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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » The real Dr. Funk
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The real Dr. Funk
TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 675
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-04-16 11:49 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2012-04-15 19:59, Club Nouméa wrote:
And Dr Funk came to Wanganui in 1901! The Rutland Hotel (rebuilt in brick circa 1910) burned down in the 1990s, but the Rutland Arms stands on the same spot.



Club Nouméa, do any of the Wanganui bars offer a Doctor Funk cocktail?

I’m guessing that Tahiti, being a French colony, was the perfect place to introduce and create a legacy for an absinthe-containing drink, given the French national predilection for this spirit. Doctor Funk, the cocktail, may have been introduced to any of a number of other locales where it ultimately failed to catch on due to the absinthe content. It took the French expatriates in Papeete to elevate it to popular drink status and, of course, Frederick O’Brien to spread the word and record the particulars for all time in his book.

Quote:

On 2012-04-07 17:08, TikiTomD wrote:
The Wanganui Herald March 18, 1901





Sullivan's Rutland Hotel, corner of Ridgway Street and Victoria Avenue, Wanganui, [ca 1910]
Reference Number: 1/1-016918-G

Sullivan's Rutland Hotel, corner of Ridgway Street and Victoria Avenue, Wanganui, with men and horse drawn carts alongside. Photograph taken by Frank J Denton, circa 1910.



The Wanganui Chronicle March 24, 1898




According to this article, a principal reason for Governor Solf’s visit to New Zealand in 1901 was health, maybe the reason Dr. Funk was his co-traveler of record...

Morning Oregonian February 11, 1901




Could it be that the Governor was there to see visiting specialists from the Dr. Langston Institute?

The Wanganui Herald July 15, 1904





-Tom


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Club Nouméa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2010
Posts: 340
From: Wanganui
Posted: 2012-04-16 7:15 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2012-04-16 11:49, TikiTomD wrote:
do any of the Wanganui bars offer a Doctor Funk cocktail?



Well, mine does - I have made been making them up for visitors to try for a couple of years now (mainly because the drink was so famous in the French Pacific, and that's part of the theme of my bar). I will definitely have to get that photo of the good Doctor framed and hanging by the bar now.

I am also going to start looking around antique stores for that Electro Regenerator....



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[ This Message was edited by: Club Nouméa 2012-04-16 19:18 ]


 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 675
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-04-17 07:45 am   Permalink

Not much is recorded about Dr. Funk’s sunset years. The factual information that follows comes from Leilani Burgoyne’s “Going ‘Troppo’ in the South Pacific: Dr. Bernhard Funk of Samoa 1844–1911” and Peter Maubach’s “Dr. Bernhard Funk (1844-1911): a Neubrandenburger in the South Seas” in the 1995 Local History Yearbook of the Regional Museum of Neubrandenburg.

From his interview for the biographic sketch in the 1907 The Cyclopedia of Samoa, one could infer that Dr. Funk continued to be actively involved in Samoa’s public health care after his 1904 retirement. We know for a fact that he served on a casual basis to back up the government medical officer when short-handed. He likely also continued his private practice. Though speculation, it’s hard to imagine that he didn’t spend a great deal of time at his health resort on the crater lake, Lanoto`o, as well as continuing to host parties, including his popular Bierabend or “beer nights,” in the two Samoan fale behind his home in Sogi. Dr. Funk also continued to collect meteorological data for the government from his home through 1910.

In early 1911, an ill Dr. Funk boarded a steamship for Germany to receive medical treatment there. It must have been an intensely emotional parting from the love of his life, Senitima, his Samoan princess and wife, as well as from an island home and friends acquired over his thirty years of residence in Samoa. On April 8, 1911, Dr. Funk died at age 66 in St. Urban’s Hospital in Berlin, after what was simply described as a “long illness.” On April 12, four days later, he was buried in Neubrandenburg, Germany, the town of his birth, almost 9,700 miles from Samoa. His headstone in Neubrandenburg Cemetery, no longer existing, was inscribed ”Dr. Bernhard Funk aus Apia” (“Dr. Bernhard Funk of Apia”)...




The old doctor realized that he would probably never return to his beloved Samoa, so he made a provision in his will to ensure something of him would remain there. Following his death, a block of granite arrived in Samoa from Germany. On it was inscribed ”Dr. Bernhard Funk.” In October of 1913, his friends gathered around the shores of Lake Lanoto`o (Lanutoo) for a memorial service to the old German foma`i (healer). At this service, the inscribed memorial stone was erected, fulfilling the last of the old doctor’s wishes...




And so we end the tale of Dr. Funk, with our old medico, “who was known throughout the South Pacific for his famous cocktail and his walks along the beach, cigar in mouth and cane in hand” fading into the fabric of turn-of-the century South Seas history...



----------------




When word of Dr. Funk’s passing arrived in Tahiti, I can well imagine there wasn’t a dry eye in the Cercle Bougainville. I expect Joseph, the club steward, with Doctor Funk in hand, proposed a toast to Herr Funk, joined in raucous chorus by a colorful assemblage of sea captains, merchants, adventurers, artists, tourists and common seamen.

-Tom


 
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Rawim
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Joined: Aug 04, 2010
Posts: 117
From: Palmdale, CA
Posted: 2012-04-17 09:41 am   Permalink

Tom,

Thanks for all the wonderful posts. Very interesting and informative, thanks for putting in the time to research and post all this great stuff.

-Rawim


 
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GentleHangman
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Jun 23, 2006
Posts: 464
From: Stuart, Florida
Posted: 2012-04-17 3:42 pm   Permalink

Amazing presentation. The History channel could not have done better.
Bravo!
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TropicDrinkBoy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 273
Posted: 2012-04-17 11:11 pm   Permalink

Hi Tom,

Thanks again for all you've done to enhance my enjoyment of "Dr. Funk" cocktails! I tried to create an authentic Dr. Funk based on the recipe you posted from the "Mystic Isles of the South Seas" book. I mixed 1 1/2 ounces of Absinthe, a large dash of "Small Hand Foods" Grenadine (hard to find but probably the best grenadine on earth), the juice of a small Persian lime and eight ounces of club soda. I didn't add ice as I doubt they had much of that before refrigeration in Samoa. I used the juice of one small Persian lime rather than the juice of two limes since I didn't have any "bartender limes" (Key limes) that they probably were using in Doctor Funk's time. The result was a refreshing drink that I will make again. The ingredients were in balance though I will try using some ice next time although warm was O.K.!


 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 675
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-04-18 1:06 pm   Permalink

Rawim and GentleHangman, thank you for the kind words. This was truly a fun project for me. It’s amazing what you can dig up on people, places and events so far away in time. It felt as if one were dropping in like Doctor Who in the TARDIS.

TropicDrinkBoy, good of you to share your approach in concocting an authentic Doctor Funk cocktail. By the time of Frederick O’Brien’s visit to Tahiti, ice was available and being served in the drinks along the lagoon-front bars of Papeete. So I think you’d be historically accurate to include ice in the drink if desired.

Practical refrigeration units were developed around the mid-19th century. In the latter part of that century, steamships serving the ports of Oceania were outfitted with mechanical refrigeration units that could both make ice and refrigerate foodstuff, principally meat but also fruits and vegetables. Ice would have been a scarce commodity in the South Seas, but harbor towns like Apia, Samoa may have sporadically had access to it when steamships hauling passengers and refrigerated cargo docked.

The Union Steamship Company of New Zealand’s S.S. Monowai is one example of such a ship, put into service circa 1890 and plying the waters of the Pacific with regular stops in Apia, Samoa in the time of Robert Louis Stevenson (see paragraph under heading “Northcote Strawberries in San Francisco” for refrigeration capabilities)...



The Auckland Star June 24, 1893















Larger towns and cities of New Zealand and Australia apparently had resident ice-making machinery in the same period, as suggested by the following Wanganui, New Zealand ad...

The Wanganui Chronicle January 23, 1892





Refrigeration equipment captivated the crowds at this 1898 industrial exhibit in Auckland, New Zealand...

The Auckland Star December 15, 1898






The “cwt” unit of measure in the article is hundred weight. So, the ice machine cited as capable of producing 20 cwt in 24 hours could make 2000 pounds (1 ton) of ice per day.

-Tom


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Q-tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 22, 2011
Posts: 197
From: East TN
Posted: 2012-04-19 07:58 am   Permalink

This has been a treat Tom! You've done a great job with all of the research of Herr Doktor. I really enjoyed ALL the info you have posted.

MAHALO for your diligence.

Tropic Drink Boy... If I only have Pernod, how would you recommend substituting for the absinthe? 1 to 1 or a lesser portion? Thanks!


 
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TropicDrinkBoy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 273
Posted: 2012-04-19 5:24 pm   Permalink

I find Pernod to be a much stronger flavor than the Swiss Absinthe I used. Pernod tastes more like Good-n-Plenty candy to me and can really take over a drink. I'd start with .75 oz (1/2 my portion), taste and then add another 1/4 oz or two depending on taste. All anise flavored spirits and liquors are an acquired taste so go easy at first. I spilled a healthy dash of grenadine in mine by accident but it tasted fine with 1 1/2 ounces of Absinthe. The flavors are well diluted with 8 oz of club soda.

[ This Message was edited by: TropicDrinkBoy 2012-04-19 17:25 ]


 
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Q-tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 22, 2011
Posts: 197
From: East TN
Posted: 2012-04-21 08:59 am   Permalink

Thanks TDB! On my list for tonight.
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thePorpoise
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 23, 2011
Posts: 1220
From: Tampa Bay
Posted: 2012-04-22 12:32 pm   Permalink

gave the "Mystic Isles of the South Seas" reputed original formulation a try- loved it! moreso than the tikified rum-versions. tart and refreshing. thoughts:

--as did TropDrinkBoy, I also used 1.5 oz Pernod. a "portion" of absinthe doesn't lend much guidance, but the traditional absinthe glasses from the 1800's were designed to hold 1 to 1.5 oz of absinthe, for louching with sugar and water, so i think about 1.5 oz of absinthe is probably how Dr. Funk's libation was made.

--I used 1.5 oz of lime juice-- I'm no "lime-ologist," but my bet is the limes available in Samoa were Tahitian, which I understand to be Persian limes, not key limes. Persian limes usually yield 3/4 to 1 oz of juice each for me.

--I used 1/4 oz grenadine. that's more than a dash, but given that grenadine is not usually sold in dropper bottles, and given that absinthe is usually mixed with sugar, my guess is that the grenadine was the sugar substitute for the drink and the "dash" was probably a bit heavy-handed.

the "real" Dr. Funk cocktail is a very refreshing drink, essentially, it was an absinthe daisy.

[ This Message was edited by: thePorpoise 2012-04-22 12:33 ]

[ This Message was edited by: thePorpoise 2012-04-22 12:36 ]


 
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TropicDrinkBoy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 273
Posted: 2012-04-23 6:23 pm   Permalink

Persian limes were developed in 1895 so I don't think Dr. Funk was using them, at least to begin with since he arrived in Samoa in 1880 and left in 1911. I don't know how long it took for them to become readily available and displace the traditional "bartender's lime", the Key Lime, which is actually native to southeast Asia. In any event, adjust proportions to taste!

The first Dr. Funk of Tahiti that I had at Trader Vic's in Emeryville was sublime The Pernod (or Herbisaint) was floated and in the perfect amount to give an exotic flair to a tropical punch style drink. I've ordered it there a few times since but it hasn't matched my first impression. With an ingrediant like Pernod it's tough to balance the flavor. I've seen the TV recipe mention both Herbisaint and Pernod in different sources and I think Herbisaint works better in the Trader Vic version of the Dr. Funk drink.


 
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Club Nouméa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 03, 2010
Posts: 340
From: Wanganui
Posted: 2012-05-06 03:42 am   Permalink

Many thanks to thePorpoise for his Dr Funk recipe details, and to BigBroTiki for his more modern variant recipes, which I have been trying out over the last few days. I must admit I much prefer the original Dr Funk recipe.

During a bout of the flu, I decided to make the recipe more "medicinal" by replacing the club soda with Schweppe's Tonic Water, which provided an interesting variant with enhanced restorative properties...

Then I went one step further and came up with the "Dr Funk in Aotearoa":

1 1/2 oz of absinthe
A large dash of Grenadine
Two Tahitian limes
8 oz of Lemon & Paeroa:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_%26_Paeroa
Stirred gently with ice

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Toto, j'ai l'impression que nous ne sommes plus au Kansas !


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Hurricane Hayward
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 618
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2013-02-03 09:17 am   Permalink

Wow, such a great post! I'll comment here both to give it a bump and also to mention my reinterpretation of The Mai-Kai's Dr. Fong, which was no doubt based on Doctor Funk:

http://www.slammie.com/atomicgrog/blog/2013/02/03/lost-cocktails-of-the-mai-kai-the-late-dr-fong-has-a-funky-and-famous-history/


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Boom Boom Room
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 08, 2008
Posts: 38
From: Northern VA, near DC
Posted: 2013-07-07 12:16 pm   Permalink

HUGE appreciation to BigBroTiki for hours of enjoyment in reading through the many interesting, twists, turns, and tangents on this post. The ultimate compliment, you have inspired me to create cocktails! Since we already have versions of the Dr. Funk and well as Dr. Funk's son, I now give to the world, Dr. Funk's First Wife and Dr. Funk's Second Wife. With faithfulness to the original ingredients, here they are:

DR. FUNK'S FIRST WIFE
(Fiery and passionate, like I imagine his marriage to Lenora was.)
1 ¼ Smith and Cross rum, ¼ El Dorado 15 year old rum, ½ B.G. Reynolds passion fruit syrup, ½ Stirrings grenadine, ½ lime juice, 5 drops absinthe. Shake. Top with 2 club soda' Serve in a Collins glass.

(Had to put a 15 year old rum in there as an homage to the 15 year old Lenora.)

DR. FUNK’S SECOND WIFE
(Smooth and pleasant, like I imagine his second wife was.)
2 Flor d’Cana silver rum, ½ Appleton Estate gold rum, ½ Licor 43 liqueur, ½ lemon juice, 1/4 Stirrings grenadine, 3 sprays absinthe. Shake. Top with 1 club soda. Serve in a Collins glass.

More fun - as a tribute to other topics raised in this post, I offer:

** TROPPENKOLLER REMEDY
(My cure for the dangerous malady, Going Troppo.)

1 Cruzen dark rum, ½ Lemon Hart 151 rum, 1/8 allspice dram, 1½ pineapple juice, ¼ lime juice, ¼ Licor 43, 1/8 Becherovka bitters, 3 cherry bitters, 4 Angostura bitters. Shake. Add a dash of nutmeg and top with 1 soda. Serve in a Pilsner glass.

** JAMES MURRAY’S MISTAKE
(Named after poor James Murray, whose mistake was not to grab for this cocktail. It is an homage to the famous Ray's Mistake, the signature drink of the Tiki-Ti in Los Angeles, containing several ingredients thought to be included in that cocktail.)

¾ Appleton Estate gold rum, ¾ Plymouth gin, ½ lemon juice, ½ B.G. Reynolds passion fruit syrup, 1 pineapple juice, 8 drops vanilla extract. Shake. Add ½ Coruba dark rum float. Serve in a double Old Fashioned glass.

Cheers.







 
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