Bar TRAUMA 恵比寿 (Ebisu)

Ebisu, Tokyo

Tom's Blog: PUNCH

下線のある単語リストが写真の下に書いてあります。英語を勉強している方、頑張って下さい!

My parents are both massive nerds. Which is to say they are always reading something, always have some cheeky piece of literature on the go. Proper bookworms, my mum and dad. To the extent that they can legitimately claim that they once lived in a library masquerading as a house.

It’s a self-congratulating feat of heredity, then, that I often reach for a book when I’ve nothing better to do — “which is always,” I can hear them think — and seeing as currently most books within my reach centre around alcohol, I thought I’d share some of the better ones with you.

“Cocktails: A Global History” by Joseph M. Carlin is a solid read for anyone curious to get a grounding in, well, the global history of cocktails. It’s both dense and concise, like carrot cake should be.

What have I learned from this book? Well, it turns out the cocktail is the spiritual descendant of punch — was that obvious to everyone except me? — a posh drink prepared in an even posher bowl and spooned out to yet posher guests at the poshest parties in England and America in the late 1700s. A damn sight posher than the stuff sloshed together at frat parties in 2k19, it was said to have traditionally consisted of five ingredients: alcohol, sugar, lemon, water or tea, and finally spices.

This rule of five is important etymologically-speaking (yes, I’m about to learn you some language history, sit down and listen, etymology is sexy, fight me) because one major theory suggests that the word “punch” comes from the Hindustani word for the number five, “panch”. A word which, in the inebriated mouths of the East India Company’s workers, is lucky to have survived so well-preserved. The alcohol used most commonly was arak or araq, a cloudy white drink made from grapes and anise in Western Asia, popular in Eastern India and whose name translates from Arabic as “perspiration”… a little bizarre, that, but what a world that would be, perspiring booze. You couldn’t pry me from the treadmill if you tried.

The other major etymological theory, which has the boffins at Oxford written all over it (quite literally, it’s in their dictionary), states that the word comes from “puncheon”, the name given to the barrels used to import rum from overseas on trading ships. Arak/Arabian sweat wasn’t the easiest distilled spirit to come across in the West, so rum/perspiration of the Caribbean was said to have been used instead, hence this theory.

Punch must have been a revelation to sailors and pirates at the time who were used to drinking grog, a drink I’m depressed to learn was simply water mixed with rum. Captain Jack Sparrow romanticises this stuff to the point where I’m ready to extol its virtues from the rooftops as the veritable nectar of the gods, but alas it was simply a method to keep water sterile during long trips at sea.

The moral of the story, then, is that for two centuries everyone at sea was drunk. 

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massive nerd

名詞。非常にオタク。軽く虐める時によく使われる表現。

have ~ on the go

慣用句。(何かを)〇〇中である様子。例えば、本を読み中(I have a book on the go)とか、英語を勉強中(I’ve got some English study on the go)とか。

bookworm

名詞。本の虫

to masquerade as ~

動詞。(何かの)見せかけをする。

when I’ve nothing better to do

慣用句。時間を潰す時に

a solid read

名詞。お薦めの本

to get a grounding in ~

慣用句。(何かの)基本的な知識を身に付けること。

it turns out…

慣用句。実は…とか、実際に…とか。すごく便利な表現!

to slosh together

擬音語・動詞。ごちゃごちゃに汚く混ぜてしまうこと。

etymology

名詞。語源

inebriated

丁寧語・形容詞。酔っ払っている状態。

to perspire

動詞。(汗などを)かくこと。

to pry (someone) from (something)

動詞。(誰かを何かから)引き離す

boffin

名詞。偉そうな人。イギリスのスラング。

to distill

動詞。(何かを)蒸溜すること。

hence

接続語。だからとか、なのでとか。ちょっとエリートな言い方。

to extol

動詞。(何かを)誉めそやすこと。

virtue

名詞。美徳徳行

veritable

形容詞。ほんとうのとか、正真正銘の

sterile

形容詞。無菌のとか、殺菌したの

the moral of the story is…

慣用句。「その話の教訓は…」という意味なんだけど、皮肉に言われている表現。

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