Bourbon & Life Savers
On an expedition, you multitask. At Bellingshausen, Wendy was cook, resident artist, food stylist, butcher, mixologist, cultural attaché and more. She wrote on Jan 2, 1996, “New Year’s Eve potluck with the Russians. I brought Mexican and served mai tais with glass tubes Dima found in the lab to use as straws.” While there settting up the Joint Russian-Canadian Ecological project and for the volunteer cleanup camp I fashioned myself an expedition leader, diplomat, logistician, student, dishwasher and cleaning lady.
From Bourbon, Antarctica, Travis McGill Dahlke "Manatee Riverbank Children's Stories for Grown Ups". A whole other story. http://manateeriverbank.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/bourbon-antarctica/
This recipe we recently discovered was invented by the crew at the US Little America V base in Antarctica from 1956-8, from the The Antarctican Society newsletter, “perfected at Camp Michigan on the Ross Ice Shelf” and described by James “Gentleman Jim” Zerberge.
Antarctic Old Fashion (c. 1956-58)
1 5th bourbon (Old Methuselah 100 proof) // seven packages of multiflavored Life Savers // Antarctic snow and ice
“This is a long way around to telling the recipe (formula is a better word) for an Antarctic Old Fashion. It is impossible to make a simple Antarctic Old Fashion. All the research at Little America V was based on a batch quantity. Here are the ingredients: one fifth of Old Methusala (100 proof Navy ‘bourbon’) and seven packages multiflavoured Life Savers.
Pour the Old Methusala into another container and fill the empty bottle half full with freshly melted snow.” The rest of the recipe we pick up from Marcia Gevelinger Bastian’s Meals and Memories, part of The Great Family Cookbook Project.
Force the lifesavers, one by one into the mouth of the bourbon bottle and shake until all are dissolved. (Research suggests using only 2 red lifesavers). Pour in bourbon and mix well. Serve over Antarctic glacier ice.
You could substitute Old Methusala for Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky or another.
Maybe the beautiful restaurants with visual nods to Antarctic and exploration The East Pole or The Fat Radish would do a test remake of this quintessentially American-Antarctica recipe – but perhaps with seasonal cherries instead.
Check out The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning for other tasty international Antarctic drinks with twists collected in the 1995-1996 season.
still from Horse Feathers, Marx brothers film 1932
Drink responsibly wherever you are. In the Antarctic, don’t drink and zodiac-ride or go alone for a stroll.
The Antarctic Old Fashion appeared here as part of the project. Marcia Gevelinger, author of Bastian Meals and Memories
The Antarctican Society has colorful roots as an “old boys” drinking club. Carl Eklund, freshly home from a year as leader at Wilkes Station (formerly a U.S. station, now the Australian Casey Station), was known to enjoy the company of his fellow International Geophysical Year cronies. Dr. Eklund frequently entertained this august group in his D.C. basement, outfitted with a wet bar and elephant’s foot kitty jar. These communal and legendary events occurred throughout the 1950s and 1960s. By 1970 the club was welcoming both genders and had taken the bold step of adopting a charter and bylaws. (from The Antarctic Sun)
From The Antarctican Society website: “membership has included such illustrious Antarcticans as Dr. Laurence Gould and Dr. Paul Siple, both of whom served under Admiral Richard E. Byrd in the various Byrd Antarctic Expeditions. The current membership includes many veterans of the original International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1957-58 and Operation Deep Freeze. We have veterans of the well-known stations such as Little America, McMurdo, Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station and Palmer as well as Byrd Station, Hallett Station, Eights Station, Plateau Station, Dome C and more than a few non-American stations. But we also have members who are active in Antarctica right now. The Antarctican Society is truly multi- generational.”
Polar Ice Coring during International Geophysical Yeaar 1957-58. Little America V drill rig, December 1958. —Credit: Photo courtesy of Tony Gow.
Local Toronto Bourbon research (dry not wet, yet, was just 4pm) for a potential Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning event. Images in Grand Electric restaurant on 1330 Queen St West.
Grand Electric bourbon list image: Carol Devine
Bourbon infusions Mint Vanilla Orange, Grand Electric Bar, image: Carol Devine