Despite bold innovations in drinking like the cold-activated beer can, we still long to be besotted in the manner of our forefathers — hence switchel toddies that take four months to produce. But now that everyone knows how to make a shrub, how can a time-traveling tippler take it to the next level? Well, take your pick: today DNAinfo turns us on to the “Elixir of Long Life,” while Roads & Kingdoms introduces us to an ayahuasca shaman who practices right here in Bushwick.
That’s right, cancel that trip to the Amazon: turns out there’s a Bushwick-based ayahuasquero — a shaman-type who administers the ancient, DMT-laced hallucinogenic potion during chant-filled ceremonies. And it seems “Sky Slinger” (his spiritual name) isn’t the only one: “In Bushwick, healing centers and ‘shamans’ send out constant emails offering a chance to experience an ayahuasca ceremony,” Meredith Hoffman writes. (Um, if anyone wants to invite us…)
Here’s a description of the ceremony:
Tekina begins by lighting sage or the holy wood palo santo, to relax people and purify the air. Each person drinks their first cup of the tincture—including Tekina—and he sings and plays icaros throughout the night, with a few pauses for moments of silence. Finally at the evening’s end, he blows tobacco over each person’s crown “to seal the medicine in and to clear the aura.”
If you’re looking something a little less intense than the sacred vine, DNAinfo has caught wind of the “Elixir of Long Life,” a 150-year-old empty bottle of which was recently unearthed on the site of a beer garden at 50 Bowery, during excavations for a hotel. The ingredients (including aloe, saffron, rhubarb, and, mostly, grain alcohol) aren’t likely to spark life-changing hallucinations, but with a recipe in hand, at least you don’t have to hunt down and hire a shaman to take a swig.