Friday, August 24, 2012

In my book - only one thing happened today, and The Vodka Press Cocktail

On this day in 1456, printer Johannes Gutenberg, would complete his greatest project - one that would revolutionize the world. In Mainz, Germany, Gutenberg would produce 180 copies of the most sought after book in Europe, the Bible, using his invention of movable type and a machine - the printing press.  The copies, referred to as the Gutenberg Bible represent a turning point in world communication.


Prior to Gutenberg, all books in Europe were copied by hand. The process was slow and expensive, limiting ownership of the written word to the wealthy and the clerics (who traditionally did most of the copying). With the printing press, books could be mass produced inexpensively, and opened up the world of knowledge to all. The boundaries of what would be printed (copied) and what would not - vanished. Gutenberg's process would be instrumental in the sharing of ideas that formed the ages of the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution.

Gutenberg's process of movable type consisted of blocks of metal with a single character etched into the top.  Blocks of letters forming words would then be placed on a press, inked, and pressed onto paper transferring the image.  With upper and lowercase letters and punctuation marks, it is estimated that 290 different master characters were needed to produce the Bible.  This technology would be used by bookmakers and newspapers well into the 20th century.

The Historical Inebriant: The Vodka Press

1.5 ounces vodka
1 part club soda or tonic
1 part Sprite or other lemon lime soda
Lime garnish
Fill a highball glass with ice. Add vodka, soda/tonic, and sprite

I had never heard of a press drink, but there are several references online.  The theory is that when you would like a Vodka (I assume it would also work with Gin) that is neither too sweet with soda or juice nor too strong on the quinine (vodka tonic) you may want to try a press where the vodka is diluted with both club soda or tonic and Sprite as a refreshing drink.

If you're partial to raspberry flavored vodka:

As always, thank you for reading this weeks posts and have a great and safe weekend!

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