Sunday, October 27, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013


At the turn of the century, pharmacies in Europe and America prepared homemade tinctures, bitters, and herbal remedies mixed with alcohol for curative benefit for everything from poor digestion to the common cold. 

Apothecary Cocktails: Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today: Warren Bobrow: 9781592335848: Books

There’s nothing better than a multicourse meal with friends, complete with dessert and drinks — lots of drinks. Of course, your stomach won’t always thank you the next day.

That’s where our friend fennel comes in. It’s often used as a diuretic and is said to remedy digestive malaises of all kinds — plus, it’s a powerfully purifying, detoxifying vegetable. Here, fennel syrup is combined with raki, the anise-based Turkish spirit, along with chile flakes, which jolt taste buds back to life (and if the chile makes you sweat a bit, so much the better). And the effervescence in a dose of seltzer water helps to settle overworked stomachs, too.

Apothecary cocktail: Peppery fennel fizz |

The hot toddy cocktails we know and love today have their roots in the days of yore, when apothecaries might have prescribed them for relief against the aches and pains that Siberian-strength cold weather brings on.

Hot toddies are cocktails in which hot or boiling water is added to spirits and other ingredients, and many of these tasty, warming tipples were created to ease cold and flu symptoms. Ships’ doctors of yesteryear may have delivered doses of this classic hot buttered rum to sailors to relieve aching bones and flagging spirits.

Apothecary cocktail: Hot buttered rum |