Friday, May 25, 2012

One Day, the man on the Moon, L'Chaim

May is Jewish American Heritage Month. To honor the many contributions made to American society, we give the traditional toast "L'Chaim" meaning "to life". Matisyahu, the American Hasidic musician who fuses reggae with alternative rock, is featured in ads for L'CHAIM vodka.  His song "One Day" speaks to the unity of cultures worldwide and to the end of war.*

The Historical Inebriant:  L'CHAIM Cranberry Martini   
(it's Kosher - it must be good for you!)


  • 1 (1.5 fluid ounce) L'CHAIM Kosher Vodka
  • 1/2 fluid ounce orange liqueur
  • 1/2 fluid ounce dry vermouth
  • 2 (1.5 fluid ounce) cranberry juice
  • 1 cup ice
  • cranberries

Combine vodka, orange liqueur, vermouth, cranberry juice, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously to chill. Pour into martini glasses, and serve. Garnish with cranberries.

*For my local friends, you can see Matisyahu live at the July 12th concert of Alive at Five - Stamford, CT


On this day in 1961, President John F. Kennedy announces his goal to put a
"man on the Moon"
before the end of the decade. 


In case you were wondering what ever happened to Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms
see our (April 16th post)

On this day in 1521, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, issues the Edict of Worms, declaring
Martin Luther a heretic and banning his writings.  We haven't heard the last from Martin Luther!

The Untold 411:
Booze, Babes and Fish Barrels - What you didn't know about Martin Luther


As always, have a great and safe weekend, and for my Jewish friends - 

Shabbat Shalom!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Manhattan, Manhattans, Moroccans, McSorley's

The debate continues about the exact dollar amount paid for which pieces of land and from whom and what rights/titles were given, but in on this day in 1626 Peter Minuit purchased Manhattan from the Indians.

All I know is that moments after the papers were signed, the first bar must have opened. Many, many bars have opened their doors since then and here is an interesting article on some of the oldest done by New York magazine. (Included in the article are: Bridge Café, Ear Inn, Chumley's, McSorley's Old Ale House, P.J. Hanley's) 

Although we've previously covered the Manhattan drink (see our 2/21 post), here is a very convenient twist.  

The Historical Inebriant:  High West Manhattan


  • Ice
  • Cocktail Glass
  • One Cherry
  • High West 36th Vote Barreled Manhattan

Combine ingredients, drink.

The High West Barreled Manhattan Story:

The 36th Vote™ commemorates Utah's role as the deciding vote to end Prohibition. In fact, the Utah delegation WANTED to cast the final vote. "No other state shall take away this glory from Utah" proclaimed the leader of the state delegation and president of the Utah League for Prohibition Repeal. On December 5th 1933 at 5:32 PM EST, satisfied that the thirty-fifth state (Pennsylvania) had ratified, Utah delegate S.R. Thurman cast the last ballot for Utah and the 18th amendment's fate was sealed. High West Distillery chose the Manhattan for this celebration because of its classic appeal and timelessness - it's also our favorite mixed drink! We used the pre-Prohibition recipe of two parts rye whiskey to one part sweet vermouth and two dashes of bitters. We then married the mixture in the rye whiskey's American white oak barrel for 90 days, allowing the flavors to integrate in a well-balanced harmony of the rye's spiciness, the vermouth's herbs, and the bitters' complexity. We hope you take time to celebrate Repeal Day and thank Utah for its role in ending the Noble Experiment.

Insert shameless plug for one of my favorite local establishments where I first tried this drink:

If you're ever in Stamford, CT, please stop in and see my friends at The Fez. There's always High West behind the bar, fantastic Moroccan fare on the tables and great live music on the stage.  Tell'em an Inebriant sent you.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Animal Magnetism, Life Force Fluids and a Hypnotic Martini

On this day in 1734, Franz Anton Mesmer, was born. Mesmer, an Austrian physician, originated a theory of energy transference that takes place between all animate and inanimate objects, a theory that he termed "Animal Magnetism". This "life force fluid" or magnetism could be activated by a magnetized object but also manipulated by any trained person, which came in handy since Mesmer believed that illness was merely a blockage of this life energy in it's movement through the body.

Mesmer's treatments included passing his hands repeatedly over a person's body to break up any blockages and the use of magnetized objects or magnetized water either in bottles or sprayed on the patient.  Very powerful verbal suggestions were also part of the treatments.  Mesmer would ask his patients to visualize their ailments as a fluid and to feel the sensation of this fluid draining out them, taking their ailments with it.

The repeated passing of hands or an object over the body and the verbal suggestions sometimes placed the individual into a suggestive (or as we would refer to it now, hypnotic) trance.  The term given to this, which is still used today, is mesmerized.

The Historical Inebriant:  The Hpnotiq Martini


  • 4 oz Hpnotiq
  • 2 oz Malibu
  • 2 oz pineapple juice

Simply add all three ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass. If you want to, with a skewer of pineapple chunks and maraschino cherry.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May is Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month

I don't know how many times I have said this in the past, but - I do not make this stuff up:

Per Wiki:

Borderline personality disorder (BPD), (according to the ICD-10 World Health Organization disease classification, Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, Borderline Type), is a psychological condition marked by a prolonged disturbance of personality function, characterized by unusual variability and depth of moods. These moods may secondarily affect cognition and interpersonal relations.[n 1]

Ok, I don't know about you but, a psychological condition marked by a prolonged disturbance of personality function, characterized by unusual variability and depth of moods that affects cognition and interpersonal relations, pretty much defines most of the people I am in contact with on any given day.

I started looking for a drink and noticed that AMC has a site for Mad Men that lists drinks which I assume appeared in the show. I chose the Harpoon, since it remined me of the character Quint from Jaws, played spectacularly by Robert Shaw - now there was a guy with Borderline Personality Disorder.

The Historical Inebriant:  The Harpoon

  • 1½ oz vodka
  • ½ oz orange liqueur
  • ¼ oz lime juice
  • Dash of cranberry juice
  • Slice of lime 

Add dash of cranberry juice. Pour liquors and lime juice into mixing glass. Shake briskly and pour into martini glass. Add slice of lime to garnish.

By the way, other actors that I like are Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Rapture Day, The Redemption Cocktail, and the stone Clock

On this day in 2011, I remember very well what I was doing.

We all saw the signs (no, not signs of the second coming - these signs) all over town and heard the news reports of people being very busy getting their affairs in order and saying goodbye to friends because of course - they were going to get the call.  I was also busy - checking out the weather reports to see if my Rapture party would get rained out!

I found a copy of the email that was sent out to my friends and thought I would attach it here:


Since the Rapture (marking the beginning of the end of days) will occur this Saturday, (and I know how busy our schedules are for the weekend), so I was thinking it might be nice to get everyone together on Friday so those who get left (and you all know who you are) can say a last goodbye to that one person we know will get the call. I know they would do the same for us at Armageddon (Oct 21st), but since they won’t be here...let's send them off with a drink! 

I propose a happy hour at (where else) Paradise Bar and Grill for the final sendoff. The weather should be awful but in Paradise you can be indoors or out!

Dress: End of Times appropriate, but nothing you wouldn’t mind leaving behind
Time:  The Beginning is the end is the Beginning, but if you want to be more specific
             5pm until the Clouds get really, really dark

Tips for Rapture Day (Saturday)

1. Avoid Air Travel - The person flying your plane at the start might
    not be in it when it lands. In fact, avoid all public transportation!

2. Avoid Surgery - That really great doctor you’re always talking about
    just might be “On Call” the moment he opens you up.

3. Get gas early - While the oil execs won’t be raptured, your local
    gas station owner might be, best to be safe on this one.

There was no drink of the day with that email, but if there were it would probably be...

The Historical Inebriant:  Redemption Old Fashioned
            (also a funny article if you want to take a look)

  • 2 oz Redemption Rye 
  • Sugar Cube 
  • Dash Angostura Bitters 
  • Orange Peel 

At the bottom of an Old Fashioned glass, splash bitters on a sugar cube. Muddle (smash lightly) until sugar dissolves. Pour rye (or bourbon, rum or cognac) over the sugar. Twist orange peel to get oils to spray into glass, and plop orange peel in. Nurse slowly with a glassy-eyed stare in your safe room as chaos consumes the streets.


As we now all know, the day came and went, and life went on pretty much the same.....

But...we're not out of the woods yet...

Much more to come on this...much more!