It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
Perhaps an apt mantra for the current status of our ragtag group of would-be coke dealers & chart topping country singers. Maybe not. It’s hard to tell at the moment.
I remember having to “read” A Tale of Two Cities when I was in the 7th grade.
I put the word “read” in quotes because most of the process involved looking at the words of each chapter, returning to class the next day where our teacher would translate everything into modern English.
Like the works of Herman Melville, it’s not an easy read.
I’m going to keep this more brief than recent TIPs, for reasons that will become clear soon. For now, I’d like to tell the Tale of Two Catholics (kind of).
- The first is Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro. Spanish conquistador. Sacked Montezuma. Toppled the Aztec Empire. Claimed a majority of modern Mexico in the name of Spain. Also Cuba. Also tomatoes.Clarification. He didn’t conquer tomatoes. That would be silly. But he did claim a few of them, bring them back to Europe and in doing so revolutionized european cuisines, giving rise the likes of gazpacho, caprese, pizza napoletana, marinara, etc.Kind of a big deal.
- The second is Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev. Russian scientist. Chemist. Inventor. Formulated the periodic law, and organized our modern periodic table of elements. Reorganizing some. Predicting the existence and behaviors of yet to be discovered elements. Refined oil refining. Also the spectroscope. Also vodka.Now we’re talking. VODKA! It had definitely been invented well before Mendeleev’s time. His contribution came while he was the Director of the Bureau of Weights & Measures in Russia. He was tasked with formulating new state standards for the production of Vodka. His standards are still widely used to this day, many vodka companies using his methods to achieve the “perfect vodka”.
I would hope that by now, you are aware of the lady who stands between these two Catholics (or at least former catholics. Dmitri was considered a deist later in life), none other than the saint, blessed among cocktails…
- 2 ounces vodka
- 4 ounces tomato juice
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 splash Worcestershire sauce
- 3 to 4 dashes Tabasco
1 teaspoon horseradish
Squeeze the liquid out of the horseradish, mix all ingredients and shake well with ice, then strain into a Collins glass over ice; add a pinch of salt and a grind or two of fresh pepper, to taste. Garnish with a stalk of celery. Some people like green olives. Some people put a turkey club sandwich on top of the damn thing. I prefer simplicity.
I fully understand that this is not exactly a monday night drink, and is more likely a sunday morning beverage. I didn’t invent television time slots. I’m sorry. Maybe just get really drunk on something else, and drink the bloody mary on tuesday? Deal?
Whiskey. Straight out of the bottle. Spill it on your shirtless chest. Make your mother proud.