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17-Year Cicadas Could Bring Swarm of New Cocktails to Local Bars

A new take on getting a buzz?

While some may view the coming onslaught of cicadas as a nuisance, others see it as a new opportunity to drink--creatively.

Every 17 years, the Magicada Brood II cicadas swarm some portions of Maryland. Last seen in 1996, these are expected to begin emerging from their Rip Van Winkle-like slumber sometime this month or next.

While there have been cicadas in the area more recently (Brood X made an appearance in 2004), Brood II is expected to come in much greater numbers. Some organizations estimate this year’s swarm to be as high as hundreds of thousands of cicadas per acre, offering enterprising bartenders a virtually endless supply of “test subjects” to devise new and exciting recipes.

Highlights of the drinks from 2004 featured in The Washington Post include:

  • Kramerbooks’ “Cicada Cocktail,” comprised of Jack Daniel’s amaretto and cream, with two candied cicadas impaled on toothpicks.
  • The Degrees Bar’s version attempted to replicate the cicadas’ bright colors, using vodka, pineapple juice, a splash of Blue Curacao and a large red cherry to simulate their eyes.
  • The Helix Lounge’s spin on a childhood favorite - the Bug Juice martini, with Bacardi Limon, cranberry juice, sour mix and Sprite with a plastic insect on the glass’ rim.

If the idea of such cocktails bugs you but you want to read more about cicadas, the Nature Conservancy offers Seven Reasons to Embrace the Cicada Swarmageddon.

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