NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — On the streets of Harlem, everybody knows what “nutcracker” is — a powerful mix of hard liquors and fruit juices.

“People created their own drink,” one man told 1010 WINS Terry Sheridan. “Take one type of liquor, another type and you mix it together.”

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan reports

The drink was traditionally made in drums and with a base of 160 proof vodka and Bacardi 151 it packs quite the punch. Cordials, Kool-Aid and sometimes even candy was thrown in to the drink to give it some character.

While the drink, which some have compared to moonshine, has long been a staple of block parties, it has now become part of the underground economy. The sweet liquor drink is sold illegally on the streets in sealed plastic bottles or Styrofoam cups for $5.

Parents and pastors say they are worried about the drink’s potency, popularity with teens and easy availability. The summer heat and economic burn have increased its visibility in the area.

Police say officers have issued summonses to stores and individuals caught selling the drink. Also, people caught buying the drink have been issued summonses for having an open container of alcohol.

Though the drink can be found in neighborhoods in the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn, it has had widespread popularity this summer particularly in Harlem and Washington Heights.

Comments (18)
  1. ruby says:

    that’s not called nutcracker, that’s riot punch!

  2. Alford Sharpton says:

    Why haven’t I had a day of outrage about this?

  3. KMar says:

    Nutcrackers are a Harlem staple. It was probably my first drink as a teen. The first time I tried alcohol. They are just now stopping them, they have been around for so long…

    But you have to be careful because some aren’t made under the most sanitary conditions… Random people sell the drink.

  4. Ashley says:

    This is called jungle juice, perfected by college alcoholics. You’re welcome.

  5. Cmoney says:

    Better off supporting LOCAL business people who sell hooch than A holes who sell $7 lite beers at the bars.

  6. Thomas says:

    control yourselves and your families. teach them about shame
    or hit them with a shoe that always works

  7. Anthonyk says:

    In the White Suburbs we call it Jungle Juice…

  8. You Cant be serious says:

    How about craking down on the drug deals selling drugs in front of my buliding and the police sation is ONE block away!!!!

  9. Charlie Rangel says:

    This is just stupid…

  10. Mike says:

    LMAO!!!! Call for a crackdown on the unemployment rate and these people wont be out there selling it to kids.

  11. ParisFoHunded says:

    Abdullah be teaching me to hold my likkah!

    1. ericbilli says:

      to parisfohunded them young cats don’t know about Claudine

      1. Paris400 says:

        At least one cat does! Every time I can’t hold my liquor I think of Abdullah and his Nutcrackers. 🙂

  12. Dana says:

    Parents.. be JUST THAT!! PARENTS!!! Leave the Nutcracker alone… DAMN! Always messing up something good..

  13. stever says:

    I believe Darwin wrote a book about this.

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