February 19: Cracker Jack Prizes

cracker jackWe’ve got a quick one today. According to various internet reports, although disputed by Cracker Jack own website,  it was on this day in either 1912 or 1913 that Cracker Jack began placing prizes in every box of the popular mix of candy coated popcorn and peanuts. One of the first major prizes to appear in Cracker Jack were baseball cards for players from the American, National and Federal Leagues.

After the baseball card promotion (which would be reprised many times over the following decades), Cracker Jack began placing toys, figurines and trinkets in the Cracker Jack boxes; many of which became much desired collectables amongst children. Unfortunately, in recent years, the Cracker Jack prizes have taken a turn for the bland, largely taking the form of pieces of paper which could barely be described as “prizes”; and since we are living in the smartphone era, modern Cracker Jack prizes come with codes for Cracker Jack’s game apps.

Outside of the prizes, Cracker Jack’s biggest claim to fame is its appearance in  Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer’s song “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.” So, in that spirit today we shall make a Peanuts And Cracker Jacks. It’s a clever little drink that mixes sweet and salty ingredients and is served in a Cracker Jack coated glass.

Peanuts And Cracker Jacks

  • 2 ounces Bourbon
  • 1 ounce Frangelico
  • 1 ounce Amaretto
  • 1/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 4 ounces soda water

Rub a lemon slice around the rim of a cocktail glass and coat the rim with crushed Cracker Jack. Pour all ingredients except the soda water into a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a highball glass with ice. Top off with soda water.

Tomorrow: Swans


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