Strange Brews and Beverage News: Babycinnos and Bug-Booze

Strange Brews and Beverage News: Babycinnos and Bug-Booze

Typically, I envision writing this column as an adherence to “newsy-er” beats with just a splash of strangeness. But there seems to be a plethora of oddness brewing in the beverage world these days, or at least, I’ve been digging up more of it of late, so this time around you’re about to be besieged with a healthy dose of slightly more off-kilter “news” than usual. Grab a drink and dive in…

Recently discovered to be trending in New York, as reported by the Brooklyn Daily, is the increasing amount of caffeine-related (but not necessarily caffeinated) products being sold to rug rats. Dubbed the “babycinno,” an imported fad from Australia, the little tykes are drinking up steamed milk, gourmet hot chocolates, decaf lattes, and the like at an increasingly alarming rate to some baristas, who claim it’s “wasteful” and can be served “at dangerous temperatures.” My advice to these uptight hipsters: don’t cry over spilt milk, babyristas, and cool your steam-jets.

Elsewhere, Starbucks has, at a few locations nationwide, been trying out its new Trenta, a thirty-one ounce beverage, purportedly only intended for iced tea and coffee. However, some “rogue” stores have been found to serve other beverages in these gas-station-sized receptacles. Inevitably, somebody decided to try and order the most grossly over-indulgent and disgustingly expensive drink possible at the massive chain. He survived; his claims at over-caffeination, however, may have been a little hyperbolic. Perhaps he could have better tracked his caffeine intake by using the app for that.

It should hardly be a surprise that alcohol consumption can make you act a little crazy. Making news recently are a couple of extreme cases. First, in Florida, the Huffington Post reports that a pair of penniless and inebriated ladies began offering preemptive Mardi Gras celebratory gestures in exchange for more intoxicants. When denied, head-butts, fisty-cuffs, knife fights, and assault-and-battery charges ensued. Down the road a ways, over in Nashville, a lady with a thirst for country music, companionship, and fermented grapes managed to find her way into Kenny Chesney’s estate, claiming she had traveled across the state to meet at his request. With her, when she was found hiding in a restroom on the property, were “at least one, if not two” bottles of wine.

While we’re on the subject of alcoholic intake, there’s a little weird science news brewing in the unlikely field of fruit fly larvae health. It appears, according to a report based on the findings of a self-proclaimed “fruit fly enthusiast,” that when the larvae of the fruit fly become infected with parasites, they seek out fermented fruit, risking death by intoxication, but averting the peril of demise by being eaten from the inside out. Puts a new spin on the phrase “drink to your health,” I suppose. At least if you’re a fly.

But on to things that you, the reader, can actually find useful to imbibe. Or, in the case of White Castle, perhaps, continue to imbibe. The chain, along with other fast-food retailers, is now test-marketing both beer and wine at many of their locations, just in case you weren’t drunk enough when you made the crave-case decision late at night. There’s a couple of real gems in the Wall Street Journal’s report, including the assertion of one employee: “Wine? At White Castle?” she asks, “People would try it, eagerly. It’s ironic.”

And tapped wines are now become popular, according to the Vancouver Sun. For the “moderately priced” wine that does not require aging, kegs of wine present a cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and quality enhancing experience for both proprietors and patrons. These wines, which require little-to-no-aging in the bottle, benefit from enhanced freshness in the keg.

In the realm of sugary drinks, which has been under increased scrutiny especially since the First Lady initiated her youth fitness programs, a clinical trial suggests that replacing your high-fructose-corn-syrup-injected beverages with still water is an effective first step in dietary change, and is effective for some weight loss.

And as long as we’re on the topic of wellbeing, Greatist has an ahem healthy dose of information regarding the distinction between regular, light, and low-carb beers. Notwithstanding the frequent misconception that light beer is actually somehow healthier (it can mean lower in alcohol percentage, lower in calories, or sometimes both – there is no standard definition across different brands) and that low-carb beer is less potent (it’s not, necessarily), it’s interesting to note that the choice of a dark beer may offer other peripheral health benefits over lighter options, including a higher iron and antioxidant content.

Finally, a few quick notes on product release/revamps. Chronic brand hemp iced tea (that’s right, it’s brewed hemp) is expanding its market to Hawaii. There’s certainly a joke there somewhere, but seeing as how I’ve never brewed hemp nor been to Hawaii, I’ll leave that to the reader’s discretion.

Additionally, Coca-Cola is going through some fairly major re-branding for both it’s Diet Coke labels (revitalized by noted fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg as mentioned by Jackie Varriano in her Red Carpet-Worthy Munchies article) and Barq’s root beer bottles.

Photo by: Adam Selwood