Yet another drink recipe

Long time no post! Since LJ's been on the wane, both in terms of community and actual functionality (we can seriously only go back ONE page on the friendspage now?), I'm mostly on Facebook and Twitter and to a lesser extent Tumblr now. But this is where all my drink recipes are sooo...

1 shot (1½oz) spiced rum (I used Sailor Jerry)
1oz St. George spiced pear liqueur
½oz Benedictine
½oz Biscotti Famosi liqueur
2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
1 dash Fee Brothers black walnut bitters
maraschino cherry

According to the label, St. George's spiced pear liqueur is made of pear brandy, pear juice, and spices, which makes it more of a bottled punch like Pimm's No. 1 than a liqueur (fruit liqueurs are a sugary infusion of fruit in alcohol). It's less syrupy than a liqueur, and has a drier finish and mildly bitter aftertaste. Benedictine is an herbal liqueur with a sweet spice flavor. Biscotti Famosi is a slightly herbal twist on an amaretto, combining almond with herbs and spices, and really does taste like a biscotti in booze form. Peychaud's is a classic aromatic bitters (it's called for in a Sazerac) with a distinct anise aspect that IME works well with the biscotti liqueur. This turned out well balanced, a little on the sweet side but not cloying. And it nicely covered the aftertaste of the St. George spiced pear. A keeper.

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Wow, that's one hell of a lineup! I can confirm that Earth is excellent live, or at least they were several years ago when I saw them in SF. Also, no idea what their live show is like but Year of No Light's album "Nord" is good stuff.


One of my New Years resolutions this year is to knuckle down and get Ilion, my most active project, to a usable state. So of course since then I've ended up giving more thought to Ekmar-Tenkar, which doesn't even share a setting with Ilion. I blame Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets of the Conlang Mailing List, who linked to his blogpost on surdéclinaison and his conlang Moten*. That got me thinking about my own case-happy conlang.

Ekmar-Tenkar is, to some extent, an exercise in maximally free word order, accomplishing it by means of suffixaufnahme (another project, Kulaqil, approaches the same problem from the other direction: by extensive head-marking on verbs). Now I'm considering using both suffixaufnahme and surdéclinaison in this project.

Suffixaufnahme and surdéclinaison are two different phenomena that can result in nouns appearing with multiple case inflections attached. Suffixaufnahme (which means "suffix absorption" in German) is when nouns in cases that modify other nouns (like the genitive case) are inflected to agree with the nouns they modify, so e.g. for "The rabbit ate the farmer's carrots", "carrots" would be in the accusative case, while "the farmer" would be in the genitive and also have an affix agreeing with "carrots" in the accusative case (and possibly gender and number, or whatever categories nouns show in our hypothetical lang). Surdéclinaison (which means "super-declension" or "over-inflection") is when an already fully inflected word form can be treated as a stem and inflected for case again. So e.g. in a lang with only one case for noun adjuncts, if you wanted to specify "the carrots in the garden", you'd inflect "garden" for a locative case, but since locatives are a type of verb modifier here, you'd add a genitive case inflection as well to show that it's actually modifying a verb. Or, going the other way around, in "She's at John's", you'd put "John" in the genitive and then add the locative to show that it is the thing owned by John that is the location.

Suffixaufnahme isn't terribly rare: it's found in languages of the Caucasus, Australia, and the Middle East. Surdéclinaison, on the other hand, is attested only in Basque (though the second example I used of its use shows that we can do something similar in English, just not with case marking exactly). They're not known to appear together in any language, but since the sample size for the latter is so small I don't think that necessarily suggests that they're incompatible.

Obscure linguistic terminology lesson over. Now to talk about me Ekmar-Tenkar. Ekmar-Tenkar is my kitchen sink case system conlang. It has several cases that can be used as noun adjuncts, including the local cases (locative/perlative, ablative, and allative), so the "carrots in the garden" situation isn't really relevant. But the "John's" situation is, particularly since Ekmar-Tenkar is like Japanese in that speakers will happily drop anything from the sentence that can be inferred from context.

I've decided that Ekmar-Tenkar will have a noun class system, with 5 classes: title, sapient, animate, inanimate, and intangible. These are inherent to noun roots, and mostly break down semantically, though there are some potential gotchas (for example, "fire" and "wind" are both animate, but "air" is intangible). The "title" class is an oddity: it's the class for personal pronouns, but also some honorific titles. In some cases there may be closely related words with homophonous stems but in different classes, but these are still considered separate words. Noun classes are declension categories, so they determine the forms of case/number affixes. This means that re-declining a genitive (the "John's" example) also assigns a class depending on the choice of affix. So if we take the fully declined word meaning "John's" John.SAP-GEN.SG and re-decline it, we can refer to various things owned or controlled by John: John's [person] (sapient), John's [animal, such as a pet] (animate), John's [object, concrete place**] (inanimate), John's [abstract place, action, or concept] (intangible). By re-declining a case form other than the genitive, we can also refer to things with other connections to John. Let's go back to the "She's at John's" example. If the word form we're re-declining is the genitive John.SAP-GEN.SG, that would refer to a place owned or controlled by John, but if it's associative ("with John") John.SAP-ASSOC.SG, it'd be a place that he is associated with (e.g. a place he frequents), or if it is itself locative John.SAP-LOC.SG, it'd be a place where he currently is at. If it's ablative, it'd be the place he came from, allative the place he's going to, and so on.

Fun, huh?

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*Technically, he linked this post, where he talks about surdéclinaison and verbs, but it linked to the post on nouns as essential background, and that's what got me going.

**In Ekmar-Tenkar, places that correspond to a physically defined object, such as a house, are typically considered inanimates, while places that are defined politically or socially or that do not have well-defined or clearly visible borders are considered intangibles.

***The name actually predates the project: "Ekmartenkar" was the name of an earlier, otherwise unrelated conlang sketch that I abandoned, but I recycled the name because I liked the sound of it.

****And don't say "It's intangible!" :P

The drink recipes return

Because of the oddball ingredients, it's likely that I'll never make this again after I run out of one of them. But I wanted to save it for posterity, because it actually turned out pretty good.

1 shot St. George Terroir gin
1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
1/2 oz. Becherovka
1/2 oz. Vim & Vigor
1 heaping spoonful of pineapple sundae topping

Shaken with ice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and some of the pineapple pulp left in the shaker.

The sweetness of the pineapple topping (which is mostly corn syrup) is balanced out by the three mixers, each in a different way: the Grand Marnier is citrus, the Becherovka adds bitterness, and the Vim & Vigor adds sourness from vinegar. It's a weird combination but it all works together.

The St. George Terroir gin is a gin flavored with botanicals from Mt. Tam, notably including Douglas Fir, which gives it a distinctly piney taste. A normal dry gin could probably subsitute, but it may lose something. Vim & Vigor is an herbal infusion in apple cider vinegar that I bought from the Vermont Country Store to use in drink experiments. It's supposed to aid health in some nonspecific way: snake oil, basically. But there's a fine tradition of alcoholic drinks with dubious health claims (nearly all of the old herbal liqueurs like Benedictine and Chartreuse were originally made for supposed medicinal purposes), and I wanted to play around with vinegar as a way of counteracting sweetness as opposed to the usual method of adding bitters. Plain cider vinegar may work as a substitute; I'm not sure how big a difference the herbal flavors make. Finally, the pineapple sundae topping was originally purchased for banana splits, but we don't have those too often and I put this drink together partly to help use that stuff up (I'd have to drink a lot of these to put much of a dent in the jar though). Canned crushed pineapple may substitute, but it'd have to be sweetened with some Agave syrup or something.

Christmas playlist

Because nobody demanded it, here's my Christmas playlist* on iTunes. Album titles are in italics, individual tracks are in artist - title format. Album tracks are not listed except for various artists compilations. Comments are in brackets:
  • Abney Park - Carol of the Bells
  • Béla Fleck & the Flecktones Jingle All the Way
  • Bob Rivers - Walkin' 'Round in Women's Underwear
  • Bob Rivers - Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire
  • The Bomboras - Lil' Drummer Boy
  • California Guitar Trio Christmas Album [The CGT are disciples of King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp, playing surf-inspired guitar instrumental versions of mostly classical but some pop tunes]
  • Carla Bley Carla's Christmas Carols [Bley is an avant-garde jazz pianist and bandleader; this album is amazing]
  • Clockhammer - Here Comes Santa Claus
  • Commodore 64 - A Commodore Kind of Christmas [Christmas nerdcore rap]
  • Dale North, Mustin, Nate Cloud, The OneUps - Super Mario World Super Mario's Sleigh Ride OC ReMix
  • Danny Elfman - Scrooged: Main Titles - Show Time at IBC - Elliot Gives Blood - Walter Ablaze - Wild Cab Ride - Luncheonette - Asylum - Crematorium
  • Dave Brubeck A Dave Brubeck Christmas
  • Esquivel Merry Christmas from the Space-Age Bachelor Pad [hi-fi lounge]
  • The Flaming Lips - Christmas at the Zoo
  • Joe Meek Vampires, Cowboys, Spacemen & Spooks

    • The Fabulous Flee-Rekkers - Green Jeans
    • Roger LaVern & The Microns - Reindeer Ride
    • Roger LaVern & The Microns - Christmas Stocking

  • John Fahey - Christmas Medley: O Tannenbaum/Angels We Have Heard On High/Jingle Bells
  • Joseph Spance - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
  • Kick the Can Crew - Christmas Eve Rap [Japanese Christmas rapping!]
  • Los Straitjackets 'Tis the Season for Los Straitjackets [Christmas surf guitar]
  • Loudon Wainwright III - Suddenly It's Christmas
  • Moon Duo - Silver Bells
  • Pac-Man The Pac-Man Christmas Album [yes, you read that right]
  • The Ramones - Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)
  • Red Peters - Holy Shit, It's Christmas
  • Rev Run - Santa Baby (feat. Mase, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Salt 'N Pepa, Onyx, Keith Murray)
  • Smashing Pumpkins & Radiohead - If There Is A God (Acoustic Christmas '98)
  • Squirrel Nut Zippers Christmas Caravan
  • Stan Kenton - What Is A Santa Claus
  • Sufjan Stevens - Christmas In The Room
  • Sufjan Stevens - O Holy Night
  • Sufjan Stevens - That was the Worst Christmas Ever!
  • Sufjan Stevens - It's Christmas! Let's Be Glad
  • Sufjan Stevens - Hey Guys! It's Christmas Time
  • Sufjan Stevens - Get Behind Me, Santa
  • Sy Mann Switched On Santa! [Christmoog]
  • The Vandals - Christmas Time For My Penis
  • The Vandals - A Gun For Christmas
  • The Vandals - My First Christmas (As A Woman)
  • Various Artists Collapse )
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  • Vince Guaraldi Trio A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • Wesley Willis - Kris Kringle Was a Car Thief [technically not a Christmas song at all, but c'mon]
  • Wonderful World of Joey - What Sweet Child O' Mine Is this?
  • Wooden Shjips - O Tannenbaum
  • Various Artists Collapse )
  • Various Artists Collapse )
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    *I should point out that I don't listen to this playlist straight through. Instead, I have smart playlists that select rotating sections of it to mix in with other stuff.