Saturday, June 16, 2012

When Father's Day no longer comes...

My Father drank Four Roses Bourbon highballs and he limited himself to exactly one.  His English heritage and my youthful American recklessness never meshed and for many, many years the difference was as great as the ocean that divided our homelands.

My Father passed many years ago, and now it is too late to sail that ocean.  For those out there, who are not as close to their fathers as they would like to be, fix it.  Fix it today.

Fix it before you find yourself living in a year when Father's Day no longer comes.

The Historical Inebriant: Four Roses Highball          

  • 2 oz Four Roses Bourbon
  • 4 oz Ginger Ale
To a tall glass with ice, add Bourbon and top with Ginger Ale. Give one quick stir and enjoy.
Now call your dad.

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Canon, an Eclipse, a Carta... and a video by Naughty Tipples

"And on that day, I will make the Sun go down at noon, and darken the Earth in broad daylight."
                                                                                                           the Lord God (Amos 8:9) 

On this day in 763 BC (unbeknownst to them), Assyrian historians record the occurrence of a solar eclipse. This record is later used to fix the chronology of Mesopotamian history.

According to the historical record known as the Eponym Canon, the entry reads "revolt in the citadel - in Siwan the sun had an eclipse." Using the mention of the eclipse and the location from where it was visible, scientists are able to establish the exact date, in our chronology, of the eclipse and many other historical events in Mesopotamian history.

The Historical Inebriant: The Eclipse
  (video by Naughty Tipples with Michelle)

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 4 oz Sloe Gin
  • 1 tsp fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 oz Grenadine
Mix Gin, Sloe Gin and Lemon Juice into shaker with ice and shake.  Drizzile Grenadine into a chilled Martini glass and strain mixer contents into glass.  Garnish with cherry

To view a translation of the Canon:


On this day in 1215, King John of England would affix his seal (albeit somewhat unwillingly) to the Magna Carta (the great charter). Perhaps one of the most important documents of our time and a precurser to our constitution and the bill of rights, the charter was the result of the abuses of a tyrannical king and of the rebellion of the barons trying to survive under feudal English law. 

After a group of Barons took up arms against the king and captured London in May of 1215, they took King John by surprise at Windsor and he agreed to the signing of the charter which established
  • a basic separation of church and state
  • a right to due process
  • taxation only by Parliament

Unfortunately, the 1215 charter was declared void by Pope Innocent III and civil war broke out that same year. The Magna Carta was reissued many times over the next several years but in a weaker and weaker forms.

"No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers and by the law of the land."

"To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice."

Magna Carta

As always, have a great and safe weekend, hope to see you all back here on Monday!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bulleit's Bourbon, Blood, and the Marijuana Tax Act

Per Wiki:

1789 – Whiskey distilled from maize is first produced by American clergyman the Rev Elijah Craig. It is named Bourbon because Rev Craig lived in Bourbon County, Kentucky.

It seems there are as many stories surrounding the birth of Bourbon as there are different brands of it, which makes it great for sippn' and storytelling!  Much more to come on Bourbon in future posts, but for now...

If you're new to Bourbon, start with any one of several that have been mentioned on the blog in a rocks glass, neat.  Add ice cubes to taste.  If that doesn't work for you, add ginger ale or (see our Jan 27th post) Bacon!

The Historical Inebriant:  Bulleit Bourbon           

As a side note:

The two counties in Kentucky that are famous for their Bourbon production are Fayette and Bourbon.  The former is named for the Marquis de Lafayette, who came to America from France to aid the English colonies in the American Revolutionary War.  The latter is named for the royal House of Bourbon who sat on the French throne at that time.


June 14th is World Blood Donor Day - Every blood donor is a hero

On 23 February 2012, the Republic of Korea being the host of the global event of the World Blood Donor Day 2012, created the largest human blood drop to win Guinness World Record, breaking all previous records.

We can all be heroes, at least for one day

Give Blood!


On this day in 1937, the U.S. House of Representatives passes the Marihuana Tax Act. You can read about it here but it's basically a sin tax levied against anyone who bought or sold marijuana. In 1969, parts of the act were ruled unconstitutional (Leary v. United States) since anyone applying for the tax stamp would have to incriminate themselves.

Who comes up with this Sh*t!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

be true, faithful and friends to friends, and enemies to enemies...

"In the first place we settle and covenant that there shall be from this day forward... true, faithful, constant, mutual and perpetual friendships, unions, alliances, and needs of sinceire affection, and that as true and faithful friends we shall henceforth, reciprocally, be friends to friends and enemies to enemies, and shall assist, maintain, and uphold each other mutually, by sea and by land, against all men that may live and die."

In what today would seem like a historical text message from Paris Hilton to bff Nicole Ritche, the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance (between England and Portugal) was signed on this day in 1373, and after almost 640 years, it is the oldest alliance in the world still in force.

The Historical Inebriant: Jose Cuervo is my Best Friend

  • 4 shots Jose Cuervo
  • 1 shot Melon Liqueur
  • 1 squirt Lemon Juice
  • 8 oz Tonic


On this day in 1525, Martin Luther marries Katharina von Bora, defying the Roman Catholic Church's celibacy rule for priests and nuns. Sent to the Benedictine cloister in Brehna Germany as a five year old, Katherina had become increasingly dissatisfied with the church and more and more interested in the winds of reformation that had been sweeping through Germany at that time.   Katherina, along with several other nuns who were unhappy with life in the convent, secretly contacted Martin Luther and arraigned to be smuggled out of the Cistercian convent in empty fish barrels.  Two years later, Katherina and Martin Luther would marry.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dia dos Namorados and a plea to take down that Wall

Today is Dia dos Namorados in Brazil. Named for namorado (boyfriend) and namorada (girlfriend) with the same root as "enamored" it is roughly equivalent to our Valentine's day.  Coming the day before St. Anthony's day (patron saint of matrimony and of finding things) you can bet that many of those that do not receive gifts today will be saying prayers to St. Anthony tomorrow!

The Historical Inebriant:  Quentão           
(keep in mind, it's winter in Brazil, hence the hot alcohol drink) 


  • 1.5 oz Novo Fogo Barrel-Aged Cachaça
  • 0.5 oz ginger syrup
  • 6 oz spiced cider (heated)
  • cinnamon stick garnish

Stir the ingredients together gently. Serve in glassware that won't burn your fingers and garnish with a cinnamon stick.  You can find ready-made spiced cider at Trader Joe's.

As a side note, a slang name for Cachaça is abre-coração, meaning heart-opener.

As a side, side note, another name for Cachaça is bafo-de-tigre, meaning tiger breath.
Beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder!


On this day in 1987, Ronald Reagan stood at the Brandenburg Gate and asked Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall".  On November 9th, 1989 the gates of the Berlin Wall
would open.

A wonderful, fully orchestrated, version of Winds of Change!

Roger Waters - The Trial from The Wall - Live in Berlin

For the walls everywhere in the world - that should come down!

The Historical Inebriant:  The Brick Wall           

  • 1.5oz apple cider syrup (see below)
  • 1.5oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon Whiskey
  • Ginger ale
  • Lime wedge
  • 1 slice green apple

Combine equal parts syrup and bourbon in an ice-filled glass. Top off glass with a bit of ginger ale. Squeeze in lime. Optional: garnish with apple slice.
Apple cider syrup
Bring 0.25 cup sugar, 5 cracked allspice berries, 4 whole cloves and 0.75 inches of ginger root (peeled and sliced very thin) up to a simmer. Simmer 10 minutes. Kill heat and let steep for 90 minutes. Let cool and strain. The recipe here claims to make enough for 10 drinks, but that’s wrong. By my calculation, it makes enough for about 5.5 drinks.

A great blog post from SF Chronical cocktail and spirit writer Camper English on some
adventurous drinking in Berlin:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ben Johnson and Paris of Troy meet babes

I beheld her, on a day,
when her look outflourished May...

Ben Johnson (born on this day in 1572) from his poem How He Saw Her

Perhaps the young Paris of Troy felt the same way when he first gazed upon Helen of Sparta and decided to sweep her off her feet and bring her back to Troy with him.  Unfortunately, Helen's husband Menelaus (King of Sparta) violently objected and the Trojan War had begun. (or so the story goes)

On this day in 1184 BC, according to the calculations of the Greek mathematician Eratosthenes, the city of Troy was sacked by Menelaus, Odysseus and the combined Achaean forces - ending the Trojan War*.

Eratosthenes, (276 BC - 195 BC) was the chief librarian of the Library of Alexandria, at that time the center of scientific knowlege in the ancient world. In 240 BC he accurately calculated the earth's circumference, 25,000 miles, using the sun's angle of elevation on the summer solstice from two known spots in Egypt.  The first to use the word geography - from the Greek geo (earth) and graphia (write), he created the first map of the world using his calculations of longitude and latitude.  Not only was Eratosthenes accomplished as mathematician but also as an astronomer and writer.  He composed his Hermes, a poem explaining the fundamentals of astronomy in verse and later produced a star map giving locations to 675 stars.

If Eratosthenes says there was a Trojan War and that Troy was sacked on this day in 1184 BC, who am I to argue!

As a side note:

While Eratosthenes determined the Earth's circumference accurately, some decades later, the Greek geographer Posidonius recalculated the circumference and obtained a distance of 18,000 miles, or 7,000 miles shorter. During the middle ages, while most scholars accepted Eratosthenes' calculations, Christopher Columbus used Posidonius' circumference on his expedition to reach Asia by sailing west from Europe.

As a side, side note:

The Fall of Troy was a progressive math rock band from Mukilteo, Washington. Math rock is rhythmically complex music with unconventional time signatures and sudden stops and starts.  It first emerged in the 1980's (think King Crimson, Roxy Music and Frank Zappa) and developed quickly from there.. 

If you type in Fall of Troy into (think spotify but with booze suggestions) you get...

The Historical Inebriant:  The Fall of Troy          
(Sometimes it's a long trip to a drink at The Historical Inebriant Bar & Grille)

                6 oz. Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey - Serve Neat - Stir vigorously 

* Now, for Menelaus and Helen, all that was left to do was return home - but that's a story for another day.


The calling out

Ok, it's Sunday night and a few of my friends and I met up earlier at a local establishment, The Fez; it's  eclectic  food, eclectic music and very eclectic patronage.  In fact we did not all plan to meet up there, it just happened we arrived at the same location at the same time and all sat down for drinks.

The conversation began with discussions of different bands playing in the area, different high end tequilas coming onto the market, and some extremely small batch scotches.  One of our friends owns a plane, so the discussion of air travel came up and it was interesting that Tuesday's post (already written) has to do with the circumference of the earth, so a discussion of air travel time ensued.  Talk of an upcoming road trip began and there were discussions of possible destinations, however, one of the group was a little hazy as to the distances involved in the upcoming trip.

I love my friends, all of them, I really do.  But I really have to do this.

The Distance between New York Skyports Incorporated Seaplane Base (New York,New York County,US) [Airport] and Havana (Ciudad de La Habana,Cuba) is :2108.67 kilometers (km).

The Distance between New York Skyports Incorporated Seaplane Base (New York,New York County,US) [Airport] and London City Airport (England,UK) [Airport] is :5578.37 kilometers (km).

The Distance between London / Gatwick Airport (England,UK) [Airport] and Mumbai (Maharashtra,India) is : 7199.99 kilometers (km).

Oh, the things we do when we are sober, and oh, the things we do when we're not!