If you're into thinkin' and drinkin'

Episode 45: What’s in a Name? – The Bebbo



Episode #45 I convinced Jay to come to the Brixton and record the history portion of the show. We sat down and Michael made us a couple of Bebbos.

Our book tells us the word comes from an Indian dialect and means “toad”.  If that’s true, there better be a reason, however, there is none we can find. Even if it’s a mistaken translation from bebdo (which means “drunk”), there needs to be an explanation why we’re delving into Konkani to name cocktails. Otherwise, it could be an African word or an Italian surname, or a small child drooling on himself.  Nicole suggested that it’s as simple as the Spanish word to drink, conjugated to “I drink” –> bebo, which to me seems the most reasonable. Nevertheless, it appears we have no certain access to where the name comes from, so if anybody has some insight, send us an email with your explanation.

This is also the first drink we’ve tried that uses honey as the sweetening agent. Jason suggested that reduced access to sugar at the time might have forced honey as a substitute, which makes me wonder, if that’s true, how often honey was used instead of simple syrup during that era, which would have changed the flavor profile of many classic cocktails during that time.

  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz honey
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 2 tsps orange juice

We tried this drink and I have to admit I was surprised. I expected the honey to run over the other flavors and make it heavy and cloying. Instead we found it to be light, sweet and refreshing and the honey gave the sweetness an identifiable character that most sweet cocktails lack. We all agreed that more cocktails should be made with honey, though I imagine this would not make many bartenders happy, as it’s kind of a difficult ingredient to work with.

Transition music: Cephalopod by Kevin MacLeod
Closing Music: Tijuana Frog Trot by WFMU & Do or DIY

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