distilled spirit

Concept: a fantasy setting where the various spellcasting classes have a collective monopoly on the production of alcohol - specifically: witches brew beer; priests make wine; and wizards distill spirits. It’s sufficiently lucrative that many members of the relevant professions are spellcasters on paper only; it’s not uncommon to meet a certified “wizard” who can’t cast so much as a cantrip, and most people would be honestly surprised to meet a cleric who doesn’t know anything about winemaking, for all that it’s technically not a required job skill.

(This doesn’t mean it’s safe to make any assumptions, mind. It’s generally understood that you don’t disrespect the local brewer on the off-chance that she might be able to turn you into a frog, and demarcation issues concerning where one type of alcoholic beverage ends and the next begins can - and have - resulted in earthshaking sorcerous duels!)

If your Dragons are Drunkards...

This may be useful for you. Also: tavern-owners, distillers, brewers, tavern-goers, lawmen, mercenaries, courtesans, etc. etc. etc. Have a list of the plants that can make alcohol in Sornieth.

Most of the items I have listed here are for use in wines, however, Sornieth does have a few wheat-like plants that produce grain. Grain is used to make stronger brews like vodka, whiskey, and rum. Wine and brandy need fermented fruit.

Please note that I am NOT an expert in malting in any way. Most of this has been gleaned from books, and as such is probably lacking in some areas. That being said, if you’d like to contact me about the malting process, I can link you to several good sources/share what I know.

FR plants you can make spirits out of:

Amaranth (a grain - used for stronger stuff like whiskey, gin, rum, and vodka)

Prickly Pear




Blood Acorn

Woodland Acorn


Winter’s Delight (in my lore this is a rare, delicious wine harvested on the winter solstice)

Charged Duneberry

Potash Peach (must be cooled before fermenting)


Aether Cherries

Red Delicious Apple

Honeycrisp Apple

Other items used for flavoring:


Luminous Almonds

Roses (petals only)


Jasmine (goes well with strawberries)

Speckled Petunia (Reduction) (sweet, grassy flavor)

Hallowed Ivy (lifts a dragon’s emotional spirits)

Sour Green Apple

Granny Smith Apple

Use at your own risk:

Blue Entoloma (sleep aid)

Blood Spath (high in calories)

High-Voltage Almonds

Maiden’s Blush (slightly toxic, raises body temperature)

This is not, of course, the final jurisdiction on matters! I may have missed a few plants/not included a few because I am not a brewer myself. Feel free to use this information any way you please~

So there you have it. I wanted to make a list like this for a long time, I may do a different one with the known recipes of Sornieth’s garnishes/sauces/food recipes when I find time.

Do not drink and fly. Stay safe, kids.

Happy brewing!

If you’ve never heard of Alexander von Humboldt, a once world-renowned Prussian scientist who predicted man-made climate change in 1800 and was an adviser to President Thomas Jefferson, then a New Hampshire distillery is aiming to change that, one glass at a time.

“One of the things that really struck a chord with us was that Humboldt was fascinated by nature, and we’re fascinated by it, too,” says Jamie Oakes of Tamworth Distilling. “We’ll take a walk through a sunny pine grove and then try to figure out how we can distill those smells in liquid form.”

From Film Stars To Naturalists, These Lives Have Become Boozy Inspirations

Photo: Courtesy of Tamworth Distilling, Samuel Adams and The Macallan
Caption: From left, Von Humbolt’s Natur wasser, named after the German explorer and naturalist; Blood & Sand, inspired by silent movie star Rudolph Valentino; and a single malt by Macallan in collaboration with artist Steven Klein.

Whiskey, a distilled spirit made from grain mash and typically aged in wooden casks, comes from the Gaelic “uisce beatha”, meaning water of life.

Akvavit, a clear or golden spirit made from grain and flavoured with caraway or dill, comes from the Latin “aqua vitae”, or water of life.

Eau De Vie, a double-distilled clear fruit brandy, comes from the French for water of life.

Some people are fucking serious about their booze.

Culinary History (Part 36): Preserving

In medieval Europe, protein foods such as meat & dairy could only be eaten fresh during summer and autumn.  In the winter and spring, they would be smoky or salty, because this was the only way to stop food from going off.

Any meat that wasn’t eaten straight away after killing the animal was salted – layered up with huge amounts of salt in a large wooden cask.  This expensive to do – in the late 1200’s, 2d of salt was necessary to cure 5d of meat – so only good-quality meat was salted.

Pork took salt the best.  The Elizabethans had bacon, ham, salt pork, and gammon (the hind leg after being dry-salted or brined).  There was also souse – a pickled mixture of all the leftover bits except the squeak.

Glazed gammon.

Beef was also salted to make salt beef.  One version of salt beef was Martinmas beef, prepared around the feast of Martinmas (November 11th).  The beef was well-salted, then hung in the roof of a smoky house until it was well-smoked.

There is an urban myth that medieval cooks used spices to disguise the taste of gone-off meat, but this is not true.  Spices were too expensive to waste on bad meat, but they were used to make the salt meat taste less harsh.

Milk was preserved as well as meat.  In the East, it was curdled & fermented into yoghurty foods and sour drinks, such as the Kazakh kumis (a fermented liquor made from mare’s milk, used as a drink and medicine).


In the West, it was turned into cheese and butter, both highly-salted for preservation.  In Aelfric’s Colloquy (late 900’s AD), the “salter” says that “you would lose all your butter and cheese were I not at hand to protect it for you.”

Their butter was extremely salty.  Butter today has about 1-2% salt, but they had 5-10x that amount.  According to a 1305 record, 1 pound of salt was needed for only 10 pounds of butter.  This would be disgusting to eat, and the cooks had to spend a lot of effort washing salt out of butter to make it edible.

Fish had to be salted, too.  The Scottish kipper (salted, pickled, or cold-smoked herring) was not invented until the 1800’s.  But before that, there was a kind of cured haddock produced near Aberdeen, smoked over peat & decayed moss.  They were called Bervies (also Buckies & Smokies? or were they a different type of fish/process?)

Salted cod.

Salted/pickled fish was a staple European protein food, especially on Fridays.  Even before the Classical era, there had been a good trade in salted fish – first from Egypt and Spain; then from Greece and Rome.  In the Middle Ages, salt herring came from the North and Baltic Seas, where it was a major industry.

Salt herring is not easy to produce, because it goes off so fast.  It should be preserved within a day (preferably less).  In the 1300’s, the manufacturers developed techniques for salting herrings on board, and this made it a lot faster.  The fish were re-packed when they got back to shore.

The Dutch were exceptional at this, which may have been one of the reasons they dominated the European market.  Their herring-gutters could process two thousand fish an hour when at sea.  Because they did it so fast, they accidentally left behind a part of the stomach containing trypsin (a chemical which speeds up the curing process).

Only eating fish preserved and not fresh would have been very monotonous, and there are many jokes about this.  In A Pleasant Comedie, called Wily Beguilde (Anon, 1606), one character says to another, “You dried stockefish, you, out of my sight!”

A “red herring” was a rather smelly cured fish which had been double “hard-smoked” and salted.  It is now a literary term.

Sweet preserved foods were much nicer to eat.  In the Mediterranean, the most common way to preserve fruit & vegetables was to dry them.  In this way, grapes became “raisins of the sun”, plums turned into prunes, and dates & figs shrivelled up and became sweeter.  During Biblical times & earlier, juicy fruits & vegetables were either buried in hot sand, or laid out on trays or rooftops.  The hot sun easily dried them out.

In Eastern Europe, the sun was less hot, so they had to develop more complicated methods.  From the Middle Ages, special drying-houses were built in Moravia (CZE) and Slovakia.  A drying-house was a room heated by a stove below it, with many wicker handles inside to hang the fruit on.

The English nobility had “stillrooms”, cool rooms where servants bottled fruits, candied nuts & citrus peel, distilled spirits, and made jams, marmalades (originally from quinces) and sweetmeats.

Candying had many alchemical superstitions and “secrets”.  For example, walnuts should be preserved on St. John’s Day (June 24th). Fruits for preserving were picked just before ripening, because they held their shape better that way.  Preserving was a kind of magic, like embalming the dead, of holding back decay.

Hannah Wolley’s The Queen-Like Closet (1672) gives a recipe for “The best way to preserve gooseberries green and whole”.  They were soaked three times in warm water; then boiled three times in sugar syrup; and finally boiled once more in a fresh sugar syrup.

Even though people had no idea why these methods worked, they succeeded in preserving most of the time.  It wasn’t until the 1860’s, when Louis Pasteur discovered the micro-organisms that made food & drink go off, that we found out.  People believed that the reason was spontaneous generation, with mysterious invisible forces causing mould to grow.  In reality, it’s microbes such as bacteria, yeast and fungi that cause good fermentation for wine & cheese, and toxic fermentation when food degrades.

Drying works as a method of preservation because bacteria need moisture to grow in, and so when the fruit dehydrated, they mostly die off.  Pickling in vinegar works because microbes prefer alkaline conditions, and the acid stops mold from growing.

There wasn’t much innovation in preserving, because mistakes could be deadly.  From the Middle Ages to the beginning of the 1800’s, the only innovation was conserving meat in a layer of fat/oil – used in potted meats and duck/goose confit (salt-curing a piece of meat, and cooking it in its own fat).

Duck confit.


Whiskey is
A walk that starts in the park
And ends in the back of a car
Winning chess
Though you’ve never palmed
A rook before
The distillate of sweetness
Every crushed spirit
Still oozes
Fire in the lungs
Of boozes

Maureen Armstrong @haikkun

Ten Foods That Keep Practically Forever

Firstly – nothing will keep forever if it is not stored correctly in the right environment. Many of these foods need to remain dry and be kept in their original unopened packaging or airtight containers.

All kinds of sugar, whether white, brown or powdered etc, will last forever if kept dry in an airtight container. Sugar will never spoil as bacteria simply cannot grow on sugar.

Dried beans were tested by Brigham Young University. They tested the long-term storage of pinto beans, and their conclusion was that pinto beans were safe to eat 32 years after they were stored in an airtight container at an ambient temperature.

White, wild, arborio and basmati rice all keep for 25+ when kept in their sealed packaging, or when stored in an airtight container. Brown rice does not store so well due to its high oil content.

Kept dry in its original box with the lid on, corn starch has an indefinite shelf life. Great for thickening soups and sauces post zombie apocalypse!

When stored unopened in its original packaging, powdered milk has an indefinite shelf life. Quick tip to determine if powdered milk has spoilt – if it has started to turn yellow, it’s time to bin it.

Due to its high sugar content and antibiotic properties, honey can remain edible for 1000s of years, even when opened! Edible honey has been found in Egyptian tombs.

All distilled spirits such as vodka, rum, whisky, gin and tequila, keep forever, even in opened bottles. Their color and taste may change over time, but they are still fine to drink.

Salt will never go bad if stored in a dry container and environment. It has the added benefit of being able to be used to preserve other fresh foods too.

Both apple cider vinegar and basic white vinegar will keep indefinitely when stored in a cool/dark cupboard. Vinegar also has countless cleaning, DIY and medicinal uses

When unopened maple syrup will last forever.

Herbert Hoover to Head US Food Administration

A poster from the US Food Administration from late 1917, aimed at immigrants.

July 30 1917, Washington–The United States’ entry into the war on the side of the Allies brought along with it their substantial food production, sorely needed in a Europe ravaged by war and beset by German U-boats.  Of course, the United States also needed to manage its supplies for domestic use, as well.  Wilson wanted a centralized body to manage the food supply, under the direction of one man–Herbert Hoover, who had already achieved fame organizing American food relief efforts in Belgium.  Congress was at first reluctant giving so much power to one man, but on July 30 acquiesced.  The President would sign the act creating the U.S. Food Administration under Hoover on August 10.

The Food Administration was responsible for the purchase and sale of large quantities of food, to be used for the provision of the US Army in Europe, relief for American allies, and to provide a stable price for American wheat.  This last provision eventually became extremely contentious, with many farmers arguing that the price (initially aimed for $2/bushel) was too low.  Hoover also had authority to go after hoarding and profiteering, including cracking down on the distillation of spirits from grain.  He also now headed up a large propaganda arm with the aim of convincing Americans to conserve food.  A similar Fuel Administration was set up later in August, under Harry Garfield, president of Williams College and son of the late President.

Today in 1916: German Attack on Jersey City Damages Statue of Liberty
Today in 1915: Germans Use Flamethrowers at Hooge Crater
Today in 1914: Czar Nicholas II Orders Russian General Mobilization

stargazer-daisy  asked:

hi there, just quick question for fic purposes - any thoughts as to the taste of milk of the poppy? as often as it's mentioned in asoiaf, i haven't found anything in the text indicating whether it's bitter or sweet. i came across an old post of yours in which you said that dreamwine is probably bitter, so would it be reasonable to conclude that milk of the poppy is too?

The interesting thing about milk of the poppy is that… well, the “milk” part is really strange, when you think about it. OK, see, in our world, opium is made by scratching the seed pod of the opium poppy, then the white latex “milk” seeps out and dries, and then later the dried brown waxy product is collected and dehydrated. This brown waxy substance is opium, and can be smoked, or powdered and mixed with alcohol (to make laudanum), or distilled into morphine or heroin, or otherwise used in a variety of ways.

But in ASOIAF, the potion called milk of the poppy is a thick white liquid, that can leave a white film around the mouth when drunk. (Like a very weird “got milk?” ad.) So, evidently the milky white latex of the poppy stays liquid somehow? Perhaps the maesters collect it before it dries, and mix it with something – maybe actual milk or cream, maybe some kind of chemical or distilled spirit (although hot distillation doesn’t seem to exist in Westeros yet). Or maybe they do collect it as a dried product, and grind it into powder and mix it with milk, or something like that?

There’s also a way of making a narcotic “poppy seed tea” by washing poppy seeds in water or alcohol or lemon juice or vinegar, then straining the result. (Please don’t try this at home, people have died.) That reportedly produces a yellow-to-grayish liquid, however, nothing like how milk of the poppy is described. And there’s also poppy seed milk (aguonu pienas or khas khas doodh), which is made by soaking poppy seeds in water, then grinding them, and squeezing the product through cheesecloth over and over again until all the liquid is extracted. (You can see a video of this process here.) This produces a thin white liquid that looks like milk… but by most reports it’s not narcotic, as the insides of poppy seeds don’t contain the alkaloids of opium. (It can still mess you up on a drug test, though, and people say not to let little kids drink it as it does have a slight sedative property.) But maybe in ASOIAF, it’s not just the latex of the poppy that contains morphine and codeine and such, but the poppy seeds too, so maybe maesters are making poppy seed milk, thickening it somehow, and that’s what milk of the poppy is?

As for the flavor… alkaloids, the natural chemicals in opium, have a very bitter taste. Laudanum, for example, is extremely bitter, which is why I think it’s the equivalent of dreamwine, which needs honey to go down easy. Poppy seed tea also reportedly tastes vile, especially if it has a high alkaloid content. And poppy seed milk has, quote, “an acquired taste” (nutty, a little bitter?), and normally is mixed with lots of dairy milk and honey to improve the flavor. But, since none of the above products are apparently exactly what ASOIAF’s milk of the poppy is, I’m not sure their flavors would be the same.

But nevertheless, I think I’ve got some textual information for you. (These quotes didn’t come up in asearchoficeandfire for milk of the poppy, so I missed them at first.)

The door to his bedchamber opened. Maester Luwin was carrying a green jar, and this time Osha and Hayhead came with him. “I’ve made you a sleeping draught, Bran.”
Osha scooped him up in her bony arms. She was very tall for a woman, and wiry strong. She bore him effortlessly to his bed.
“This will give you dreamless sleep,” Maester Luwin said as he pulled the stopper from the jar. “Sweet, dreamless sleep.”
“It will?” Bran said, wanting to believe.
“Yes. Drink.”
Bran drank. The potion was thick and chalky, but there was honey in it, so it went down easy.
“Come the morn, you’ll feel better.” Luwin gave Bran a smile and a pat as he took his leave.
Osha lingered behind. “Is it the wolf dreams again?”
Bran nodded.
“You should not fight so hard, boy. I see you talking to the heart tree. Might be the gods are trying to talk back.”
“The gods?” he murmured, drowsy already. Osha’s face grew blurry and grey. Sweet, dreamless sleep, Bran thought.

–ACOK, Bran I

A stab of pain reminded him of his own woes. The maester squeezed his hand. “Clydas is bringing milk of the poppy.”
Jon tried to rise. “I don’t need—”
“You do,” Aemon said firmly. “This will hurt.”
Donal Noye crossed the room and shoved Jon back onto his back. “Be still, or I’ll tie you down.” Even with only one arm, the smith handled him as if he were a child. Clydas returned with a green flask and a rounded stone cup. Maester Aemon poured it full. “Drink this.”
Jon had bitten his lip in his struggles. He could taste blood mingled with the thick, chalky potion. It was all he could do not to retch it back up.


So, evidently milk of the poppy tastes “chalky”. (Like milk of magnesia, I suppose?) Now, the sleeping potion that Maester Luwin gives to Bran is not said to be milk of the poppy, but the fact that it puts him to sleep so quickly and that it also tastes thick and chalky suggests it has milk of the poppy as a major ingredient. (It also came in a green flask, heh.) Note that Bran’s potion has honey in it, so I suspect that if milk of the poppy does have a naturally bitter flavor because of its alkaloid content, then maesters would usually prepare it with honey to sweeten or neutralize the bitterness. Especially in the case of invalids, like Hoster Tully or the Blackwater-injured Tyrion, where a maester wouldn’t want them to choke on a nasty-tasting medicine.

Anyway. For fic purposes, I would just say that milk of the poppy tastes thick and chalky. You may also want to note a hint of bitterness, or say that the maester prepared it with honey. Hope that helps!


K’ajia Ahadi - Saffron & Sotol

For one week each year, gorgeous purple flowers bloom in only a few places around the Eorzea. What remains of K'ajias tribe wade into the purple seas to harvest the blooms by hand and then pick their stamens to sell as saffron. The harvest process is tedious, but these high-maintenance flowers are also very selective about the climates that they grow in and the yields are very hit or miss. Each flower - or saffron crocus - produces about three stamens, which must be picked by hand. About 150 flowers are needed to produce a gram of saffron and saffron can sell for between 2,000 to 10,000 Gil per pound. K'ajia assists in the sale as well as transport and collection of the Saffron, allowing herself and those involved to reap the rewards.

While Saffron can be a risky trade depending on one short week a year of harvest, Sotol as well as the Desert Spoon itself has become a more steady trade option to fill in the gaps near year-round for her people. Sotol is a distilled spirit made from the Dasylirion wheeleri, Asparagaceae (commonly known as Desert Spoon), a plant that grows through North and South Eastern Thanalan. It is known as the regional drink and popularized among the common-folk. There are few commercial examples available; a large amount of current stock within the great city of Uld'ah having passed through the hands of the Hipparion tribe and/or the Refugees of Little Ala Mhigo they have allied themselves with. The flowering stem of Sotol is one of the best materials for making a friction fire, as it is straight, light in weight, and strong. As it is straight, the stem requiring little to no straightening prior to use, it is still commonly used as a lance and spear among her tribe, the latter with an attached stone or metal point. The base of a cooked Sotol stem may be eaten rather like an artichoke leaf (by scraping across the front teeth). This remnant, called a “quid”, resembles a spoon and can be used as one.

The Desert Spoon takes approximately 15 years to mature and yields only one bottle of Sotol per plant, which means the requirement of multiple harvest plants turning over and maturing in a staggered fashion in order to be reliable. The lost of one harvest can be detrimental– something the Hipparion tribe is all too familiar with and accounts for with large underground root cellars. Desert Spoon typically grows on rocky slopes. Unlike agave, which flowers only once in its lifetime, Desert Spoon produces a single flower stalk every few years. Once the plant matures, it is harvested. The outer leaves are removed to reveal the center core, which is taken back or sold to a distillery. The core can then be cooked and/or steamed, shredded, fermented, and distilled.

Sotol Age Classifications:

■ Plata

Un-aged, straight from distillation to the bottle.

■  Reposado (rested)

Aged several months to a year.

■  Añejo

Aged for at least one year.

—- More to come! —-

(This is a WIP and working super hard to make it an original financial and historical platform for her and her split-off of the Hipparion Tribe. Her history isn’t connected or associated to any other player-based ideas or headcanons  of the K(Koo)/Hipparion Tribe or any of it’s other many split-offs in Eorzea. :> Please don’t copy or relate your character to the history of my OC or her split-off Hipparion(Koo) Tribe without permission! Just wanted to share K’ajias way of life and a taste of the culture in which she was raised. ♥ Art by Infern - No active account. ;o;)

The signs as Green Day songs

Aries: Walking Contradiction
“Hit and run and then I’ll hit you again,
I’m a smart ass but I’m playing dumb.”

Taurus: Longview
“Bite my lip and close my eyes, take me away to paradise.
I’m so damn bored, I’m going blind
and loneliness has to suffice”

Gemini: Hitchin’ a Ride
“I need a lift to happy hour, say oh no.
Do you break for distilled spirits? I need a break as well.
The well that inebriates the guilt.”

Cancer: Redundant
“I cannot speak, I lost my voice, I’m speechless and redundant,
‘cause I love you’s not enough. I’m lost for words.”

Leo: When I Come Around
“You may find out that your self-doubt means nothing was ever there,
you can’t go forcing something if it’s just not right.”

Virgo: Macy’s Day Parade
“Give me something that I need, satisfaction guaranteed.
Because I’m thinking about a brand new hope,
the one I’ve never known ‘cause now I know it’s all that I wanted.”

Libra: Nice Guys Finish Last
“Sometimes you’re at your best, when you feel the worst.
You feel washed up like piss going down the drain.”

Scorpio: Stuck With Me
“Cast out… buried in a hole.
Struck down… forcing me to fall.
Destroyed… giving up the fight,
well, I know I’m not alright.”

Sagittarius: Jaded
“Always move forward, going straight will get you nowhere.
There is no progress, evolution killed it all, I found my place in nowhere.”

Capricorn: Brain Stew
“My eyes feel like they’re gonna bleed,
dried up and bulging out my skull.
My mouth is dry, my face is numb.
Fucked up and spun out in my room”

Aquarius: Minority
“Stepped out of the line like a sheep runs from the herd,
marching out of time to my own beat now, the only way I know!”

Pisces: Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)
“Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road,
time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go.
So make the best of this test and don’t ask why,
it’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time.”

period-typical homoeroticism — The Saga of Cute Twink Bucky

Okay, so what about Steve?

Steve’s an artist, and he falls in with these bohemian types, these working class artists who like to argue about socialism and the rise of the proletariat and also anti-segregation and racism and the people starving across the country and entire states turn to dust. They talk about art and the meaning of it and how to find that meaning in the grim landscape they live in, the razor edge they all live their lives, where a few days bad luck or a chance encounter with the police could mean ruin and homelessness.

That’s how Steve’s lived his whole life, right on that edge, and he feels like he’s come home, to people who have had to fight as hard as he has all his life, or even harder. And if sometimes he stays too late to get back to Brooklyn, arguing about how to save the world, and one of his new friends takes him to bed and teaches him about how his body isn’t always only pain, something to hold him back - and if maybe it’s not always the same friend, or maybe it’s more than one, well - it’s a whole new era, with new morals. They’re making themselves here.

I mean, this is the art scene of the ‘30s, this is when Pollock was cutting his teeth and making enemies, this was when Rothko and de Kooning and everyone who eventually became the New York school were struggling and trying to make a name for themselves. This is the New York of Hopper and The Naked City, that creeping existential dread - the years where it seemed like a new skyscraper went up every other day, and down below people were starving on the streets.

This is the New York of Social Realism - the glory of industry and hard work, and the triumph of the common man over the capitalist enemy. I mean, Steve would be all over Social Realism. That shit is so up his alley it hurts to think about. If anyone he knows is working it’s as likely to be on a WPA project as anything, New York is full to the brim with Depression era WPA art, and you know that kind of wrought, expressionist, heavily allegorical shit would be just the kind of thing the dude who eventually became Captain America would paint.

And Steve’s art has a guest star, this dark haired young man who appears over and over, who shines with the sweat of honest labor, who gleams in the fire of a factory furnace, whose Byronic beauty is a contrast against the humble anonymity of the other figures. His friends laugh and ask him, “Who is this Young Turk? Who is this paragon of manhood? Isn’t it arrogant, to value to individual against the collective?”

And Steve can lie the whole day long but his ability to bullshit about art is unparalleled, so he says, well, this is labor distilled, this is the spirit of commonality and united purpose. No - it’s a saint of old or a - an angel, brought out of the sacristy and into the mire with the rest of us, whose beauty only grows as he learns about mankind and the struggle. How transgressive!

And it works until one night there’s a party at his friend’s dingy apartment one night, and he’s draped over a someone’s lap, halfway out onto the fire escape to escape the cigarette smoke and the reefer smoke and all the noise, and someone shouts his name.

And sure Bucky’s friends are teasing him about poetry and alabaster and everything, but Steve’s friends take one look over and recognize that angel in all his glory, come to life among them in Harlem.


Paging stoatsandwich, in case this fucking time it posts.

The Viking Diet

Since the Bronze Age, Scandinavians have been taller and healthier than surrounding populations, which has often attributed to a protein-rich diet high in fish and dairy.

The following are simple rules inspired by the Hávamál and other Old Norse texts, scholarship on the cuisine and foodways of the pre-Christian Germanic tribes, and instructions from modern nutritionists.

These things are praiseworthy and should be encouraged:

  • Limiting yourself to two larger meals each day; one a few hours after waking up, the other at the end of the working day
  • Eating snacks smaller than a handful, only when you are truly hungry
  • Eating a raw apple as a snack or at the end of a meal, every day or two
  • Consuming cold water fish as your animal protein, as least every third time you eat flesh
  • Eating berries
  • Eating vegtables of the allium family (onions, garlic, leeks)
  • Eating only whole grains and their flours, especially spelt, barley, rye and oats
  • Using real raw honey, if a sweetener is required
  • Eating or drinking fermented and cured food, of different kinds
  • Drinking water, herbal tea, dairy products, or alcohols that are made in the household
  • Scorning all rules on feast days, such as the Yuletide or birthday parties, but still eating in moderation

These things are scornful and should be avoided:

  • Eat snacks or desserts after your final meal of the day
  • Getting ravenously hungry before meals
  • Eating so much that you cannot be moderately active after a meal
  • Eating modern varieties of wheat, rolled oats, or polished grains of any type (such as white flour)
  • Eating anything that is deep-fried
  • Eating white- or yellow-fleshed potato
  • Drinking caffeinated beverages
  • Drinking juice that has not been fermented
  • Drinking alcohol that you, kith or kin have not fermented yourselves
  • Getting drunk
  • Eating anything that includes processed juices from sugar cane, sugar beet, corn syrup, or the like
  • Consuming anything that has an ingredient that has been distilled (such as spirits, natural or artificial flavours, many food dyes, baking soda or powder)

These are the basic rules that will change your food habits towards eating more like a Germanic person from the Viking Age or before. Of course, you could always become more historically strict by not eating any crops that became part of the Northern European diet after the Middle Ages, such as maize, peppers, many varieties of beans, chia, amaranth, quinoa, rice, sweet potatoes and yams, squash, melons, many spices, okra, coconut, rutabagas, orange carrots, etc.  However, this historical accuracy will not likely result in better health, since maximizing whole fruit and vegetable intake is considered by many to be a good idea if you are not on some kind of ketogenic-type diet.

Disclaimer: People with specific health problems or sensitivities, such as diabetes or irritable bowel syndrome, may need to make adjustments to these guidelines. Each person has their own specific body chemistry and needs. Listen to your body and consume with wisdom.

In the Kunlun Mountains, Xu Feng raises some of the most powerful and beautiful pegasi in the world. At his family’s mountain ranch, Mr. Xu breeds White Jade Pegasi, named for the region around the White Jade river, where the species of pegasus are exclusively found. Fed baijiu–a Chinese distilled spirit–and a mixture of vegetation, White Jade Pegasi are the pegasus breed in highest demand in the world.

“They know it too,” says Mr. Xu, as a a nearby pegasus snuffles his palm. “They’re proud bastards. But some of the best flyers in the world. India won the last Aerial Polo International Championship on White Jades.”

(Zhao Lei by Anaëlle Le Roy)


The Rise and Fall and Rise of Absinthe,

Today the liquor absinthe is making a comeback.  Thought not as popular as gin, vodka, rum, or whiskey, there was a time when absinthe was one of the most popular spirits offered in saloons around Europe and the United States.  Absinthe is traditionally an anise flavored liquor distilled from Artemesia absinthium (grand wormwood), green anise, fennel, and other botanicals.  Once distilled the remaining spirit usually has a green color. Absinthe also typically has a high alcohol volume, typically 90 to 150 proof.

Like most liquors and liqueurs, absinthe was originally developed as a medicine.  Credit typically goes to a physician from Switzerland named Pierre Ordinaire.  From there the recipe was passed down until absinthe distilleries sprouted up all over Europe.  Absinthe didn’t become popular until the mid 19th century, when it was issued to French troops as a prophylactic against malaria, particularly in French colonies in Africa and Southeast Asia.  Soldiers developed a taste for the liquor and spread its popularity all over the world.

The golden age of absinthe occurred from around the late 19th and early 20th century.  By then absinthe could be found in every restaurant, bistro, bar, and saloon in Europe and the East Coast of the United States.  It was a drink for all classes, from poor to rich, although quality differed from brand to brand.  Some famous drinkers of absinthe included Ernest Hemingway, Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, and Aleister Crowley.  As absinthe spread across the world many different cocktails were created.  One popular cocktail from New Orleans was sazerac, which was a combination of cognac or rye, absinthe, and Peychuad’s bitters.  The popular way to drink absinthe was to added 3 or 4 ounces of cold water to an ounce liquor, as well as a sugar cube for sweetness.  This method often involved a special ritual involving a unique absinthe glass, sugar spoon, and other mixing devices.

The fall of of absinthe began in the early 20th century, mostly due to two groups; the prohibitionists and the winemakers.  The booming absinthe market cut into the business of French winemakers (as well as english gin distillers and various whiskey distillers).  This led to a call for restrictions on absinthe to quash competition.  Because it was the most popular drink of the day, prohibitionists (those who want to ban alcohol) also put absinthe in their sights.  The attack on absinthe centered around a trace chemical in the spirit called thujone.  It was believed that thujone in absinthe caused psychedelic effects.  Today modern studies have proved this notion false, but the prohibitionist latched onto the idea, touting claims that absinthe caused madness and a breakdown of morals. There were even accounts of men and women murdering their friends and family’s due to “green madness”. As a result, absinthe was branded “the green fairy” and “the green devil”.  One critic claimed,

“Absinthe makes you crazy and criminal, provokes epilepsy and tuberculosis, and has killed thousands of French people. It makes a ferocious beast of man, a martyr of woman, and a degenerate of the infant, it disorganizes and ruins the family and menaces the future of the country.”

 In Switzerland, an alcoholic named Jean Lanfray drank excessive amounts of beer, wine, brandy and schnapps, followed by a glass of absinthe.  He then murdered his entire family.  Absinthe took the blame, and the Swiss government banned it in 1905.  Shortly afterword, most countries in Europe and North American banned absinthe as well.  The last major blow to absinthe was when it was banned in France, the number one consumer of the liquor.

Absinthe remained illegal in most countries throughout the 20th century.  It wasn’t until a resurgence in popularity for the drink that governments began to look into the dangers of absinthe.  After several scientific studies it was conclusively determined that absinthe has no hallucinogenic properties.  In fact the only potent chemical in the liquor was the alcohol itself.  Today absinthe is legal in most places in the world, and is slowly gaining popularity.

Hotel California

In a 2009 interview, The Plain Dealer music critic John Soeder asked Don Henley this about the lyrics:

On “Hotel California,” you sing: “So I called up the captain / ‘Please bring me my wine’ / He said, 'We haven’t had that spirit here since 1969.’” I realize I’m probably not the first to bring this to your attention, but wine isn’t a spirit. Wine is fermented; spirits are distilled. Do you regret that lyric?

Henley responded:

Thanks for the tutorial and, no, you’re not the first to bring this to my attention—and you’re not the first to completely misinterpret the lyric and miss the metaphor. Believe me, I’ve consumed enough alcoholic beverages in my time to know how they are made and what the proper nomenclature is. But that line in the song has little or nothing to do with alcoholic beverages. It’s a sociopolitical statement. My only regret would be having to explain it in detail to you, which would defeat the purpose of using literary devices in songwriting and lower the discussion to some silly and irrelevant argument about chemical processes.[14]


berryholic-hamiltonic  asked:

Hi! Actually I'm curious about the Whiskey Rebellion. I've never heard of it, what happened? Was during the Prohibition? I'm not a fan of whiskey of any sort, but yay history!!

So this is a very quick and dirty run down of my understanding of the Whiskey Rebellion. Yay!

The Whiskey Rebellion has actually NOTHING to do with Prohibition, but everything to do with the American Revolution! Yay!

So America right? No Taxation without Representation. Remember that one, it was one of the points patriots liked to whip out as justification for the Revolution (There were a few reasons but remember that one). Now mind you a lot of Americans were just used to like, NOT paying taxes and smuggling and stuff and took it really personally when Britain started really enforcing taxation *cough* John Hancock*cough*.

ANYWAY so, there was a war right? And after the 1780s, America is all trying to get its shit together and create a government and OOOOOPS the problem with WAR is that it takes a lot of money and America owed a TON of money to various European countries and banks. We were in serious debt and over here you have my man Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton trying to deal with it while also trying to strengthen the Federal government’s power over the states. (I’m not here to debate if that was good and necessary or the worst evil of American history, that’s just how it was)

Now, no one was going to let him tax people or property, you’d have another revolution on your hands! So we start with an taxing imports, which leads to Hamilton fighting the East Coast smuggling culture with the US Custom House and the creation of the Coast Guard and we start paying off our National Debt. YAY!

 But the imports were taxed to the limit and even JAMES MADISON is like “nah man we can’t tax imports anymore, we have to find another source of revenue.”

But again, you can’t tax people or property, because AMERICA.

BUT…what about Vice Taxes?

Vice taxes are what you place on items that aren’t necessary and are kinda bad, like booze and cigarettes. You can live without that shit. So Alexander Hamilton pushes for a tax on American-produced distilled spirits. Even if you’re in the back woods of Western Pennsylvania with one still, you’re going to get taxed on what you produce. Even JAMES MADISON backed this because hey, rampant alcoholism has always sort of been a problem in America (hence Prohibition).

Seems reasonable, no?


Not only are you fucking with like, AN INGRAINED AMERICAN NATIONAL PASTTIME, you are also taxing what is considered the only reasonable way for farmers in the western frontier to get their produce to eastern markets without them spoiling. Like, grain alcohol in barrels was way easier to transport and was more cost effective than transporting grain. ALSO, whiskey was used as a form of currency because money was hard to come by in the west, so you kinda sorta ended up with an Income Tax on a bartering system.

So, farmers in the west felt that not only was that tax against the very “NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION” that the Revolution was fought for, but that they as poor farmers were being unfairly targeted by this tax, and flipped their fucking shit against the tax collectors that Hamilton sent out there to get it done. Like, one dude almost got his nose ground off on a whetstone. It was some scary hardcore mob shit. It got so bad GEORGE MOTHERFUCKING WASHINGTON had to ride out to Western PA as the COMMANDER OF THE FUCKING ARMY to settle this shit. 

Luckily, once he showed up everyone was like “OH FUCK IT’S THE PRESIDENT” and things were calmed down without actual bloodshed. Because it’s literally there in the Constitution that the Federal government had the authority to pass this tax:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

( Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution, SON!)

And that’s why I made a punch cocktail in honor of Alexander Hamilton and the Whiskey Rebellion. 


Soju Spirit                                                                                            

Our photographer Seong Joon Cho visited the largest soju maker Hite Jinro Co.’s bottling facility in Icheon, South Korea.

South Korea’s 48.5 million people each consume an average 12.3 liters (3.2 gallons) of pure alcohol a year, the World Health Organization estimated in 2010. Globally, the WHO estimated a individual would drink on average 6.2 liters (1.6 gallons) of pure alcohol per year.

Most of the alcohol consumed in South Korea is still either beer or soju, a spirit typically distilled from rice, despite the influence of wine.

Soju is considered as the most popular alcoholic beverage drink in Korea. The alcohol content of soju ranges from 19 percent to 25 percent.

Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

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