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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food The real Dr. Funk

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The real Dr. Funk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11602
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-07-10 12:16 am   Permalink

I do not dabble in cocktail research too much, because my friends Jeff Berry and Ted Haigh (and many others here) are far more advanced in the art and history of mixology than I will ever be. But sometimes during my Polynesian pop research I happen upon some curious info that had escaped even those formidable gentlemen so far. In this case it is from the early days of pre-Tiki Polynesian pop, from 1919. This post by Haole'akamai:


got me interested in the book "White Shadows in the South Seas". My 1919 printing did not have any of the clothing photos in it, but in the beginning I found what might be the earliest "South Seas Love Idyll with idol" photograph:

..so that was pretty cool. But leafing through the text, this passage jumped out at me:

Now to me the Dr. Funk cocktail had always been the unloved stepchild of Poly pop mixology, I just could not warm up to its licorice taste, and the mug being not Tiki.
But the fact that he had been a real person, intimately connected to one of the greats of South Seas fiction, now got my attention. After a little searching I found out that he was a GERMAN doctor in Apia, Samoa at the turn of the century, when Samoa was a German colony. Bernard Funk was friends with Robert Louis Stevenson, and indeed was present when he died.

That was all I could gather, marveling at the fact that a cocktail ascribed to a German ended up being presented in a Fu Manchu mug. It is likely that the origin of the cocktail had already been forgotten by the time of the Tiki period.

Unfortunately, I was unable to gather any more specifics about the inception and recipe of the potion. Your turn!

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