Saturday, 6 October 2012

When they say “special”…

Trying to help Frances in her search for alcoholic rhymes, I bumped into a section in the Chambers book of Crossword Lists called ‘special drinks’.  Oh ho, I thought, that sounds interesting.

There are five entries: ava, kava, soma, haoma and ayahuasco.  I’m afraid I need to transcribe the definitions of all of these.

Ava and Kava are the same thing: an aromatic plant of the pepper family (piper methysticum); a narcotic drink prepared from its roots and stem.
Soma (leaving aside mad Aldous Huxley’s appropriation) is a plant (perh. an asclepiad), or its intoxicating juice, used in ancient Indian religious ceremonies, and personified as a god.  Remarkably, there is apparently a proprietary prescription drug which is marketed as Soma®.  Wouldn’t mind scoring some of that.
Haoma: a drink prepared from the haoma vine, used in Zoroastrian ritual. (see also soma)

Do you start to see a pattern here?

And finally, the magnificent Ayahuasco: a S  American vine of the family Malpighiaceae; a drink made from the roots of the vine, having hallucinatory properties.
Special?  Pwaff.   Chambers compilers? Amateurs.  I’m off to watch Magical Mystery Tour.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't get the pattern very quickly but I guessed the Ayahuasco was South American. Only I thought it was the Peruvian national dish. (The potato one, not roasted guinea pig)