Mixer Mania #34 – Wondrous Watermelon

Up until recently, I didn’t realize Watermelon Soda was part of the Crush pop line or even existed. Given I love watermelon, this was a very happy discovery and I instantly grabbed a bottle. Much like this watermelon-based soft drink seemed mythical, let’s take a look at some legends meant to explain the existence of watermelons:

Making Papa Proud

Our first origin story comes from Vietnam, where a young prince angered his father, the king, and was banished to a deserted island. There, he found a fruit that he feared was poisonous and only consumed when all other options were gone. The fruit was tasty and extinguished his thirst. The prince then cultivated the fruit, which spread across the island. He also sent some of the fruit drifting into the sea, with his name and the island’s name carved into them. This brought others to the island, in search of the fruit. The king learned of his son’s achievements and invited him home, crowning him the next king.

Cat Watermelon

Slithering Save

Moving on to Armenia, this tale begins with a king’s servants cutting a snake’s horns off, in order to save it. As a thank you, the snake left a seed at the palace. From the seed, grew a new fruit, which was offered to an ailing old man, saving his life. The king tried the fruit next and felt invigorated. Thus, Armenians called watermelon “Not-Die”, once upon a time. I’m conflicted on this legend. On one hand, I don’t think I would ever be inclined to save a snake, but would rather chop its head off. On the other hand, the servants heroic efforts resulted in the creation of watermelon, so can I really fault them?

Passion of the Priest

We’ll wrap things up with a journey to the Philippines, where a Spanish priest was working hard to convert folks to Catholicism. One particular area was resistant to the priest’s teachings about Christ and his sacrifices. The ruler of this region eventually detained the priest and punished him according to his lessons, crucifying him on a cross. The priest succumbed to this treatment and his blood flowed into the ground below. When the ruler later returned to the cross, the priest had disappeared and in his place, a fruit had grown, its innards resembling the blood of the priest. And that’s how people get converted!

Mixer Mania #34: Nice Melons

Nice Melons.JPG

  • 2 oz Rum
  • Top with Watermelon Soda
  • Splash of Peach Juice
  • Dash of Lime/Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge

There is also a legend of vampire watermelons (and pumpkins), but I’ll let you look into that yourselves…

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
For this recipe, I’ve subbed Watermelon Soda and Peach Juice in place of Watermelon and Peach Pieces, respectively. I also used the last of my Bear Hug Mango Rum to up the melon content and the result was very, very good. It may be a little sweet, but that can be evened out by Club Soda. The Watermelon Soda is nice on its own, reminding me of a 7-11 Slurpee.

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Mixer Mania #23 – Word Play

Have you ever wondered where some of our sayings for approval come from? Well, as we feature Peach Juice as this week’s mixer, let’s take a look at some of those sayings and delve into their origins:

Peachy Keen

Sometimes shortened to simply ‘peachy’, the term can often be used ironically, when things aren’t going as well as originally hoped. Radio DJ Jim Hawthorne is credited with making the term popular and it was even used by Rizzo in the movie Grease.

Cool

Saxophonist Lester Young is credited with first popularizing the word cool as slang. Nicknamed Prez, Young encapsulated the African-American jazz scene of the 1940’s and the culture it inspired. The musician can also be recognized for coining the term ‘bread’ to mean money.

Being Awesome Takes Practice

Groovy

Most often heard from the cast of Scooby Doo, groovy is also a jazz slang term from the 1920’s, referring to the grooves in a vinyl record. It returned with a vengeance in the 1960’s and became a big part of the hippie counter-culture of the time.

Sweet

While diabetics and those dieting try to avoid things that are sweet, for the exact same reasons, the word has become a slang term used by folks to describe something great. After all, we all love things that are sweet… some of us just can’t have those things.

Gnarly

After going through a couple incarnations, including being used by surfers in the 1970’s to describe a dangerous wave, it was picked up by teens in the 1980’s to describe something that was excellent. The same backstory explains the word ‘Tubular’, as well.

Gnarly Test Answer.jpg

Wicked

Much more than a Broadway play, wicked can now be used to describe everything from awful to amazing things. Apparently, the concept was born and bred in Boston, Massachusetts and now that I’ve pointed that out, you can totally hear a New Englander saying it.

Awesome

Literally meaning “something which inspires awe”, with the word becoming more used as slang, it has lost some of its original significance. That said, it has brought to the world such enhanced terms as awesome sauce, awesomeness and awesometastic.

Hip

Once again, we go to the African-American jazz scene and their vernacular for this one. Meaning “fashionably current”, Wikipedia reminds us that what is hip is continuously changing. As Grampa Simpson once said: “I used to be with it, but then they changed what ‘it’ was”.

Mixer Mania #23: Shanghai Sunset

Shanghai Sunset.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Orange Vodka
  • Top with Peach Juice
  • Splash of Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Put most of the words together and this sounds like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles work. Of course, some honourable mentions go to terms like tight, sick and bad, which imply the opposite of their original meaning.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
The Grenadine didn’t show up as well as I’m used, but perhaps that’s because I went very light with it, not wanting the cocktail to become too sweet. The little fireball in the sky, courtesy of the Maraschino Cherry garnish, was still present, though.