The first came from a spin through the NH state liquor store a number of years ago where I found a bottle of Reyka vodka on sale. The front of the bottle claimed that it was “lava rock filtered” and that was enough for me to plunk down a few dollars to bring home. One of the students I had in my Iceland geology class two years ago actually chose to research the company and learn more about how they used not only basalt rocks to filter the vodka, but also used geothermal energy to run their distillery. And the vodka wasn’t half bad either :) The bottle is still sitting on my bookcase (empty unfortunately).
(Revised 1. February with bottle picture)
The second came from a small shack in downtown Salem, MA last summer. Because of a request from my mom, we ended up in this little hole in the wall in Salem having dinner. While dinner itself wasn’t anything to return for, my evening libation was called a “Great Molasses Flood” and included rum, ginger beer, and molasses. When I teach about viscosity, I end up discussing with my students the “Boston Molasses Flood” which occurred in January 15, 1919 in the North End of Boston. Due to a faulty tank, mixing warm & cold molasses, and drastic changes in temperature that January, a flood of about 2 million gallons of molasses killed 21 and injured 150. This drink was a perfect example of how cold molasses (when they first served it) has a high viscosity, but as the drink warmed up, the molasses became less viscous and started to mix with the rum & ginger beer. It was good, too :) The picture below was taken just after it landed on the table, so the molasses was still cold and can be seen streaking down the inside of the glass: