Friday, July 7, 2017

Ruby Sangaree & The Strange Case of the Alchemists Daughter

World Fantasy Award-winning author, Theodora Goss, joins us today for Drinks with Reads and a lovely Ruby Sanagree. 
Her other publications include the short story collection In the Forest of Forgetting (2006); Interfictions (2007), a short story anthology coedited with Delia Sherman; Voices from Fairyland (2008), a poetry anthology with critical essays and a selection of her own poems; The Thorn and the Blossom (2012), a novella in a two-sided accordion format; and the poetry collection Songs for Ophelia (2014). She has been a finalist for the Nebula, Locus, Crawford, Seiun, and Mythopoeic Awards, as well as on the Tiptree Award Honor List, and her work has been translated into eleven languages. The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter is her first novel. 

Based on some of literature’s horror and science fiction classics, The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter is the story of a remarkable group of women who come together to solve the mystery of a series of gruesome murders—and the bigger mystery of their own origins.

Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.

But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.

When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.

What sort of drink might Mary's housekeeper, the respectable Mrs. Poole, serve Mary and her friends, including Mr. Holmes and Dr. Watson, on a summer afternoon? I wanted to create a drink that would be appropriate for the time period, and use ingredients that Mrs. Poole would have on hand or could easily get in late nineteen-century London.

My Ruby Sangaree is a variation on a traditional recipe. The word "sangaree" comes from the Spanish "sangre," meaning "blood"--so appropriate for a murder mystery! It's the same word that gave us the modern "sangria," but sangaree is much older, dating back to the eighteenth century. It could be made with port, sherry, madeira, or even ale. I thought the deep red color of ruby port would be perfect for a bloody good drink . . .


4 ounces of ruby port
1 teaspoon of demerara sugar
thin slice of lemon
thin slice of orange
nutmeg and a grater
cracked ice

Place the slices of lemon and orange into a glass, preferably one that will sparkle when light shines through it. Put the port, sugar, and cracked ice into a cocktail shaker, shake well, and strain into the glass. On top, grate a little nutmeg.

I used Dow's Fine Ruby Porto, which would have been available to Mrs. Poole--there might even have been a bottle left in Dr. Jekyll's liquor cabinet! If you can't find demerara sugar, which is a crunchy raw sugar originally from Guyana, you can use another raw sugar such as turbinado. All of these ingredients (possibly even the ice) would have been imported, highlighting London's central position as a trading hub and heart of the British Empire, which was already starting to crumble on that summer afternoon when Mrs. Poole served Ruby Sangaree to Mary and her friends.

Matthew Stein Photography

No comments:

Post a Comment