Happy (?) April Fool’s Day! We talk about the origins of the holiday, its connections to the Tom Collins cocktail, and hoaxes throughout history, from Athenian tyrants to the ‘Scratching Fanny’ ghost to the Da Vinci Code.
We head back to the Endless Knot Cocktail Bar to talk about the history of the Mai Tai, the Tiki craze, Polynesian mythology, cultural appropriation, and World's Fairs. And then we turn to Rome's relationship to Greece, and discuss whether Horace wrote the Exotica music of the ancient world!
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We discuss the origins of the Gimlet cocktail, the stories about its name, and its connection to the treatment of scurvy; then we talk about some of the other diseases tied to the early era of European expansion and colonialism, including the classical history of malaria in Greece and Rome. Also featuring conversation about gin, the pronunciation of quinine, and a cameo appearance by Alexander the Great!
Gin, Glorious Gin: How Mother's Ruin Became the Spirit of London by Olivia Williams
"The Dead Do Tell Tales", Ethan Barnes, Corinth, Vol. 20, Corinth, The Centenary: 1896-1996 (2003), pp. 435-443. JSTOR
Malaria and Rome: A History of Malaria in Ancient Italy, Robert Sallares, OUP 2002.
"A Note on Alexander's Death", Donald Engels, Classical Philology, Vol. 73, No. 3 (Jul., 1978), pp. 224-228. JSTOR
We chat about possible origins for the cocktail, and the crazy stories about the word's origin. We also tell the tale of our first cocktail party, that sparked our interest in them and led to the cocktail video series. Do you enjoy drinking or mixing cocktails? Where did your interest in them start? Do you have a favourite? Let us know in the comments, or tweet us: @alliterative or @avensarah.
And thank you to our Patreon supporters: Valerie Polichar, Lukas Hägele, Evermore Anon, Ian & Susan McMaster, Carlos Solis, and Chantal Sundaram.
Pictures from our Cocktail Party over the years:
We discuss Plato's views on writing, the effects of technology and relationships on memory, and the naming, origin, and mythology of Pluto.