A History Lesson With Booze ®

Zamenhof Fizz

This week in 1887, linguophile L.L. Zamenhof completed his decade-in-the-making magnum opus: the Lingvo Internacia.

L. L. Zamenhof [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The History Lesson

This week back in 1887, a guy named L.L. Zamenhof published the Lingvo Internacia. Now the folks at your dinner party might guess that was some kind of South American revolutionary manifesto. They’d be wrong. Though it was kinda revolutionary. L.L. Zamenhof spoke the international language of peace. In fact — he invented it.

Zamenhof loved languages. By the time he got to high school? He spoke eight of them. But in his Polish hometown — he was the exception. Russians, Poles and Jews literally couldn’t understand each other. So they lived in separate neighborhoods — and feared each other instead. Zamenhof wished everyone could just get along. So he spent a decade inventing a new language. One that was easy to learn. And wasn’t tied to any one nationality. On July 26th, 1887, he published it. Under the pen name “Doktoro Esperanto.” Doctor Hope.

Esperanto became the most widely-used “constructed” language ever. Still, the universal tongue never really became universal. Today around 2 million people understand it. And just 2 thousand of those were raised to speak it from birth. Of course, one of those native Esperantists is George Soros. Among the wealthiest billionaires in the world. Man, I guess Zamenhof was the only kid on earth who didn’t speak pig latin. “Nice work, L.L. – but we already have a universal language.”

The Booze

The Zamenhof Fizz

as created for the DPD by Jonathan Pogash, director of cocktail development at NYC’s World Bar, across the street from the U.N. Headquarters:
To a cocktail shaker add:

    • 1 1/2 oz. Chopin Potato Vodka
    • 1/2 oz. Rothman and Winter Apricot liqueur
    • hint of fresh lemon juice
    • hint of cane syrup

Strain over ice into a rocks glass. Top off with splash of ginger beer (the all-important fizz). Rim the edge with spicy cane sugar. Revel in the harmonious interaction of ingredients. Trink ĝi pace! You’re now speaking the international language of tipsy.