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Monster in a Glass

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Our podcast takes a classic cocktail and researches its origins and then explores historical concepts and events from that time period that inspired the drink.

Our podcast takes a classic cocktail and researches its origins and then explores historical concepts and events from that time period that inspired the drink.
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Our podcast takes a classic cocktail and researches its origins and then explores historical concepts and events from that time period that inspired the drink.






Episode 72: Exploring All Avenues – The Avenue

This 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...

Duration: 00:44:12

Episode 71: Unacceptable Condition – Fred Collins Fiz

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...

Duration: 00:33:29

Episode 70: Keeping It In The Family – The Ford Cocktail

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...

Duration: 00:53:41

Episode 69: Waking with a Stiff One – The Fogcutter

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...

Duration: 00:52:32

Episode 68: In High Spirits – The Flying Dutchman

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...

Duration: 00:47:29

Episode 67: Do Not Talk About Fish Club – Fish House Punch

This Fish House Punch takes us to all the way back to colonial America and includes stories you probably didn’t learn in elementary school. This punch is truly a monster in a glass, or maybe a goblet, or bowl, or whatever people drank punch out of in the 18th century. Containing nearly all the booze and all the sugar, this surely guaranteed the founding fathers could stay up all night getting trashed while creating a nation. In this episode we discuss the origins of the Fish House Punch in...

Duration: 00:57:10

Episode 66: Ready for a Closeup – The Filmograph Cocktail

Something about a cocktail named The Filmograph sort of screams early 20th century technology. “Folks! Gather around and see the future of moving pictures. Just a dime will introduce you to the wonders of the Filmograph!” We aren’t exactly sure what a Filmograph was, but it must have been something because we now have a drink named after it. With a lack of references to the drink and some vague information about film publications and projection machines, this one left us with a whole bunch...

Duration: 00:37:40

Episode 65: Cocktail Charlie – The Fairbank Cocktail

If you do a quick search on the internet you will find any number of websites and blogs mentioning the Fairbank Cocktail, or more accurately, the Fairbanks Cocktail. You will also find that most confidently claim that the drink was named after actor Douglass Fairbanks. Occasionally, the voice of reason comes through and points to U.S. Vice President Charles Fairbanks as the origin for this drink. We here at the Black Liver Project try hard to do our research and present information as...

Duration: 00:56:31

Episode 64: The Sun Never Sets – The East India Cocktail

The East India Cocktail was first noted by Harry Johnson who claimed in his book in 1882 that this was a popular drink in among the British in India. It was hard to find any truth behind this, but it certainly sounds imperialistic. As we dive into East India Cocktail we discuss the long European colonial presence in the East, corporate interests evolving into national interests, as well as mutinies and rebellions. Come join us as we explore why this brandy-based cocktail might have been...

Duration: 00:44:32

Episode 63: Turning Up the Heat – Hot Toddy

Cameron had a cold and Rachel has a serious love for hot liquids so we invited Michael at the Brixton to introduce us to the hot toddies he serves at his bar. Along the way we learn what the hell "toddy" is.

Duration: 00:25:31

Episode 62: The Doctor Is In – Dr. Cocktail

Many cocktails got their start in the medicinal realm, and you can often see the transformations over time from cure-all to tasty beverage. So when a drink with a name like the Doctor Cocktail comes along, it is fair to assume that your aches and pains might be relieved from the ingredients. It does have citrus in it, so the Vitamin C might be warding off that pesky scurvy. Other than that, we don’t have much of an idea of how it got the name. It seems to have originated sometime in the...

Duration: 00:34:01

Episode 61: A Little Diki-Diki – The Diki-Diki Cocktail

The Diki-Diki cocktail sounds just dirty enough to make the 12 year-old boy in you giggle. Grow up! This is a sophisticated podcast. Hee-hee, it sounds like dick. The ingredients are definitely not the usual suspects, featuring the infrequently used grapefruit juice, the Normandy-based apple brandy, Calvados, and finally Swedish Punsch, an arrack-based liqueur. Wait a minute. No gin? No whiskey? No bitters? What kind of a cocktail is this? Unlike most of the cocktails we have covered, we...

Duration: 00:32:49

Episode 60: Derby Town – The Derby Cocktail

So having done the Mint Julep, what more is there to say about derbies? We take a look at the Derby Cocktail which poses a few problems when trying to talk history about it. First, there are numerous recipes for Derby Cocktails, and none seem to be related to the others. Second, derby could be referring to any number of things like the Kentucky Derby, derby races, derby hats, Derby, England, or the Derby restaurant. So which is it? All and none! The many derbies generally have a common...

Duration: 00:32:28

Episode 59: Hitting a Delicious Sour Note – The Delicious Sour

The Delicious Sour. I like a cocktail that tells you all you need to know right in the name. Sours are a family of cocktail going back a long way, with notable features of putting a lime or lemon peel in the glass and an egg white. We also dive into the life of William “The Only William” Schmidt, a bartender who some call the “godfather of mixology.” Acrobatic bartending feats, cranking out on-the-fly cocktails on a near daily basis, and creating cocktails with ten or more ingredients may...

Duration: 01:08:29

People in Your Neighborhood: Charles Brinkman - 3 Beers in 3 Days

I chatted with one of the BLP's regular contributors, Mr. Charles Brinkman. We talk about beer and then we talk about talking about beer. And then we talk about some other things.

Duration: 01:10:51

Episode 57: When Life Gives You Laraha – Curacao Punch

The Curacao Punch is generally attributed to Harry Johnson, and if you spell it the correct way of “Curacao” it is the earliest it shows up in a recipe book. However, if you spell it “Curacoa” then Jerry Thomas printed it first in his recipe book. I thought he might have just spelled it wrong, but mentions of “Curacoa Punch” show up in newspapers and books as early as the 1830s, and a recipe shows up in a periodical from the 1840s. In our experience, it probably was around even before...

Duration: 01:04:44

Episode 56: Two Men and a Cocktail – Crimean Cup a la Marmora

As we proceed with the forgotten cocktails, I’ve noticed that it’s more difficult to squeeze the interesting background out of them. Often it’s just a couple of words smashed together and attributed to a new recipe. In this episode’s cocktail it’s an attribution made in honor of a personality that I consider less than the cocktail inventor. The cocktail is named after the Italian-Sardinian general of the Crimean War. He was a dashing European fellow, Alfonso Ferrero Marmora, climbing the...

Duration: 01:13:45

Episode 55: A Communist Party – The Communist

We are going to go out on a limb and say that the Communist Cocktail is probably named after Communists. Nothing states it definitively, but…Communist. This drink calls for Cherry Bounce in the original recipe, an old cordial made from sour cherries, the pits, sugar and spices. Cherry Bounce: the 19th century’s answer to Kool-Aid! It is a relative of Cherry Brandy, and Cherry Heering, used in most recipes now. The red color of Cherry Bounce or Cherry Heering is probably the reason it ended...

Duration: 01:31:29

Episode 54: No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn – The Brooklyn Cocktail

In this episode we take a look at the Brooklyn cocktail, which looks to be the product of Jack Grohusko from the early part of the 20th century. Most cocktails take some wondering and digging and guessing in order to figure out why a bartender gave it a particular name. With the Brooklyn, we go out on a limb here and say that it is probably named after the borough in New York. Sometimes it is not worth overthinking. There is no indication as to why it is called the Brooklyn though. Was this...

Duration: 00:30:15

Episode 53: Fool's Paradise – Blue Paradise

The Blue Paradise, like many cocktails with blue in the name, is not blue. The ingredients must be blue then, right? Nope, purple, red and brown and we can pretty much guarantee that the mixing of these colors do not make blue either. This non-blue drink is credited to a Belgian bartender by the name of Emil Bauwens, of Bar Saint-James in Brussels, showing up first in the cocktail book Livre de Cocktails (1949) and really nowhere else. A name like Blue Paradise conjures images of beaches,...

Duration: 00:28:39

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