the same racist mind set in these times.”