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Quinn + Tonik Vol. 104: Don't Panic - We're British

Quinn + Tonik Vol. 104: Don't Panic - We're British

First published to our newsletter recipients on March 16, 2020
  
Welcome to the Black Swan scenario.
 
But first for something completely different. Have a watch of this, as it may bring a smile. And then devise your own...here is how.
 
DQ was in Portugal recently test riding the new Triumph Motorcycles 2020 lineup, and in particular the Rocket 3 R. The silverback gorilla of motorcycles. Read all about it in the next issue of Maxim Magazine.
 
On the very comfortable train from Albufeira - Ferreiras to Lisbon DQ sat opposite a quantum physicist who advises the Gates Foundation and governments. They spent almost three hours discussing many things - chaos theory, entropy, the future of things, and, of course, the coronavirus. Which at that point had really only propagated in China. As the train pulled into Lisbon, British Airways cancelled the learned gentleman's flight to Washington the next day. And thus, the end of days began.
 
For those who have not been living under a rock the issue is the speed of transmission and mortality rates here. Somehow we are living in the age of the 12 Monkeys, thanks to global travel. Unlike regular flu to which there is some immunity, and which also circulates slowly for around 8 months a year, we have no immunity to coronavirus and if unchecked it could infect 70%+ of the population in a matter of weeks. With critical illness occurring in those with weakened immune systems or underlying conditions this translates into a very dangerous scenario where we fast run out of ICUs and hospital beds to treat people in dire need. It certainly isn't the Spanish Flu of 1918 yet (which became deadly in its mutated second wave.) But it is a serious enough matter that many are advising you stay at home if at all possible and work from there. If you want to learn more from someone smart, have a look at what Peter Attia has to say.
 
Much as we love to work (well, we love what we do) if you find yourself twiddling your thumbs, here are some ideas for what you could watch, read, and drink while pondering your next sartorial outing or celebration.
 
Meanwhile remember what the most unlikely sage of our age, "Iron" Mike Tyson, said in this assessment of the boxer Tyson "Gypsy King" Fury as he headed into his rematch with Deontay Wilder:
 
"It's not over until it's over...it's hard to beat someone who doesn't want to quit...and that's just what it is."
 
...Bottoms Up!
 
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cocktail: the bar at the end of the world

 

 

Before we proceed to enlightenment, please do remember that DQ is a small business. Always striving for perfection. And to keep you well clothed, and entertained. With the strong headwinds of corona-fever already in the mix, if you have been pondering joining Shirt Club, acquiring that tie, purchasing a tee-shirt for your maiden aunt, or anything else ready-to-wear, now is the time to do it. Much as we always appreciate every single purchase that allows us the luxury of practicing something we love, now is a good time if you have been feeling an itch. Hell, buy a gift certificate for a bespoke suit's worth of dollars, and we can get cracking on it as soon as the mists lift. 

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drink cabinet: our picks

Gin de Mahon, Xoriguer, Mahon-Menorca DO, Spain. Produced in small batches, using centuries’ old wood-fired red copper stills and a long-held, secret family recipe, Mahón Gin has become an iconic Mediterranean spirit, and a standard for distinctive world class Gin. Wine alcohol from Spain’s Penedès region is used as the base distillate. The grapes used are Parellada and Xarel-lo, the same ones used for making Cava. The wine alcohol used has no taste of grapes or wine. It therefore absorbs the scent of the wild juniper in a completely different way to grain-based gins, which is one of the keys to Mahón Gin’s unique flavor and aroma. The juniper berries are aged for about 2 years, prior to using. This shrivels and hardens them, but more importantly, concentrates the aromatic profile and provides some citrus notes. This is quite unique to the industry. Also, since the berries are stored in the harbor area, salt particles do have a leisurely time settling upon them, hence the most likely reason for the slight saline notes.

 

Mic.Drop. As told by the team at PM Spirits.
Mic. Drop. 8-year's success was a total surprise. Yes, we thought it tasted and looked good but we had zero expectations as to how it would be received or sell. 
Each one of us placing order after order, not realizing the entire team was doing the same. We learned the hard way when it was time to call customers and apologize for saying “yes” to hundreds of cases more than we actually had in stock.
When the opportunity came to bottle the single cask of Mic.Drop 2.0, we priced the 13-year significantly higher thinking that these 100+ bottles would allow us to buy more single cask brandies. We also thought it would help make sure Mic.Drop 2.0 would not end up on the secondary market for mad prices after seeing the first Mic.Drop was on the grey market selling for $600 or more. This second release sold in a matter of hours. Prices on the grey market soared. Three digits
 
Hampden is located in Trelawny region in the north- west of Jamaica and was established in 1753 by the Stirling family, from Scotland. It faces the Caribbean Sea and consists of fertile plains in the north and Cockpit Country in the south: an utterly unspoilt mountainous area covered in tropical forest and home to the last surviving Jamaican crocodiles, various native bird species and the giant yellow - tail butterfly. By the early 19th century, there were more than a hundred small sugar estates with their own distilleries in the area. In this very period, Hampden Estate developed an extremely complex technique for the production of aromatic rums with extremely high levels of esters, soon adopted by other local distilleries.
They use only their own natural spring water, prolonged fermentation with wild indigenous yeasts, distillation in 100% pot stills, and an aging program in tropical heat which delivers a flavor profile like nothing else. 
From a taste standpoint it is a voluptuous and intense tipple--courtesy of the mucky stew of wild yeasts used to make its magnificent polyphenolic esters. It's strong notes of ripe bananas and spice on the nose, followed by bitter chocolate and toffee on the palate.
All adding up to a sensory explosion in your mouth and a long, warm, smooth finish.
 
Our overall favorite was from Navazos Palazzi in Spain, a joint venture between Equipo Navazos, the excellent sherry négociant, and Nicolas Palazzi, a spirits bottler. This is a singular whisky, a single barrel selected by the bottlers from a Spanish distillery, complex and savory with a hint of the sherry cask in which it was aged. I don’t expect to ever see it again, but it’s a great example of the quality that can be achieved. It, by the way, was one of two whiskies in our top 10 that were about 53 percent alcohol, calling for dilution with a little water.
 
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movie feed: watch these

Traveling back in time isn't simple, as James Cole (Bruce Willis) learns the hard way. Imprisoned in the 2030s, James is recruited for a mission that will send him back to the 1990s. Once there, he's supposed to gather information about a nascent plague that's about to exterminate the vast majority of the world's population. But, aside from the manic Jeffrey (Brad Pitt), he gets little in the way of cooperation, not least from medical gatekeepers like Dr. Kathryn Railly (Madeleine Stowe).

 

The commercial space tug Nostromo is on a return trip back to Earth with a seven-member crew in stasis: Captain Dallas, Executive Officer Kane, Warrant Officer Ripley, Navigator Lambert, Science Officer Ash, and two engineers, Parker and Brett. Detecting a transmission from nearby moon LV-426, the ship's computer, Mother, awakens the crew. Company policy requires any potential distress signal be investigated, so they land on the moon, sustaining damage from its atmosphere and rocky landscape. Parker and Brett repair the ship while Dallas, Kane, and Lambert head out to investigate. They discover the signal comes from a derelict alien ship and enter it, losing communication with the Nostromo. Ripley deciphers part of the transmission, determining it to be a warning, but cannot relay this information to those on the derelict ship. So begins perhaps the greatest science fiction movie of all time...

 

Koushun Takami's notorious high-octane thriller is based on an irresistible premise: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill one another until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan - where it then proceeded to become a runaway bestseller - Battle Royale is a Lord of the Flies for the 21st century, a potent allegory of what it means to be young and (barely) alive in a dog-eat-dog world. Made into a controversial hit movie of the same name, Battle Royale is already a contemporary Japanese pulp classic.

 

On what is apparently his very first day in the exercise yard, Malik's ­vulnerability and his very blankness attract the hooded eye of César, the Corsican mobster with the guards in his pocket. César needs someone to whack a fellow prisoner, who is about to incriminate his ­associates on the outside by turning state's ­witness. Surrounded by his thuggish courtiers, César curtly summons bewildered small-timer Malik and informs him that he must kill this switch, or be killed himself by César's lieutenants. He will be given ­instruction on how to do the job, and protection from César's crew for the rest of his term. No ­arguments: Malik is "in", a murderer. There is no way out.

 

Mathilda (Natalie Portman) is only 12 years old, but is already familiar with the dark side of life: her abusive father stores drugs for corrupt police officers, and her mother neglects her. Léon (Jean Reno), who lives down the hall, tends to his houseplants and works as a hired hitman for mobster Tony (Danny Aiello). When her family is murdered by crooked DEA agent Stansfield (Gary Oldman), Mathilda joins forces with a reluctant Léon to learn his deadly trade and avenge her family's deaths.

 

Harry Brown is an elderly pensioner who is a decorated Royal Marine, and a veteran of Northern Ireland. He lives on a London council estate ruled by violent gangs and spends most of his time playing chess with his friend, Len Attwell, at a local pub owned by Sid Rourke. When the hospital phones to tell him that his wife, Kath, is dying, Harry is too late to see her because he is scared to take a shortcut through a pedestrian underpass, where a gang holds court.

 

Shaun Riley has no direction in his life. He is disrespected by his colleagues, does not get along with his stepfather Philip, and is dumped by his girlfriend, Liz. Heartbroken, Shaun gets drunk with his close mate, Ed, at their favourite pub, the Winchester. At home, Shaun and Ed's flatmate Pete complains of a bite wound from a mugger, and berates Shaun to get his life together. By morning, a zombie apocalypse has overwhelmed London.

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booklist: read these

WINNER OF THE BEST OF THE BOOKER PRIZE BOOKS  
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time.

Saleem Sinai is born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the very moment of India’s independence. Greeted by fireworks displays, cheering crowds, and Prime Minister Nehru himself, Saleem grows up to learn the ominous consequences of this coincidence. His every act is mirrored and magnified in events that sway the course of national affairs; his health and well-being are inextricably bound to those of his nation; his life is inseparable, at times indistinguishable, from the history of his country. Perhaps most remarkable are the telepathic powers linking him with India’s 1,000 other “midnight’s children,” all born in that initial hour and endowed with magical gifts.
 
"It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured."
So begins this epic, mesmerizing first novel set in the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Shantaram is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear.
Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, the two enter Bombay's hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere.
 
A philosopher/mechanic's wise (and sometimes funny) look at the challenges and pleasures of working with one's hands 
Called "the sleeper hit of the publishing season" by The Boston Globe, Shop Class as Soulcraft became an instant bestseller, attracting readers with its radical (and timely) reappraisal of the merits of skilled manual labor. On both economic and psychological grounds, author Matthew B. Crawford questions the educational imperative of turning everyone into a "knowledge worker," based on a misguided separation of thinking from doing. Using his own experience as an electrician and mechanic, Crawford presents a wonderfully articulated call for self-reliance and a moving reflection on how we can live concretely in an ever more abstract world.
 
70,000 years ago, the human race almost went extinct.
We survived, but no one knows how.
Until now.
The countdown to the next stage of human evolution is about to begin, and humanity might not survive this time.
* * *
Off the coast of Antarctica, a research vessel discovers a mysterious structure buried deep within an iceberg. It has been there for thousands of years, and something is guarding it. Could it be the fabled city of Atlantis? Or is it something more dangerous?
At the same moment, in Jakarta, Indonesia, a brilliant geneticist named Kate Warner has just discovered a breakthrough treatment for autism. Or so she thinks. What she has found is far more deadly--for her and for the entire human race. Her work could unleash the next stage of human evolution. It might also hold the key to unlocking the mysterious structure off the coast of Antarctica.
 
A young New Yorker grieving his mother's death is pulled into a gritty underworld of art and wealth in this "extraordinary" and beloved Pulitzer Prize winner that "connects with the heart as well as the mind" (Stephen King, New York Times Book Review).
Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by a longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into a wealthy and insular art community.
As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love -- and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.
The Goldfinch is a mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention. From the streets of New York to the dark corners of the art underworld, this "soaring masterpiece" examines the devastating impact of grief and the ruthless machinations of fate (Ron Charles, Washington Post).
 
Have you ever considered the extraordinary power of making bad decisions, being unreasonable, and taking dangerous, unadvisable risks?
Has it ever occurred to you that nothing is more dangerous than playing it safe, or that the straight and narrow path may lead you right off a cliff?
Paul Arden spent 14 years as the Executive Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi. He was responsible for some of the UK's most successful advertising campaigns - British Airways, Silk Cut, Anchor Butter, InterCity and Fuji.
 
Why have history's greatest minds—from George Washington to Frederick the Great to Ralph Waldo Emerson, along with today's top performers from Super Bowl-winning football coaches to CEOs and celebrities—embraced the wisdom of the ancient Stoics? Because they realize that the most valuable wisdom is timeless and that philosophy is for living a better life, not a classroom exercise.
The Daily Stoic offers 366 days of Stoic insights and exercises, featuring all-new translations from the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the playwright Seneca, or slave-turned-philosopher Epictetus, as well as lesser-known luminaries like Zeno, Cleanthes, and Musonius Rufus. Every day of the year you'll find one of their pithy, powerful quotations, as well as historical anecdotes, provocative commentary, and a helpful glossary of Greek terms.
By following these teachings over the course of a year (and, indeed, for years to come) you'll find the serenity, self-knowledge, and resilience you need to live well.
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cocktail: the quarantini

It seems any cocktail is a quarantini.
 
And that we really are headed back into the roaring '20s.
 
So we figured tough times demand tough measures. So what better to kickstart your quarantine, the economy, and everything else, than a Corpse Reviver. Originally made of cognac, brandy, and sweet vermouth, and its sister Corpse Reviver #2, made of gin, lemon juice, triple sec, Lillet, and absinthe. They were meant as hangover cures and seen as medicinal in their earliest days. But are believed to reach back as far as the 1860s.
 
 
INGREDIENTS:
 
1 oz Cognac
1 oz Calvados
1/2 oz Sweet vermouth
 
DIRECTIONS:
 
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice.
Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.
 
Bottoms Up!
 



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