Peach schnapps, sex on the beach, and piña colada may be familiar drinks to anyone who's spent an afternoon (or a whole day) getting plastered on an ocean-side boardwalk, but they're also specialty desserts at Ray's Boozy Cupcakes, Etc, a bakery in Voorhees, New Jersey run by a 93-year-old World War II veteran named Ray Boutwell.
The Navy veteran was recently the focus of a profile by ABC News, in which he explained his decision to open a bakery devoted to infusing cupcakes with booze.
In a separate interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Boutwell said that he got the idea for his namesake bakery from a waiting room magazine at his cardiologist's office, and while most of us would probably shrug and say “hmm, that's interesting,” before heading into our appointment, Boutwell decided to run with the idea.
“I got the idea when I was 92,” the still-spry renaissance man and former mess cook in the Navy told ABC news. “My daughter of course was quite upset that I was doing something like this at my age. I cashed in all my funds, mortgaged my house. I've done just about everything in my lifetime. I've built houses, I've built workshops. I learned to be a portrait painter. At 93, I'm still living. I have a lot of energy, and my wife used to say 'Ray, you never sit still.'”
In addition to telling ABC that he ran a bakery with his wife from 1972 to 1999, Boutwell also grew up in a home filled with the smell of fresh-baked goods, where his mother would make loaves of bread every other day, and other deserts and pastries throughout the year, he told the Inquirer.
So far, Rays Boozy Cupcakes has been a rousing a success. The comment section on ABC's video interview with Boutwell is filled with praise, from “My husband and I shared some cupcakes. They were the best we ever had,” to “They are delicious! Peach Schnapps was soooooo good!” and my personal favorite “Omg I'm obsessed with this rockstar. I want to go there… he's amazing”
And it's true, not just that the cupcakes look amazing, they do, but that Boutwell is a goddamn rockstar.
Not a drinker himself, Boutwell bought the book Bartending For Dummies to familiarize himself with cocktail recipes for his cupcakes, and joked with ABC about how his lack of drinking went over with his fellow sailors while he was in the Navy: “I used to drink soda, and then finally one sailor found out I was just drinking soda, and he says 'what the hell kind of a sailor are you, you don't drink!?”