Happy Birthday, Paul Barstch: Toast with a Cocktail Recipe by the Pioneering Zoologist and Explorer
“A bandage for the head in the morning would not be out of place.”
By Maria Popova
Given my soft spot for unusual cookbooks, diaries, and science, I was delighted to discover a vintage cocktail recipe by pioneering zoologist and explorer Paul Bartsch (August 14, 1871–April 24, 1960), who made seminal contributions to the classification of mollusks — the perfect toast to his birthday. The concoction, which I chanced upon in The Smithsonian’s public domain archives, comes from a journal entry dated May 15, 1914, written while Bartsch was aboard the Thomas Barrera Cuban Expedition — something the specificity of the ingredients makes a point to honor:
1 ½ glass of Agua diente
1 ½ glass Hector Cubana (Chapparra M. negreira Sen. C Habana)
½ glass Italian Vermouth
½ glass Dry Gordon Gin
2 glasses Water
Sugar to taste
Pinch of lemon peel
Shake with ice, and, like my beverage, consume with a receptive mind, to say nothing about the tummy.
But Bartsch’s morning-after cautionary suggestion, presented with a scientist’s typical wry humor, is the best part:
It may be added here that a bandage for the head in the morning would not be out of place, and an ice cap comes in mighty handy.
Pair with a toast inspired by Alice in Wonderland, then regain gastric stability with some recipes from The Artists’ & Writers’ Cookbook.
Published August 14, 2013