B52

by Lorenzo Piccoli


Nicklas Bendtner is an average football player who now plays for, or occupies one position in the bench of, Juventus FC. In Italy he first became famous last Summer, because Juventus snatched him from Fiorentina at the last minute, when he was already on a plane for Florence. But here’s another story on Bendtner which is worth telling.

For me the story starts in December 2012, when I was in Utrecht for new year’s eve 2012. It was then that Marco made me discover a cocktail named B52. It is a layered shot composed of a coffee liqueur (Borghetti or Kahlúa), an Irish Cream (Baileys Irish Cream), and a triple sec (Cointreau). Arguably, the name comes from the B-52 Stratofortress, the US bomber in use after WWII. It was a particularly appropriate cocktail, as it was invented by a bartender in Banff, Alberta. But here’s the funny story behind it. The cocktail was not really famous in Europe until 2009, when Bendtner, who by then was playing for Arsenal, changed his shirt number from 26 to 52, thus earning himself the nickname “B52” in the process. After the Dane scored the winner in a league cup tie with Liverpool on 28 October 2009, Northern London bars reported a huge surge in the popularity of the shooter. On Wikipedia you will find the story of a barmaid at The Bailey pub on Holloway Road, who made a big deal of that goal: “It was mayhem. One lanky bloke ordered shots for the whole bar after he [Bendtner] scored. I didn’t even know how to make a B52.”

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