Absinthe was first used as a way to prevent French soldiers from getting malaria during the French wars in the mid 1880s. It soon became the rage all over Paris where 5:00 PM was simply referred to as l’heure verte, the green hour. Absinthe is an anise-flavored spirit derived from a variety of botanicals, including wormwood, green anise, sweet fennel and some other medical herbs. Its active ingredient is often compared to the active ingredient of marijuana that produces mostly mild hallucinogenic effects.
In 1915 the French military banned the use of absinthe all over France shortly after the start of so-called Great War (WW1). The last thing generals wanted were soldiers intoxicate on the magic ingredients of absinthe. It has been illegal to use or sell absinthe in France every since. The luckier French drinkers were those who live near the Spanish border where it has always been legal. Absinthe was one spirit where the effects were often greatly exaggerated which only added to its allure.
Probably as a result of the effort to legalize marijuana use in the United States, France is now attempting to lift the prohibition on absinthe and make it legal once more. ...
This is TD’s view of the Erechtheum’s “Porch of Maidens,” an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis in Athens. It was built from in the early 5th Century B.C. It was dedicated to the Greek gods Athena and Posidion. The temple was named for Erichthonis, a Greek hero, an early ruler of Athens mentioned in Homer’s Iliad. His inception rivals the credibility of the birth of Jesus since he was what they call autochthonous, born of the earth, with the technical details left to the curious. His early days resulted in havoc and death for three entrusted sisters who ended up jumping off the Acropolis to their deaths. Such a Greek tragedy.
The iconic maiden columns are a welcomed substitute to the three classic phallic columns of Greece: the Iconic, the Doric, and the Corinthian. These columns serve the same function—support for the structure. One art historian, Jenny Liang, says: “The Porch of Maidens expresses a sense of stability as well as a sense of relaxed grace and effortless support.” And so it seems.
Since these are copies of the originals, TD added a bottle of Mastiha, the in-the-know drink of the Greeks today, ...
Any short story that has bars, drinking and Powers (Irish whiskey) is worth reading. In this case, my daughter, Kelly, wrote it and won third prize for the best short story in the prestigious Chautauqua Literary Journal. It’s just been released. You can order your copy here for a good summer read.
Chautauqua is a Native American (Iroquois) word meaning “a bag tied in the middle” or “two moccasins tied together.” So there are a lot of things we can call chautauqua, but there is only one Chautauqua Literary Journal. It is published by The Chautauqua Institute, “a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. Over the course of nine weeks, more than 100,000 visitors will stay at Chautauqua and participate in programs, classes and community events for all ages—all within the beautiful setting of a historic lakeside village.”
All the images in the montage are visual references to events, places and things in the short story, “The Working Hours.” They ...
A preface: This cocktail was first mixed and drunk at the famous Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York, where these four great jazz musicians are buried (clockwise from top left)—Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Lionel Hampton and Coleman Hawkins. None of these jazzmen are associated with the Tombstone Cocktail, except here where TD raises a glass of anything to toast the memory and musical legacy of these giants of American jazz.
TD is not sure how many shakes make a good cocktail, but this one was all shook-up, and the story made page 190 of Brad Thomas Parsons definitive book, Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All.
The recipe for the Tombstone:
Ingredients: (for one drink)
2 oz. 100 proof rye
You can’t order this cocktail at The Ritz, George V, The Peninsula, Villa San Michele, The Carlisle, Parrot Cay or your favorite neighborhood bar. You have to go out of your way, about 100 miles north of Manhattan (the city) to the Red Onion Restaurant and Bar in Woodstock. It’s my neighborhood bar, 12 miles, "out of the way," down a country road on the edge of the village. But once there, Raymund Ganade will either greet you at the door or you can spot him behind the bar. Jovial, friendly, a guy with a great smile. All that goes into his creative and yummy manhattan. The secret ingredient is explained in this exclusive interview with him.
TD: I can almost hear Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young singing “by the time we get to Woodstock, we can have a Ray’s Manhattan.” It’s worth the trip in my book. What is special about your Manhattan?
RG: There are a couple of things that differentiate a Ray’s from a regular Manhattan. First, I use Cointreau instead of sweet vermouth. Second I garnish the drink with an orange slice instead of a maraschino cherry.
TD: Why Cointreau? Will the purist object?
RG: I use Cointreau because I personally like ...
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