Monday, September 24, 2012

The First Dirigible departs the Hippodrome, the USS Enterprise goes Nuclear and The Aviation Cocktail

On this day in 1852, inventor Henri Giffard flew the first airship ever to be powered by a steam engine. Leaving from the Paris Hippodrome, Giffard would fly his invention (named the dirigible from the french word directable) 27 miles to Trappes, France.

While a great success that would revolutionize air travel, Giffard quickly found out that his invention was not truly directable as the steam engine was not powerful enough to travel against the wind so he was not able to make the return trip.

Unbeknownst to Giffard, he had also created one of the best known icons of the Steampunk genre.


On this day in 1960, the USS Enterprise, world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is launched. At over 1,100 feet long and weighing almost 100,000 tons, the carrier still remains one of the largest vessels in the world more than 50 years after her launch. The Enterprise played a role in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Enterprise underway in the Atlantic Ocean during Summer Pulse 2004. 

The ships's name would also play a major role in the Science Fiction genre.


The Historical Inebriant: The Aviation Cocktail


2 ounces London dry gin
2 teaspoons Maraschino*
3/4 ounce lemon juice**

Shake the gin, the Maraschino, and the fresh-squeezed lemon juice well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass and serve ungarnished.

* The colorless bitter-cherry liqueur, not the juice from the celluloidic drink-garnish.

** Strained through a fine mesh, if possible.


What is Maraschino Liqueur?:

Maraschino is a cherry flavored liqueur that is made from Marasca cherries. The pits of the cherries are included in the fermentation and contribute a slight bitter almond flavor to the clear, dry spirit. Maraschino was developed in Italy where it received its name. It was also used as one of the original preservatives for the maraschino cherries used regularly as cocktail garnishes, though today the cherries themselves are typically sweeter varieties.

The liqueur is pronounced using the Italian mare-uh-SKEE-no while the cherries are typically pronounced mare-uh-SHEE-no.


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