17 April

International Kummel Day

Quelle Vie

So we are drinking a...

Quelle Vie

Henry Jeffrey of The Guardian and Master of Malt's blog proposed that kummel be dedicated a day of its own at an event with other drinks hacks, including our own Simon Difford. So it was declared that the 17th April 2019 be International Kummel Day.

The caraway-flavoured liqueur is very much deserving of a revival. Explore the origins and history of kummel and our favourite kummel cocktails.

We're toasting with a Quelle Vie, a cocktail discovered in Harry Craddock's 1930 The Savoy Cocktail Book. Harry says, "Brandy gives you courage and kummel makes you cautious, thus giving you the perfect mixture of bravery and caution, with the bravery predominating."

A bartending banker was born

In Charles H. Baker's splendidly eccentric 1939 cocktail compendium, The Gentleman's Companion: Being an Exotic Drinking Book, he introduces the Alamagoozlum cocktail as "J. Pierpont Morgan's Alamagoozlum: the personal mix credited to that financier, philanthropist & banker of a bygone era."

The said John Pierpont Morgan, one of the greatest businessmen of America's Gilded Age, was born on this day in 1837. Cocktail author David A. Embury unkindly observed that his creation proves that "as a bartender, he was an excellent banker". We beg to differ. The Alamagoozlum defies its myriad ingredients to deliver a glorious bittersweet mélange of flavours, as well as an insight into the well-stocked wonders of a 19th-century oligarch's home bar. Upgrade your own bar and give one a go tonight.

Today's also World Haemophilia Day

17 April is World Haemophilia Day, chosen in honour of Frank Schnabel, the founder of the World Federation of Hemophilia, whose birthday it is today. World Haemophilia Day offers a chance for the global bleeding disorders community to raise awareness and help people around the world get help for bleeding disorders.

Around 1 in 5,000 boys are born with haemophilia, an inherited condition that means that blood takes a long time to clot. The results lead to agonising joint pain and sometimes to fatal brain bleeds. Treatment, at least in the wealthy West, has moved on a long way since the days when haemophilia was known as the royal disease. Queen Victoria was a carrier.

In a particularly unfair blow, between the late 1970s and the mid-1980s, as many as half of the people with haemophilia in the US were infected with HIV by unsafe blood products. The World Federation of Haemophilia recommends wearing red to mark today and is asking landmarks all over the world to 'Light it Up Red'. We'll be marking it with a Red Earl.

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