Angostura Bitters' Birthday
On this day in 1921 Dr J.B. Siegert & Sons medicinal liquor company, which had been marketing bitters out of first Venezuela then Trinidad for almost a century, initially as a cure for stomach trouble, reconstituted itself as Angostura Bitters Limited.
The company was, of course, already well-known. Almost 50 years previously, no less a personage than Mark Twain had written to his wife: "I want you to be sure to have in the bathroom, when I arrive, a bottle of scotch whisky, a lemon, some crushed sugar and a bottle of Angostura Bitters."
Twain had discovered the combination in London, and drunk it before breakfast, before dinner, and also as a nightcap: he firmly believed it helped with his digestion, and who are we to say it didn't?
We are fans of bitters, the unsung hero in many a cocktail, as well as the Australian driver's friend, the Lemon, Lime and Bitters, and so, in honour of Doctor Siegert's creation - and Mark Twain's fondness for Scotch and bitters - we prescribe a Brubaker Old-Fashioned, which contains both of those ingredients in spades. Or, given it's still August (just), you may prefer The Colonial Cooler. The gentleman adventurer Charles H. Baker, Jr., discovered this cooling long drink in the Sandakan Club, Borneo - precisely the type of tropical environment for which Dr Siegert invented his bitters.
The Queen of Mean charged
American businesswoman, Leona Helmsley was the boss from hell - so much so that staff at her hotels installed a warning system to let each other know when she was on her way.
She fired one manager because he was gay; she exploded at staff, and often fired them, for crimes such as dirty fingernails, or a speck of lint on the floor. She even accused her own grandson of killing his father - at his funeral! - and evicted him and his mother from their home.
On this day in 1989, after famously protesting that "taxes are for little people" and charging everything from her bras to her cars to her businesses, she was sentenced for fraud and tax evasion. We are marking the occasion with a Bitches Brew, created by Los Angeles' Daniel Eun.