The Computational Drink Made in Ada Lovelace's Honor - Atlas Obscura
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The Computational Drink Made in Ada Lovelace’s Honor

An illustration inspired by the A. E. Chalon portrait created for the Ada Initiative, which supported open technology and women (Illustration: Colin Adams)

The story of Ada Lovelace and her contribution to computing history was long forgotten—but, in recent years, she’s become something of an icon in the world of coders. So it’s fitting that she should be the first subject of a new partnership between radio program and podcast Dinner Party Download and Atlas Obscura.  

Lovelace herself was born in 1815, the daughter of literary genius and legendary philanderer Lord Byron. As his only legitimate daughter, her mother was hellbent on steering her away from the world of words—and it was in the world of numbers where Lovelace showed incredible talent. She wrote a book about the mechanics of flying at age 12, created a “calculus of the nervous system” as a 17 year-old and met her lifelong collaborator, famed mathematician Charles Babbage, at 18.

To learn how life goes for a 19th century “enchantress of numbers,” listen to the segment below. 

 Our friends at Dinner Party Download aren’t just interested in fascinating history, though. They are interested in pairing fascinating history with delicious cocktails. So feel free to mix yourself a “Byronary Code” after learning about Lovelace. 

This digital twist on a Tom Collins was added up by Ali Reynolds, bar manager at the Hawksmoor Spitalfields, in Ada’s hometown of London, UK. (By the way, Ali won the World Class Great Britain 2015 cocktail competition.)

Ingredients: 

—1 1/2 ounces Tapatio 110 (the number refers to the liquor’s proof, but also happens to be in binary code)

—1 ounce lemon juice

—1/2 ounce Campari

—1/2 ounce  simple syrup

—2 dashes of orange bitters

—Top with soda 

(Ed. Note: we rounded up the measurements featured in Ali’s recipe, after converting from milliliters to ounces, for easy pouring)

Instructions:

Combine Tapatio, lemon juice, Campari, simple syrup, and orange bitters into a highball glass, then top it off with a bit of club soda. Try your best to crunch some numbers after each round. When you fail, it’s time to pack up your calculator and go home.