Found this amazing infographic via Signature Reads that tickles my whiskey-loving, ex-English major soul: the The Ultimate Reader’s Guide to Whiskey (below – click to expand, it’s worth it!).
My two favorite tidbits from the infographic:
– 6 Weeks: The Age at which Mark Twain claimed to have his first whiskey drink
– Estimated ounces of liquor in Hunter S. Thompson’s ideal breakfast: 9.5 oz
I’ve been enjoying the book immensely, especially the alcohol and plant trivia and tidbits. So far, my favorite trivia explains something I’ve long since been curious about – what the heck does proof have to do with the percentage of alcohol in a spirit?
Stewart explains that the history of using the word “proof” traces back to British sailors who were supplied with rum, but suspected their superiors of diluting the liquor, so they came up with a bang-up way of testing it out:
“A quantity of gunpowder, mixed with rum, would not ignite if the rum was watered down in the presence of the crew, the ship’s purser would mix the rum and gunpowder and light it on fire, offering ‘proof’ of its potency.”
Happy Saturday geeks!
History of the Mimosa
Between you and the entire Internet, I’m a huge fan of the bottomless mimosa brunch that has swept through the trendier bars and restaurants of San Francisco on Saturday and Sunday mornings/early afternoons. There’s something beautiful about wandering around the city after a luxurious breakfast where your glass NEVER GETS EMPTY. Yum.
Imagine my surprise to read the claim that the drink was invented by the king of horror films Alfred Hitchcock in San Francisco! The story goes that in the 40s or 50s, Hitchcock and a friend were at Jeanty at Jack’s (now sadly closed) (the oldest restaurant in SF) after a night of a pouring on a bit too many libation.
Further digging (thanks SF Gate!) shows that The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink claims the mimosa is a variation of the Buck’s Fizz, invented in the 1920’s in the UK, although it does give credit to Hitchcock for maybe introducing it as a brunch cocktail here in the US. Either way, I’m digging the SF connection, even if it’s only another piece of cocktail legend.
Mimosa Recipe – The Basic Version
Serve mimosas in a champagne flute, fill each flute about 2/3 full of Champagne. Top off with orange juice. (The classic recipe is equal parts, but I’m partial to a bit more champagne.) Garnish with Strawberry or Orange slice.