Our familiarity with the world of high finance stops at hunting for change on the bar-room floor. Nevertheless, we always look forward to the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal. Well, one page of it, anyway: Eric Felten’s column, “How’s Your Drink,” is a deconstruction of a different cocktail every week, garnished with well-researched historical anecdotes and drink lore. Now his columns have been collected into a book, How’s Your Drink? Cocktails, Culture, And The Art Of Drinking Well.
Our favorite chapter explains how to make a tropical drink we’ve been curious about since we first heard it referenced in old war movies and TV shows like McHale’s Navy. While U.S. Marines in the South Pacific fermented “Jungle Juice” using sugar and coconuts, the Navy fashioned its own home-brew by draining the alcohol-based fuel from submarine and P.T. boat torpedos, cleverly filtering out the toxic chemicals (most of them, anyway) by straining the fuel through a loaf of bread.
While Mr. Felten provides an alternate Torpedo Juice recipe that calls for gin, apple brandy, lemon juice and grenadine, we shall not rest until we get our hands on a topped-off torpedo and a day-old baguette.