The Marginalian
The Marginalian

Happy Birthday, Paul Barstch: Toast with a Cocktail Recipe by the Pioneering Zoologist and Explorer

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

2 Eggs

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




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