Quinn + Tonik Vol. 6
the man who loved china
Gunpowder, the magnetic compass, and paper and printing: the four most
important inventions facilitating the West's transformation from the Dark Ages to the modern world. ALL invented in China.
Learn this, and more, as Joseph Needham travels through China at the behest of the British Royal Society during WW2. Through incense smoke, car exhaust fumes, hot cooking oil, acrid peppers, human waste, oleander, jasmine, and full scale war.
Tucked away on the grounds of one of the most revered and hallowed grounds of learning the world has ever known sits a research institute. In the grounds of Robinson College, in Cambridge, England, to be precise. Its name is "The Needham Research Institute" and it houses the research and findings of Joseph Needham. The man who loved China. So much so that he persuaded his English Mrs. to let his Chinese Mrs. live down the street from them for many years, and upon the passing of his English wife, proceeded to marry the Chinese one.
Needham was a true eccentric, scientist, and adventurer sent by the British to figure out China during WW2. Under the Royal Society's direction, Needham was the director of the Sino-British Science Co-operation Office in Chongqing from 1942 to 1946. During this time he journeyed through war-torn China, visiting scientific and educational establishments obtaining much needed supplies for them. Everywhere he went he purchased and was given old historical and scientific books which were shipped back to Britain through diplomatic channels. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1941, a fellow of the British Academy in 1971, and was awarded the Companionship of Honour by the Queen in 1992. The only living person to ever simultaneously hold these three titles.
If you have any interest in the culture and politics of China, you should give this easy page turner a whirl.
(made from the finest silk in the world...from Chinese mulberry tree silkworms)
We've already waxed lyrical about the fact that duncan quinn ties truly are exceptional. Milled exclusively for us in Sudbury, England on 350 end silk looms at one of the oldest silk mills in England. And then hand cut, stitched, and finished in limited and exclusivity-ensuring numbers, they are as good as a tie can get. But what we did not tell you is that the silk for our ties comes from China. From silk worms living in mulberry bushes to be precise. The silk worms beaver away spinning silk in the trees which is then collected and spun into the yarns which are used to mill our tie silk. Following dying in vibrant colors to ensure the right amount of pop when worn with your duncan quinn suit and shirt, of course. It's simply the best silk money can buy, milled and made into the best ties in the world.
fleur de lis
The origins of the symbolism and use of the fleur-de-lys (or Fleur-de-lis) by French monarchs is steeped in folklore and legend. First used by Clovis in the 5th century AD, and then presented on a banner to Charlemagne at his coronation, it had become the symbol of the French monarchy by the 13th century AD and was being incorporated into family insignia sewn onto knights surcoats which were worn over chain mail, thus, a "coat of arms." This original purpose of identification in battle developed into a system of social status designations after 1483 when King Edmund IV established the Heralds' College to supervise the granting of armor insignia.
Here is the iconic DQ version, which we will grant you to wear with pride as you go to battle in boardrooms and bastions of revelry the world over today.
and now... time for a cocktail
When done correctly, there is no more sartorial hour than the after-work cocktail. Whether with a colleague, a client, or a romantic interest, the after-work cocktail allows your individual and unique tastes to take center stage. You set the mood by first choosing the location, whether that means sidling up to the bar downstairs or entering that hard-to-access secret speakeasy that only you know the phone number to. Next, you display that statement piece that sets you apart from the crowd. Whether it be your tailored jacket with the hand-picked lining, your polished double monk straps, or your statement timepiece, your refined tastes are exhibited and are likely to be the ice breaker to the evening’s first conversation. But nothing shows off your refined gentlemanly tastes more than your choice of cocktail.
While you could order that top shelf scotch or the latest private label bourbon, may I suggest you order a Martinez? Long rumored to be the grandfather to the Martini, this classic cocktail is really the perfect compromise between a Martini and a Manhattan. Recipes for this cocktail vary and have been available since 1884. But after tinkering for many years (and trying versions of the cocktail from all over the world), I have come to settle on the recipe below. And while your companion may try to impress you by ordering the most expensive brown liquor on the menu, you can further display your refinement by ordering your Martinez with one of the few liquors that actually justifies its hefty price tag.
2 oz. Monkey 47 Gin
¾ oz. Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
¼ oz Luxardo Maraschino
2 dashes orange bitters
Stir over cracked ice for 30 seconds and strain into chilled coupe glass.
Garnish with a lemon peel.