Friday, September 29, 2017

Origins of the Rum & Coke Combination (Cuba Libre)

“Un Cuba Libre por favor”— you would think I’m chanting the motto of a revolution, but simply I am ordering a drink, and a great one at that.  However, a lot of people based out of the States may better know it as a “Rum and Coke”.  
The “Cuba Libre” is a cocktail beloved by the Cubans, with its roots sprouting from Cuba (as spoiled by the name).  The cocktail asks for a simple combination of 3 things: a Coca Cola (or coke if you prefer), ½ a lime (either as a garnish or freshly squeezed into your drink), and rum of course.  As you’re speaking to a Cuban, I obviously recommend my favorite of all rums, also beloved by my culture, Bacardí.
Well did you know that the “Cuba Libre” (alias Rum and Coke) that you’re drinking has roots dating back to the mid-19th century?  Pretty cool, huh?  You’re indirectly sipping on some history right there!  Well when I began, I mentioned that ordering a “Cuba Libre” closely resembles a revolutionary chant—and I wasn’t completely wrong in saying that.  The name “Cuba Libre” began being used throughout the Ten Years War (1868-1878).  During this time, the Cubans took on the phrase “Por Cuba Libre” as their motto while fighting for independence from Spain.  This motto translates to “a free Cuba”.  However, at this point in time, the drink wasn’t particularly as appealing as it is today, as it was comprised of molasses, honey, and water, and something by the name of “aguardiente”, which is reported to have been a blanket name for all hard alcohol.                                
The “Cuba Libre” began using its signature Coca Cola it still uses today just 2 decades later throughout the Spanish-American War.  As the U.S. supported Cuba’s initiative for independence, American soldiers and businesses alike entered into Cuba.  One of the most prominent businesses to enter Cuba at the time was Coca-Cola in 1902.  American involvement in Cuba throughout the Spanish-American War, as well as Coca-Cola’s entry into the Cuban market helped to spread popularity of the “Cuba Libre” beyond Cuba’s borders. 
So the next time you’re ordering a rum and coke, simply ask for that lime garnish and you’ve got yourself a “Cuba Libre” and some history, no textbook necessary. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

A New England College Student's Favorite Summer Drinks & Activities

By: Gabby Boualavanh

The school year can be a stressful time with homework, jobs, and trying to figure out how many different types of meals you can make with the same ingredients. However, when summer time rolls around for a New Englander, all stress goes away. We trade in our Bean Boots for flipflops, hockey practice for the driving range, and Dunkaccinos for our favorite beach beverage. College is stressful! So, here are the top 2017 college student’s summer drinks and activities.
1.     White Claw Hard Seltzers
White Claw Hard Seltzers are a favorite among the roommates. This past year, hard seltzers have become a popular drink of choice. If you’re looking for something light, tasty, and refreshing on a hot summer day, pack a hard seltzer in the cooler for the beach.

2.     Smirnoff Ice
Be careful of getting ‘Iced’ by the person next to you. Smirnoff Ice is a great cold beverage to enjoy on a hot summer day with friends and family around the pool.

3.     Coors Lite
Post up after a long day around the camp fire with a Coors. Sit back, put your feet up and make yourself a s’more. Maybe swap your s’mores Hershey’s chocolate for a Reeses peanut butter cup instead.

4.     Mixed Drinks
College students are known for making questionable concoctions, and most of the time have no option but to be resourceful. Even the simplest of drinks are tasty. Here are a few college classics you can make with ingredients at your disposal.
·       Tito’s Vodka mixed with Nantucket Nectars orange mango juice and ice.
·       Vanilla Smirnoff, coke and ice.
·       Red Berry Ciroc (when you’re feeling fancy), cranberry juice, lime seltzer water, and ice.
·       Jose Cuervo, lemonade, sprite and ice. (Only for the brave)
·       Burnette’s Vodka and Gatorade. (So, you can stay hydrated!)
·       Captain Morgan Rum, ginger ale, and lime. (College Dark n’ Stormy)

5.     Cheers Governor
The Cheers governor game requires four things; yourself, good company, a creative mind and a cold drink. The rules are simple; have a minimum of four players and sit in a circle. One person starts the game saying 1. The numbers go all the way up to 21 and when the group reaches the number 21 everyone cheers! However, reaching the number 21 can be tricky as rules are made along the way. You go around the circle counting to the number 21. The person who reaches 21 successfully makes a new rule for the group. Example: the first round to 21, the numbers 7 and 14 are switched. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 14 and so on. You play until there are 20 rules total, a rule for each number except 21. Cheers!

6.     Giant Beer Pong
Grab 12 trash barrels and two volleyballs to enjoy a backyard game of giant beer pong. Make two teams of two and start tossing. Once you get a ball in, move that barrel out of the game. Both team members got it in on the same round? Pull both barrels away and take another turn. First team to sink their last cup are the winners.

7.     Flimsee
Similar to the concept of Kan Jam, Flimsee requires items that even a college student can scrounge up. All you need: four poles 4-6 feet tall, four plastic cups, and a frisbee. There are no set rules, however this is how we play. Put the poles into the ground or sand 16 inches apart on each side and 35 feet away from your opponent’s side. You will need one team mate on each side. Place the plastic cups on the tops of the poles. Your team receives 1 point if they throw the frisbee between the two poles, and 2 points if they hit the pole and the cup hits the ground. If your opponent can catch the cup before hitting the ground, no points are given. First team to 12 points wins!

8.     Corn Hole
And finally, the classic game of corn hole. This has been a summer favorite for a couple years and it’s a great game for the whole family to enjoy.

Sometimes New England weather can be indecisive and doing summer activities may not be an option. So, if mother nature is giving you a hard time, there’s nothing wrong with grabbing a cup of clam chowd(a) and turning a Matt Damon classic on. Enjoy!