Illegal ‘nutcracker’ drinks skyrocket to $15 around NYC

Talk about a real kick to the groin.

Prices of alcohol are rising nationwide, even reaching the bootleg market of the Big Apple as nutcrackers — an illegal boozy beverage sold by park and beach vendors around NYC — are skyrocketing to $15 a bottle.

The summertime favorite since the 1990s — a dealer’s choice concoction of fruit juice and liquor in a plastic bottle — used to sell in 8-ounce bottles for $5 or 12-ounce bottles for $10, Kareem Middleton, a seller in Bed-Stuy, previously told The Post.

But on Sunday, Sydney Pereira, a journalist at Hell Gate, tweeted that she saw the under-the-radar drink being sold at that 50% markup inside Prospect Park.

Naturally, New Yorkers are panicking. But some say this booze inflation has been puffing up for some time now.

“This has been happening since last summer and it’s upsetting me and my homegirls,” tweeted Naomi Ramble.

Some were also quick to call out how the United States’ downbeat economy is hitting close to home with the nutcracker’s waltz to cocktail-bar prices.

“All you need to know about the veracity of a recession is right here,” wrote Vanessa Parra.

However, nutcracker affordability is a problem that’s driven locals nuts for some time. Back in the day, even $10 was astronomical, according to Twitter user Mario Ismailanji.

“Wow. I remember when these were like $5,” he posted.

Nutcracker drinks, often sold at the city’s parks and beaches on hot summer days, have reached remarkably high prices. Above, two women enjoy their nutcrackers when the boozy beverages cost less.
Eilon Paz

Rest assured, though, nutcrackers are not selling at record highs all over the city — yet.

They remain retailing at $10 in Central Park and in Washington Heights, per tweets from @cornholio562 and @ft_variations.

One user, @AkofenaBK, didn’t need liquid courage to post what she suspects is the true reason for the high markup in Brooklyn.

“Gentrified culture, calls for gentrified prices,” she wrote.

Due to pandemic supply shortages, alcohol costs nationwide have been inflating at rates that would leave anyone in a drunken stupor.

In January, Corona and Modelo announced that they expected to raise prices by 2% because of glass shortages, and breweries nationwide have had to also increase prices to combat the rising cost of aluminum.

Last fall, imported wine around NYC was uncorking to higher-than-normal prices due to transportation costs.