Midweek Cocktail: Zazel the Human Cannonball

The Victorian era witnessed many a wonder but none, perhaps, as wonderful as the many circuses that sprung up to entertain the masses. And nothing at these circuses was perhaps more wonderful, even amongst all the bearded ladies and siamese twins, than the Human Cannonball.

The person that claims the title of first-fired-through-the-air is Rossa Matilda Richter, who was shot out of a spring-fueled canon at the Royal Aquarium in London in 1877. The contraption was designed by The Great Farini, who, when not performing his tightrope routine around Europe, was known as Canadian William Leonard Hunt. Farini found the acrobat Richter and named her Zazel for her first shot which propelled her a full six metres.

Only 14 at the time, Zazel wasn’t even old enough to enjoy the cocktail that is now named after her. But she certainly would have had a taste for the American sandwich it mimics: peanut butter and jelly. Yes, you read that right: a peanut butter and jelly cocktail.

You can find the Zazel at the Worship Street Whistling Shop in Shoreditch, a bar that takes spirits experimentation to higher levels than Zazel herself ever reached. The modern-day Gin Palace owns a rotary-evaporator which allows it to redistill spirits on site.

In the Zazel’s case, the Whistling Shop takes Bulleit Bourbon and macerates peanut butter and jam in it. The Bourbon comes out the other end with subtle peanut butter and sugar flavours. Add a little raspberry syrup and an ice cannonball and you’ve got yourself the Whistling Shop’s creative take on an Old Fashioned that will send your tastebuds flying!

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