Take a long look in a full-length mirror. Does your neck lurch forward? Do your shoulders slope to one side? When you see yourself in photos, do you think, “Damn girl, stand up straight,” only to realize you were standing at your straightest? Then you, my friends, might need a doctor… a spine doctor!
The above was my scenario. My many years of hunching over a drawing board, crouching over photo sets and then slouching into my computer had caught up with me- in a gnarly way. These poor posture habits had longer lasting and riskier effects than simply making me look slouchy in photos. We pay so little mind to our spine, and yet our very health and our very lives depend on its maintenance.
Lucky for me, chiropractics found me. The Urban Farmer’s brother once wanted to be a medical doctor, only to realize the main stream medical system doesn’t prioritize health and prevention, focusing rather on fixing. In chiropractics, he discovered the fundamentals and a means to helping people live their best lives. He found a world in which health, nutrition and fitness combined to serve people, so he devoted himself to the spine and became Dr. Alex Pattison. I believed his words and explanations, but more than anything, I believed the way I felt within a few adjustments.
If this sounds preachy, I can’t help it. When I find something good, something I believe in, I want to share it, want to sing it like Julie Andrews on those Austrian hills. Chiropractics often get a bad rap, as a scam or hoax, but I know Alex as a family member, as a doting father, as a loyal friend and as a doctor. I know him to be incredibly informed and earnest in his pursuit to make our city a healthy one. I also know Alex to be a whiskey aficionado.
This past Christmas, I drew Alex’s name from the hat for the family secret Santa. Rather than simply giving a bottle of whiskey, I played my graphic-designer-boyfriend card (did you know the Urban Farmer is also a design wiz?) to create a custom label to celebrate his love of whiskey and his devotion to spinal health. Introducing Doc Pattison’s Miracle Elixir…
To personalize the bottle even more, I concocted a Spice Infused Whiskey, a fiery flavor reminiscent of a fireball, derived from our forefathers.
Below you’ll find the historical reference for this “receipt,” as it was called in the day. (The “Dulcify” step is my favorite!) You’ll also find the modernized version, designed to be fun and not kill you, by Steven Grasse, author of Colonial Spirits: A Toast to Our Drunken History, and the man behind Art in the Age, a personal favorite of mine. So toast some spices, toast a glass, find yourself a chiropractor, and let’s all toast to health and longevity!
Here’s to you Doc Pattison!
p.s: If you’re interested in creating a custom bottle design to give as a gift, get in touch!
from Colonial Spirits: A Toast to Our Drunken History
The Historical Recipe
Take of cinnamon, ginger, and coriander seed, each 3 oz. – mace, cloves, and cubels, each 1 1/2 oz.- Add 11 gallons of proof spirit, and 2 gallons of water, and distil [sic]; now tie up 5 oz. of English saffron, – raisins (stoned) 4 1/2 lbs.- dates, 3 do.- liquorice root, 2 do.- Let these stand 12 hours in 2 gallons of water, strain, and add it to the above. – Dulcify the whole with fine sugar.
-From Five Thousand Receipts in All Useful and Domestic Arts
by Colin MacKenzie, 1825
“For our recipe in this chapter, we have charitably decided not to instruct you to distill your own whiskey. Though potentially fun and profitable, this also would be highly dangerous and deeply illegal. Rather, consider this cocktail, whose flavors might put you in mind of those early days of American whiskey. The cayenne pepper here adds a subtle kick, reminiscent of Atomic Fireball candy. The simple syrup called for is a mixture of equal parts water and granulated sugar with a pinch of salt, heated just until the sugar dissolves; adding it gives the beverage a more liqueur-like feeling.
For more complexity, substitute the simple syrup with a simple syrup made from brown sugar and water, honey and water, maple syrup and water, or combination of some or all.”
makes about 1 quart
12 cinnamon sticks
12 whole cloves
12 allspice berries, cracked
6 cardamom pods, cracked
3 star anise pods
1 (750 ml) bottle whiskey or bourbon
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1/2 cup simple syrup, optional
In a small sauté pan, combine the cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, cardamom, and star anise and toast over medium-high heat just until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Transfer the toasted spices to a 1-quart (960 ml) jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add the whiskey, vanilla bean and seeds, and cayenne pepper, if using, to the jar and seal. Store the jar in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks, shaking the jar daily.
Note: I infused this batch for one week, and it was bursting with flavor!
Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth or a couple coffee filters into a clean container.
Optional: Add the simple syrup, if using, and store in a tightly sealed jar or bottle.
Use within 2 months.
Note on Serving: This Spiced Whiskey is fiery, so I recommend blending it with another whiskey, serving on ice or using in cocktails, or simply sip slowly.