Thursday, December 19, 2013

Guggle-Muggle - The Miracle Concoction of the Shtetl, Broadway Stage, and Synagogue


What did Barbra Streisand, Ed Koch, and cantors preparing to sing Kol Nidre in their synagogue have in common? Guggle-Muggle (or Gogol-Mogol) -- the miracle drink that originated in the shtetls of Eastern Europe and made its way to America.

The guggle-muggle pops up every few years in the Jewish blogosphere as a cure for the common cold, a candidate, along with chicken soup, for the title of "Jewish Penicillin" and as a performance enhancing substance for cantors and choir boys. 

Although there are endless variations on the ingredients used in this concoction, there seems to be a consensus that a guggle-muggle must contain a raw egg, honey, and a shot of whiskey.

This week it surfaced in an article by Zachary Solomon in Jewniverse, a blog published by My Jewish Learning.com. In 2010 Elizabeth Alpern reported on the golden wonder in even more detail in the Forward's Jew and the Carrot blog.


In September, Al Rosen, a World War II Veteran, added his guggle-muggle memories to the Wexler Oral History Project of the Yiddish Book Center. In a short interview segment, Rosen recalls how his father, a cantor, used the elixir to get his throat in shape to deliver a proper version of Kol Nidre.

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)




(A tip of the kippah to Esther Kustanowitz for bringing this story to our attention.)