Saturday, April 28, 2012

A reason to revisit Toronto

I visited Toronto when I was young, in school, and thought I could hold my liquor.
Then I did the tour of Yonge Street and never returned.
This, however, makes me want to revisit.

Post for Friday, April 27 - Paradise Lost and the Connecticut Crippler

My apologies, I thought I had set this to automatically post to the blog on Fri, that never happened, (for reasons I assume are Pilot Error), so here is Friday's.

Hopefully you have been enjoying National Poetry Month (along with a nice glass of Port or, with some of the earlier poets, Absinthe) as there are only a few days left in April!

To browse through some stanzas:


On this day in 1667, – The blind and impoverished the statesman John Milton (who was by then both blind and impoverished) sold the copyright of Paradise Lost for £10.

Some Local Note:

On this day in 1777, The Battle of Ridgefield took place as the British invasion force (reaching as far inland as Danbury) engaged and defeated Continental Army regulars (including General Benedict Arnold) and militia irregulars at Ridgefield, Connecticut.  The war would continue, but the British forces would never
reach that far into Connecticut again.

The Historical Inebriant:  The Connecticut Crippler


  • 7 oz  7-up
  • 2 oz Sour Mix
  • 5 oz Vodka

Shake well with cracked ice in a cocktail shaker, then pour into a chilled cocktail glass.

As always, have a great and safe weekend!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

There is no news...Bella Notte

Per Wiki:

1803 – Thousands of meteor fragments fall from the skies of L'Aigle, France; the event convinces European science that meteors exist.

I don't know why I find that so funny, but I do. I also have a horrible cold, so in between
coughing fits and chills, I find a lot of things funny. If this blogger interface supported the
Comic Sans font, I'd be using it right now.

What was not that funny is when I went through my usual suspects for historical news and found nothing compelling to write about that didn't require devoting 3+ hours of writing.  I write slow and think slower.  So forgive me if I will use something I passed on last week for the "Love of the Game" posts.

On April 18th 1930, the BBC's evening news program started out as follows: "Good evening. Today is Good Friday.  There is no news."  Piano music then played for a few minutes and then the regulary scheduled programming was resumed.

What do you call a day with no news, well I'll tell you what I call it, or rather drink to it!

The Historical Inebriant:  The Bella Notte


  • 2 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz Solerno blood orange liqueur
  • 1/4 oz maraschino liqueur

Shake well with cracked ice in a cocktail shaker, then pour into a chilled cocktail glass.

FYI - Summer is coming!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Vive la France75

In 1792, France was being invaded by armies from Prussia and Austria. On April 25th of that year the mayor of Strasbourg requested of his guest Rouget de Lisle (a captain of the engineers and amateur musician) to compose a song "that will rally our soldiers from all over to defend their homeland that is under threat."  That evening, Rouget de Lisle wrote what we now know as La Marseillaise.

I became familiar with this French anthem from this scene of a truly great American movie.

Featured in the movie is a wonderful drink that blends in with the theme of the song and movie.
(The French 75 mm field gun was a quick-firing field artillery piece first adopted in 1898)

The Historical Inebriant:  The French75

  • 2 ounces London dry gin
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 5 ounces Brut champagne
Shake well with cracked ice in a chilled cocktail shaker, then strain into a Collins glass half-full of cracked ice and top off with champagne.

I was misinformed:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April is Math Awareness Month...

(I don't make this suff up...honestly)

Mathmatics, the language of the Universe, is spoken on many levels.  There is Chaos theory, String theory, and my personal specialty Drunk Math.  In DM, your formulas and theories will all be perfect, but only  for a specific time period (mostly from one hour into happy hour till roughly 1am) after which they turn into nonsensical gibberish (which your sober friends - if you have any - will say was their true origin to begin with).

The art of drinking requires some true math skills that are very familiar to all of us.  It's when you start to use Drunk Math that you can sometimes run into problems.  Being very familiar with DM I can offer some useful tips:

  • Follow a Formula - When mixing drinks there is a huge difference between " add 2 oz Meyers Rum" and the less specific "Pour the Meyers until your arm gets tired"
  • Keep Count - "Did I add one bottle or two bottles of Meyers to that punch?"
  • Keep track of YOUR numbers - "One shot, Two shot, Three shot, Floor!" is not  a good example of keeping track.  Neither is "Wow, two drinks and I feel pretty good! In
    Drunken Math Theory I should be able to handle five of these easy!"

When I say keep track of your numbers I mean specifically, your weight, the ounces of alcohol you've consumed, the proof of the alcohol and the time period you've had those drinks over.
These you will need to calculate your Blood Alcohol Content level.  YOUR number.

You could follow this formula found on

Or, you could just download one of the 1,345 apps that do this right onto your phone. 

One of the best things about drinking is being able to do it again the next day!


On this day in 1898, the United States declared war on Spain after an explosion aboard the battleship Maine (anchored in Havana Harbor) caused it to sink with the loss of 266 men. The Spanish-American War had begun.

The Historical Inebriant:  Remember the Maine
(Video attached)


  • ¼ ounce Cherry Heering
  • ¾ ounce Dolin Rouge Vermouth de Chambéry
  • 2 ounces Old Overholt rye
  • Spray of Pernod absinthe
  • Luxardo Marasche cherry, slightly wet

Rinse chilled coupe glass with 2 dashes of absinthe or coat glass with 1 atomizer spray of absinthe. In chilled mixing glass, combine Cherry Heering, Dolin vermouth and Old Olverholt rye and stir with cracked ice for 80 turns (1 ½–2 minutes). Strain contents of mixing glass into coupe. Garnish with cherry.


This link doesn't mention Drunk Math, but it's still pretty interesting

BAC level modelling for those who do understand Chaos/String Theory

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Man in the Arena

On this day in 1910, Former President Theodore Roosevelt gave his "The Man in the Arena" speech at the Sorbonne in Paris.  In a world with just a few fragile democracies at that time, his words were a beacon of light.

The most often quoted section from which the speech gets its title is as follows:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
The section just preceding that, gives a bit more insight into Roosevelts thoughts:
"There is no more unhealthy being, no man less worthy of respect, than he who either really holds, or feigns to hold, an attitude of sneering disbelief toward all that is great and lofty, whether in achievement or in that noble effort which, even if it fails, comes to second achievement. A cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticise work which the critic himself never tries to perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life's realities - all these are marks, not as the possessor would fain to think, of superiority but of weakness. They mark the men unfit to bear their part painfully in the stern strife of living, who seek, in the affection of contempt for the achievements of others, to hide from others and from themselves in their own weakness. The rôle is easy; there is none easier, save only the rôle of the man who sneers alike at both criticism and performance."

Like the man himself, the speech is bigger than life, barrel-chested and in your face.  It challanges the prevailing thoughts head on and gives a road-map to a world the way it should be, aggressive, honest, achieving, and fair - calling on each and every one of us to step into that arena, sleeves rolled up.

If you have the opportunity please read it in its entirety here:

The Historical Inebriant:  The Rough Rider*


  • 1 ½ oz  Havana Club Blanco Cuban Rum**
  • ½ oz  Tanqueray gin  
  • 1 oz  Roses Kola Tonic  
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters 

Shake over ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

*     In 1898, Theodore Roosevelt resigned his post as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to volunteer to head a cavalry unit that would fight in Cuba against Spain in the 1898 Spanish-American War. The unit was eventually known as "Roosevelt's Rough Riders" taken from Buffalo Bill's famous rodeo show "Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World".

**  Since we cannot get Cuban rum in this country (see Libre Cuba post of 2/7/12) use a comparable high quality white rum

Sunday, April 22, 2012

THI turns Three

Three months ago The Historical Inebriant was conceived while on vacation in Jupiter, Fl.
What started out as a miscommunication  (more on that at the one year anniversary)
has proven to be a great adventure and a wonderful learning experience.

I remember the faces of some of my friends as I tried to describe first, what a blog is...and the idea behind it.  "I'll take a random historical event, write about it, and in some convoluted way, tie it to a drink! A historical reason to inebriate Monday through Friday with a drink you may not have heard of, but might want to try... genius right?"  Ah, had I a camera with me for those moments.

The other slight hindrance was my being on the wagon from January to April (something I do every year).  So while trying to hold to my vow of sobriety (all my other vows ended years ago) I was writing about drinking, researching drinks and tweeting about happy hours.  Yes, those were fun times.

Now that I am back to true form, I am going trying some of the drinks featured on the blog, I would love to make a video of my friends and I during that process!  But since I am truly lazy, I generally just go to one of my fav bars and have them do it (see g/r/a/n/d shout out post).

A heartfelt thank you to all of you who read this faithfully and enjoy it.  THI went over 1,000 views earlier this month for which I am very happy considering its very slow start (I blame top management).

Also, Thank you all who just stumble across from time to time and a thank you to all who stop in to get the twitter feed.  Funny how the feed is as popular as the blog (will try not read too much into that).

Thank you also Russia, Germany, UK and India for your support.  Please feel free to comment on the posts, email us, or DM on twitter.  Looking forward to spending many more good times with you all!

The Historical Inebriant

Earth Day 2012 - Reduce the Use...or...Just how big are your feet?

Earth Day 2012
Reduce the Use!

Funny how we all know how much we weigh but ask someone what they think their ecological footprint is and they look at you as if you have four heads!

So many of our seemingly innocuous everyday choices have a strong effect our planet. Questions like "How will I get to work today?" or "What should I eat for dinner tonight?" or even "What new clothes should I buy for Summer?" have a direct impact on how sustainable our planet will be in the short term.

If knowledge is power, then becoming aware is a starting point for power. Take a moment to view one of the many sites that measure your footprint and find out just how much of Earth you are responsible for. I like this site since it's simple, but covers quite a few areas and gives some suggestions that might be overlooked.

In 2003, Pearl Jam purchased a 1,400 square-mile area of rainforest in Madagascar to preserve it and to offset the estimated 5,700 tons of greenhouse gas emissions they would emit on their tour of North America.

More on this to come tomorrow...