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Mary Katherine Morris Photography
Mary Katherine Morris Photography

Why Do We Use Fresh-Squeezed Citrus in Cocktails?

Mary Katherine Morris Photography
Mary Katherine Morris Photography

It’s less bitter and more delicious than its bottled counterpart! After juice is squeezed, a chemical in the limonoid family begins to build up. It’s thought that citrus fruits contain chemicals that react with air to form a limonoid in a process known as enzymatic bittering. Thus, the longer the juice is out of the fruit, the more bitter it gets.

For some juices, a little bit of bitterness isn’t a bad thing. In blind taste tests, subjects preferred four-hour-old lemon and lime juice over fresh squeezed. It’s thought that a small amount of the chemicals limonin (in lime) or nomilin (in lemon) is present after several hours. Since low levels of bitterness can suppress sourness, nuanced flavors that are overpowered in fresh juice can be tasted if you give them a little time.

Aging affects orange and grapefruit juice in slightly different ways. Since orange juice contains significantly more sugar than acid, adding even slight bitterness can make it taste worse. On the other hand, grapefruit juice’s sour taste profile can be enhanced by bitterness.

Each fruit’s unique flavor is defined by the concentration of different acids within the juice. The three most common acids present in citrus are citric, succinic, and malic acids. Taste-wise, succinic acid is known best for its role in the taste of apples, while citric acid adds fruity notes and malic acid gives a sharp, tingly taste.

However, each fruit’s aroma impacts its taste more than its acid content does. When whole, the fruit’s essential oils are stored in tiny sacs in its flesh and skin. As it's juiced, these compounds are released into the liquid, which imparts the fruit’s characteristic smell and taste.

Hit the Lab

On paper, the ingredients in a classic Blood & Sand may seem completely discordant, but they come together to form a rich, smooth cocktail. Its name was most likely pulled from a 1922 movie with the same title, but little else is known about its origins. After first appearing in Henry Craddock’s 1930 The Savoy Cocktail Book, it fell into obscurity until master mixologist Dale DeGroff rediscovered the recipe in the mid-1990s.

Mary Katherine Morris Photography

Blood & Sand

.75 oz sweet vermouth
.75 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
.75 oz Heering cherry liqueur
.75 oz mild scotch

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, and shake for 15-20 seconds or until combined. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and serve straight up.

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History
84 Years Ago Today: Goodbye Prohibition!
A huge queue outside the Board of Health offices in Centre Street, New York, for licenses to sell alcohol shortly after the repeal of prohibition. The repeal of prohibition was a key policy of Franklin Roosevelt's government as it allowed the government an opportunity to raise tax revenues at a time of economic hardship.
A huge queue outside the Board of Health offices in Centre Street, New York, for licenses to sell alcohol shortly after the repeal of prohibition. The repeal of prohibition was a key policy of Franklin Roosevelt's government as it allowed the government an opportunity to raise tax revenues at a time of economic hardship.
Keystone/Getty Images

It was 84 years ago today that the Twenty-First Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, repealing the earlier Amendment that declared the manufacture, sale, and transport of alcohol illegal in the United States. Prohibition was over! Booze that had been illegal for 13 years was suddenly legal again, and our long national nightmare was finally over.


A giant barrel of beer, part of a demonstration against prohibition in America.
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Prohibition of alcohol was not a popular doctrine. It turned formerly law-abiding citizens into criminals. It overwhelmed police with enforcement duties and gave rise to organized crime. In cities like Milwaukee and St. Louis, the dismantling of breweries left thousands of people unemployed.


Photograph courtesy of the Boston Public Library

Homemade alcohol was often dangerous and some people died from drinking it. Some turned to Sterno or industrial alcohol, which was dangerous and sometimes poisoned by the government to discourage drinking. State and federal governments were spending a lot of money on enforcement, while missing out on taxes from alcohol.


New York City Deputy Police Commissioner John A. Leach (right) watches agents pour liquor into sewer following a raid during the height of Prohibition.

The midterm elections of 1930 saw the majority in Congress switch from Republican to Democratic, signaling a shift in public opinion about Prohibition as well as concerns about the depressed economy. Franklin Roosevelt, who urged repeal, was elected president in 1932. The Twenty-first Amendment to the Constitution was proposed by Congress in February of 1933, the sole purpose of which was to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment establishing Prohibition.


American men guarding their private beer brewing hide-out, during Prohibition.
Keystone/Getty Images

With passage of the Constitutional Amendment to repeal Prohibition a foregone conclusion, a huge number of businessmen lined up at the Board of Health offices in New York in April of 1933 to apply for liquor licenses to be issued as soon as the repeal was ratified.

The Amendment was ratified by the states by the mechanism of special state ratifying conventions instead of state legislatures. Many states ratified the repeal as soon as conventions could be organized. The ratifications by the required two-thirds of the states was achieved on December 5, 1933, when conventions in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Utah agreed to repeal Prohibition through the Amendment.


Workmen unloading crates of beer stacked at a New York brewery shortly after the repeal of Prohibition.
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A brewery warehouse in New York stacked crates past the ceiling to satisfy a thirsty nation after the repeal of Prohibition.


Keystone/Getty Images

Liquor wouldn't officially be legal until December 15th, but Americans celebrated openly anyway, and in most places, law enforcement officials let them.

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Courtesy New District
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Food
Say ‘Cheers’ to the Holidays With This 24-Bottle Wine Advent Calendar
Courtesy New District
Courtesy New District

This year, eschew your one-tiny-chocolate-a-day Advent calendar and count down to Christmas the boozy way. An article on the Georgia Straight tipped us off to New District’s annual wine Advent calendars, featuring 24 full-size bottles.

Each bottle of red, white, or sparkling wine is hand-picked by the company’s wine director, with selections from nine different countries. Should you be super picky, you can even order yourself a custom calendar, though that will likely add to the already-high price point. The basic 24-bottle order costs $999 (in Canadian dollars), and if you want to upgrade from cardboard boxes to pine, that will run you $100 more.

If you can’t quite handle 24 bottles (or $999), the company is introducing a 12-bottle version this year, too. For $500, you get 12 reds, whites, rosés, and sparkling wines from various unnamed “elite wine regions.”

With both products, each bottle is numbered, so you know exactly what you should be drinking every day if you really want to be a stickler for the Advent schedule. Whether you opt for 12 or 24 bottles, the price works out to about $42 per bottle, which is somewhere in between the “I buy all my wines based on what’s on sale at Trader Joe’s” level and “I am a master sommelier” status.

If you want to drink yourself through the holiday season, act now. To make sure you receive your shipment before December 1, you’ll need to order by November 20. Get it here.

[h/t the Georgia Straight]

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