Thursday, September 1, 2011

Nectar of North Carolina

     Each summer we are lucky enough to spend time in the great state of North Carolina.  I fell in love with this state in 1989, on my first visit to Beech Mountain.  I was consumed with an incredible peaceful, easy feeling there.  (yes, I just borrowed some lyrics)  Over the past 22 years, that feeling comes back, even stronger, each time I cross the state line.  Can't explain it.  Quite magical.  Always wonderful.

     And each year, at the end of our summer vacation, the Babe and I load up the truck with the "nectar of North Carolina"-


According to the Cheerwine website...

Born in the South. 

Created in 1917 in Salisbury, North Carolina by a general store owner named L.D. Peeler, this singular soft drink with a hint of wild cherry and a bubbly effervescence became an immediate hit. Folks from all around the county came to LD's store to give it a try. 

Soon cold cases all over North Carolina were filled with the "Nectar of North Carolina." It was known to put a smile on everyone's lips who gave it a try, and the Legend was born. 

Raised in a glass. 

Generations later, the Legend has grown larger than life. Family and friends in every state of the Union clamor for this taste that always surprises. Cheerwine is regularly spotted in such far flung places as the great wall of China. The fjords of Northern Europe. The battlefields of Iraq. 

Today, L.D.’s great grandson Cliff Ritchie leads the company, as Cheerwine officially expands to new parts of the country and continues to win loyal fans with just one sip.

     Since we cannot buy Cheerwine in South Florida, and the withdraw symptoms begin just about when we cross the Georgia border,  this year we brought home five cases, and eight 2 liter bottles.  It lasted less than a week.

     But back to this past July, while sitting on the back porch enjoying the Carolina summer, I had an epiphany (it happens once or twice a year), and came up with this awesome pairing, and one of my new favorite cocktails!

Cheers to Jack Cocktail

Pour 1-2 ounces Jack Daniels into an ice filled rocks glass.  Top with a big splash of Cheerwine.  Garnish with a lemon or lime, or even better a cherry.  Close your eyes and sip, pretend your on the back deck and still on vacation.  And if you are one of the lucky ones that can buy Cheerwine at your local grocer, know that I am jealous.

Drink happy!