BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Despite the nation’s unemployment rate holding at a solid 7.8%, artisanal, organic tonic water is shaping up to be the hottest food and drink trend of 2013. Eschewing the label of “luxury item,” small-scale producers of the beverage are calling the product “a drinking necessity,” and sales are starting to indicate that the market is in agreement.
Violet Cortlandt, owner of the cottage-industry tonic Impérialisme, explained her belief that “locally-produced, carefully curated beverages are a right, not a privilege,” adding, “is food that isn’t organic and thoughtfully sourced even really food anymore? I thought we had moved past that.” While crippling debt and disappointing rates in job creation continue to worry the nation, many explained that they felt “entitled to” the new beverage, which blends hand-crushed quinine with lightly roasted sugar cane juice.
“We offer four locally created varietals,” Cortlandt explained, proffering thimble-sized samples to a crowd of chic job seekers at a networking event. “We work in small, artisanal batches: there’s our Original; then Gochujang, which is quite spicy; Pickled Kale; and Smoked Sage. The kale and sage are both grown on urban rooftops and hand-picked by virgin refugees.”
Calling the drink “really worth blowing my unemployment check on,” a group of underemployed college graduates discussed the merits of knowing precisely where their tonic came from. “I really like knowing that the cinchona trees that produce my quinine were organic,” one unemployed neuroscience major clarified.
Only a few people seemed to offer any resistance to the concept. “It’s a recession, people. We should be swapping recipes for peasant food: dal bhat, red beans and rice, minestrone soup—not touting ‘sourced’ indulgences. Since when were we owed so much luxury? This is ridiculous.”