A Brief History
On July 19, 2019, as our nation celebrates National Daiquiri Day, that wonderful concoction with Rum and fruit juices, usually served over ice or as a “frozen” drink, we reflect on those other liquid refreshments that are also named after a place. Previously we discussed “10 Favorite Foods and Drinks Named After a Place” and today we do it again, but this time limited to fluid libations. (On that previous list we mentioned Champagne, Pilsner/Pilsener Beer, Bourbon Whiskey and Scotch Whisky.)
10. Long Island Iced Tea.
How many drinks from New York could you name in a New York Minute? At least 2 on our list, starting with the famous Long Island Iced Tea, which ironically contains no tea whatsoever! Consisting of vodka, tequila, light rum, triple sec, gin, and a splash of cola, the drink gets its tea like amber appearance from the cola. Variations may include crème de menthe, lemon juice, sour mix or even real tea! A Long Island bartender named Robert “Rosebud” Butt claims to have invented the famous drink as a contestant in a 1972 cocktail inventing contest. This claim is not universally accepted, and a similar type of drink has been found to date from 1920’s in a place called “Long Island” in Tennessee. There is also a non-alcoholic brand of iced tea called Long Island Iced Tea. This refreshing beverage probably deserves just as much mention as the alcoholic variety!
A potent potable consisting of Rye whisky, Sweet Vermouth and bitters, you may encounter Manhattans made with other types of whiskey as well. The ingredients are to be stirred and then strained, either over ice cubes or “neat.” Of course, the cocktail is incomplete without a Maraschino Cherry garnish. Another New York City borough gave us the name of a cocktail similar to the Manhattan, in this case, the Brooklyn, basically the same as a Manhattan but using Dry Vermouth instead of Sweet Vermouth. Legend has it that this drink was invented by Ian Marshall in the appropriately named Manhattan Club in the 1870’s. An alternate story has the drink appearing in New York in the 1860’s. By the 1890’s recipes for this cocktail could be found in cocktail reference books. Many variations of the Manhattan can be found in cocktail reference books, including the Blonde, Brandy, Dry, Cuban and Perfect varieties.
8. Singapore Sling.
A gin based cocktail that actually does come from Singapore, specifically the Long Bar in Raffles Hotel, Singapore. The “sling” type of cocktail is an American invention, but the fruity Singapore variety is something special. Consisting of a gin base spiced up with Cherry Brandy and the juices of orange, pineapple and lime. Variations used other fruity syrups and juices. As with many fine products, the Singapore Sling suffered from commercialization over the years since its introduction in the early years of the 20th Century, to the point where by 1980 the drink was usually just Gin flavored with grenadine and sweet and sour syrup. Since then, the use of real fruit juices has made a come back and you can often get a drink much more like the original. Recipes found today often include lemon juice.
7. Boston Cooler.
Hooray for Boston! Beantown makes this list twice, first with a non-alcoholic ice cream drink, a wonderful blend of Vernors Ginger Ale and Vanilla Ice Cream. This variation on the ice cream soda is particularly innovative as it uses a soda pop outside of the generic cola and root beer genres. While not the first ginger ale sold in the United States, Vernors is the oldest of the existing brands. Introduced in 1866 and described as “Deliciously Different,” it is this difference that makes the Boston Cooler the superior type of ice cream soda. Please take note that the apostrophe is not missing in the name, “Vernors,” as the company removed it years ago. Speaking of years, Vernors used to brag on its bottles that it was “Aged 4 years in wood,” though this claim has been changed to “Barrel aged 3 years.”
6. Samuel Adams’s Boston Lager.
Yes, much like the recent addition to the Supreme Court of the United States, Brett Kavanaugh, this author is a great admirer of beer. Among the best of American made brews are those produced by the Boston Beer Company using the brand “Samuel Adams,” is their Boston Lager, a formerly small scale craft brew that has taken the US by storm and has largely been responsible for the tremendous upsurge in craft breweries. Now available across the country, Boston Lager is not just mass produced like “factory” brews but made using a 4 vat process and a secondary fermentation process called “krausening.” The beer is dry hopped with top notch hops and is much more flavorful and substantial than most traditional American beers. Boston Lager is a beer best suited for times when you are paying attention to your beer and not merely slugging liquid for fluid replenishment.
5. Iron City Beer.
We can thank Edward Frauenheim for immigrating to Pittsburgh from Germany in 1861, for it was he that brought the recipe for Iron City Beer with him, creating what became the Pittsburgh Brewing Company. Of course, the name, “Iron City Beer,” stems from Pittsburgh’s reputation as the preeminent steel producing city in the US, the city often referred to as “The Steel City.” The Iron City name is of course a take off on the Steel City moniker. Iron City is a “lightly hopped” and “lightly carbonated” brew, according to its brewers, making the refreshing liquid easy to slug down on a hot day, making it ideal for hot summer work and play. Save the craft IPA beers for your fancy dinner out, and enjoy Iron City when you are playing softball at a picnic or working in the yard.
Coffee is the indeed the “drink of the Gods” (per this author), and a common nickname for the caffeine laced hot or cold drink is “Java,” a nod to one of the large producers of coffee beans. The Dutch East India company was responsible for setting up vast coffee plantations in Indonesia (Dutch East Indies), including on the largest Indonesian island, Java in the early 18th Century. The coffee imported to Europe from the East Indies became known as “Java” and that is how we came to call our morning pick me up Java. The quality of Javanese coffee led to coffee sellers eagerly adopting the name, Java, for their product, a name that has become virtually a synonym for coffee. (Note: Java is the 13th largest island in the world and has a population of over 145 million people. Indonesia is currently only #4 in the world for coffee production.)
3. Hawaiian Punch.
Would you like a nice Hawaiian Punch? Better answer carefully! This delicious, though sugary fruit flavored drink can claim only 5% real fruit juice, the rest of the concoction being water, flavors, and sugar. Produced by Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP), Hawaiian Punch is a mélange of fruit flavors, 7 of them to be exact, including Guava, apple, papaya, apricot, orange, passion fruit, and pineapple. Created in 1934 as an ice cream topping syrup, the original product actually contained only fruit juices from Hawaii (only 5 flavors back then). Customers in Fullerton, California soon figured out Hawaiian Punch made a tasty drink when mixed with water, and a legend was born! The original company was called Pacific Citrus Products (PCP), and when sold in 1946 was renamed Pacific Hawaiian Products Company. At first sold as a concentrate to be mixed with water, the company soon started offering their Punch in tin cans, ready to drink, as well as frozen and concentrated. By 1954, a second flavor (Sunshine Yellow) was added to the original red colored drink, and other flavor varieties have been added over the years. The company producing Hawaiian Punch has been bought and sold several times, and has even been owned by tobacco giant RJ Reynolds! By the way, the character in the advertisement that offers “a nice Hawaiian Punch” and then punches the other guy is called (wait for it!), Punchy! (The victim of the punch is called Oaf. Oof!)
2. India Pale Ale (IPA).
Back when British seamen were sailing the long haul from England to India, sailors needed a refreshing beer to slug down on the long and often hot voyages. A conveniently located brewery right near the East India docks in Blackwall (on the border of Middlesex-Essex) called George Hodgson’s Bow Brewery was happy to provide the brewskis for the sailors headed for India. Thus, his type of pale ale got the name, India Pale Ale after its destination. This beer was also imported to India, as it was able to take the long trip without spoiling. IPA evolved over the last 300 years from a weakly hopped brew to one with a much stronger hops presence. Likewise, the alcohol content of IPA is has gone up from barely more than average beer to noticeably stronger. A common IPA myth is that stronger alcohol content was the reason for the beer not spoiling on the trip to India, but that is not true, the viability of the IPA was due to the way it was brewed. Other brews, such as Porter, were also specifically formulated to make the trip to India without spoilage. Americans, having taken a strong liking to craft beers, have become eager consumers of IPA, especially Goose Island IPA from Chicago, itself named after a man-made island in the Chicago River. (Note: IPA is this author’s favorite beer/ale type.)
Named after a village in Cuba near Santiago that was the site of the American invasion of Cuba during the Spanish-American War, this Rum based drink was originally flavored with Lime juice and sugar, though today you are more likely to see Strawberry flavored Daiquiris. Along with the village, the name Daiquiri is also given to a local beach and a local iron mine. The inventor of the this sweet and refreshing drink is disputed, perhaps we owe it to Jennings Cox, an American mining engineer circa 1898, or maybe we should be thankful to US congressman from New York, William A. Chanler, who allegedly introduced Americans to the Daiquiri in his club around 1902. This author’s personal favorite cocktail was spread across the US when a US Navy Admiral introduced it to an officers’ club in Washington, D.C. in 1909, facilitating the spread of Daiquiri Nation. What is your favorite Daiquiri flavor? Do you prefer cracked ice (the original), shaved ice, or the “frozen,” or “slushie” type of drink? By the way, minors and non-drinkers can order their Daiquiri without alcohol.
Question for students (and subscribers): What liquid refreshment, potable, quencher or beverage would you add to this list? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Hudson, Lesley Lynn. The Coffee Lover’s Book. Amazon Digital, 2018.
Khanna, Vikas. Mocktails, Punches, and Shrubs: Over 80 Nonalcoholic Drinks to Savor and Enjoy. DK, 2017.
Regan, Gary. The Joy of Mixology, Revised and Updated Edition: The Consummate Guide to the Bartender’s Craft. Clarkson Potter, 2018.
The featured image in this article, a photograph by Marcus Meissner from Nuernberg, Germany of a strawberry daiquiri in the Globe, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. This image was originally posted to Flickr by Marcus Meissner at https://www.flickr.com/photos/39981541@N00/4462264000. It was reviewed on by FlickreviewR and was confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-2.0.