Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Dog Days of Summer...

During the hot days of summer the Greeks noticed that Sirius, the brighestest star in the Canis Major (Large Dog) Constellation, was visible at the start of the day and the end of the day. It was not long before it was being blamed for those especially hot days when, as Homer describes in the Iliad:

Sirius rises late in the dark, liquid sky
On summer nights, star of stars,
Orion's Dog they call it, brightest
Of all, but an evil portent, bringing heat
And fevers to suffering humanity.

The Romans would sacrifice a brown dog at the start of the Dog Days (July 24th through August 24th) to appease Sirius, hoping the days would not be so oppressive.

In more recent times, Brady writes in Clavis Calendarium describing dog days as when,"the Sea boiled, the Wine turned sour, Dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid..."

On this day in The Old Farmer's Almanac the Dog Days of Summer begins and will end 
August 11. 

The Historical Inebriant:  Dog Days

1 oz Headlong White Dog Whiskey
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
1 oz Dry Vermouth
1 oz Fresh Orange Juice
2 Dashes Angostora Bitters
Shake with ice and strain  Serve up or on the rocks.

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