A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 16, 2006
Texas Sunrise (Big Red + tequila)

Big Red is a soda from Waco, Texas. A “Texas Sunrise” is Big Red and tequila. A “Tequila Sunrise” is tequila, orange juice, and grenadine.

Urban Dictionary
Big Red
A soda from Waco, Texas with a taste somewhat like bublegum but is flavored with a combination of lemon and orange oils, with vanilla. It can be mixed with Tequila to make Texas Sunrise.

Hand me a Big Red to wash down these ribs.
by TKE1492 Feb 8, 2005

Big Red
Welcome to Big Red, Ltd., home of America’s # 1 red soda. Based in Waco, Texas and founded in 1937, the company has expanded its distribution from three states in 1975 to over forty states and
150 markets throughout the country. Big Red, Ltd. and its wholly owned subsidiary, North American Beverages, Ltd. work through independent bottlers and distributors throughout the United States in
the sales and marketing of their respective brands.

Texas Monthly
Big Red was invented in a Waco laboratory in 1937 by Grover C. Thomsen and R.H. Roark, 52 years after Dr Pepper’s birth in the same city. It was originally called Sun Tang Red Cream Soda and was marketed exclusively in Central and South Texas and around Louisville, Kentucky. According to Big Red Ink, the company’s newsletter, “consumption of the beverage was most common away from home, during outside activities in the warm summer months.” In the late fifties Harold Jansing, then president of the San Antonio bottling plant, was playing golf when he overheard some black caddies refer to a Sun Tang as a “big red.” After a few years of hearing that, and eager to speak the lingo, he asked a caddy to bring him four big reds. The caddy returned with another brand. “That’s when I decided to change the name,” Jansing says.
Sooner or later though, babies grow up, casting aside childish attachments like red soda pop. Big Red is not much of an adult drink, in spite of the appealing idea of a Texas Sunrise (Big Red and tequila). A good part of the reason is that every bottle is loaded with its fair share of sugar and caffeine. But so what if it’s not good for you. Just ask any Texas kid. It sure tastes good.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Saturday, September 16, 2006 • Permalink