A History Lesson With Booze ®

Blood & Ashes

This week in 1883, the island of Krakatoa unleashed one of the deadliest volcanic eruptions in history — an explosion so loud it could be heard 2,000 miles away.

By Thomas.Schiet (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The History Lesson

The island of Krakatoa was about 2000 feet tall. Sailors used it as a landmark to guide them through the Pacific. And one day in 1885 — it disappeared.

See Krakatoa wasn’t just any island. It was an active volcano. And for months, it’d been especially active. At one point, a German boat reported a column of smoke spewing out of Krakatoa. Seven miles tall. But people on the surrounding islands didn’t seem worried. In fact, some of them threw parties. Krakatoa was pretty far away, after all. It was like a fireworks display.

Then, on August 27th, came the real fireworks. Four eruptions — with the combined force of 10,000 Hiroshima atom bombs — literally blew Krakatoa apart. Waves of molten rock flowed over the sea and scorched villages 25 miles away. And then — because Mother Nature loves overkill — came the tsunamis. Some of them over 100 feet tall.

The party was over. Krakatoa killed 36,000 people — the deadliest eruption ever. And it affected everyone on Earth. Ash from the blast lowered global temperatures for years. And countries around the world reported ominous sunsets. You can see one today. In the famous painting “The Scream.” Edvard Munk was inspired to paint it when Krakatoan ash turned Norway’s skies — blood red.

The Booze

Blood and Ashes

Photo credit: Elana Lepkowski, stirandstrain.com

Created for the DPD by Jim Romdall, bar manager at Vessel in Seattle, Washington

In short glass:

  • Curl 1 sprig of rosemary in bottom of glass
  • Coat glass and rosemary with absinthe, and set on fire

In shaker mix:

  • 2 ounces Voyager gin
  • 1/4 ounce Batavia Arrack
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup

Shake and pour over burning rosemary Fill glass with a mountain of crushed ice Pour 1/2 ounce of shiraz “lava” over crushed ice. Drink and explode with joy, thereby creating a tsunami of reverie amongst you and your dinner companions.