Dr. Hurley’s Digest Volume I: Miscellany

To wrap things up, here are 1) the historical documentation of Dr. Hurley’s life and times, 2) a few Aphorisms, and 3) a few Tonics.

Dr. Hurley

Dr. Hurley’s Tonic № 006


onic to Enhance Escapism and Reduce the Malaise Brought on by the End of Summer.

  • 4 parts rhubarb juice
  • 2 parts Vodka
  • 1 part Licor 43

In order to pretend summer is not over, shake 4 parts of rhubarb juice, 2 parts of vodka and one part of Licor 43 with ice cubes and strain into a stemmed glass. Take a sip, close your eyes and daydream yourself to your favorite Spanish beach. Repeat as needed.

Note: Dr. Hurley originally prescribed a mixture of vodka, rhubarb juice, and his own tincture which involved citrus, aromatics, and vanilla.  The closest approximation of his recipe we have been able to find in today’s liquor stores is Spain’s golden Licor 43.

recipe sourced by Wiebke Henning

100 Words: The Dormant Clown


r. Potts released The Clown Virus last week.

Most people died mid-transformation, horrible grins on their pale faces.

But some survived, and now they roam the streets looking for the few remaining bottles of seltzer water, red rubber noses, and joy-buzzers.

A kind of social hierarchy has developed: The floppier and bigger the shoes, the more powerful the clown chieftain.

Then there’s the rare unexpressed carriers like me.

Potts had developed what he thought was an antidote foam, but it’s no cure. It just keeps the virus dormant.

I spray it into the pie-tin, and smack myself in the face.

by Laurence Simon

100 Words: Alabaster Red


labaster Red was a poet, a great lover, and a corn thief. I met him in 1982 on Fannin street in Houston, TX. He sold me his “Snake-Oil Cure,” a juice that made me drunk and brilliant. It turned out that the juice was a metaphysical trick and Alabaster became my cruel dream lord, torturing me in my sleep every night. I resisted sleep for fear of pain and in my tired madness I was visited by the Spirit of the Depths, she gave me an enchanted Lonestar tall boy- which I promptly drank. I never saw Alabaster again.

by Joe Wozny

Dr. Hurley’s Tonic № 005

he Means of Preservation was prescribed by Dr. Hurley for those who complained of a slowing constitution, aches and pains, and the general onset of age.  It was also prescribed to young ladies who feared the loss of their youthful complexion.  It is also believed that Dr. Hurley partook of this particular tonic to ensure his own good health on his many travels, including the one that eventually brought him to the gleaming shores of the young U. S. of A.

  • 2 oz Beefeater Gin
  • 1/2 oz St. Germain Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
  • 2 dash Celery Bitters

Stir with ice until very cold.  Then strain and dispense.

Exposure № 005: Snake-Oil for sale

Do you think Cobra-Oil is stronger than your average Snake-Oil?

Seen at a market in Aleppo, Syria.  Photo by J. Jones.

Tonic № oo4: Milk Punch for Circulatory Complaints

r. Hurley frequently treated patients from all of Europe at his spa in Ireland.  Its proximity to Northern Europe and relatively mild climate made it a favorite among German health-seekers.  Many of them complained of a disturbance of the circulatory system – Kreislaufstörung – which was something of a catch-all diagnosis for headaches, heart palpitations, anxiety, and general malaise.

Dr. Hurley’s treatment for this complaint was, we believe, a tonic similar to the milk punch celebrated by Benjamin Franklin in the early days of the United States, pink in color, and mild in taste.  It seems in keeping with the doctor’s sense of humor and distaste for excess earnestness that his concoction featured an infusion of blood oranges to help cure this alleged circulatory disorder.  This particular tonic is said to bring a flush to the cheeks and a warmth to the stomach, signaling the restoration of proper circulation.  A mild infusion of spices is also said to have been used to reinvigorate the patient as well as bring to mind pleasant memories.

While we have not yet uncovered the Doctor’s own recipe for this tonic, we believe it is similar to a modern preparation of milk punch, and probably most closely resembles this recipe published by one Darby O’Shea.  Perhaps she is descended from a former patient of the Doctor’s?

Dr. Hurley’s Digest: Week One

In case you were out this week, and missed the launch of Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure, here is our first weekly digest of posts, categorised by the good Doctor.







Dr. Hurley

Dr. Hurley’s Tonic № 003

Records show that a tonic very similar to this was produced at Hurley’s Restorative Baths and Spa in Ireland. Click here for more on the intriguing history of Dr. Hurley.

  • two ounces Irish whiskey
  • one ounce coffee liqueur
  • a dash of chocolate bitters

Stir with ice, and let your sweet tooth be quenched.

Dr. Hurley’s Tonic № 002

A warming tonic for cold Winter nights spent in with your feet propped up.

  • 1 ounce ruby port
  • 1.5 ounces bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2 dashes orange bitters

Stir together maple syrup and orange bitters, add a large ice cube (as large as possible), pour port and bourbon over the ice.