JT's Orange County Cooler at JT Schmid's, Our Drink of the Week
Edwin Goei

JT's Orange County Cooler at JT Schmid's, Our Drink of the Week

I'm a sucker for dishes and drinks named after the place the restaurant or bar happens to be located in. If I'm at a sushi joint, and there's a roll titled in honor of the city, street or neighborhood it's in, I'm ordering it. This has not always been the wisest of decisions. I was in South Carolina once and had a sudden craving for sushi. I eventually found what was the only Japanese restaurant in town. From the menu, I ordered the South Carolina Roll. Little did I know that a better name should have been the Gastrointestinal Distress Special; whatever microorganism rode along with the raw fish I ate put me off sushi for a while.

That experience has not soured me on continuing my predilection for eponymous drinks and dishes because it usually means the item was executed with special care and as a matter of local pride. Brü Grill & Market in Lake Forest mixes a drink called Orange County Sour, which is lovingly crafted, even if the only citrus fruits involved are lime and grapefruit.

The same goes for JT Orange County Cooler. JT Schmid's uses a slice of orange, not to mention a pineapple and a cherry, as garnish for a drink that contains more peach flavor than it does orange. It is, for all intents and purposes, an alcoholic fruit punch made with Stoli Peach Vodka, Peach Schnapps, and pineapple and cranberry juices. It tastes similar to what would result if you mixed up Hawaiian Punch with vodka, but with better results and less shame.


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