November 1: The Tempest

TempestNow my charms are all overthrown,/And what strength I have’s mine own,/Which is most faint: now, ’tis true,/I must be here confined by you, -Prospero, The Tempest

As I’ve said before, we only know a small handful of dates of performances of William Shakespeare’s plays during his time. Today, is the anniversary of one of those performances, and it is a very important performance, for today is the 403rd anniversary of the first recorded performance of The Tempest.

Now, the King’s Men’s performance of The Tempest for James I and the English royal court at Whitehall Palace was not the first performance of the play, but this remains a significant date. After all, The Tempest was the last play Shakespeare wrote on his own. Shakespeare’s last two known works, Henry VIII and The Two Noble Kinsmen, were collaborations with playwright John Fletcher, but The Tempest was intended as his farewell to the theater world.

Many critics believe that the play’s closing monologue, in which the sorcerer Prospero gives up his magic power, is actually Shakespeare saying farewell to his audience. Throughout the play, there are many references to theater, including a line from Prospero that references “The solemn temples, the great globe itself,” that some believe to be a subtle reference to the Globe Theater. Further giving some credence to this theory is evidence that Shakespeare himself might have played Prospero on more than one occasion.

Since it’s the anniversary of The Tempest, I thought it would be fitting to mix another stormy cocktail, the Hurricane. This cocktail was created by New Orleans tavern owner Pat O’Brien in the 1940s as a way to get rid of an excessive amount of rum. He mixed the rums with passion fruit syrup and lime juce, poured it into a glass shaped like a hurricane lamp and then gave it away to sailors. The drink became quite popular, and although the recipe’s changed a bit over time, it remains a New Orleans favorite.

Hurricane

  • 2 ounces Light Rum
  • 2 ounces Dark Rum
  • 2 ounces passion fruit juice
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon grenadine

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a Hurricane glass filled with ice. Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice.

Tomorrow: And now the story of a wealthy family who lost everything, and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together…

 

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