Prohibition-era Harlem must have been awesome! You have some of the best jazz ever, the best novels ever written, some of the greatest artwork I have ever seen, and bootleggers that sold cheap and sometimes toxic liquor and moonshine at rent parties and speakeasies for as little as 25 cents a pop. Score!
Remnants of those glory days have made a comeback in New York, those remnants would be the potent liquor drinks now know as Nutcrackers that are mixed at home and sold illegally off stoops, apartment hallways, trunks of cars, and in bodegas and barbershops. I remember getting my first taste of this potent juice one hot afternoon during gay pride in the West Village. Mine came right out of a guys trunk on the corner, my friend grabbing a $5 bill out of my hand and returning with a sketchy but sealed juice bottle that I chugged way too fast! My fiending blood stream got it's liquor-crave cured fast and I immediately caught the afternoon buzz I was looking for.
Nutcrackers are a blend of various hard liquors and fruit juices that are being sold in sealed plastic bottles or Styrofoam cups for just $5 throughout NYC. You can even find delivery services now that will bring them to you anywhere in NYC at just about anytime (for an extra fee of course, I'd call this the Yuppie Nutcracker)... and I used to think it was cool that I could get Weed delivered to my door in NY.
The 'craze', which is not much of a craze at all really, people have been selling this bug juice for years now... but the now craze is a certain way for people to supplement their incomes in a lagging economy (rent party anyone!) and a way for consumers to turn a boning night on the stoop into a bit more altered and fun affair.
There are so many flavors now that you could basically mix anything you'd like and call it a nutcracker.
We tried this concoction and it did 'the job' and didn't taste so bad either:
1 shot of Smirnoff watermelon flavored vodka
2 shots of Bacardi Grand Melon
1/2 shot of Moonshine
1/2 shot of Peach schnapps
What little room that was left we filled with watermelon juice
Nutcrackers are only popular because they cost $5 and you can get them at 24 hour corner stores after the liquor store is closed... the $5 price tag helps too, they're cheap! Keep in mind, Nutcrackers are not high quality drinks and can be really dangerous, you never know what you are getting. It's only purpose is to get you drunk really fast for really cheap. Enjoy a bit of the real NY.
by Christopher Robbins