There’s a Secret Message Hiding in Your Cocktail Umbrella.
If there’s one thing that’s a sure-fire sign of a tropical vacation, it’s a fruity drink with a cocktail umbrella sticking out of it. These paper umbrellas have become an iconic staple of beach lounging and tiki bars, but even the biggest fans of these adorable accoutrements may not realize that they hold a secret message.
These mini umbrellas are widely produced and easy to take apart (hey, they don’t have much of a purpose beyond floating around in your cocktail, after all). They’ve been around since 1932 when they were first used by Hilton Waikiki bartender Harry Yee, according to Bon Appétit, who spoke with tiki drink historian Jeff Berry.
Today, in order to make them as inexpensively as possible, manufacturers have gotten creative with the process and materials used. In fact, there’s a little bit of Chinese newspaper rolled into each one.
How to find it: Pull off the top of the umbrella and unravel the small piece of paper at the very tip of the wooden stem. Most likely you’re going to come across an old piece of news from years ago, but it’s still great bar conversation.