This idea came to me as I recently crossed the 1k species milestone on my species list.
If you had to choose a cocktail to help celebrate an iNat milestone, what would you choose and why?
Does your choice reflect any of your taxonomic interests? Do the ingredients of the cocktail and their production reflect or strain respect for diversity or…?
And if you want to push that last thought, what would be the appropriate food you might pair with your drink choice?
FTR, I’m close to being a teetotaller myself (heart condition, plus too cheap to support the great sin-tax industry complexes) but I like to try new local stuff when I travel (which is even rarer than drinking).
And stuff like the secret ingredient lists of things like certain bitters has always intrigued me. (Which one has the broadest species list?)
I also admit that thinking about this also makes me wonder what kind of food and drinks are served at iNaturalist staff meetings and events. Hmm. Hmm.
Maybe something that wild birds and animals would imbibe in. An example I am familiar with is Schotia brachypetala , the weeping boer-bean also called the kaffir bean or drunken parrot tree. This African species is commonly planted in warmer parts of the world for it’s showy red flowers, including here in Queensland Australia. The flowers produce copious quantities of nectar, which will ferment after a shower of rain. Parrots, especially the rainbow lorikeet, will drink the nectar and become intoxicated. I have seen groups of lorikeets staggering in groups under these trees being even more raucous than parrots normally are. I have seen a parrot fly slowly and methodically into the side of building, collapse on the ground , take a 40 minute nap and wake up looking seriously hungover. I have considered collecting the nectar from this tree and test it on humans. Maybe me.
Wow. THAT’S a drinking story.
But apparently, it can have a long lasting impact on the birds. At least, that’s what I heard in this old video.
oh, I’d just go for Araq. It’s my favourite alcoholic drink. but I’m boring.
(also, I can’t drink because it does NOT mix well with my antidepressants)
And I can’t drink anise-derived products because of my blood pressure meds!
Simple rule of getting old: if it’s fun, sooner or later, it’s done.
(Sooner or later, it’s ALL done, of course.)
On a flight I asked for “some good juniper distillate” and the flight attendant understood right away and offered me to choose between London Dry and Aviation.
Whenever I order a cocktail I almost inevitably feel ripped off because it’s mostly sugar water, so I stick with beer and wine. There’s a local beer that uses manzanita (Arctostaphylos) smoke in the brewing process, which is cool.
And there are several gins that use California plants - either native or introduced - as botanicals. I imagine that’s the case in other parts of the world as well. Some are Gray Whale (which uses kelp!) and Old Harbor 1542.
Jägermeister claims to be made of +50 species of plants. But I hate that stuff and anyway I’m not a botanist. Zoology is more complicated though, and the only thing that comes to mind is tequila with “worm”, which is actually a beetle larva. That’s pretty cool, especially since the beetle (Scyphophorus acupunctatus) is meanwhile found here. But to celebrate with an invasive species? So, I think I’ll stick to my manzanilla, which is a very dry sherry from Sanlucar de Barrameda. I could argue that a local andalusian drink is best to celebrate my mainly local species.
I’m pretty much just a beer drinker.
While I love anything that involves ferrets I’m not sure the black-footed ferret would approve of the amount of agriculture required to produce beer.
I’m mormon so I don’t drink. I celebrate all successes, tiny, huge, miniature, jumbo, medium, no matter the size, with my Dr. Pepper. The drink of champions. Those who get it, get it. Those who don’t… I don’t get you.
As I recall, the brewery that produced this beer in Colorado contributed some of the profits from selling it to ferret reintroduction efforts.
This is topic adjacent, I guess.
I was getting my haircut at a salon, and I mentioned to the stylist that I wanted something to liven up a party I was hosting. And she said oh, I know just the thing - bay leaves!. Well, I looked at her questioningly.
I’m quite fond of our California bay trees, and their leaves smell divine. I had several nice nature stories about California bay trees that I shared with the kids who visited the Nature Center; but I could not get how they would liven up a party. So I asked, “What do you do with bay leaves?”
“You pass it around, really soon every body will be laughing and having a good time. That’s what we did here just before Christmas”
But, how does that work??? (I was pretty sure they weren’t smoking the leaves).
Frustrated, she went to ask another stylist how to explain it. The other one looked over and grinned, “Baily’s Irish Cream”
Ka-zing! Great story.
(You deserve another glass for that one)
So if I were going to make a drink based on my taxonomic interest, I’d start by making some mushroom inspired ingredients - I’d make some bitters out of bitter tylopilus, and candy some black trumpets.
And then use all that and just make an old fashioned, probably with the left over syrup from said black trumpets, some candied black trumpet as a garnish, and obviously, the tylopilus bitters.
Since I’ve mostly been interested in pollinators of late I would have to say that any fermented fruit/berry/honey drink would fit. Beer and whiskies are the only fermented drinks I know of that are not the result of pollination.
Given the bioregion I tend to focus on when identifying, it would have to be pina colada. To be geographically exact, the rum would have to be Brugal.
We make a liquor here called Xtabentún, which @kevintoo might appreciate trying, as it is made with the fermented honey of native bees that visit the flowers of the xtabentún. (X in Maya is pronounced like sh, if you wish to try saying it.)
(According to CICY, the scientific name for this plant is Convolvulus corymbosus, but commonly it is refered to as xtabentún.)
I am no longer able to imbibe, but I can affirm it is a delicious, sweet liquor and many, many labels are available here. It is typically enjoyed in the evenings and not during the very popular “la hora cristal”.
My Spanish is very poor but if I have it right this is an anise-based liqueur. If so I’m in. Black licorice is amazing. Is this like licorice mead? I really want to try making it.