Space and booze, an anecdotal history

  • Since this is a cocktail conference, every seminar needs a
    tasting. This riff on an Old Fashioned was inspired by Comet
    Lovejoy, “which is effectively a massive Old Fashioned—alcohol
    and sugar—slinging itself along the universe,” said bartender
    Tristan Stephenson. [credit: Nathan Mattise ]

NEW ORLEANS—”Half a century ago, this was an essential part of
spaceman culture,” said Jeffrey Kluger, senior writer at Time and
author of the book that inspired Apollo 13. Presenting at the
world’s best alcohol event, Kluger wasn’t referring to old
astronaut traditions like military experience or crew cuts. “Test
pilots were male, under 6-feet tall, and had to be a tough and
tireless drinker.”


Tales of the Cocktail
2016 continued the conference’s trend of
sneaking science into a series of bar industry seminars. Food
scientists from Bacardi
discussed internal testing on
carbonation in liquor, and alcohol alchemist Camper English
unveiled his tireless research on the compounds and combinations
that can be lethal (or at least really, really bad) when unleashed
in our cocktails. But this year’s schedule also featured what
seemed like a peculiarity—a panel titled “Cosmic Cocktails: The
Final Frontier” that outlined the informal history of NASA and
drinking.

According to Kluger, the intertwining of highballs and high
altitudes was inescapable—a natural evolution of the downtime
imbibing of previous military generations. For many of the US’
early space pioneers, this part of training took place
outside Southern California’s Edwards Air Force Base at a vast
and communal pub in the Mojave Desert called the
Happy Bottom Riding Club
(fittingly considering its clientele,
the bar was created by Pancho Barnes, a
pioneering female pilot who had bested Amelia Earhart’s air speed
record at age 29).

Read 16 remaining
paragraphs

Source: FS – All – Science – News
Space and booze, an anecdotal history