Monday, July 26, 2010

Cleopatra's pearl cocktail recipe

USA Today (Dan Vergano)

Cleopatra, fabled final Queen of Egypt, packed a pretty mean pearl cocktail, according to legend.

To win a bet, the story goes, Cleopatra quaffed a vinegar martini made with a dissolved pearl, "the largest in the whole of history," according to an ancient scribe. Doubted by scholars for centuries, Cleopatra's canny chemistry trick may have actually come off, suggests one researcher, based on her own experiments.

"There's usually a kernel of truth in these stories," says classicist Prudence Jones of Montclair (N.J.) State University. "I always prefer to give ancient sources the benefit of the doubt and not assume that something that sounds far-fetched is just fiction."

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