October 18, 2015

Lurking in the Deep Blue

The theme for this month’s MxMo is Spooky Sips. While I tried to think of something scary it dawned on me, that there must be a huge cultural factor in what scares us.

Denmark became a Lutheran country with the stroke of a pen the day before Halloween in 1536.

From that day the church stopped observing saints days - and the king grabbed all property and land from the roman-catholic church.

I’m sure the reformation did not stop common people from putting out lamps cut not from pumpkins but gourds since they were plentiful to fend off evil spirits, but the tradition slowly faded and did not return until about 10-15 years ago.

So if spirits from the dead does not hunt us, what does? Being surrounded on all sides except for 68 kilometer land border with Germany by water anything lurking in the sea will get our blood pumping.

Not that we have many dangerous sea creatures in the cold waters of the northern Atlantic and the Baltic Sea. But the idea is scary.

Denmark send out the worlds first expedition with oceanographic tasks in 1761. And since then there have been several and several brilliant Lego Deep Sea Exploration Sets to inspire future oceanographers. (Yes I want a set)

The most famous expedition was the Galathea II expedition from 1950-1952. The scientists found life at the bottom of the Philippine Trench - at the time thought to be the deepest spot on earth.

So in response to the request from JFL of Rated R Cocktails for spooky sips, mine had to come from the bottom of the sea.

As an interesting Tiki aside - one of the regular sailors on the ship - Ole Reiman - brought home huge amounts of ethnographic and opened a bar called Galatheakroen in Copenhagen that has an amazing Tiki vibe but serves mainly beer and is famous for it’s Rijsttafel.

I don’t know if Reiman visited any tiki bars during Galathea’s circumnavigation - but according to the log the ships was in Honolulu for 3 days in March of 1952 and 10 days in April so it’s not impossible.

And now for the Lurking in the Deep Blue:
  • 6 cl white rum - I used Plantation 3 star
  • 0.75 cl creme de banana - I used Giffard
  • 0.75 cl blue curacao - I used homemade
  • Big dash of creme de menthe - I used Tempus Fugit Spirits Crème de Menthe 
  • 9 cl tonic water - I used Pellegrino
Stir the first four ingredients with ice, serve over ice in a highball glass with the tonic added at the end.

Or go crazy in a fish bowl with Titanic ice cubes, stones and sea shells (I boiled mine for 5 minutes), fish cut from orange peel and blood - I had some thick rhubarb shrub - grenadine would be good too. What ever scares you.
And now I am off to the beach - to quote John Masefield from his poem Sea Fever
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
I will leave you with a couple of nice videos

A 20 minute long film from the actual expedition - unfortunately this is in Danish only but around the 17 minute mark the net is brought up from the deep and life discovered.

A delightful portrait of the now 96 year old scientist who discovered life at the bottom of the Philippine Trench with English subtitles:

The Old Man and the Deep Sea from Natural History Museum Denmark on Vimeo.

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