Thursday October 16th is World Food Day, marking the creation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations back in 1945. And what goes better with a delicious meal than a fine cocktail or stiff drink? In celebration of World Food Day, let’s take a look at some of the food-based origins of our favorite cocktail, spirit, liqueur, and hard alcohol ingredients!
Vodka – The staple and supporting actor of most cocktails, vodka was traditionally made by distilling grain or potatoes but we’ve come a long way, baby. Nowadays you can find top-shelf vodka made from sugar cane, corn, and even grapes. Give vodka the star treatment by drinking up with a classic one-ingredient concoction like a Screwdriver (vodka and orange juice) or Vodka/Cranberry (vodka and cranberry juice).
Gin – James Bond likes his shaken, not stirred. Snoop Dogg sips on it with juice. We’re talking about gin, of course. The source of this spirit is in its name —“gin” comes from the Dutch, French, and Italian names for “juniper,” the berry from which its flavor is derived. Enjoy juniper berries straight up in salute to gin, or pair with tonic for the classic, eponymous cocktail Gin & Tonic.
Rum – Light, Golden, Dark, Spiced – all rum may not be created equally, but their inception is the same. Distilled from molasses or sugarcane juice, the sweet stuff isn’t just popular with pirates and in cocktails. Rum is a fixture in rum-flavored cakes, rum-based sauces, and even rum flavored ice cream, offering plenty of ways to celebrate World Food Day with actual food!
by Edsel L
Triple Sec – If you’ve ever wondered why your cocktail tasted orangey, that’s probably because it contains a helping of triple sec. This tasty flavoring liqueur is made from (surprise!) oranges. And while the liqueur may not provide you with a Vitamin C boost, it definitely boosts the taste (not to mention alcohol content) of classics like the Kamikaze and Cosmopolitan.
Bitters – Many cocktails call for the use of bitters as a flavoring agent – but what exactly are they? One of the most popular is Angostura Bitters which is a mixture of water, alcohol, herbs and spices. There is a lot of confusion about this as not that many people know the actual recipe. What we do know is that this magical concoction not only adds a tasty element to cocktails, but also has plenty of health benefits. The most popular benefit? Nausea and upset stomach relief.
Grenadine – While not technically an alcohol, grenadine is as vital to fancy cocktails as flasks are to tailgating. The sweet red stuff comes from pomegranate and is used to provide both flavor and color to a drink; grenadine is the setting sun in both a Tequila Sunrise and Sea Breeze. And while the sugar-filled syrup may not make it on its own, enjoy a pomegranate in salute of this saccharine wonder.
What will you be eating to honor World Food Day and more importantly what will your flask be filled with?