Sailing with a Mycenaean Hero

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Paul
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Sailing with a Mycenaean Hero

Post by Paul » Sat Oct 22, 2005 12:43 am

Hi All,

I last week saw a PBS show about Helen of Troy. Among the many interesting things I learned were these two nuggets:

1. The Greek "wine" Retsina has been around since the bronze age.

2. We now know the ingredients of an alcoholic concoction consumed by bronze age Mycenaeans. No one knows the proper ratio, but the drink is a mixture of Retsina, barley beer, and mead.

I watched the show's hostess and a scientist friend make these drinks. They used roughly these proportions:

1 part mead
1 part retsina
3 parts beer

Both women, convinced that the drink would taste awful, were pleasantly surprised by it.

Now, I intend to make and drink this beverage tomorrow night. I am naming the drink a "Mycenaean Hero". I am fairly certain that, should it catch on, the drink will need another, simpler name; perhaps simply a "Hero" or "What'll it be gentlemen?" - "Agamemnons all around, thanks".

I will, of course, report my findings here. I have some fond hopes for the effects of this drink. I expect to find myself yearning to organize and lead a band of men to attack and pillage a nearby wealthy town in northern New Jersey; perhaps Ridgewood.

If I haven't reported in by Monday, assume the worst, e.g., the drink's profoundly hallucinogenic effects have driven me - wrapped in aluminum foil armor and wielding a stick - to sail the wine-dark Hudson against windy Manhattan, rich in gold.

Cordially,

Paul

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Post by Bert » Sat Oct 22, 2005 2:08 am

There are so many unemployed comedians, and Paul is trying to be funny (and succeeding :))
We'll all be worried if you don't report by Monday, but if you do report, we won't know if it is Paul talking or if the "Hero" has gone to your head.

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Re: Sailing with a Mycenaean Hero

Post by William » Sat Oct 22, 2005 2:26 am

Paul wrote:The Greek "wine" Retsina has been around since the bronze age
While I am afraid to make the recipe (for fear of what the effects will be), I am going to get some Retsina this weekend. I want to taste it for myself. It sounds like it has an interesting flavor.

Don't get into too much trouble with your concoction, Paul!

WB

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Re: Sailing with a Mycenaean Hero

Post by annis » Sat Oct 22, 2005 2:52 am

Ouzo sometimes causes me to address irate syntax questions to the air as though Pindar, whom I call "dude" in this situation, were present. While I'm also fond of retzina, I think I should pass on this concoction. Who knows what I'd call Homer.
Paul wrote:If I haven't reported in by Monday, assume the worst, e.g., the drink's profoundly hallucinogenic effects have driven me - wrapped in aluminum foil armor and wielding a stick - to sail the wine-dark Hudson against windy Manhattan, rich in gold.
There are no cows to steal?
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by PeterD » Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:48 am

Mmmm...fresh bread, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, and retsina...

στην υγειά σου, παύλε!

~Peter

p.s. It MUST be served cold.
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis

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Post by Señor Boethius » Sat Oct 22, 2005 6:40 am

Hmmm... good names for a Mycenaean drink... Achilles Heel? Priammeister? Helenpolitan? Hector's gambit? Nestor Collins? Hades on ice? Ajaxtini?

We must have a full report of your findings... Good luck.
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Post by Bert » Sat Oct 22, 2005 5:50 pm

Señor Boethius wrote:Hmmm... good names for a Mycenaean drink... Achilles Heel? Priammeister? Helenpolitan? Hector's gambit? Nestor Collins? Hades on ice? Ajaxtini?
You should be successful in the advertising business. :)

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Post by Paul » Sat Oct 22, 2005 6:02 pm

Hi,

All ingredients have been purchased. The drinking should begin in about 5 hours.

With the help of a knowledgeable liquor store clerk, I found the most primitive ingredients available: a simple honey mead, and a Marzen style OctoberFest beer. In order to reduce any hoppy finish in the beer, I also purchased a 100% pure barley malt drink (also German). So my 3 parts barley beer will consist of 1/2 OctoberFest + 1/2 pure barley malt beverage.

Peter, I doubt that Agamemnon served this drink cold, but your food idea makes good sense for several reasons. I will pick up some bread, feta, olives, and some string cheese. Greek olive oil is a staple in my house. A huge rack of lamb would probably add a touch of authenticity.

Senor Boethius: love the "Achilles Heel" appellation.

Will: ouzo is indeed an interesting drink. But don't feel too bad about calling Pindar "dude" (hilarious, BTW). When I'm in my cups and wrestling with grammar I routinely refer to Homer as "white boy".

Thank you all for you well-wishes. Truth be told, they do make me a little nervous. I mean, it's not like I am about to attempt time-travel.....or am I?

Cordially,

Paul

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Post by Bert » Sat Oct 22, 2005 10:12 pm

Maybe not space travel but you seem to consider it quite an event yourself!
The drinking should begin in about 5 hours

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Post by Paul » Sun Oct 23, 2005 12:07 am

The first "Hero" was a bit rough. But the 2nd through 5th were simply excellent. I should point out that none of its components is especially high in alcohol.

That said, I just sacrificed several neighborhood pets to Posei-das and Da-mater. Strangely, none of my neighbors wants to join me in the attack on Ridgewood.

One of my slaves just brought me news from rich-clodded Phthia. What's this - Achilles is calling me a "bitch"?! I will have to deal with him someday.

But for now, back to the feast!

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Post by nostos » Sun Oct 23, 2005 1:08 am

:lol:

Kick Achilles where it hurts!

As for the drink, now I've gotta try it.
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Post by Señor Boethius » Sun Oct 23, 2005 6:51 am

What did it taste like? Better than Rolling Rock? Better than Natty ice with a cigarette butt in it?
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Post by swiftnicholas » Sun Oct 23, 2005 12:55 pm

So, did the Hero leave behind a hangover of Epic proportions?

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Post by Bardo de Saldo » Sun Oct 23, 2005 1:06 pm

I can't wait to see what your avatar looks like by the time you're done with your experiment, Paul.

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Post by swiftnicholas » Sun Oct 23, 2005 1:30 pm

Paul wrote:I should point out that none of its components is especially high in alcohol.

Ah, probably not then....unless you're still drinking.....?

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Post by Paul » Sun Oct 23, 2005 3:01 pm

swiftnicholas wrote:So, did the Hero leave behind a hangover of Epic proportions?
Yes, "Epic" catches it nicely.
Bardo de Saldo wrote:I can't wait to see what your avatar looks like by the time you're done with your experiment, Paul.
Where did all that blood come from?
Senor Boethius wrote:What did it taste like? Better than Rolling Rock? Better than Natty ice with a cigarette butt in it?
Decidedly better than RR!

Actually, I'm not too hung over this AM, but do feel a bit spaced-out. I seem to have stopped channeling Agamemnon; I've heard no reports of attacks by a band of armed men against Ridgewood or Manhattan. But what's with this blood on my hands; and where's my cat?

The drink really is pretty tasty. The honey mead softens the piney Retsina. I drank about 7 of them (I think). Again, the first one tasted a bit rough, but 2 through 7 were delicious. I drank a bunch of water before bed against hangover.

All in all a positive experience. And I can now boast to have drunk a concoction that Agamemon himself likely drank. That just rocks. :D

Cordially,

Paul

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Post by Kopio » Mon Oct 24, 2005 5:19 am

Paul wrote:All in all a positive experience. And I can now boast to have drunk a concoction that Agamemon himself likely drank. That just rocks. :D
Man....you guys are making me jealous....I almost wish I still drank! Is there by chance a good virgin ancient drink? Maybe something fruity with an umbrella in it (why do I have a feeling that I'm about to incur more Epi insults?) One of my favorite creatures in mythology is Typhon, which would be a great name for a drink if it was really horrendous:)

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