Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Mistakes Lead To Discovery
My Father was a Biochemist at University of Pennsylvania for 35 years. He ran a research lab and would often remind us that throughout history some of the most important scientific discoveries resulted from mistakes that happened during tests or research.
I experienced such a personal discovery as a result of a mistake this weekend...albeit not a scientific breakthrough or history changing invention. It was worthy of note nonetheless.
I had been playing squash with my friend Bill at Merion Cricket Club. We planned to meet our wives and kids for dinner afterwards. We convened at the Bar and Bill's wife asked if she could order me a drink...I of course replied in the affirmative. I requested a Myer's Rum and Tonic.
Now, 999 time out of 1000 when this drink is ordered one receives Myer's Dark rum and Tonic. However, that evening the Barman was a rookie and poured Myer's Platinum and Tonic. Very few bars would even carry this variety of Myer's. I was puzzled when the drink was put in front of me as it certainly was not the correct color: the musky amber of dark Rum swirled with the clear quinine solution of tonic and slightly clouded with lime.Instead I was looking at what appeared to be a gin or vodka and tonic. The Barman stood staring as I considered this glass and it's contents. I advised that it was not what was ordered and he replied: " Sir it is Myer's rum and tonic." I asked to see the bottle and on inspection learned the source of the confusion. Surprisngly, I had never sampled this type of Myer's and decided to break with habit and try it...I also did not want to jam up a rookie Barman during one of his first shifts at a venerable joint like Merion Cricket Club. On my first sip I was astonished at how good the drink was and how much I enjoyed it. The lighter rum had a crisper finish and was slightly less sweet than the dark and had a Summery gin-n-tonic character that was very pleasing to the palate of this rum junkie. I remarked to the young Barman that the drink was excellent and chuckled with him over the notion that an error led to a discovery. Hence, I have discovered a new rum of excellent quality that will join the line up of spirits I'll be mixing with Tonic this Summer.