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Rhode Island State Drink

Coffee Milk

Coffee Milk

Adopted in 1993.

Coffee Milk was adopted as the Rhode Island state drink in 1993.

Coffee Milk is similar to chocolate milk but is made with coffee syrup. A coffee "cabinet"is coffee milk with ice cream (a coffee flavored milk shake). The main ingredient of this shake is "coffee milk," first introduced to Rhode Islanders in the early 1920's. Coffee milk became so popular in Rhode Island that in 1993 the Rhode Island state legislature voted coffee milk as the official state drink. It's called a "cabinet"because its originator kept his blender in a "kitchen cabinet."Autocrat Coffee Syrup is the preferred syrup in Rhode Island. Autocrat of Rhode Island is a leading provider of premium coffee, syrup, and coffee extract since 1895.

Rhode Island State Drink: Coffee Milk

Coffee Milk

Then there is the all important state drink, coffee milk. It became the official drink in 1993 winning over Del's Frozen Lemonade. Some Rhode Islanders felt that the government's imprimatur should have been bestowed upon Del's Frozen Lemonade, a Cranston-based chain founded in 1948 by Angelo DeLucia, who used a recipe that his grandfather brought from Italy. However, Del's should not be missed. Mr. Delucia first made it in 1840 in Naples, Italy. He kept snow frozen in caves all year round so he could mix it with lemons and sugar for a refreshing summer drink. Delucia's son brought the recipe to the US and his great grandson invented a machine that would mass-produce the product with a regular consistency. Franchises for the frozen lemonade can be found across Rhode Island waiting to quench your thirst.

Now back to Rhode Island's official winner, coffee milk. You've had chocolate milk made with milk and chocolate syrup? Coffee milk is the same thing but with coffee syrup. Finish your lunch with a Coffee Cabinet (a coffee flavored milk shake). The main ingredient of this shake is "coffee milk," first introduced to Rhode Islanders in the early 1920's. Coffee milk became so popular in Rhode Island that in 1993 the Rhode Island state legislature voted coffee milk as the official state drink. It's called a "Cabinet" because its originator kept his blender in a "kitchen cabinet."

Autocrat Coffee Syrup is the preferred syrup in Rhode Island. Autocrat of Rhode Island is a leading provider of premium coffee, syrup, and coffee extract since 1895. A fourth-generation family business family owned and operated business for more than a century, and today with the same philosophy as when they first opened our doors of "only the best" will do. Autocrat is one of the largest coffee roasters in New England, and provides worldwide shipment of coffee flavoring, iced cappuccino and coffee extracts.

Cynthia Wall, vice president of Autocrat, a coffee producer in the Providence area, traced coffee milk's origins back to the 1930's, when enterprising diner and drugstore operators sweetened leftover coffee grounds with milk and sugar, creating a slurry extract that became as popular with children as hot coffee was with adults.

Ms. Wall said the first coffee syrup available for retail sale was a Warwick-based brand called Eclipse, which made its debut in 1938 and became known for the slogan "You'll smack your lips when it's Eclipse." Autocrat soon followed with its own version and later acquired Eclipse. The syrups were instant hits, presaging a statewide love affair with the coffee-sugar-dairy combination. (Rhode Island is among the national leaders in coffee ice cream consumption, and supermarkets offer a locally produced coffee gelatin dessert mix.)

Simply add 2 tablespoons of coffee syrup to 8 ounces of hot or cold milk. If you add ice cream to coffee milk then you are drinking a "coffee cabinet" or in outsider's terms a coffee milk frappe.

Rhode Island Law

The law designating coffee milk as the official Rhode Island state drink art is found in the State of Rhode Island General Laws, Title 42, Chapter 1042-4, Section 42-4-15

TITLE 42
State Affairs and Government
CHAPTER 42-4
State Emblems
SECTION 42-4-15

§ 42-4-15 State drink. - Coffee milk is hereby designated as the official state drink for the state.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1993, ch. 466, § 1.)

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