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Podcast Summary:

“Anyway, I’ll Drink to That” is a Boozn Sam’s production, exploring the fun, quirky, and fascinating tales of drinks (The Manhattan Drink in this episode) that define culture, history and the world. Every drink has a story to tell, and I’m going to tell it…as true as I can. Hosted by Sam, from Boozn Sam’s. Saddle up with a good cocktail and give me a few minutes of your time for a mystery surrounding a drink that changed the world.

TLDR; – The Manhattan Drink

  • One part sweet Vermouth.
  • One part dry Vermouth.
  • One part Whiskey.
  • No bitters.
  • No cherries.

A stripped down, economical, and very fitting version of the Manhattan Drink created by residents of a small island off the coast of Germany. The full store is below in episode 9 of the podcast. 

Episode 9 Details:

Young Men by the Lonely Sea in a One Postal Code Country

The young men gathered, like they always gathered, and one of them was late. He knew the consequences for being late. He knew what would be asked of him and he didn’t have a choice but to take his punishment.

Transcript of Podcast:

*This is the entire podcast episode in written form. Do not read if you want the audio version to be spoiled.

The temperature hovered around freezing and Hans looked out at the water, which tumbled against the shore and left behind frozen ice peaks.

He stole a glance once more. The waves were loud today. They thundered when they crashed into the icy shore. The wind strong. And, although, he couldn’t see the sun, its departure turned the world crimson and crawled into the darkening blue sky.  

Hans tucked his hands deeper into his pockets and hunched his shoulders against the incoming wind. He’d be there soon and then it wouldn’t matter. Unless he was late. That would not be tolerated. This was a fickle bunch. 

He thought back to this past summer and when all of this started. He was only 24. He blamed his innocence. But, truth be told, it was curiosity, not innocence that sent him 3722 miles from home to a new home.

It was here that he found a home, far away from home, amongst many who spoke his same language and were, coincidentally from where he was from. Which, would not have been unusual except for the fact that he was from a small place. A country with one postal code. 

So, to find his people behind the counters of delis and retail markets throughout the bustling city was a bit odd, to say the least. What surprised him even more was finding the drink so popular back home, right here. 

It was surreal for him in many ways. Though he shouldn’t have been surprised.

When industry dried up back home many left and sought new opportunities to support their families. Their isolated community had little economic hope within its boundaries and venturing out was a necessity. A survival tactic.

His hometown had never been big but during those summer month’s it dwindled even more as all those capable and of working age left to earn money. They didn’t need a lot. But, they needed enough to survive. No place is devoid of trade. A reality of life is that money equals survival.

Money also paid for the delightful drink, served with equal parts of three distinct beverages, that these foreigners loved to drink. In fact, they loved it so much that in any given year the one postal code country saddles up to a very specific bar and drinks 70 gallons of this drink, which they have officially adopted as their national drink. Even though that might not sound like a lot it’s important to remember that Hans was one of less that 5,000 people in the city. That includes kids, adults and the aged population. Those 70 gallons a year…. Are also from one bar. 

Times have changed a lot since the drink was first discovered. Hans knows this, as he makes his way through the twilight streets of town. The biting cold bites harder as the sun sets further. He glances over his shoulder. Seeing no one, he continues on. 

It isn’t too much further now. And he better hurry up. The meeting will start soon. It wasn’t like anyone got invited either. This was a small group. A trusted group. Having to meet a specific criteria. 

The others would not tolerate a late arrival either. He’d pay for that…

He pushed those thoughts out of his mind and quickened his pace. The thought was terrifying for someone who comes from the history he does. 

Son to an openly bisexual mother, which was something considering it was 1935, great grandson to Ullrich, a general during WWI, and great-great grandson to Hinrich, a famous sea captain and nautical examiner, who also made his home right here. 

Times were different way back then. Those were the whaling days and he’d grown up on the stories. The hard life at sea hunting whales for the resources they could provide. It was a nasty, dangerous business. 

When you finally killed one of those animals that was easily as big as your ship, you then had to go about butchering the thing….at sea.

And the smells. He wrinkled up his nose. He could only imagine. But, he had heard the stench from the melting pots, that boiled fat over open flames, on the decks of ships in the middle of the ocean would permeate into your skin and stay with you.

It was no wonder that upon arriving to their final destination, a place greedy for the resources that these seafarers had, they took to a strong drink, after a strong shower, to settle the nerves after a long journey and start on a new journey of numbing pleasantness. 

Then, with pockets loaded down with coin, and having sucked up the energy of a place once fully alive, young, and brimming with possibility and hope for the world, they would ship out once more for home. 

And settle in for the cold winter months, which were too dangerous to be navigating the winter seas. In addition to their coin they brought back with them a drink and traipsed halfway around the world spreading bits of this delight with them whoever they went.

It was the classic dissemination of ideas and culture. The moving of something good from one place to another. This was before the internet. Before you could snap a photo and share it with all Nethers of the Earth in an instant. This was slow progress. A rising over decades. 

That ended in this one postal code country embracing a fad, which became a tradition, which became a heritage. 

With nothing to do during the cold months but rely on each other to survive, they did just that. The young men, full of energy, tamped down by the weather, needed an outlet. A way to move. To socialize. To stretch their muscles and smile a little. Maybe have some fun along the way too.

This created another fad. Which became another tradition. Which became another heritage. Complete with that same cocktail of three equal parts. Not exactly as it was made in New York, but stripped down to the essence, like the country these people lived. 

It was with this heritage that Hans finally arrived at a closed door, with warm light, and loud voices coming from the other side. He stood on the stoop for a moment. Looked left. Looked right. No one else was around. 

And why would they be? It was winter and after dark. This was an exclusive gathering. And he was late. He feared the consequences. But, there was nothing to do but face the music. 

So, with a sigh and, after a loud rapt on the door, he turned the knob and walked through. The light was bright and he squinted. All eyes turned to him. The place erupted with noise. A stampede of bodies moving toward him.

Claps on the back. 

Jostles. 

And threats. 

Threats for being late. 

Hans hung his head glumly, knowing what was to come next. 

He took the well used cocktail glass handed to him and stared into the light brown drink. He knew its contents by heart. 

It had made its way from New York, 3722 miles away, to this island off the coast of Germany. 

In unison the room raised their glasses, which all contained the same drink. The national drink of this tiny little, one postal code country called (Fure) Foehr. 

The Manhattan Drink

  • One part sweet Vermouth.
  • One part dry Vermouth.
  • One part Whiskey.
  • No bitters.
  • No cherries.

A stripped down, economical, and very fitting version of the Manhattan Drink. 

The drink that traveled across an ocean in the minds and bellies of whalers, 

who had turned into business owners in New York in the late 1800s. 

Where it found a passionate home

Amongst a few residents

And the regular happenings of (Wahl – Lu – John – Ken) hualewjonken

A gathering of men under the age of 30 during the winter months

That celebrates the times in centuries past when whalers, home for the winter, would also gather just like this, 

And throw back Manhattan drink

Anyway…. I’ll drink to that.