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In Marinetti and Fillia's under-appreciated Futurist Cookbook (La Cucina Futurista [Milan, 1932] [*]), there is one recipe that uses tea. It is for a polibibita, an Italian replacement word for the too-English 'cocktail.' Like many of the book's recipes, it is only a half-joke, as it was evidently conceived to fulfill a specific purpose.

  Saltoincarne
  (polibibita del critico d'arte futurista P. A. Saladin)

  3 chicchi di caffè
  1 parte liquore fatto con le seguenti piante: coca, cola, damiana,
      muira puama, ioimbe, ginseng, echinacea
  1 parte liquore di tè
  1 parte kirsch

It should be apparent that the three coffee beans, the tea mixture, and the tinctures of coca and kola are meant to help one stay alert, and that the damiana, muira puama, yohimbe, and ginseng are present to stimulate the (presumably male) drinker's sexual performance. The name of the cocktail itself, Saltoincarne ('Carnaleap' is not a bad translation), holds an erotic charge. The herbalist's knowledge in evidence in the ingredients list might suggest that the mixture has true medicinal qualities, but the unorthodox combination of coffee and tea reinforces our impression that it is a light-hearted taboo-buster.

The addition of kirschwasser to the botanicals ensures that the polibibita will be of decent strength, but, because this cherry brandy is not sweet, it won't actually be pleasant to drink.

It is a degenerate man's tipple, but the recipe adequately promotes Futurist vigour and self-sufficiency.

(**½)

 
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