You got to hand it to kids — they always find interesting ways to get bent. New York City teens are apparently buying a sugary concoction of fruit punch mixed with vodka, white rum, or tequila called "Nutcracker." The sweet drinks and their frozen counterpart, "Nemo," are sold for $5 or $10 per Styrofoam cup at bodegas and barbershops, and according to the Daily News, they are quite popular among young folks. "They are poppin'. They get you sauced," said Shaquel, a 15-year-old who declined to give his last name. "Kids like them. You don't need ID to get them. It is like your first step toward drinking liquor."
The tabloid reports that bodega owners make the sweet cocktails even sweeter by using pina colada mix or putting a Jolly Rancher at the bottom of the cup — a move that youthful drinkers seem to favor. The drinks are so ubiquitous that some Harlem liquor stores even sell Nutcracker Tropical Fruit Liqueur for $25 "in a bottle decorated with the Manhattan skyline." The booze is also for sale at a Washington Heights barbershop, where owner Freddy Imperial reportedly stashes a jug behind the back tire of a Toyota Avalon in front of his Audubon Avenue store.
Daily News writers were able to purchase the drinks at several delis in Washington Heights and Mott Haven, though some retailers are wary of selling the booze to customers they don't recognize because they can get fines for peddling hard liquor. A man who declined to give his name but said he was the owner of the Juaquin Deli in Mott Haven told the tabloid he sells the drink — but only to customers over the age of 21. "C'mon, it's a shot of vodka and cup of juice. It's not that strong," said the booze seller. "It's just alcohol and juice. I've been arrested four times. They say we can't sell it in the store." Police say they are aware of "Nutcracker," but can't make it a priority. "We have other things to concentrate on," a police source said. "We can't go on a nutcracker hunt. We don't have the resources."