Inventory for June 4th, 2017
In this week’s inventory we look at the history of the straw, a fake Budweiser factory is busted in China, the White Lyan team explains how to best carbonate your cocktail, and a Tiki project using waste as the base goes on tour. Cheers!
Lately, we’ve become obsessed with the idea of a perfect Ramos Gin Fizz. When made right, it’s a beautiful thing. When made badly, it can feel like a dairy farm landed in your mouth and something went horribly wrong. Maybe it’s a hankering for New Orleans or maybe it’s just that we’re looking for something soothing in turbulent times. Either way, Punch wrote a lovely article on how bartenders are hacking their way to a perfect Ramos Gin Fizz and it’s well worth a read.
The History of the Straw
This week, Punch asks a very simple question and gets a surprisingly inventive answer. Though the world’s first straw dates back to 3,000 BC, what we know as a straw today first came into fashion in the late 1880s. “In the 19th century, when drinks like the Sherry Cobbler and Mint Julep first became piled high with hand-cut ice, the need arose for an instrument with which to consume the liquid neatly.” To find a solution people often used ryegrass, a hollow stalk which one could sip liquid through. But Marvin Stone soon became annoyed at the reedy residue the grass left on his Mint Juleps and went out to seek an alternative. He came up with a piece of paper wrapped around a pencil – he glued the paper into a tube, removed the pencil, then coated the design in paraffin wax to stop the paper from disintegrating. He patented his “artificial straw” in 1888. “A cigarette paper manufacturer by trade, Stone was well equipped to adapt to the production of paper straws and, by 1890, his factory was producing more straws than cigarette papers.”
Fake Budweiser Factory Busted in China
The drinks business reports that apparently, “the underground workshop was making more than 600,000 crates of beer every month as reported by Chinese news website Sohu.com.” A video on the site shows workers refilling empty Budweiser cans and then passing them onto a conveyor belt for re-canning. It’s unknown where the counterfeit beers were sold, but previous instances indicate that night clubs, bars, and karaoke parlors bought the cans. “China is the world’s largest beer market and the craft beer sector is experiencing particularly fast growth, thanks to its lower prices compared with premium beer. AB InBev, owner of Budweiser, is ramping up efforts to dominate the craft beer market in China. The company takes up 15.7% of the market share in 2015, according to Fortune, behind China Resources and domestic beer brand Tsingtao.”
Punch explained the magic behind carbonating drinks this week. They spoke to (who else?) the team behind White Lyan to get an idea of how to go about it. As White Lyan explained: “Our favorite fermented cocktail, Le Fizz, began as a mixture of Amalfi lemon juice with grape juice, which was fermented with Champagne yeast and finished in a Champagne bottle to an ABV of 14 percent. Designed to taste like lemon sparkling wine, the bottles had that same incomparable pop when opened.” They then go on to explain to the home bartender, just how to best go about carbonating your cocktails. You’ll need an iSi soda siphon or cream whipper, carbon dioxide bulbs, and a refrigerator. The rules are as follows: mind the strength (the maximum you want is about 15% ABV), keep it clear (no cloudy liquids), lower the sugar (“the more sugar is dissolved in the water, the less space there is for gas”), and chill it down (“the closer the liquid is to freezing, the better”). Got it? Cool. For those of you eager to try this at home, check out the whole article.
Tiki Cocktails Made from Waste
We never thought we’d be quoting articles from Vogue, but here we are. Last week, the American fashion magazine published an article about the “Trash Tiki” pop-up concept and world tour. London-based bartenders Iain Griffiths and Kelsey Ramage “met while working at Dandelyan, the cocktail bar at the Mondrian London at Sea Containers. ‘After juicing citrus for just one evening, we turned around and saw the bin—it was filled with lime husks,’ says Ramage.” They began infusing the lime husks with hibiscus tea, straining them, and mixing in a little agave. “By encouraging bars to use all ingredients to their fullest potential, the duo hopes to engender more sustainability in the industry.”
That’s something which has definitely been lacking. They premiered their concept at the Spirit of Tiki cocktail showcase in the fall of 2016, then travelled to Los Angeles to serve their drinks at Harvard & Stone. In June they’ll be going on a global tour, stopping in cities like Paris and Hong Kong before going on the North American “Anti-Waste Tour” with Fords Gin in July.
Foto: Photo via Shutterstock.