Friday, September 28, 2012

Good King Wenceslas, William the Bastard, Law of the Free Womb, Not a good day for Pot in the UK and The Liquid Marijuana Cocktail

A brief word about today's post.  I caught a nasty head cold and am running a fever as I write this:

Proceed with Caution!


On this day in 935, Wenceslaus I, the duke of Bohemia, is assassinated. His brother, Boleslaus I of Bohemia, is widely thought to have arranged it. Wenceslaus, a beloved in his land, was elevated to Sainthood and King after his death.

He is now honored by Saint Stephen's Day celebrated on December 26, and is probably most remembered in the west as the subject of the Christmas Carol, written in 1853 that remains popular to this day, Good King Wenceslas.  The following is NOT that carol.


On this day in 1066, William the Conqueror (aka William the Bastard - since he was the son of Robert I, Duke of Normandy by his mistress Herleva) invades England beginning the Norman Conquest.

Probably most remembered for the compilation of the Domesday Book, (a survey listing all the landholders in England originally done for tax reasons) and a walk on role in the last Austin Powers movie [Not].


On this day in 1871, the Brazilian Parliament passes the Law of the Free Womb, granting freedom to all new children born to slaves. While it did not immediately end slavery, it effectively condemned slavery to eventual extinction and became the first major step in the eradication of slavery in Brazil.


September 28th is not a good day for Cannabis in the UK.  I'm not even going to comment on this.

1928 – The U.K. Parliament passes the Dangerous Drugs Act outlawing cannabis.

1971 – The U.K. Parliament passes the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 banning the medicinal use of cannabis.

The Historical Inebriant: The Liquid Marijuana Cocktail


1/2 oz Captain Morgan® Spiced Rum
1/2 oz Blue Curacao Liqueur
1/2 oz Malibu® Coconut Rum
1/2 oz Midori® Melon Liqueur
12 oz Pineapple Juice
1 Splash Sweet And Sour Mix

Put all measured ingredients in glass and fill the remainder with pineapple juice.
Shake vigorously. Garnish with the Union Jack

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Short List: Pope Urban VII, Lancaster PA, The Balinese Tiger and The Short Bus Shot

On this day in 1590, Pope Urban VII dies of Malaria just 13 days after being chosen as Pope, making his reign the shortest papacy in history.


Urban VII did, however, live long enough to enact what may be the world's first public smoking ban, threatening to excommunicate anyone who:

 "took tobacco in the porchway of, or inside a church - whether it be by chewing it, smoking it with a pipe or sniffing it in powdered form through the nose."

On this day in 1777 Lancaster, Pennsylvania became the capital of the United States. After the British army captured the then US capital of Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress fled to Lancaster to meet, making it the de-facto capital of the very new nation.

The notoriety was short lived, however, as upon receiving information of the British Army's advance, the congress would flee to York, PA the very next day.



On this day in 1937, the last specimen of the Balinese Tiger (a female shot at Sumbar Kima, west Bali) is recorded and subsequently the Balinese Tiger is declared extinct. One of three subspecies of tiger found in Indonesia, (together with the Javan tiger, which is also extinct, and the critically endangered Sumatran tiger) it was the smallest of the tiger subspecies.

The Historical Inebriant: The Short Bus Shot


1/3 Oz Jagermeister® Herbal Liqueur
1/3 Oz Rumple Minze® Peppermint Liqueur
1/3 Oz Don Q® 151 Rum

Chill all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and strain into a shot glass.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Fez, the Double Shutout, Béla Bartók and The Shriner Cocktail

On this day in 1872, the first Shriners Temple opens in New York City.  Beginning with a group of Masons who met frequently for lunch at the Knickerbocker Cottage in New York City, the Shriners were organized around the idea of fun and fellowship first.  Although not affiliated with any religion, they chose the red fez as a symbol of their fellowship but are probably most noted for their presence in parades and their network of 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children.


The Historical Inebriant: The Shriner Cocktail


1 ounce sloe gin
1 ounce brandy
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
2 dashes sugar syrup
Twist lemon peel

Combine all ingredients, except the peel, in a mixing glass with ice and stir well. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon peel.


On this day in 1908, Ed Reulbach of the Chicago Cubs pitches a shutout in the first game of a doubleheader against the Brooklyn Dodgers. He would do the exact same thing in the second game to become the first and only pitcher to throw two shutouts in one day.


On this day in 1945, the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók, passes away from leukemia at age 64 in a hospital in New York City.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, Freedom of the Press, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band and The East Side Press Cocktail

On this day in 1690, Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, the first multi-page newspaper to appear in the English colonies, prints its first issue in Boston, MA. Printed by Richard Pierce and edited by Benjamin Harris the newspaper proclaimed to be issued monthly "or, if any Glut of Occurrences happen, oftener."


The "Glut of Occurances" happened on September 29th, when the British colonial authorities shut down the newspaper and issued the following:

"Whereas some have lately presumed to Print and Disperse a Pamphlet, Entitled, Publick Occurrences, both Forreign and Domestick: Boston, Thursday, Septemb. 25th, 1690. Without the least Privity and Countenace of Authority. The Governour and Council having had the perusal of said Pamphlet, and finding that therein contained Reflections of a very high nature: As also sundry doubtful and uncertain Reports, do hereby manifest and declare their high Resentment and Disallowance of said Pamphlet, and Order that the same be Suppressed and called in; strickly forbidden any person or persons for the future to Set forth any thing in Print without License first obtained from those that are or shall be appointed by the Government to grant the same."

To Preview today's drink (I'm having some computer issues) The East Side Press Cocktail:


On this date in 1789, the U.S. Congress passes twelve amendments to the United States Constitution. We are all particularly familiar with 10 of them, the ones we know as the Bill of Rights. The very first amendment guarantees us that:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."



Today the Preservation Hall Jazz Band releases two live albums St. Peter & 57th Street and The Preservation Hall 50th Anniversary Collection.  Celebrating a legacy almost lost to time and flood some of the tracks on  St. Peter & 57th Street were rescued from Preservation Hall's flooded basement in the aftermath of Katrina.

"Preservation Hall opened its doors in 1961. The hall was created as a sanctuary, to protect and honor New Orleans Jazz which had lost much of its popularity to modern jazz and rock n roll. Allan and Sandra Jaffe, the hall's founders, wanted a place where New Orleans musicians could play New Orleans Jazz, a style, they believed, should not disappear."

Monday, September 24, 2012

The First Dirigible departs the Hippodrome, the USS Enterprise goes Nuclear and The Aviation Cocktail

On this day in 1852, inventor Henri Giffard flew the first airship ever to be powered by a steam engine. Leaving from the Paris Hippodrome, Giffard would fly his invention (named the dirigible from the french word directable) 27 miles to Trappes, France.

While a great success that would revolutionize air travel, Giffard quickly found out that his invention was not truly directable as the steam engine was not powerful enough to travel against the wind so he was not able to make the return trip.

Unbeknownst to Giffard, he had also created one of the best known icons of the Steampunk genre.


On this day in 1960, the USS Enterprise, world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is launched. At over 1,100 feet long and weighing almost 100,000 tons, the carrier still remains one of the largest vessels in the world more than 50 years after her launch. The Enterprise played a role in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Enterprise underway in the Atlantic Ocean during Summer Pulse 2004. 

The ships's name would also play a major role in the Science Fiction genre.


The Historical Inebriant: The Aviation Cocktail


2 ounces London dry gin
2 teaspoons Maraschino*
3/4 ounce lemon juice**

Shake the gin, the Maraschino, and the fresh-squeezed lemon juice well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass and serve ungarnished.

* The colorless bitter-cherry liqueur, not the juice from the celluloidic drink-garnish.

** Strained through a fine mesh, if possible.


What is Maraschino Liqueur?:

Maraschino is a cherry flavored liqueur that is made from Marasca cherries. The pits of the cherries are included in the fermentation and contribute a slight bitter almond flavor to the clear, dry spirit. Maraschino was developed in Italy where it received its name. It was also used as one of the original preservatives for the maraschino cherries used regularly as cocktail garnishes, though today the cherries themselves are typically sweeter varieties.

The liqueur is pronounced using the Italian mare-uh-SKEE-no while the cherries are typically pronounced mare-uh-SHEE-no.