Vintage Cocktail Trivia - 1922
Do you know that practically every country where the climate allows grapes to grow produces wine? That the red color in the wines is due to a pigment contained in the skins of the grapes, which are not removed during the fermentation of the must? These and many more facts are contained in this interesting read from 1922.
- Aquadiente is a Mexican liqueur made from the Maquey aloe. Pulque Wine is made from the same.
- Araki of Egypt is well known in the Near East and is a liqueur made from the juice of dates.
- Beer. The Germans generally serve beer in Schoppen (a glass covered with a metal top), and it is the custom when drinking with friends to close the metal top. If you forget to do so, they put their glass on the top of your open one and demand another round of beer at your expense. In Brussels, the local beer, called Gueuze Lambic, is usually sweetened by adding a lump of sugar or a little grenadine. Faro and Krieken Lambic are similar to the gueuze lambic, but of inferior quality.
- Bee Wine is made from the ginger-beer plant, a fungus which possesses peculiar properties. Although a favorite teetotallers’ drink, analysts have proved that it contains more alcohol than beer. It takes a fortnight to brew by placing some of the “bees" in water and adding periodically a little sugar or syrup which produces fermentation. After this, it is bottled, laid down for six weeks and is then ready for drinking.
- Bismarck is equal parts stout and champagne. In Canada, this drink is called Velvet.
- Brandies. Cognac is the French city where the famous brandies (Eaux de Vie) are distilled. They possess a fine taste and an agreeable and delicate aroma. It improves by aging in the wood.
The Fine Champagne are the best brands of cognac brandies. Other well-known brandies are the Marc de Bourgogne, the Armagnac des Pyrénées, the Calvados de Normandie which is made with apples instead of grapes; the Bacardi of Santiago de Cuba, a sugar-cane brandy reputed all over the world; the Fundador, a famous Spanish brandy; the Brandy of Odessa, the Californian Brandy, etc.
Apple Jack Brandy, well known in America, is similar to the Calvados de Normandie. The Kamchatka Watky is a brandy made of rice. Brandewyn is a Dutch brandy; in N. Europe it is known as Brantwine.
- British Wines. In various parts of Great Britain wine is made from fruits and vegetables, including blackberries, currants, damsons, dandelions, elderberry, orange, parsnip, rhubarb.
- Cachiry, from Guiana, is made of sweet potatoes and the Paya is very similar to it.
- Campari is a bitter made in Italy; it mixes well with vermouth taken with or without water.
- Cha is a Chinese fermented beverage made from the sap of the palm tree.
- Chambéry is a white French vermouth made in the town which bears that name.
- Champagne is a stimulant to the body and mind. Physicians declare that good champagne possesses therapeutic properties. Nelson, Byron, Dickens, and Napoleon I, were extremely fond of it. It is of great value to those suffering from dyspepsia, neuralgia, influenza, and gout. It has proved to be a stimulant when no other stimulant can be retained in illness. There are three kinds of champagne: Cremant, which is of the best quality and produces a creamy froth. Mousseux, the next best wine, which is very sparkling and very frothy. Tisane, which is a “mousseux” of inferior quality. Champagne was first produced in the seventeenth century and soon became a favorite drink of Louis XIV.
- Chicha, from Bolivia, is made of grapes. It is slightly intoxicating.
- Cider is the juice of apples, to which is added sugar and water. It contains a little more alcohol than beer, but there are also various brands of non-alcoholic ciders. The best English cider is made with Fair Maid of Devon, Sweet Alfred, and Woodbine Apples, which grow in Devonshire. The best French cider comes from Normandy, while in the U.S.A. the cider of Jersey is famous. Cider improves when matured.
- Delphinette is known as the Benedictine of Grenoble, and the Génépi des Alpes, the Grand Marnier of the same town.
- Dog’s Nose is a glass of ale with a dash of gin. It is a popular sailors’ drink in the British Navy.
- Douzico is a Turkish kind of absinthe, which when taken with water turns white. It has the kummel taste.
- Eau de Vie de Lie. A Swiss liqueur made from the “lie” (the crust which adheres to the wood of the wine casks) is very popular in the Canton de Vaud, Lausanne, and Geneva. The Swiss people are great consumers of this.
- Elixir is a liqueur which possesses great qualities. It cures stomachache, indigestion, etc. The best known is the Elixir de Spa, made in the town of Spa, Belgium, and the Izarra, made in the Pyrénées. Bénédictine, Vieille Cure, Chartreuse also possess the qualities of good elixir.
- Finkel is a spirit like gin but made from potatoes, of which the Norwegians are very fond. There is a still for making it on every little farm. The Norwegians also produce Homeburn or H.B. from distilled sugar and fermented yeast.
- Gin is made of juniper berries. Dry gin contains no sugar; Old Tom Gin has a small percentage of sugar. Sloe gin is gin flavored with the juice of the sloe berries. Geniévre is a gin well known in various European countries; it is made from corn. In Holland, this gin is known as Onde Klarenor Schiedam. In Germany, they call it Schnapps. Akavitte is much stronger than the usual gin; it is made in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway.
- Guarapo is a fermented sugar-cane drink of the West Indies.
- Guaruzo of Chili is made from rice.
- Guignolet de Bourguignon is a kind of cherry brandy made from the guigne (a small black cherry). It is a well-known liqueur in the Dijon district.
- Half and Half is a favorite English drink of equal parts ale and stout.
- Kava is a Hawaiian liqueur made by the prettiest girls in the villages, called Taupos. In every village, there is a taupo. She alone wears the wardress of the men. In wartime she is a vivandiére, carrying food, water, and ammunition, and in peacetime, she acts as mistress of the ceremonies. Kava is made by chewing the root of the pepper plant and spitting it into the Kava bowl. The stuff is strained and served in a coconut cup. It is also made by beating the root between stones. Too much kava paralyzes the legs, but the head remains clear; the drinker becomes emaciated and his skin scaly.
- Kwas is a Russian liqueur made of rye.
- Lagbi is made in Tripoli from the juice of dates.
- Lérina is a delicious liqueur made on the Lérins Islands, situated in the Mediterranean opposite Cannes.
- Mastic is a Greek liqueur well known in the East.
- Mescal is a colorless and fiery liqueur obtained by the distillation from the crooked heart of the agave or Mexican aloe.
- Mazato of Pérou is made of boiled maize and sugar water.
- Navy Rum, known as grog, is one part rum to three parts water.
- Pécket is a kind of local gin made from corn in the French-Speaking part of Belgium.
- Perry is a fermented liquid made from pears, much as cider is made from apples.
- Pic a Pou is the local wine of the French Pyrénées.
- Pimento Dram of Jamaica is a liqueur invented by the Carib Indians. They have nearly died out and are known as the biggest drunkards in the world. Pimento dram is very strong, but it is a good cure for a cold and fever.
- Pinnard is the name given by the French soldiers to the ration wine they receive.
- Ponche Soto is a famous liqueur of Spain, and the Sol y Sombra (half gin and half Spanish brandy) is a well-known drink of the Spanish sailors. Sol y Sombra means “Sun and Shadow.” It is the name also given to the seats in the arena at bull-fights.
- Saké is the national Japanese beverage. It is usually served in tiny white cups. Seaweed biscuits are served with it.
- Schwarzwald Kirschwasser is a German liqueur made of cherries crushed with their stones, and the Quetsch of Alsace is a similar liqueur made with prunes.
- Secrestat is a famous French bitter. The Bitter Francais, the Amer Picon, the Italian Fernet Branca, and the Dutch Boonekamp are very similar to it.
- Sinday is a popular wine in Hindustan, made from the sap of the palm tree.
- Slivovitza is known in Austria and Hungary. It is made of fermented prunes.
- Strega is a famous Italian liqueur of Milan, and Trinchieri and China Bisleri are well-known tonic wines.
- Striep is a Flemish drink composed of a glass of lager beer, of which half is
- Tuica is a Roumanian liqueur made from wild prunes.
- Van de Ham is a delicious South African liqueur tasting similar to Bénédictine.
- Whiskey is made of barley or rye. It has undoubted medicinal value, principally against chill, fever, cold, malaria, fatigue, etc. It is usually stored in sherry casks, which give it a soft and mellow flavor and improve its color. The best brands of whiskey are distilled in Scotland, Ireland, Canada. There is also a wormwood whiskey, made in the neighborhood of Odessa, which is very popular in the southern parts of Russia. It is called Polynnaia.
- Wines. The red color in the wines is due to a pigment contained in the skins of the grapes, which are not removed during the fermentation of the must. In white wines, however, the skins of the grapes are removed. Practically every country where the climate allows grapes to grow produces wine. Those best known are undoubtedly the French Bordeaux (Claret) and Burgundy wines; the German Hock and Moselle wines; the various Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Hungarian, Algerian, Madeira, South African, Australian, Californian wines, etc.
The best Burgundy wines are to be found in the Belgian cellars. This is due to the sandy soil which keeps the cellars at a regular temperature. The German wine saloons, known as “Weinstuben,” possess Stammtisch (club tables), where friends gather nightly to eat and drink. Fines are paid when drinking wine which costs more than a certain price. This money is saved for dinner parties, and the members also leave in their will a certain amount of money to be spent on wine drunk to their memory.
- Yeast, or harm, that mysterious substance, was discovered by Cagnard Latour and Schwann. Pasteur found the various tribes of yeast, which differ as much one from another as Saxons from Zulus. They all possess, however, the power of elaborating alcohol from sugar. Beer, wines, and spirituous liquors depend for their production entirely on the work of the microbes contained in the yeast.
"Do You Know That," in Cocktails: How to Mix Them, London: Herbert Jenkins Limited, 1922, p. 98-104.