The internet is a magical place with so many strange alleys, dramatic boulevards, and scenic country roads. That you’ve decided to stop by the North Dakota Quarterly page or that one of the webs winding pathways led you here is nothing short of a miracle.
Every now and then, something on the internet is sufficiently spectacular to deserve to be pointed out (and celebrated). While we may be so jaded that even a hipster Latin teacher singing the declension of personal pronouns seems like another unremarkable manifestation of privilege, there are occasional places on the web operate outside our cynical critique. The best known island of random madness is, of course, the Internet Archive, but there are many crazy islands in the archipelago from Eastern European matchbooks, to the AIGA design archives or an archive of Exotica.
One of the finest little islands that I’ve recent discovered through the Twitters (h/t to the historian Rachel Hope Cleves!) is this remarkably little collection of 19th and 20th century cocktail books. Professor Cleves tell us that these cocktail books are part of a larger collection and museum funded by Paul Ricard on his private island (the irresistibly puntastic, Bendor Island) called the “Exposition Universelles des Vins et Spiritueux.” Many of them harken from the immediate aftermath of prohibition when rusty bar-tenders were looking to regain the traditional charm of an evening tipple. To make things just a little more exotic, the webpage has a domain from Belize (.bz).
It seems like the perfect island (on the web and perhaps in reality) to enjoy The Quarterly cocktail while scanning for drinks to ease your passage into the fall.