Timed perfectly for the premiere of HBO's prohibition era Boardwalk Empire comes a trend piece on Nutcrackers, a homemade blend of liquor and fruit juices poured into re-sealable plastic bottles and sold on the streets of Harlem for $5. Although they were invented decades ago, Nutcrackers came back onto the scene with a vengeance this summer, with every Harlem block party filled with the sounds of a dealer screaming "Nutcracker", just like the Barksdale corners in the Wire! Still confused? Well, lucky for you that Nutcracker producer and dealer extraordinaire Kool Aid is willing to provide the nitty gritty details on this here Nutcracker game.
According to Kool Aid:
· Nutcracker's are “definitely a summer drink, and I try to serve them as cold as possible"
· Nutcracker is "a fruity drink, so you don’t have to sip it with your face all scrunched up"
· Nutcrackers are strong but "you feel really nice without getting totally bombed out."
· His special recipe calls for "160-proof Devil’s Springs vodka, 151-proof Bacardi 151 rum, Amaretto, whatever sweet liqueur he has on hand and a variety of juices depending on the desired flavor, including cranberry, mango, pineapple and peach nectar."
· Each batch costs about $300 to produce and nets him about $700 in profit.
There are even some handy videos on how to make your own Nutcracker at home! Recent Nutcracker publicity has brought increased heat on the dealers, so Kool Aid follows some simple rules to stay under the radar, which are "don’t sell to teenagers. Never sell to strangers. And never sell it openly in the street." Wise words from a wise man. But doesn't $5 for a homemade drink seem a bit steep? And doesn't a cocktail at a local bar in Upper Manhattan cost the same price? Things we will have to ponder as the Nutcracker season comes to an end.
· In Harlem, a Hint of a Previous Era as Peddlers Stealthily Quench a Thirst [NYT]
· TrendWatching [~ENY~]