Saturday, September 15, 2012

Drinking Soundtrack of the Week

"Whisky" and The Maker's Mark Manhattan Cocktail

Drinking Soundtrack of the Week features songs to drink by. Hope you enjoy!

The Historical Inebriant: The Manhattan


1-1/2 parts Maker’s Mark® Bourbon
1/2 part sweet vermouth
1 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice
1 maraschino cherry
Shake all together for 30 seconds. Strain into chilled Manhattan glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry (served up, no ice).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Henry Bliss, The Electric Powered Taxi, and The Yellow Cab Cocktail

When, on this day 1899, Henry Bliss stepped off from a streetcar at West 74th Street and Central Park West in NYC, he had no idea he was about to become the first person ever killed by an automobile in the United States.

Being a gentleman, Bliss had departed the trolly and had turned back to assist his female companion off when an electric powered taxi struck him.  Bliss would die the next day of his injuries.

On this day in 1999, a plaque was dedicated at the site with this inscription:

Here at West 74th Street and Central Park West, Henry H. Bliss dismounted from a streetcar and was struck and knocked unconscious by an automobile on the evening of September 13, 1899. When Mr. Bliss, a New York real estate man, died the next morning from his injuries, he became the first recorded motor vehicle fatality in the Western Hemisphere. This sign was erected to remember Mr. Bliss on the centennial of his untimely death and to promote safety on our streets and highways.

The Historical Inebriant: The Yellow Cab Cocktail


1-1/3 oz Whiskey
2/3 oz Advocaat
2/3 oz Sugar Syrup
2/3 oz Lemon Juice
Club Soda / Sparkling Water

Shake all ingredients except the club soda with ice in a cocktail shaker Strain into a highball glass and top with club soda. Garnish with a slice of lime and a few mint leaves.

One of the main reasons I choose this drink was the ingredient Advocaat, which I had never heard of. It also sounds like an interesting drink begging for some experimentation.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How do I love thee, The glass of water, Procreation Day and The Pink Baby Cocktail

One this day in 1846, the poet Elizabeth Barrett eloped with the poet Robert Browning.  They would marry later that same year.  Elizabeth had been working on a new book of poetry during their courtship and Robert, always a champion of his wife's work insisted that her love sonnets be included in the publication.

When Sonnets from the Portuguese, was published in 1850, it drew much acclaim. Included in it was Sonnet Number 43, written for her soon to be husband.

Number 43

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.


On this day in 1880, H. L. Mencken, journalist and satirist of American life and culture, was born. Being particularly critical of the Temperance movement, he offered up one of my favorite quote on the repeal of prohibition after 13 years. A famous drinker, when Mencken was asked what his first drink after the repeal was, he answered "A glass of first in 13 years!"


Today is Procreation Day in the region of Ulyanovsk, Russia.  People are encouraged to take the day off from work and do their patriotic duty on this day.  Faced with a high death rate and a low birth rate, Russia's population has been on the decline since the breakup of the Soviet Union.  In Ulyanovsk, couples that have a child on June 12th (Russia's National Day and nine months after September 12th) will be given prizes and entered to win a new car!

For More Information:
Russia is not alone in facing low population growth rates. See the articles below on other nations that are facing the same issue.

South Korea


The Historical Inebriant: The Pink Baby Cocktail


2 oz. gin
1 oz. grenadine syrup
1 oz. orange vodka
1 egg white
Orange slice, for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker half-full with crushed ice. Add the gin, grenadine syrup, orange vodka and egg white to the cocktail shaker. Cover the cocktail shaker and shake gently for 10 to 15 seconds.  Strain the contents into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a fresh orange slice.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11th

September 11th is the 255th day of 2012
111 days remain until the end of the year
For so many, it means so much more

On this day in 1609, Henry Hudson, having left Holland to find an easterly passage to Asia, would sail into what is now Upper New York Bay and discover the island of Manhattan.


On this day in 1847, Stephen Foster's well-known song, Oh! Susanna, has its first performance in a saloon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 60 miles from Shanksville.


On this day in 1941, ground is broken for the construction of The Pentagon. It would become the world's largest office building by area with over 30,000 military and civilian employees working there. With such a concentration of military personnell and hardware inside, during the cold war it was nicknamed "Ground Zero" since in the event of nuclear attack, it would certainly be one of the first targets hit in the United States.

September 11 2001 Memorials in Brooklyn — A Guide for Visitors and Locals

The Historical Inebriant: Prayer & Remembrance

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Lesser Judgment Day, "The Call Within the Call", The God Particle and The Quantum Theory Cocktail

On this day in 1509, a strong earthquake that would later be known as the "The Lesser Judgment Day" would strike Constantinople - now known as Instanbul, Turkey. Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city of the Byzantine and Middle Ages, but had been vastly depopulated after having been attacked and untimately sacked during the Ottoman era.

The earthquake struck at 10pm, triggering a Tsunami. Over 1,000 homes were destroyed and an estimated 10,000 people lost their lives in the initial quake and the aftershocks which would continue for 45 days. A detailed history of the aftermath is left by the art depicting the destruction.



On this day in 1946, Sister Teresa Bojaxhiu, a 36 year old sister of the Loreto Convent, was riding a train to Darjeeling, West Bengal, India when she heard the call of God directing her "to leave the convent and help the poor while living among them." She would later describe the event on that day as "the call within the call" and the beginning of her life as the Missionary Mother Theresa.


She would continue her work with the poor, the sick and the dying for 45 years. She would receive the Nobel Prize in 1979 and beatification by Pope John Paul II following her death in 1997 giving her the title "Blessed Teresa of Calcutta".


On this day in 2008 The Large Hadron Collider, the largest and highest-energy particle accelerator in the world, is turned on in Geneva, Switzerland.  Truly a world wide effort, the LHC was built in collaboration with hundreds of universities and laboratories and over 10,000 scientists and engineers from 100 countries. 

God Particle Lead

Its purpose simply is to analyize the byproducts of collisions between elementary particles giving scientists evidence of the structure of the subatomic world and the laws of nature governing it.  It is part of the search for the smallest particle, the boson and how these particles interact with each other and also with nothingness (currently now a theory named The Higgs Field) that may explain how the universe works.

A description of what's needed to collide subatomic particles by National Geographic in 2008

"Starting sometime in the coming months, two beams of particles will race in opposite directions around the tunnel, which forms an underground ring 17 miles in circumference. The particles will be guided by more than a thousand cylindrical, supercooled magnets, linked like sausages. At four locations the beams will converge, sending the particles crashing into each other at nearly the speed of light. If all goes right, matter will be transformed by the violent collisions into wads of energy, which will in turn condense back into various intriguing types of particles, some of them never seen before. That’s the essence of experimental particle physics: You smash stuff together and see what other stuff comes out."

The Higgs particle is a boson, a type of particle that allows multiple identical particles to exist in the same place in the same quantum state.  The Higgs Boson particle (sometimes referred to as "The God Particle) is one theories that LHC will try to prove - and if proven - the effect on our understanding of the universe would be monumental.

As an aside:
The Higgs Boson particle got its nickname "The God Particle" from a 1993 book written by 
Nobel Prize-winning physicist Leon M. Lederman and science writer Dick Teresi titled The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question? 

Lederman said he gave the Higgs boson the nickname "The God Particle" because the particle is "so central to the state of physics today, so crucial to our final understanding of the structure of matter, yet so elusive," but added that a second reason was because "the publisher wouldn't let us call it the Goddamn Particle, though that might be a more appropriate title, given its villainous nature and the expense it is causing."

For more information on The Large Hadron Collider:

A great piece on a man who broke into the LHC claiming to be from the future 
and a great video giving background on particle theory.


The Historical Inebriant: The Quantum Theory Cocktail
(this is a great blog - I wish I payed more attention in Math but a great blog!)

3/4 oz Rum
1/2 oz Strega
1/4 oz Grand Marnier
2 oz Pineapple juice
Sweet & Sour
Pour rum, strega and Grand Marnier into a collins glass. Add pineapple and fill with sweet and sour. Sip until all the day's super-positioned states disappear.

Under the "It's Amazing What You Can Find on the Web" section:

I don't always run a particle accelerator,

but when I do, I usually drink beer.

Sorry this post was so long.  Sometimes it's hard to write this blog, but today it was a pleasure!