Damiana Liqueur is a light herbal based liqueur from Mexico. It's made with the Damiana herb, a natural aphrodisiac that grows in Baja California, Mexico. The bottle is shaped like a pregnant woman and is modeled after the Incan goddess of Fertility.
The Raven provided this story in one of our newsletters.
Today I’d like to take you on wings of song, but unfortunately for me and fortunately for you this is a newsletter and not a news show, so my singing will be contained to my little corner of this institution we call Earth. Instead, I will tell you a tale of horror and mystery, a story that stretches across the continent and across time, one that even transcends this world and goes into the next. This is a story that will be handed down, to be told at campfires, frat parties, bachelor parties, cocktail parties…well pretty much any party where the booze flows free. The mere mention of the story sends those who were there into fits of terror, and fills their heads with images unfit for human thoughts. It is the story of… the fat lady bottle.
There is a disclaimer: this story was due to its participants being young, poor or stupid (you choose).
The fat lady bottle was a little bottle that we had come across at a garage sale, or perhaps it was a thrift store. No matter, but suffice to say that this bottle looked unique; we’d never seen anything like it. The top of the bottle had been broken off so, if you can imagine, it looked like a fat lady whose head had been lopped off. We took the bottle back to my buddy’s place and after a few months the fat lady bottle made it into the large aquarium that made up the support for the bar we’d constructed. The bar was really of an ingenious design for us at the time; the aquarium, long since useless for water, had been converted to a snake habitat and had a nice desert scene set up. The addition of a few interesting bottles put the finishing touches on our tribute to our home town (the snake was already long gone.). We set the aquarium on a few cinder blocks and topped it off with a specially constructed countertop, thus creating a bar worthy of dispensing drinks to people who were just barely old enough to do so legally.
Back to the bottle: My buddy had just discovered wine, and had taken it upon himself to search for the perfect bottle of wine. As I’m sure most of you can remember, the first couple of years in the real world aren’t exactly full of cash flow. The first year of his search was held almost exclusively at the 99 cent store, and blessed our little bar with concoctions labeled after which ever celebrity would put their name on the bottle. Now, I won’t be a snob and say that they were all without merit, but for a good lot of them, the dollar spent to acquire the bottle would have been better spent in a wishing well. It was with one of these bottles the story of the fat lady bottle really takes off.
After pouring a few glasses of a particularly rank bottle, which was unanimously decided to be undrinkable, we poured the rest of the wine into the fat lady bottle (mistake one.) Realizing that leaving the wine there was unlikely to make it any better, and not wanting to have too much oxygen in the bottle, we got the grand idea of filling the rest with vodka (mistake 2). Having stocked the bar on a shoestring budget, we grabbed the only bottle of vodka we had, the $2.99 plastic bottle of Popov (mistake 3). We jammed the cork into the broken neck and placed the fat lady bottle back into its idyllic desert scene (mistake 4) where it sat, ostensibly forever, as a testament to some of the worse vino we’d ever consumed, under the heat of the lights, which we hadn’t changed out since we had the snake in there (mistake 5).
And there sat the fat lady bottle, happily for many months. If it had continued to sit there, the story would end happily. But then I’d be letting you down. No, this story takes a dark turn. I was off at college on the day the fat lady bottle was released. I was sitting in one of my evening classes, and I recall being overcome by a feeling of dread for no apparent reason. Anxious to pass my next test, I shook it off and went back to the discussion in class. It wasn’t until two days later that I learned the reason for my discontent. It had been a particularly hard day at the rat races for my buddy and his roommates. They had started in on the beer the second they got home. Unfortunately for them, they hadn’t thought to check the supply of booze before they sat down to inebriate themselves. Within an hour they had managed to consume every last drop of alcohol in the apartment. Well, almost every drop.
Now, the first question that is usually asked is “Why didn’t they go get more?” I trust that everyone reading already knows the answer…they’d already been drinking, and were in no condition to be driving.
So, too tipsy to drive, not tipsy enough to be done drinking, and totally out of normal booze, what are a couple of red-blooded guys to do? Yeah, you guessed it; they opened the aquarium and dug out the corked fat lady bottle. Now, I can’t claim to know exactly what happened in the next minutes, but I feel I must defend the gravitas of my friends. These guys have gone bottle for bottle with each other with whatever was thrown at them. That’s not to say that they lived in the bottle, but they could hold their booze. They popped the cork and poured a shot each…
There’s a good chance that whatever was in that bottle was actually poisonous. There’s also a good chance that the bottle’s contents combined to create a substance that was just very unpalatable. Here’s what I know: the bottle was stained by the liquid. What ever was in there actually attached itself to the glass. Here’s the other thing I know: my buddies spent that night and most of the next day praying to the porcelain.
This story has an epilogue. After the fiasco with the fat lady bottle, you would have thought that they would have poured the rest out; they didn’t; they re-corked it and put it back. But it gets better…
On a cruise to Mexico I was searching out a liquor store (I’m always looking for something new and exciting) and I came across a whole shelf of fat lady bottles! I couldn’t believe it. The fat lady bottle was actually made to contain alcohol! It was Damiana. I couldn’t resist bringing it back to the bar. I actually got one of them to leave the room at the sight of the bottle.
Ultimately, the fat lady bottle has become part of our lore, a lesson learned. I share it with you on the hope that you’ll avoid making all of the mistakes we made. I hope this story has kept you entertained.
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