In the first post of this series, “Drink Your Way Across America. Signature Drinks of the First Eleven States“, one thing, and one thing only, was determined. Americans like their liquor. States compete to see which can concoct the best tasting most annihilating alcohol infused potion they can claim as their own. Every state’s ‘gotta’ have one and unless you live there you don’t know how to make it right.
Let’s continue our journey of enlightenment:
Idaho – Whiskey Sour
Idahoans are rugged. Whiskey is almost always the drink of choice and if you have to do anything more than plop in a couple of ice cubes, a whiskey sour is the only other way to go. It’s been said whiskey drinkers emit a sexual prowess which makes them better lovers so if anyone is lacking in this capacity they may need to change their drink of preference.
When visiting a bar in Boise, one must also be careful to choose the spud state’s overwhelmingly favored brand. It isn’t Jack, Crown, or Canadian Mist. They prefer the smoothness of Kentucky’s crowned jewel, Evan Williams.
Illinois – Jameson Irish Whiskey
More than half of Illinois residents reside in the Chicago area. Of those, the Irish rank as a major ethnic group, evidenced by Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish and turning the Chicago River green on St. Patty’s Day.
Jameson, Ginger, and Lime is the trendiest way to drink this Irish gold, and Chicago thrives on trends. Of course, for those who can’t stomach hard liquor, knocking back a Guinness is equally as acceptable.
Indiana – Jagerbomb
It may come as a surprise to learn Indianan’s purchase more Jagermeister than any other brand of liquor. When Hoosiers paint the town they want to fuel up quickly. What better way to do so than by putting a couple of Jaegerbombs in their tanks?
A huge personal warning to the all inexperienced travelers drinking their way through Indiana; If you can’t dance, please don’t let a couple of Jagerbombs convince you otherwise. They’ll do that a person.
Iowa – Long Island Ice Tea
Clearly, one of the most dangerous drinks on the planet, Long Island Ice Tea tastes like… ice tea of all things. Go figure. It’s both refreshing and thirst quenching. For the unaware, it’s too easy to swig down the last gulp of a second tall glass just before hitting the floor.
The drink consists of rum, gin, vodka, tequila, triple-sec, and a couple of dashes of non-alcohol ingredients. All total there are 3 and a half shots of liquor which cannot be detected in this knock-out punch drink. You’ve been warned.
Kansas – Horsefeather
This drink is so unique to Kansas it’s relatively unknown to foreigners from outside this “no place like home” state’s borders. It made the scene sometime in the 1990’s at the Borgeouis Pig in Lawrence and spread like wildfire through swanky country clubs to the “He Ain’t Here” bar.
It’s a spicy drink similar to a Moscow mule only Kansans prefer whiskey to vodka. Every horsefeather has at least two shots of it combined with ginger beer, bitters, and a lemon wedge.
Kentucky – Mint Julep
Kentucky brings to mind the most famous horse race on earth. Big gaudy hats topping the heads of mint julep sipping aristocrats is a picture of the Kentucky Derby. Over the races two-day period, 12,000 of the states claim to fame cocktail are served.
Of course, only Kentucky bourbon is acceptable. Add seltzer water, sugar, and mint leaves, and there you go! Oddly enough though, the drink did not originate in Kentucky. In fact, it didn’t even originate in the United States. The mint julep originated in the Middle East from a drink called Julab which is made from water and rose petals. The drink made it to the Caribbean where mint was substituted and alcohol was added.
Louisiana – Sazerac
Sazerac was the very first cocktail ever made in the world and was developed by an apothecary in New Orleans in 1838 for medicinal purposes. The mixture ended up tasting so good that it started being served in bars and taverns and is still the official drink of Louisiana today.
The drink is merely a glass of cognac or rye whiskey, absinthe, and Peychaud’s Bitters with sugar added.
Maine – Allen’s Coffee Brandy and Milk
Sometimes called a sombrero, this drink is a staple for people in Maine. This is undoubtedly the first drink any Maine bartender has to learn how to make, but it’s also a very simple one. The only difference between one of these drinks and another is the amount of milk that’s added to suit an individuals taste.
Maryland – Black-Eyed Susan
The black-eyed Susan is the mint julep of Maryland and is the official drink served at the Preakness horse race. The drink is a mixture of vodka, bourbon, Dekuyper, orange juice, and sour mix, and is a truly refreshing way to get smashed very quickly.
The drink is named after Maryland’s state flower and unlike the mint julep has a relatively short history. Prior to the Preakness centennial in 1973, the Heulbeing Company was contracted to come up with a specialty drink that could be served to the massive crowds which were expected. The black-eyed Susan was the result and it has remained not only the official drink of the Preakness but of Maryland itself.
Massachusetts – Cape Codder
Ocean Spray cranberry juice is headquartered in Massachusetts so it only makes sense the state drink should call for it. Probably the simplest of all state drinks to make it consists of vodka, cranberry juice, and a dash of lime. Any bartender in the state can mix one of these up and keep them coming.
Michigan – The Hummer
This drink has its origins tied to the Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit. Jerome Adams was the bartender who invented the drink. Soon after people tried one at the yacht club they began to ask for Hummer’s at other bars. As bartenders from around the state began begging for the recipe, Adams finally relented, and the rest is history.
Many bars in Michigan now have their own rendition of the drink but any bar in the state is able to honor a request for a hummer.
There you have the signature drinks of next 11 states and what to order when you’re passing through. Stay tuned for the remaining states!