National pina colada day
July 10th, 2013
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Do you like piña coladas? Or would you rather be caught in the rain? If you do, celebrate National Piña Colada Day, put the pineapple and rum in the coconut, and drink it all up.

The pineapple, coconut and rum concoction is wildly popular in Puerto Rico and wherever there’s hot sun, cold ice, and a Caribbean breeze.  Tracking down who invented a particular cocktail can be tricky, since everyone involved was drinking at the time. Depending on who you ask, the piña colada was invented in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1963 by Ramón Portas Mingot, in 1954 by Ramón Marrero or Ricardo Gracia, or in Cuba in 1950.
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National anisette day
July 2nd, 2013
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Do you like licorice? Are you that person who hoards all the black jellybeans that others fling toward the trash can? If so, then today’s holiday may be for you. Happy National Anisette Day!

Anisette is a sweet anise-flavored liqueur that’s popular all over the Mediterranean. It’s typically made by distilling aniseed and adding a sugar syrup. Other anise-flavored spirits include pastis, which is typically French and made by macerating aniseed with licorice, the Turkish raki, Greek ouzo, Colombian aguardiente, Italian Sambuca, and absinthe, which adds more herbs and wormwood to the recipe. All of these will “louche” when you add a little bit of cool water to them, meaning the essential oils that flavor them come out of solution and turn the beverage milky-white.
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December 5th, 2012
12:00 PM ET
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At 5:31 p.m. Eastern, raise a glass to the decades that have elapsed since the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, officially ending 13 years of Prohibition and re-legalizing the production, purchase and consumption of alcohol in the United States.

“What America needs now is a drink,” quipped President Franklin D. Roosevelt when Ohio, Pennsylvania and Utah ratified the 21st Amendment on December 5, 1933.

Of course, numerous “speakeasies” - named because patrons often had to whisper a password through a locked door to gain admittance - sprung up in Prohibition’s wake. Police Commissioner Grover Whalen estimated that New York alone had over 32,000 speakeasies, and the neo-speakeasy fad persists in cocktail bars. (You can also drink in bars that were speakeasies in the ‘20s and ‘30s and that are still serving today.)

Other things arose out of Prohibition, including the real creativity with which determined drinkers evaded the law. Popular songs of the era just before Prohibition included “What’ll We Do On A Saturday Night (When The Town Goes Dry),” “Everybody Wants A Key To My Cellar” and even Irving Berlin’s “You Cannot Make Your Shimmy Shake On Tea.”
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September 20th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Avast, mateys! What, you say Talk Like A Pirate Day was yesterday? Well, you can still enjoy rum drinks, as today is National Rum Punch Day.

Continue drinking like a pirate, as notorious brigands such as Captain Avery and John Rackham have been depicted as fond of punch, Welsh pirate William Davis sold his wife for some punch, and Edward Low once forced a captive at gunpoint to share a bowl of punch.
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National rum day
August 16th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Does it feel like the tropics to you? Or do you want it to? Pour yourself a glass of sunshine and celebrate National Rum Day today!

When you’re drinking something like bourbon, you’re drinking a heavily regulated spirit, with laws that strictly dictate the ingredients, methods of production and aging. Rum is just the opposite, and can’t be pinned down. Rum “is whatever it wants to be,” writes Wayne Curtis in his And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails.

He continues: “There have never been strict guidelines for making it. There’s no international oversight board, and its taste and production varies widely, leaving the market to sort out favorites. If sugarcane or its by-products are involved in the distillation process, you can call it rum. Rum is the melting pot of spirits. . .as the bon vivant James Beard put it in 1956, ‘Of all the spirits in your home, rum is the most romantic.’”
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National scotch day
July 27th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

We look across the pond for today’s food holiday. The Scots have been making whiskies since at least the 15th century, and it’s that tradition we celebrate today: Happy National Scotch Day!

Scotch whisky (generally not “whiskey”; Scotch and Canadian whiskies tend to be spelled without the “e”, while Irish and most American whiskeys use it) by law must be distilled and aged in Scotland from malted barley and, sometimes, other grains. If it’s made with just malted barley and water and bottled as whisky from one distillery, it’s one of the famous “single malt” Scotch whiskies. If a Scotch is made with other grain, it’s referred to as “single grain.” There are also blended Scotches - such as the top-selling Johnnie Walker - that use whiskies from multiple distillers.

Scotch whiskies are aged in oak casks, but unlike American straight whiskeys, the casks don’t have to be new. Many American white oak casks that once held bourbon or other American whiskeys find a second life in Scotland to age Scotch whisky, and some distillers also use casks that formerly contained sherry or port to add different flavors.
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National tequila day
July 24th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Today we set our sights south of the border, and concentrate on a great spirit that’s often maligned. Happy National Tequila Day!

Tequila (the spirit, not Pee-Wee Herman’s favorite jam) is made in and around the state of Jalisco in Mexico, from the blue agave plant. Blue agaves are related to asparagus, and these succulent plants are pollinated by bats and grow at high altitudes. When the plant is twelve years old, the piña - the pine-cone-shaped heart of the agave plant after the sharp leaves are stripped away - is cooked and then mashed, and the resulting pulp is fermented and distilled.
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National Daiquiri Day
July 19th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

I don’t know where you’re reading this, but in New York City where I’m writing this, it’s hot. More sticky than sultry, the tropical mugginess envelops you when you venture outside, and at the end of a long day you want something that’ll give your insides some contrast. Might I suggest a celebration of National Daiquiri Day?

“A perfect blend of lime, sugar, rum, and ice, the Daiquiri cuts through the humidity, heat, and haze of the tropics with an uncanny precision,” writes Wayne Curtis in And a Bottle of Rum. “It has an invitingly translucent appearance when made well, as cool and lustrous as alabaster.”

Famous Daiquiri enthusiast Ernest Hemingway also rhapsodized about its appearance in Islands in the Stream: “It reminded him of the sea. The frappéed part of the drink was like the wake of a ship and the clear part was the way the water looked when the bow cut it when you were in shallow water over marl bottom. That was almost the exact color.”
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National dry martini day
June 19th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

For such a simple drink, the classic dry martini has an incredible amount of mystique surrounding it. And with today being National Dry Martini Day, let’s celebrate the lore of a true classic. The history is muddled, even if the drink isn’t; no one can agree who invented it or where it originated, and the recipe has evolved over the decades though it consists of just two main ingredients.

These would be gin and vermouth. Martinis made with vodka are a relatively recent variation, but they don’t have as much flavor as ones made with gin. CNN producer and martini drinker Susan Chun advises, “for all you vodka martini lovers out there, try the gin martini. You’ll never go back to vodka.”
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