Soju (lit. ‘burned liquor’) is a distilled beverage native to Korea, typically 20% alcohol by volume. Jinro and Lotte soju are the first and third top selling alcohol brands in the world. It is usually consumed neat. It is traditionally made from rice, wheat, barley, but modern producers of soju use supplements or even replace rice with other starches, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, or tapioca.
Alcohol etiquette is tied to South Korea’s strict culture of respect, particular for elders. When accepting a glass from an older person, the recipient must hold the glass with two hands (left palm on the bottom, right hand holding the side) and bow the head slightly. When drinking the younger person must turn away from the elder and cover their mouth and glass with their hands. There are a few rules unique to Soju: never pour your own glass, and don’t refill your glass until it’s empty.
Soylent is a food substitute intended to supply all of a human body’s daily nutritional needs, made from powdered starch, rice protein, olive oil, and raw chemical powders. It was designed by software engineer Rob Rhinehart as a low cost alternative to traditional food that can be prepared and consumed very quickly.
Lacking background in chemistry or nutrition, Rhinehart developed the formula through research and self-experimentation. He named it after a fictional food from the novel ‘Make Room! Make Room!’, on which the 1973 film ‘Soylent Green’ was loosely based.
Chifir’ is a type of strong tea brewed in Russia. The etymology is uncertain but is thought to come from the word ‘chikhir” meaning a strong Caucasian wine, or a Siberian word for spoiled wine that has become sour and acidic. Chifir’ is typically prepared with either two or three tablespoons of loose tea per person poured on top of the boiled water. It is brewed for 10–15 minutes without stirring – until the leaves drop to the bottom of the cup. Chifir’ drunk without sugar is highly unpleasant; sweets can be held in the mouth before, during or after drinking to soften its bitter taste.
It is similar to Egyptian Sa’idi tea, a somewhat similar beverage (essentially a 1/9-strength recipe, but consumed in larger quantities).
Duff Beer is a brand of beer that originally started as a fictional beverage on the animated series ‘The Simpsons,’ since then it has become a real brand of beer in a number of countries without permission or consent from it’s original creator, Matt Groening and has resulted in legal battles with varying results. Groening has stated that he will not license the Duff trademark to brew an actual beer, over concern that it would encourage children to drink. It is Homer Simpson’s beer of choice and a parody of stereotypical commercial beer: very cheaply priced, poor-quality, and advertised everywhere. The name was inspired by one-syllable beer names in the US (such as ‘Bud’). In an excerpt from his autobiography, former Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan claimed that the beer was named after him as the writers were fans of the band and he was known for his extreme alcohol consumption. The beer’s official spokesperson is Duffman. While Duff Beer comes in several varieties, it is revealed on a Duff Brewery tour in ‘Duffless’ that regular Duff, Duff Light, and Duff Dry are the same beer, although Homer and Barney apparently remain oblivious to the fact. A tasting room also contains several varieties that Barney stated they had not tried yet, including Raspberry Duff, Lady Duff, and Tartar Control Duff. Duff is described as ‘The beer that makes the days fly by.’ Fudd, a competitor to Duff, is enjoyed by residents of Shelbyville, rival town to the Simpsons’ home of Springfield. Consumption of Fudd however is alleged by bartender Moe Szyslak to have made hillbillies go blind.
Bart and Lisa Simpson traveled with their aunt Selma to Duff Gardens, a parody of the Busch Gardens amusement park. In the gift shop, Bart spots ‘beer goggles,’ spectacles that mimic what drunks see: they make Aunt Selma appear young, feminine, and beautiful to Bart – and also, somehow, alter her voice. Later, they see the mascots of Duff Beer, the Seven Duffs: Sleazy, Queasy, Surly, Edgy, Tipsy, Dizzy, and Remorseful. There is also a direct parody of the ‘It’s a Small World’ attraction at Disney parks. In the cartoon, the boats float on a brown liquid as animatronic children sing ‘Duff beer for me, Duff beer for you, I’ll have a Duff, You can have one, too,’ over and over again. Lisa drinks the liquid in the ride on a dare from Bart, and she freaks out from its hallucinogenic properties. Other Duff Gardens attractions include the Beeramid, the Beerquarium (‘Home of the world’s happiest fish’), the Beer Hall of Presidents, the Washing Machine ride, the Whiplash rollercoaster, singing group Hooray for Everything (who sing a politically correct version of Lou Reed’s ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ and are based on Up with People), and a direct parody of Disneyland’s Main Street Electrical Parade.
Cold brew or cold press refers to the process of steeping coffee grounds in room temperature water for an extended period. It is also sometimes referred to as Toddy coffee which is a trademarked cold brewing system. The cold-press process requires grinding coffee beans at a relatively coarse setting (typically as fine as possible to still be filtered) and soaking those grounds in cold water for a prolonged period of time, usually 12 hours or more. The grounds must be filtered out of the cold water after they have been steeped using a paper coffee filter, a fine metal sieve, or a French press. The result is a coffee concentrate that is often diluted with water or milk, and can be served hot, over ice, or blended with ice and other ingredients such as chocolate.
Cold brewed coffee naturally seems sweeter due to its lower acidity. Because the coffee beans in cold-press coffee never come into contact with heated water, the process of leaching flavor from the beans produces a different chemical profile than conventional brewing methods. Cold brew coffee is a type of iced coffee, but this latter term also refers to coffee that is brewed hot and then chilled.
New Coke was the reformulation of Coca-Cola introduced in 1985; it originally had no separate name of its own, and was simply known as ‘the new taste of Coca-Cola’ until 1992 when it was renamed Coca-Cola II. The American public’s reaction to the change was negative and the new cola was a major marketing failure. The subsequent reintroduction of Coke’s original formula, re-branded as ‘Coca-Cola Classic,’ resulted in a significant gain in sales, leading to speculation that the introduction of the New Coke formula was just a marketing ploy.
Just after World War II, the market share for the Coca-Cola Company’s flagship beverage was 60%. By 1983, it had declined to under 24%, largely because of competition from Pepsi-Cola. Pepsi had begun to outsell Coke in supermarkets; Coke maintained its edge only through soda vending machines and fast food restaurants. Market analysts believed baby boomers were more likely to purchase diet drinks as they aged and remained health- and weight-conscious. Therefore, any future growth in the full-calorie segment had to come from younger drinkers, who at that time favored Pepsi and its sweetness by even more overwhelming margins than the market as a whole. When Roberto Goizueta took over as CEO in 1980, he pointedly told employees there would be no sacred cows in how the company did its business, including how it formulated its drinks.
Crystal Pepsi was a caffeine-free soft drink made by PepsiCo from 1992 to 1993 in the United States, Canada, and for a short time in Australia. Crystal Pepsi was sold for a longer time in Europe. In the early 1990s, a marketing fad equating clarity with purity began with the remake of Ivory soap from its classic milky solution; the idea spread to many companies, including PepsiCo. Crystal Pepsi was marketed as a caffeine-free ‘clear alternative’ to normal colas, equating clearness with purity and health. Its marketing slogan was ‘You’ve never seen a taste like this.’ A large marketing campaign was launched, for which the company invented the world’s first photo-realistic, computer-generated bus wrap printing. A series of television advertisements featuring Van Halen’s hit song ‘Right Now’ during Super Bowl XXVII. In its first year, Crystal Pepsi captured a full percentage point of U.S. soft drink sales. Coca-Cola followed suit by launching Tab Clear in late 1992.
Initial sales were good but quickly fell. Pepsi pulled the drink off the market and returned several months later with a reformulated citrus drink titled ‘Crystal From Pepsi,’ but this was short-lived as well. Yum! Brands Chairman David C. Novak is credited with introducing the Crystal Pepsi concept. In a 2007 interview, he stated: ‘It was a tremendous learning experience. I still think it’s the best idea I ever had, and the worst executed. A lot of times as a leader you think, ‘They don’t get it; they don’t see my vision.’ People were saying we should stop and address some issues along the way, and they were right. It would have been nice if I’d made sure the product tasted good. Once you have a great idea and you blow it, you don’t get a chance to resurrect it.’
Vernors Ginger Soda is America’s oldest surviving soft drink. It was created in 1866 by James Vernor, a Detroit pharmacist. According to company legend, prior to the start of the American Civil War, while a clerk at the Higby & Sterns drugstore in Detroit, James Vernor experimented with flavors in an attempt to duplicate a popular ginger ale imported from Ireland. When Vernor was called off to serve in the war, he stored the syrup base of 19 ingredients, including ginger, vanilla, and other natural flavorings, in an oak cask. Vernor joined the Michigan Cavalry in 1862 as a hospital steward. After returning from battle four years later, he opened the keg and found the drink inside had been changed by the aging process in the wood. It was like nothing else he had ever tasted, and he purportedly declared it ‘Deliciously different,’ which remains the drink’s motto to this day.
Vietnamese iced coffee is known as ‘Ca phe da.’ When milk is added it is called, ‘ca phe sua da.’ In northern Vietnam it is called ‘ca phe nau da’ (‘iced brown coffee). In its simplest preperation, Ca phe da is made with finely ground Vietnamese-grown dark roast coffee individually brewed with a small metal French drip filter (ca phe phin) into a cup containing about a quarter to a half as much sweetened condensed milk, stirred and poured over ice. Coffee was introduced into Vietnam by French colonists in the late 19th century. Vietnam quickly became a strong exporter of coffee with many plantations in the central highlands. The beverage was adopted with regional variations. Because of limitations on the availability of fresh milk, the French and Vietnamese began to use sweetened condensed milk with a dark roast coffee.
Vietnamese-Americans introduced the practice of adding chicory to coffee, and many Americans today believe that all true Vietnamese coffee contains chicory. One brand that uses chicory is Cafe du Monde, often cited as the coffee to use when brewing Vietnamese iced coffee. However, Cafe du Monde originated in New Orleans, and chicory coffee is an American phenomenon. In Vietnam, coffee is never served with chicory. Vietnamese brands such as Trung Nguyen or Indochine Coffee, both of which are headquartered in Vietnam and offer exclusively coffee grown in the central highlands.
Hair of the dog is a colloquial expression in the English language predominantly used to refer to alcohol that is consumed with the aim of lessening the effects of a hangover. The expression originally referred to a method of treatment of a rabid dog bite by placing hair from the dog in the wound. The use of the phrase as a metaphor for a hangover treatment dates back at least to the time of Shakespeare. It is possible that the phrase was used to justify an existing practice, ‘similia similibus curantur’ (Latin: ‘like cures like’), which dates back to ancient Greece.
Perry is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented pears. Perry has been common for centuries in Britain, particularly in the Three Counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and in parts of south Wales; and France, especially Normandy and Anjou. In more recent years, commercial perry has also been referred to as ‘pear cider.’ As with apples specifically grown to make cider, special pear cultivars are used: in the UK the most commonly used variety of perry pear is the Blakeney Red. They produce fruit that is not of eating quality, but that produces superior perry. Like commercial pale lager and commercial cider, commercial perry is highly standardized, and today often contains large quantities of cereal adjuncts such as corn syrup or invert sugar. It is also generally of lower strength, and sweeter, than traditional perry, and is artificially carbonated to give a sparkling finish. However, unlike traditional perry it is a consistent product: the nature of perry pears means that it is very difficult to produce traditional perry in commercial quantities. Traditional perry was overwhelmingly a drink made on farms for home consumption, or to sell in small quantities either at the farm gate or to local inns.
Traditional perry making is broadly similar to traditional cider making, in that the fruit is picked, crushed, and pressed to extract the juice, which is then fermented using the wild yeasts found on the fruit’s skin. The principal differences between perry and cider are that pears must be left for a critical period to mature after picking, and the pomace must be left to stand after initial crushing to lose tannins, a process analogous to wine maceration. Perry pears often have higher levels of sugar than cider apples, including unfermentable sugars such as sorbitol, which can give the finished drink a residual sweetness. They also have a very different tannin content to cider apples, with a predominance of astringent over bitter flavors. The presence of sorbitol can give perry a mild laxative effect, seen in the names of some perry pear varieties such as the ‘Lightning Pear’; reputed to go straight through ‘like lightning.’
Quadrupel is the brand name of a strong seasonal beer La Trappe Quadrupel brewed by De Koningshoeven Brewery in the Netherlands, the only Trappist brewing abbey not in Belgium. In other countries, particularly the United States, ‘quadrupel’ or ‘quad’ may refer to an especially strong style of dark ale, with a characteristic spicy, ripe fruit flavor. A quadrupel is intended to be stronger than a Tripel, so the ABV strength will be 10% or more. Beyond that, there is little agreement on the status of Quadrupel as a style. Beer writer Tim Webb notes that similar beers are also called ‘Grand Cru’ (French: ‘Great Growth’) in Belgium and Holland, a term borrowed from winemaking.
A Trappist beer is a beer brewed by or under control of Trappist monks. There are a total of 174 Trappist monasteries worldwide; only seven (six in Belgium, one in the Netherlands) produce Trappist beer and are authorized to label their beers with the Authentic Trappist Product logo that indicates a compliance to the various rules of the International Trappist Association.
Mello Yello is a caffeinated, citrus-flavored soft drink produced and distributed by The Coca-Cola Company. It was introduced in 1979 to compete with PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew. There have been three flavored variants: Mello Yello Cherry was released in response to Mountain Dew Code Red, and the other two variants were Mello Yello Afterglow (peach-flavored) and Mello Yello Melon.
Mello Yello was featured in the 1990 NASCAR-based movie ‘Days Of Thunder,’ in which Tom Cruise’s character, Cole Trickle, drove a Mello Yello-sponsored car to victory in the Daytona 500, although the product name itself is never verbally mentioned in the movie. That livery went on to become a real NASCAR paint scheme the following year, when driver Kyle Petty drove with Mello Yello sponsorship in the Winston Cup Series.