California is known for many things: beaches, Hollywood, farms, good weather, and a laid back environment. On September 9, 1850, California was admitted to the Union as the 31st state. To celebrate this, we are going to list our top five must have California drinks.
Californians Google the term “rum and Coke” more than any other state in America. And for good reason. Rum and Coke is a classic cocktail that can be serve with ice and help cool off anyone – no matter the day in the calendar or year. An easy trick for an automatic ice cold rum and Coke – keep a shot of rum stored in a 2 oz keychain flask, buy an ice cold Coke from any store, and viola, you’ve got yourself a few sips of California’s favorite drink!
The Sidecar is considered to be California’s favorite drink, and is a cocktail that is generally made primarily with Cognac, mixed with some form of orange Liqueur. Generally these orange liqueur’s are Cointreau, or really any triple sec. The third and most important ingredient is lemon juice, which gives it its strong citrus flavor. The sidecar has been around for roughly 100 years, and first appeared in literature in 1907. It is named after actual sidecars – the motorcycle attachment – and became popular around the time of World War 1, most likely in London or Paris. The Ritz Hotel in Paris is on record claiming to have invented or hosted the origin of the drink.
Drinking in California would not be complete until one has a Mai Tai, known for its bursting fruity flavor. The Mai Tai is a cocktail mixed together with white and gold rum, some pineapple juice, and a splash of lime juice (though some use orange juice). Trader Vic (real name Victor Buergon) is known as having invented the drink in an Oakland Restaurant that bore his name, over 50 years ago. Legend has it that when he created this cocktail, patrons of the restaurant who drank it exclaimed “Maitai Roa” which translates to “very good”.
Would you believe us if we said that Martinis were invented in California? Though nowadays the Martini is no longer a cocktail on its own but rather a class of drinks with many variations such as Appletinis and Vodka martinis. They say that the first Martini was created in 1862 and originally called a Martinez, because it honored the small town of Martinez, California. The reason for this seemingly random homage is due to a local bartender named Julio Richelieu who ran a saloon and created the drink there. History is thankful to Richelieu for created the drink, and some famous people to enjoy martinis were: Winston Churchill, Truman Capote, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Thank you to California for inventing the Martini, Mai Tai’s, and the Sidecar!