So in between my day job and my real job, I was preparing for my entry into the 2014 Diageo World Class cocktail competition, which is, most people would say, one of the biggest event in the competition calendar.
One of the aspects of the DWC is that on top of a cocktail presentation and a blind tasting challenge, they include a written examination, which covers an impossibly wide range of topics, from facts about base alcohol, the origin and trivia of spirits and liqueurs, to the history and ingredients of cocktails.
Naturally, being a studious, academically minded fellow, I took to my preparations as only an Asian engineer can, slogging through texts and articles in every free moment, taking down even the most obscure of details. Information about various spirits and alcohol itself was easy to come by, being, after all, a matter of historical and scientific record. Unfortunately, when it came to the history of classic cocktails, it was anything but straight up (see what I did there?)