NEW ORLEANS — Dekuyper Sour Apple Pucker “Martini”, died July 19, 2008, after much mocking and disgrace.
Born in 1997 at a lab in Deerfield, IL it spent most of its life trying to gain respect in the cocktail community and impressing sorority girls with its promise of, “you won’t taste the alcohol!” In 1999, Sour Apple Pucker and the Appletini, achieved their greatest success when the DeKuyper Pucker line of products led the U.S. cordials market with a market share of 36%. Fortune Brands Chairman Norm Wesley proclaimed, “Blockbuster successes like DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker are a result of our relentless commitment to innovation, creative marketing and our unparalleled feel for the consumer.” Shortly afterwards, the consumer, writ large, filed an injunction against Fortune Brands to prevent any further “feeling” of them.
Later in its life, the Appletini continued to strive for respectability by supplanting its Sour Apple Pucker base with Calvados, Apfelkorn, and other various ingredients drawing less scorn form people with even slightly discerning taste. These efforts proved unfruitful when everyone collectively realized there were innumerable better drinks to try and that putting it on the menu merely attracted the sort of people you’d really rather stayed in the sorts of places where a Jaegermeister shot dispenser was a desired, and well used, fixture.
Surviving the Appletini are its brothers, Mangotini, Nectarini, Flirtini, Crantini and countless cousins ascribing to themselves [color]tini monikers. Fortune Brands is on record as stating that since the death of the twice-named “Hot Brand of the Year” it will now seek to inject Wild Island Blue Pucker in its seat of popularity. This is generally derided and scorned.
The memorial services were held at 12:00 am, Sunday, July 20th with a funeral procession from 100 Canal Street to the front of Cafe Giovanni at 117 Rue Decatur in New Orleans. There was brilliant and uplifting music played in a classic jazz funeral style and a well-attended processional of the casket with Robert Hess in the vanguard. The event was sponsored by Plymouth Gin, Contemporary Cocktails, and Tales of the Cocktail. After the processional attendees were invited to enjoy drinks and scantily clad ladies in Cafe Giovanni where a “Bartender’s Breakfast” was held. Unfortunately, the talented ladies likely couldn’t be seen due to the number of celebrants trying to get a real, true, non-floor polish-infused, drink from the veteran and highly regarded bartenders. There was also dancing in the street; it was very Martha and the Vandellas.
Memorials may be made by going to your local liquor or package store and buying something without ‘Pucker’ listed on the label and without any Red No. 5, Yellow No. 7, or Blue No. 2 added and mixing yourself a fine drink. You can also read more about this event at Off the Presses.
Gabriel Szaszko is a mixological obsessive in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He publishes Cocktailnerd and writes for Oklahoma Magazine.