- Garett Fisbeck
- Fruit roll up, Thunder box, Lunch Box, Zombie Box, and Doc Box at Edna's, Wednesday, March 1, 2017.
Ednas keeps two freezers behind the bar, both dedicated mostly to frosting mugs to perfection for its (and arguably Oklahoma Citys) most popular drink, The Lunchbox.
The classic cocktail is an unlikely concoction, especially for how delicious it is. Equal parts Coors Light and orange juice mixed with a shot of sweet Italian liqueur amaretto, The Lunchbox is always served in one of Ednas signature chilled mugs.
It might seem like a simple enough recipe to reproduce, but many have tried and failed to replicate the full Ednas experience. Maybe theres a down-to-earth magic between those iconic, dollar bill-stapled walls that makes The Lunchbox sweeter and good times unforgettable. Michael Whitney, grandson of the establishments legendary namesake Edna Scott, said he thinks the real magic is in those icy mugs.
A lot of people underestimate that, he said. They get home and try to make it themselves and its not the same.
The record for Lunchboxes ordered in a single day is 1,894. Ednas keeps a precise tally of how many Lunchboxes it has sold since the bar added digital registers in the mid-2000s. The total first read 1,668,622 during a recent Oklahoma Gazette visit, but before leaving, at least five additional mugs were ordered by happy patrons.
One of those patrons was Edmonds Corky Bauker, who downed his first Lunchbox sometime in the 1990s.
The only way to explain it is to drink it, he explained to two nearby friends who were drinking Lunchboxes for the first time.Tammy Lucas took over the bar after her mother Ednas death in 2014. Lucas said her mother first made The Lunchbox on accident in the early 90s while trying to mix another drink. Her mistake tasted good, so it stuck around as an infrequently ordered specialty until word-of-mouth elevated the drink to the point of local celebrity in the 2000s.
The Lunchbox eventually became so popular that bartenders literally could not make them fast enough. A separate shot glass of amaretto originally was dropped into the frosty mug, but the process was time-consuming.
We were selling too many, and we couldnt keep up, Lucas said. Someone came up with the idea of streamlining it and putting [the shot glass] inside first. It just takes too long otherwise.
A family of different variations to the drink has since sprouted up on the Ednas menu. The Docbox replaces orange juice with cranberry juice. The brightly colored Fruit Roll Up Box adds Midori watermelon and cranberry to the original recipe. The Tootsie Roll Box contains crème de cacao. More than 12 variations on The Lunchbox exist within the Ednas canon, but the best and most popular is still the founders original recipe.
For true Lunchbox maniacs, Ednas offers a growing line of merchandise that includes Lunchbox underwear and Lunchbox-flavored lip balm.
The drinks popularity spilled out of Oklahoma City to garner national attention. The Lunchbox has been featured in several food and drink publications. Country music star Keith Urban filmed his We Were Us music video with Miranda Lambert at Ednas.
Jimmy Fallon and The Roots drummer Questlove drank Lunchboxes made by famed Oklahoma-born chef Danny Bowien on The Tonight Show, an event longtime Ednas fan Bauker still fondly recalls.
Thats pretty cool to see that on TV, he said. I still watch that on YouTube every once in awhile.
With fans like Bauker, it wont be long until the official Lunchbox tally ticks past 2 million.
Print Headline: Love potion, Ednas Lunchbox has grown from a simple mistake to an unmistakable hit.