Tag Archives: cocktail

When Maraschino Cherries Weren’t Maraschino Cherries

For bartenders Luxardo cherries are the gold standard of cocktail cherries. Maraschino cherries are great for widening the eyes of children, but their artificial flavor & color leave classic cocktails wanting.

Originating in Croatia—where sour cherries are distilled into Cherry Liqueur—the leftovers are thrown in with the liqueur and extra spices.

From 1912 to 1940 the FDA would not let the bright red artificial cherries be called, “Maraschino Cherries,” and only cherries soaked in booze (like the Luxardo Cherries) could wear the title.

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Apparently, People Drink Icebergs?

Naturally-formed ice traps pockets of air as it freezes. Large and old deposits of ice like glaciers and icebergs can contain air encased since before Columbus’ voyage.

So, in niche Chilean cocktail bars you can drink a breath of fresh air, where they add chipped iceberg ice to their drinks.

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Maraschino Cherries Aren’t Italian

Maraschino Cherries originated in Croatia, where Marasca Cherries grow readily. Much like the apples planted by Johnny Appleseed in the American frontier, these cherries are sour and not fit for eating, but readily turn into delicious liquor!

In the 1800s people started throwing leftover sour cherries into the cherry liquor they had made. The result is a delicious cocktail garnish, and Luxardo makes some of the finest examples in the world.

After destruction of their family factory in World Wars I and II the Luxardo family uprooted and moved to Italy. This is why people familiar with Luxardo Cherries look at me funny when I tell them that they are a Croatian product.

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Acacia: Great for Craft Cocktails & Egyptian Mummies

Crafty bartenders around the globe like throwing Acacia Gum into their cocktail syrups. It is a powder made from taking sap from an Acacia tree, drying it out, & grinding it up—and it provides a smooth velvety thickness to the cocktail’s texture.

In ancient times Acacia Gum was used in Egypt as a binding paste for the wrapping of mummies.

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Etymology of the Screwdriver

People around the globe have been mixing Vodka with Orange Juice for a very long time, but the name Screwdriver for this cocktail cropped up in the mid 1900s.

Some of the oil industry’s workers toiling in the Persian Gulf took to drinking on the clock, and would mix an inocuous-looking cocktail. Since they were in the field without kitchen utensils at hand, legend has it that they would stir their drink with an actual screwdriver.

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#1 Unhealthiest Drink in America

For the #1 Unheathiest Drink in America I have a little extra insight. I actually worked at Red Robin for two and a half years, and have personally made this drink on many unfortunate occasions.

While I speculated about the recipes of the other drinks on this list, I will attest first hand that the very tiny splashes of Blue Moon and Cointreau do not offer enough flavor—let alone alcohol content—to make this “drink” worth paying a premium price.

If you were to drop into a Red Robin (which I certainly DO recommend!) you would be much better off enjoying a pint of Blue Moon, and finishing your meal with a non-alcoholic shake to go.

 

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#2 Unhealthiest Cocktail in America

I am pretty sure that #2 on the list of America’s Most Unhealthy Cocktails is delicious. I am also confident that TGI Friday’s Ultimate Mudslide also qualifies less as a cocktail and more as a milkshake with a minuscule dash of Vodka, Kahlúa, and Bailey’s.

But the girlfriend, myself, and our sweet teeth now have plans to visit TGI Fridays in the name of research and find out!

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