Friday, June 8, 2012

Ignorance is Strength, World Ocean Day and the Blue Ocean Drink




On this day in 1949, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is published. 

 Time for a big swig of Victory Gin I say!


June 8th is World oceans day. Celebrate - Enjoy - Protect

The Historical Inebriant:  Blue Ocean          
(Ciroc is a grape based vodka, so definitely a different flavor here)


  • 1 oz. Ciroc Vodka (25 oz. per bottle)
  • .5 oz. blue curacao
  • .25 oz. grapefruit juice
  • splash(es) simple syrup

Shake with crushed ice. Strain into champagne flute. Garnish with a white orchid.

As always, have a great and safe weekend!  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Free Friuli, Redemption from a drunkard's fate and condoms come to Connecticut

On this day in 1420, Venetian troops capture Udine, ending the independence of the Patriarchal State of Friuli.  (see our April 3rd post "Free Friuli" - perhaps my worst written post of this blog - but I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Friuli)


On this day in 1832, the second Asian cholera epidemic (1827-1835), brought by Irish immigrants reaches , Canada.

At first read, I didn't understand the correlation between alcohol (Ardent Spirits) and Cholera until I realized that one of the major symptoms of Cholera is extreme diarrhea and vomiting which can lead to rapid dehydration (and possibly death) which alcohol would certainly not help. I do appreciate the nod to those who may not be able to go cold turkey..."if habit have rendered them indispensable,...take much less than usual". Which leads me to the next event.


On this day in 1899 – American Temperance crusader Carrie Nation starts her campaign against alcohol-serving establishments by destroying the inventory in  Dobson's Saloon by throwing rocks at the bottles, while announcing  "Men, I have come to save you from a drunkard's fate."

The story goes that Nation was the recipient of a divine visitation asking her to "Take something in your hands, and throw at these places in Kiowa (Kansas) and smash them."  After destryoning Dobson's and two other bars in Kiowa, a large tornado hit eastern Kansas, which according to her memoirs she took as divine approval of her actions.  Later in her saloon killing career she took up a hatchet against the bottles containing demon drink.

The Historical Inebriant:  Temperance Punch          
(While to honor Carrie Nation this drink is non-alcoholic I would add 2 parts Vodka!)


On a local note, on this day in 1965, The Supreme Court hands down its decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, legalizing the use of contraception by married couples.  I had to read that one three times to make sure I was not missing anything!

Connecticut had on it's books a law from 1879 that prohibited the use of "any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception."   Since it was rarely if ever enforced, it was never really challenged.  Until Planned Parenthood wanted to move into the neighborhood.

In a 7-2 decision the court ruled the law was unconstitutional in regards to violating the unwritten but implied right to privacy as conveyed in the bill of rights.

In writing his dissenting opion, Justice Potter Stewart described the Connecticut statute "an uncommonly silly law" but argued that it was nevertheless constitutional.

While I am a firm believer in alcohol being an anti-contraceptive, I did find this silly drink of equal parts
of Rye and Gin.

The Historical Inebriant:  The Birth Control          

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Orient Express and the Hound dog

On this day in 1883, the maiden train service from Paris to Istanbul begins. It is named 'Express d'Orient" or The Orient Express. Riders could now leave Paris, travel through Strasbourg onto Munich, past Vienna, going through Budapest and Bucarest and arrive at Istanbul.

While it would not be until the 1930's that the train service reached its heights of elegance and luxury, the 1883 route was a milestone in linking almost all of continental Europe from shore to shore.

The Historical Inebriant:  The Orient Express         

  • 1 1/2 oz Smirnoff® Vanilla Twist Vodka
  • 1/2 oz Frangelico® Hazelnut Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Bailey's® Irish Cream
  • 1 oz Espresso
  • 1/2 - 1 oz Cream
  • 1 Pinch Cinnamon
  • 1 Pinch Sugar

Put cinnamon and sugar, mixed, on the rim of a cocktail glass.  Add the Smirnoff, Frangelico, Bailey's, and espresso to the glass and mix thoroughly.  Add cream to taste, and serve

Although not the orient express, you can still travel in luxury from Paris to Istanbul:


On this day in 1956 – Elvis Presley performs his new single, "Hound Dog", live, on The Milton Berle Show. His his suggestive hip movements during the performance shocked the audience and earning him the nickname of "Elvis the Pelvis".

Oh, what if that audience could have of seen the likes of Jim Morrison, Ozzie Osborne and Janet Jackson coming around the bend?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansaw...and a song

On this day in 1812, post Louisiana's admittance as a U.S. state, the Louisiana Territory is renamed the Missouri Territory.

As a side note On March 2, 1819, much of the Missouri Territory was designated the new Territory of Arkansaw. I bet you can guess where this is going can't you?

The Historical Inebriant:  Louisiana Lullaby          


  • 1 1/2 oz Dark Rum
  • 2 tsp Dubonnet® Rouge Vermouth
  • 3 Drops Grand Marnier® Orange Liqueur

Stir the rum, Dubonnet and Grand Marnier together with ice in a mixing glass
Strain into a cocktail glass, garnish with a sliver of lemon, and serve