Hangovers have been around forever, so it’s not surprising that one of the most popular branches of amateur medicine is the hangover “cure.”
The Lusitania, the Kaiser Wilhelm, the Titanic—before World War I, the great ocean liners were the peak of traveling adventure, luxury, and technology. It was the age of the “greyhounds of the seas.”
Their British and German owners competed for speed, for luxury, and for bragging rights; the twenty years between 1895 and 1915 saw the launches of ever-larger ships, each more lush and decadent than its predecessors. The story of the Titanic provides one of the world’s best-known cautionary tales about the dangers of overweening pride in technology, but, oh, that was a handsome, luxurious, and well-fed ship—for all of the five days it stayed afloat.
As it turns out, the Titanic had a sister ship; Continue reading “The Olympic Cocktail”
“Always learn from your mistakes.”
So our parents admonished us, and I had plenty of opportunities for learning.
My favorite kind of mistake is the kind where the process of “getting it wrong” leads to something unexpectedly good.
My most recent case in point: the champagne-and-cognac Brut Nature cocktail.
I would wager that most people have never encountered a crusta, or even heard of one.
So what is that thing? And why should we care?
It’s June, 1860, just months before the start of the American Civil War. The Pony Express has just made it possible to send a letter overland to San Francisco in just a few days; Abraham Lincoln is busy getting himself elected President of the United States; and Jerry Thomas is writing The Bon-Vivant’s Companion and working at New York’s 622 Broadway bar. Continue reading “The Japanese Cocktail”
Charles Kerwood was an American fighter pilot with the Lafayette Flying Corps during WWI (until he crashed), and later flew supplies and arms for the French Foreign Legion in Morocco (until he crashed).
He’s also the inventor of a cocktail, the Burnt Fuselage. Continue reading “Stiff Steadier: the Burnt Fuselage Cocktail”
Historians tell us that humans have been mixing medicinal tonics for ages—and trying to get past their intrinsic bitterness for just as long.
This age-old interest in making medicines palatable is one of the things that led to the mixture of bitters into a glass of sweetened brandy or whiskey. Continue reading “Bitters and Brandy—the Alabazam Cocktail”
The Stinger doesn’t show up on the annual “fashionable drinks” lists any more, but cocktail historians tell us it was once a very tony after dinner drink.
A simple combination of brandy and white crème de menthe, a properly mixed Stinger is at once sweet, satisfying, and refreshing. Continue reading “A taste of the Gilded Age: the Stinger”
Are you ready to take on one of the grandest, and most insidious, punches of all?
It’s whiskey, brandy, rum, and Champagne all bundled up together. The result is Chatham Artillery Punch, a tricksy and seductive charmer—an iron fist in a velvet glove. Continue reading “The velvet glove — Chatham Artillery Punch”