a bit of an aging Hippie ( my Pops I can hear groaning in his grave ) who spent a good portion of my Teen years hunting for legit Hash, baking edibles , stoned or coming off a bad trip ( several and some quite embarrassing episodes including being convinced street lights were instead aliens chasing after me as I ducked behind cars ; I kid not) am thrilled to see this current abundance of Nootropics flooding the market . What’s a Nootropic? A collective word for smart drugs or cognitive enhancers , plant based CBD is one and there are several amino acids such as L-Theanine and Levodopa that have similar functions , Ginkgo Biloba is another and has shown in clinical trails to have little effect yet when I put some into a smoothie I turn into an intense version of the energizer Bunny, and am pretty intense already.
I also recently happened upon a recording of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit ” , Miss Slick’s vocals have been isolated for a breathtaking, goose bump inducing rendition of the song , listen to it here, a song synonymous with the Psychedelic movement of the mind expanding Sixties. The song can be interpreted in a couple of ways either to promote drugs or as a warning of a bad trip, in my mind, as the song progresses the imagery gets darker and the way the crescendo of the song builds it also implies bad vibes man . Nootropics have the adverse effect , no killing buzzes, nor chopping off bunny rabbit’s heads, nor street lights out to zap you , just smooth , mind expanding thrills !
So I figured I would use White Rabbit as my jumping off point for this issue , including “bumps ” of Nootropics in my recipes , my visuals have been enhanced to give the colors a lurid , oversaturated, Tomfoolery look . And while technically this is not my usual book dissertation , the song is based on a book . As a bonus , we get to examine that original Badass protagonist Alice and what perhaps drove her to dive into a dark hole after that strange rabbit . I should mention that Patrick my Photographer for the blog these past few years is tending to his Mum who is poorly so have been left to my own devices , bought a camera , styled and shot the pics myself , they’re not quite as profesh as Dear Paddy’s but they’ll more than do .
Here for your head bending pleasure my imbibable interpretations inspired by “White Rabbit” and excerpts from “Alice in Wonderland ”
One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small
And the pills that Mother gives you , don’t do anything at all
Consider if you will that “pill” . As well as enhancing pills , the word can also refer to a reductive experience or influence , “pill” an urban slang for an annoying person ,”one pill makes you small “ that pill can be anyone that tries to minimize and mind-bend us into insignificance placating with empty placebos, medicating to dull the senses “those pills that mother gives us, don’t do anything at all” . I like to imagine Alice has had enough of being squished or told who to be , waking from boredom she sees that rabbit, a potential metaphor for her curiosity as her chance to grow, in her case literally and figuratively .
After falling down into the dark the first place Alice finds herself is in a hallway with many locked doors, an allegory for opportunity , except in her current state there’s no chance that Alice will fit into any of these “doors”. So she has to take a pill or drink a tonic to adapt to her new surroundings except with unexpected consequences .
Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall
E (motion) Potion
My liquid offering is a refreshing blend of rhubarb and florals with a hint of L-Dopa a supplemental amino acid that turns into dopamine in the brain enhancing stamina, pleasure stimuli and sexual function , the most pronounced side effect with larger does of L-Dopa is an inability to control muscles so no OD’ing please !
For the drink :
1 1/2 oz Cap rock Gin
1 1/2 oz rhubarb and rose geranium consommé ( recipe follows)
1 oz Brovo pink Vermouth
1 oz red verjus
1 drop vanilla
2 dashes Peychauds bitters
1 dropper full L-Dopa ( buy the liquid form here )
spritz of absinthe
spritz of lemon oil from a peel
For the Rhubarb /geranium consommé :
1000 grams rhubarb stalks chopped into 1 inch pieces
500 grams organic cane sugar
1 quart or 32 oz of water
1 cup of fresh rose geranium leaves ( I grow these but you can also request at your Farmers market )
Add the rhubarb, sugar, rose geranium and water to a large metal bowl
Wrap the bowl several times with plastic wrap making sure that is is completely sealed and that no steam will escape, its the steams job to pull out all the flavor from the rhubarb and geranium , without it your concoction will burn .
Place the mummified bowl on top a large pan thats half filled with water, this is your ersatz bain-marie , then set onto a medium flame on your stove top.
Allow to steam for up to two hours
When finished allow to cool before removing the plastic wrap, dump contents into a chinoise strainer set over a pitcher to collect the resulting consommé
Store consommé in an airtight container in fridge until ready to use .
Add everything to your mixing glass with 5-6 ice cubes and stir for about 10 seconds .
Strain into your vessel of choice , spritz over lemon peel and absinthe
Optional edibles on the side !
And if you go chasing rabbits, and you know you’re going to fall
As the second chapter opens Alice has increased to an enormous size and becomes so frustrated , hot and bothered that she starts to cry, she finds a fan and starts to cool herself down, the fan also helps her to shrink down to the size of a mouse , except she is so small she is in danger of drowning in the pool of tears she wept as a giant Alice.
In Miss Slick’s version the song goes ” And if you go chasing Rabbits , and you know you’re going to fall ” infers risk taking, as with any adventure wether its meta or physical , Alice has chased that frantic rabbit in search of answers and perhaps if she had an energy boost she could have caught up with him, instead she becomes lost and almost drowns in her own tears .
As the floods subside the white rabbit appears again and mistakes Alice for his maid , he sends her into the house to retrieve a pair of gloves and a fan for the Duchess that he has misplaced . Inside the house Alice starts to grow again back into her giant self . She’s drank the potion and eaten the cake and now has no control of her body. To me this all sounds familiar dealing with irrationality and whacked logic , reminds me of my experience being chased by street lights , I lost all control and was thrust into an alternative world with a skewed perception of reality .
Run Rabbit, Run Rabbit, Run, Run, RUN!
Alice would have been well advised to drink this next potion to keep up with that anxious bunny , made using a favorite rabitty treat, carrots .
For the drink :
1 1/2 oz fresh carrot juice
1 1/2 oz pandan infused sake (recipe follows)
1/2 oz Manzanilla sherry
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
2 dashes orange bitters
1 dropper full of Ginkgo Biloba for that manic , rabbit chasing boost (buy it here)
garnish with coconut cotton candy ( a match made in heaven with carrots ) and represents the fluff of a rabbit’s tail .
Optional I dusted over a pinch of luster dust and a pinch of beet powder for an even more festive ( since its Easter ) feel , both can be found on Amazon .
I also gave my glass a spritz of coriander scent from potion master Mandy Aftel
For the Pandan Sake :
1 quart of dry sake ( does not have to be pricey, the inexpensive sake will do )
100 grams of dried pandan leaves
Add everything to a ziplock bag and either sous vide at 55 degrees C for 2 hours using your Polyscience immersion circulator or place bag in a bath of hot water to speed up infusion process , the only drawback with this method is it takes longer and you need to keep adding more hot water.
Strain and store in an airtight container until ready to use .
Add everything to your shaker tin except for the garnish with 5-6 ice cubes
Shake for 5 seconds and strain into a vessel of choice , I used this rabbit eared trinket cup , you know for a bit of fun .
If using spritz , spray over glass before adding cotton candy which will start to dissolve if it gets expose to moisture too fast .
Top with the coconut cotton candy and dust over optional luster and beet powders .
Tell em a Hookah smoking caterpillar, has given you the call
And ask Alice , when she was just small
Once more Alice finds herself in a pickle , she’s grown too big for the house , her arms dangling out of the windows and scaring all the animal neighbors , who in turn start to throw pebbles at her, the pebbles magically turning into mini cakes which Alice , remembering the cakes in this place make her change size , starts to eat , shrinking back down to a smaller size, again she goes a couple of bites too far and becomes as tiny as an insect .
She gets out of the house and finds herself in a grassy garden where she spies a mushroom, sitting on top is a blue caterpillar smoking a Hookah pipe and puffing out large rings of smoke . He sees Alice staring and questions her ” who are you?”. In the song the interpretation is that the caterpillar poses a more existential question , really who are you ?
When the men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go
And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom, and your mind is moving low
Go ask Alice, I think she’ll know
Hooooo(kah) are YOU?!
Perhaps if Alice had taken a couple of hits from that Hookah she would have discovered herself sooner, or at least had a bit more fun finding out .
The drink that follows is pass-aroundable and uses a large flask from the folks at Urban Bar ware in London . The drink is Mezcal based to complement the smokey aroma that it gets finished with, to make it even more buzz worthy its laced with a vial or two of CBD oil to mellow out that “What is the meaning of life ” angst that Alice is sure to be having after all that sugary cake , or at least thats what happens to me with too much sugar,so maybe I’m just projecting on our Heroine .
CBD is also the antithesis to Jefferson Airplane’s bad trip ending in White Rabbit instead it results in a nice mellow , peaceful “high “. Something I think Alice would be looking forward to after her illogical journey through Wonderland .
When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead
And the white knight is talking backwards
And the red queen’s off with her head
Remember what the dormouse said
Feed your head, feed your head!
For the drink :
(enough for 2-4 tokers)
6 oz mezcal
8 oz pineapple syrup ( equal parts pineapple juice and simple syrup )
4 oz PX sherry
4 oz Manzanilla sherry
2 oz lime juice
12 dashes Miracle Mile Chocolate Chilli bitters
4 dashes Scrappy’s firewater tincture
4 capsules worth Blue Majik spirulina ( empty powder out of capsules and discard capsule shells)
8 drops of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon smoked salt
4 oz aguafaba or egg white.
1 vial CBD per person ( approx 1/8 of an oz )
For garnish you will need a smoking gun , buy from Amazon, Polyscience is may favorite by far but you can also make a smoker from a cooking pot, a plastic tube and some plastic wrap ( add wood chips to be smoked into cooking pot , wrap with plastic wrap, poke a hole into plastic and thread one end of pipe into pot – secure with electrical tape – and the other end of the pipe into the vessel you’ll be serving the drink from . The wood chips inside the pan get set on fire the plastic wrap stops smoke from escaping so the only place it can go is through the pipe and into your glass , its very basic but if you don’t want to invest in the smoking gun this is an experimental way of achieving similar results ).
Add portions of all ingredients to your shaking tin/s and whip shake with 2 ice cubes for 10 seconds until you get a nice head of foam on the top of the drink, you can probably fit half of this amount in two tins , either double shake , one in each hand or get your friends involved since they’ll be partaking in the fun why not involve them in the process of whipping the drink up.
Via a funnel pour the cocktail batch into your serving vessel
Place smoking tube inside bottle or glass and turn your smoking gun on or set fire to your wood chips and allow smoke to fill up bottle/glass.