10 Crazy Stories behind Your Favorite Alcoholic Drinks
Who doesn’t love booze? It gets your inhibitions down and helps you relax from the day’s troubles. It also comes with insane memories (or lack of any memory at all) and fun filled moments with friends. Not many people know that some alcoholic beverages also come with some noteworthy backstories. Here are a few to keep you occupied while you wait for your drinks!
10. Harvey Wallbanger
One of the sillier names for a cocktail, the Harvey Wallbanger is also quite tasty. A pleasant mix of vodka, orange juice, and Galliano, the Harvey Wallbanger is quite similar to the Screwdriver. It has an even crazier history! The story goes that a surfer who always ordered this mix as his favourite drink would go on a drunken rampage. He would smash into the wall and knock things over clumsily, even going as far as banging his head on the wall after drinking the drink. The bartender saw it, named the drink, and the rest is history!
Now this one’s a story you can use when insisting on the advantages of drinking. Would you ever consider that a cocktail was created for medical purposes? The mojito is supposed to be living proof of that. This rum based drink blended with sugar, soda water, lime juice and mint leaves is a hit all around the world. It first became a hit with Cuban sailors, who concocted the cocktail to fight scurvy. While scurvy is prevented through more modern medical means these days, we still have the delightfully tasty drink to get us by.
- The Manhattan
The Manhattan is another classic drink. Quite similar to a Martini, the Manhattan is made up of vermouth, bitters, whiskey and at times can be topped with a cherry. The story behind this simple drink is that Winston Churchill’s mother had a sweet tooth, and was invented to suit her palate. This occurred during celebrations in the US thrown by Jennie Churchill to celebrate Samuel J. Tilden’s victory in the elections. The name comes from the club in which this happened, called The Manhattan. Sounds too good to be true, but we’ll never really know!
7. Gin and Tonic
Another drink that actually has medical history, the Gin and Tonic is a very simple combination of the liquids in its name. The story goes that the drink was invented to help fight malaria this time. British soldiers fighting in the Indies were vulnerable to this disease, and it often caused many fatalities. The tonic water itself helped fight this, but tasted horrible by itself. As such, they added gin to make the taste more palatable, not knowing the drink would last to this day!
- Irish Coffee
Say you’re a bartender at an airport and several flights just got delayed. With the number of irate passengers gathering and filling up your barstools, what are you going to do? If this happens in Ireland, the bartender keeps his cool and even ends up inventing a cool new drink! With the flight delayed in the brisk weather, the bartender mixed whiskey and coffee, to simultaneously keep passengers warm and awake. Because of this, the drink became a hit and was called an Irish coffee.
Considering the screwdriver is a highly simple cocktail, what makes it interesting is its name. An easy combination of vodka and orange juice, don’t you ever wonder why it wasn’t just called “Spiked Orange Juice”? One crazy story behind the name of this drink is that the blue collar workers who invented it would mix the liquor and juice with their screwdrivers. Next time you order one, make sure the bartender doesn’t honour its history too much by using a real screwdriver to mix it!
Another tasty cocktail to add to the list! The Cosmopolitan is a common favorite due to its delectable flavours. A mix of vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice and triple sec, it successfully balances sour and sweet. Who would have thought that the history dates back all the way to the 1970s? A gay community in Massachusetts were said to be the ones who invented this amazing cocktail, though we’ll never be exactly sure. That’s the thing about alcoholic beverages- no one seems to remember much about their origins. Those who drink, forget!
Another Don invented another hit drink. The cocktail called the Zombie changes from bartender to bartender. The only thing we know of it for sure is that it’s made with rum and a particular kind of fruit juice. Without the standard recipe, it’ll never be uniform from place to place. The reason for this is that Don the Beachcomber was quite secretive about his drink recipes. He would tell bits and pieces of the recipe to different bartenders. Despite that, the zombie madness caught on and the drink lives to this day!
- Piña Colada
“If you like Piña Coladas, and getting caught in the rain…” This mix of pineapple, rum and coconut has gained popularity not just for its tastiness. Featured in a song (Jimmy Buffett’s Escape: The Piña Colada Song) that was featured in a movie (Guardians of the Galaxy) we are all familiar with the Piña Colada. Not all of us are familiar with its history, however! Don Ramon Lopez, an affluent businessman, once owned a factory of coconut cream. He didn’t know what to do with it, so in a show of rare generosity, he gave it to bartenders, asking them to experiment. He was surely onto something because one of the creations called the Piña Colada became a hit throughout the world!
- Bloody Mary
Haven’t you ever wondered about the story behind this cocktail’s unique name? Made of tomatoes, vodka and spices, the Bloody Mary is a classic, and quite filling too! The name itself is associated with many figures from history, notably Queen Mary of England. She was known for her vicious attempts to reestablish Catholicism in England. The tomato juice is said to stand for the blood of those she killed. Others say it’s drawn from Vladimir Smirnov, the customer who drank the first Bloody Mary. The English name simply adapted the name “Vladimir” into “Bloody Mary”. We’ll never know, but we at least have this great drink to soothe our ignorance!