August 20: Lovecraft

LovecraftToday we honor “weird fiction” pioneer and Cthulu herald H. P. Lovecraft, who was born on this day in 1890. Lovecraft’s sci-fi horror stories often dealt with the consequences of discovered knowledge, often looking at secret histories or the consequences of scientific exploration into the unknown.

Lovecraft is perhaps known for creating the mythology of Cthulu and the Great Old Ones; a race of ancient aliens who once ruled the earth and were worshiped as gods by early humans. According to Lovecraft’s stories, long ago the Great Old Ones fell into a deep slumber, only remembered now by small human cults. Lovecraft’s Cthulu mythos, named after the most feared Great Old One (who is currently sleeping at the bottom of the sea), details how these cults want to wake these ancient monsters and bring about the apocalypse.

Since their publication in the early 20th century, the Cthulu mythos and other Lovecraft stories have influenced generations of science fiction and horror creators:  H. R. Giger’s designs for the movie Alien were inspired by Lovecraftian imagery. Lovecraftian concepts like old gods and humanity’s inferiority have been explored in works of popular culture like Ghostbusters and Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and Cthulu and his ilk have appeared in everything from Metallica songs to episodes of South Park. Even the infamous Arkham Asylum from Batman stories is named after the fictional town of Arkham, Massachusetts that was featured in many Lovecraft stories. No less an authority than Stephen King has said of Lovecraft’s influence, “I think it is beyond doubt that H. P. Lovecraft has yet to be surpassed as the Twentieth Century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.”

To honor Lovecraft, we need a drink that is as mad and horrifying as his stories, so I was delighted to discover that Peggy Nadramia and Joe Netherworld of the blog The Cocktail Vulture had created a terrifying and highly alcoholic drink called The Call of Cthulu. This mad potion draws from the classic Zombie, and will likely leave you in an Elder God induced trance. It’s a rum heavy creation with touches of citrus, herbal liqueurs and a special vodka brine. You should probably limit yourself to one of these drinks, or else soon you’ll find yourself chanting “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn” (“In his house at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”)

The Call Of Cthulu

  • 1 ounce Kraken Rum
  • 1 ounce Gold Rum
  • 1 ounce 151 Proof Rum
  • ¼ ounce falernum syrup
  • ½ ounce Maraschino Liqueur
  • ½ ounce Blue Curacao
  • ¾ ounce lime juice
  • ¾ ounce grapefruit juice
  • ¾ ounce orange juice
  • ¾ ounce pineapple juice
  • 2 dashes aromatic bitters
  • 1/8 teaspoon Strega Herbal Liqueur

Pour all ingredients into a blender with 1 cup of crushed ice and blend for five seconds. Pour the mixture into a mug or tulip glass with more crushed ice; sprinkled the top of the mixture with vodka brine. To make the vodka brine, combine 2 ounces of vodka with ¼ teaspoon of sea salt in a small mixing glass. Stir until the salt disolves. You might want to use an eyedropper to sprinkle the brine on the drink. Garnish with a slice of star fruit and tentacles carved from lime shell.

Tomorrow: We steal a portrait of Lisa del Giocondo.

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