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Monster in a Glass
Not Only History of Cocktails, but History Through Cocktails
Category: History
Location: http://blackliverproject.com/
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February 15, 2018 08:33 AM PST

It is hard to imagine why you would want to name a drink after something that the great majority of the world hates, but here we are with the Income Tax Cocktail. Harry Craddock appears to be the person who wanted to remind people that the government is coming for your hard-earned money, so you should probably drown your sorrows.

This drink does not show up in very many places, but is often said to be just a Bronx Cocktail with Angostura bitters, which in turn is said to just be a perfect Martini with orange juice. So it is, and we don’t have a lot to go on with the cocktail itself. So our attention is turned to that exciting topic, TAXES!

We dive into the origins of income taxes and the 16th Amendment that made it all possible. This one actually turned out to be much more of a tangled web than we anticipated, involving the temperance movement, farmers, WWI, and President Woodrow Wilson. So join us as we explore this cocktail with an unfortunate name, and the possibility of income taxes being the real cause of, and end of U.S. prohibition.

February 01, 2018 11:49 AM PST

The Honeymoon Cocktail seems to first appear in Hugo Ensslin’s Recipes for Mixed Drinks (1917), and contains an unusually sweet and fruit-based combination of ingredients, calling for Apple Brandy, lemon juice, curacao, and Benedictine. We take a look at what Benedictine is and how the Honeymoon Cocktail encountered a swapping out of the Apple Brandy for Calvados and more Apple Jack.

We also explore the history of honeymoons, where the term originated, and origin myths surrounding this tradition in relation to marriage.

January 18, 2018 11:36 AM PST

With very few appearances in cocktail books, or really anywhere, it is probably fair to say that the “Have a Heart” cocktail didn’t make much of a splash at all. It seems originate from, and really only appears in Patrick Gavin Duffy’s The Official Mixer’s Manual (1934).

The quotation marks allude to it being the title of something, but of what is hard to say. Some say that it is after a film of the same name, but the publishing of the drink recipe is the same year the movie came out, so maybe not so much. We take a look at the possibility of it being named after a 1917 musical, and Duffy’s connection to the theater prior to prohibition.

PGD has made so many appearances in our podcast, but we never really explored his book and how it came to be. So we discuss the man, the book, the legend and how he might have encountered a whole lot of actors in his days as a bartender.

The recipe is as follows:

1 and ½ ounces gin
¾ ounces Swedish Punsch
¾ ounces lime juice
¼ ounce grenadine

January 04, 2018 06:26 AM PST

The product of a cocktail competition in London, the Golden Dawn is a boozy drink, almost entirely made up of Calvados, Brandy, and Gin. A newspaper article from 1930 mentions that cocktail purists were not happy with this drink winning the competition, simply because of the addition of fruit juice. We delve into the idea of what a cocktail is and isn’t, where the argument may have started, and why anyone really cares.

Some point to the origin of the name deriving from a Rodgers & Hammerstein operetta, but it most likely received its name from the orange juice and grenadine giving it the color of a sunrise. Since it would be difficult to tackle the history of sunrises, we explore the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, because Golden Dawn.

This spiritualist group largely influenced occultism in the 20th century, had a membership that included a number of well-known people of the time, and was semi-revolutionary for a secret society by allowing women to become members. One of the most notable members was Aleister Crowley, who rose in the ranks quickly, had a falling out with one of the founders of the Golden Dawn, and how the two allegedly engaged in psychic battles for years.

So join us as we discuss this pretty cocktail/not cocktail, as well as magic, mysticism, controlling nature, and Crowley’s goth kid poetry.

3/4 oz Calvados
3/4 oz gin
3/4 oz apricot-flavored brandy
3/4 oz orange juice

May 29, 2017 01:17 PM PDT

Some say the Brandy Crusta is distinct enough to be considered an entirely different type of drink than a cocktail. Others say it is just a variation on or an evolution of a true cocktail. When it really comes down to it, having this kind of argument is just going to end up with you having a warm drink and a sad face. Going all the way back to the 1840s, this is one of the older drinks we have explored. The basic ingredients of brandy, lemon, lemon peel and the sugar crusted rim seem to stay consistent as time goes on, but the other ingredients start changing almost as soon as it starts showing up in recipe books. Curacao and maraschino liqueur make appearances in different recipes, as does gum syrup and various types of bitters, and hell, throw some fruit in there for good measure!

For once, we have a drink that does not have a dispute over who created. With the great majority of information pointing to Joseph Santini out of New Orleans and no one else claiming ownership, we should be done looking at this one, right? Well, exactly where, when, and why he created it depends on the source. We find that a lot of the details on the origin require some parsing and piecing to get closer to the truth. So we dig deeper into Santini and just what he was doing in mid-19th century New Orleans. Was he a bartender? Bar manager? Café owner? Tobaccoist? Wine importer? Yes, probably all of that. And add super-businessman, mason, and reformer who cared a whole lot about New Orleans.

We don’t care if it is a cocktail or not, so join us as we try to nail down the origin story of the Brandy Crusta.

January 18, 2016 12:45 PM PST

passion fruit flowerThis was a fun episode.  The cocktail itself had a fairly ordinary background, so we made the most of it by disparaging passion fruit and spotlighting the UK Bartenders' Guild. The drink itself appears first (and only) in the Cafe Royal cocktail book which for the first time we discuss as part of the drinks compilation project the UK Bartenders' Guild took on in the 1930s. This drink is itself remarkable because it's the only one we've seen that features passion fruit juice and the Cafe Royal cocktail book is equally remarkable because it's the only cocktail recipe book that features passion fruit juice at the time...and it does so 37 times. So we decided to focus on passion fruit since we knew nothing about it. We also sample some real grenadine and orange flower water. The Avenue cocktail contains:

  • 1 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz Calvados
  • 1 oz passion fruit
  • 1 dash of grenadine
  • 1 dash orange flower water

Despite the lack of information on this cocktail, it was delicious. The team generally did enjoy this drink, appreciating a break from gin for this fruit forward beverage with a bourbon base. Nicole also pointed out where one could find the Passion of the Christ in the passion fruit flower.

March 29, 2015 10:00 PM PDT

The Fred Collins Fiz on first glance would almost certainly be the sibling drink of Tom and John. This one is kind of a mystery though because the ingredients don’t really match any of the drinks in the Collins family, not even Grandma Rye, Aunt Bourbon, or wacky old Uncle Rum.

So then it is a fizz then, right? Because of the fizz in the name? Except it seems to be missing the second “z.” And there isn’t any soda water, which typically makes a fizz a fizz.

There isn’t a whole lot to go on with this drink, so we can only assume that this long lost Collins cousin is an impostor cocktail. Still, it is a cocktail. You are lucky I am thirsty Fred Collins!

The ingredients are as follows:

2 oz bourbon
0.5 oz simple syrup
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp orange curacao

March 28, 2015 10:00 PM PDT

There isn’t a definitive explanation about how the Ford Cocktail got its name, so we get to do a whole lot of speculation on this cocktail. Dating back to at least 1895, it is a little too early to be named after the Henry of car fame. Luckily, there are so many other Ford options to choose from! Based on the timeframe, we explore Malcolm Webster Ford, a track and field athlete with daddy issues and a tragic end. A descendant of Noah and Daniel Webster, he came from a long line of literary talent. Unfortunately, his bookish family was not very accepting of his great athletic ability, which is the complete opposite of the plots from every 1980s movie.

Join us as we take a look at the Ford cocktail. In this episode we are talking horseless carriages, track and field, family friction and fratricide, Henry Ford, Betty Ford, Ford Prefect, and time-traveling Harrison Ford. More Fords than you ever could hope for!

The ingredients are as follows:

1 oz Old Tom Gin
1 oz dry vermouth
3 dashes Benedictine
3 dashes orange bitters

March 27, 2015 10:00 PM PDT

I like a cocktail that tells you what it does for you. The Fogcutter lets you know right away, that this drink is going to clear away the cobwebs. How many cocktails can boast that it can make you less foggy?

In this episode we take a look at this tropical drink that brings in the titans of tiki, Trader Vic and Don the Beachcomber. This mid-20th century cocktail is generally attributed to Vic Bergeron, but saw a good deal of variation on the ingredients as different bartenders gave it their own touch. While tiki drinks might be late in the cocktail game, fogcutters actually go back to around the 1700s.

So join us as we go back to a time when booze was your breakfast and your medicine.

March 26, 2015 10:00 PM PDT

The ingredients of The Flying Dutchman cocktail resemble a cold remedy, so I hope you like citrus! Or have a cold. This drink has orange gin, orange juice, lemon juice for extra Vitamin C, and a couple drops of Angostura bitters for color perhaps? Or digestion? Maybe just for fun? We don’t really know, because this cocktail is short on information about why and how it came to be. This one truly may have been a forgotten cocktail.

We take a quick gander at the unusual ingredient that is orange gin, but the bulk of this episode is spent covering the legend of The Flying Dutchman. So join us as we talk through the Viking origins of the legend, ghost ships, and the influence on art, literature, poetry, and bartending.

2 ozs orange gin
1/4 orange juice
1/4 lemon juice
3 drops Angostura bitters

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