Up for something new? Remember ether? Try an ether cocktail

on 07/02/11 at 12:02 pm

Booze News

Ether frolics

Ether is a neglected drug. This is surprising given its effects are so similar to alcohol (the world’s most popular vice), its popularity throughout the 19th century, and its low cost. Mike Jay, the curator of the Wellcome’s exhibition High Society, notes that “Apart from the omnipresent alcohol, ether was one of the most widely used recreational drugs of the 19th century, though usually concentrated in local scenes”.

I first made ether cocktails for Meatopia, a meat-themed breakfast for people with a special interest in eating animals. There were pigs heads, bone marrow, bacon chops and bacon cupcakes, provided by the team that runs the UK’s top eating competition Blame it on the Burgers.

It was clear we’d need something to drink that could cut through all the meat. As it was breakfast, champagne was decided upon. Of course. I had read an oblique reference to a champagne and ether cocktail that caused chaos in late 19th century London. It sounded worth a try.

The cocktails were a roaring success so we decided to conquer ether as a special ingredient we could use regularly at our events. Research of the drug soon revealed a forgotten world of drunkenness and creative drinking.

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