Mystery on the Rocks

The only place in town where mixology and mysteries come together!

Each week a special guest joins Masud, Chris and Sooz as they try to crack an unexplained mystery over cocktails. From real-life locked room murders to baffling phenomena, Mystery on the Rocks is a new podcast from Studio71 UK. Masud fixes the drinks, Chris lays out the mystery and Sooz plays us out on a tune!

So come in, pull up a chair, take a long pull on your cocktail and let’s solve this thing!

You can follow us on Twitter, Instagram, like us on Facebook and even listen to episodes on this very website!

The Team

Masud Milas

Sooz Kempner

Aaaaand Me

As well as being an all-round excellent comedian (you can see Masud up and down the country and as one of the regular MCs at Angel Comedy), Masud is one mean mixologist and each episode he whips up not one but two delicious cocktails...

An astonishingly quick wit and enviable music talent has made Sooz a force to be reckoned with. Playing each episode out with a song she's written during the recording, she brings a touch of glamour to proceedings. Sort of... You can see Sooz live regularly at the Phoenix Arts Club...

I just talk and stuff and drink cocktails and listen to Sooz singing and generally feel very inferior...

'Episode' 'Guide'

You can hear the show at wherever it is you prefer to get your podcasts from, or even on this very website, but here are a few tidbits of information about each episode, including our guest, some further reading to do with each mystery plus which cocktails were featured!

1. Nick Helm and the Mystery in Room 1046

Pulling up a chair at the bar in our first episode is star of the sitcom 'Uncle', the Channel 4 hit 'Loaded' and two-time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Nick Helm who helps us attempt to solve the Mystery of Room 1046 at the Hotel President in Kansas City and the weird murder of Roland T Owen in 1935.

A man by that name checked into the hotel one morning and, after a succession of increasingly odd occurrences he was found bound, on his knees a little way from the door with injuries from what looked like torture and blood everywhere (even the ceiling). What's even weirder is that hotel staff had been in the room since he acquired these injuries and didn't notice anything amiss...

There's plenty available online if you wanted to read up a bit more on this bizarre mystery which involves several false identities and a gruesome chain of events which nobody has been able to make sense of to this day.

The cocktails served up by Masud (both DELICIOUS) are:

Old Fashioned

2oz bourbon

¼oz simple syrup

1 dash Angostura bitters

1 dash orange bitters

Stir the bourbon, syrup and bitters in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into a rocks glass with one large ice cube and garnish with orange peel.

Rye Bloody Mary

2. Kemah Bob and the Woman Under the Cooker

Propping up the bar in this episode is brilliant stand-up comic, writer, drag king, presenter, producer and star of BBC Three's 'Period Dramas' Kemah Bob who dons her deerstalker to help us unravel the case of the strange death of Alexandria Berstecher who was found dead in very strange circumstances one Christmas morning.

Arriving to visit his 90 year old mother Alexandria, Roland Berstecher found that she wouldn't answer her apartment door. Upon being let in by the superintendent, he found his technophobic mother naked from the waist down and face up under the stove. Removing her, they discovered bloodied hand prints on the wall behind the stove with pathologists unable to determine cause of death. Her dog was still in the apartment but, strangely, her cactus had vanished...

Again, there are various accounts online of the circumstances in which she was found if you wanted to delve a little deeper.

Masud's amazing cocktails this time are:

Manhattan

1⅔ oz Rye Whiskey

¾oz Sweet Vermouth

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Cherry to garnish

Pour the whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until outside of the shaker is very cold to the touch, place a cherry in the bottom of the glass and strain the contents of the mixing glass over it.

Salty Dawg

1½oz Gin

3oz fresh pink grapefruit juice

½oz fresh lime juice

Sea Salt

Add gin and grapefruit juice to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake well until chilled (about 20 seconds) and strain into an ice-filled glass. Add a salt rim to the glass and serve.

3. Jay Foreman and the Sad Story of Keith

Joining us in the 'bar' this episode is comedy singer-songwriter and YouTube sensation Jay Foreman who lends his hand in trying to figure out the puzzle of the disappearances of Keith Reinhard and Tom Young who disappeared in the exact same circumstances mere months apart from each other in the tiny Colorado town of Silver Plume.

After the disappearance of Tom Young in the Rocky Mountains, Keith Reinhard took a sabbatical from work and went to Silver Plume to write a book about Tom. He rented the same shop that Tom did before Tom's body was found alongside his dog's 10 months after he vanished. Both had been shot. Not long after that, Keith too went missing...

A curious little mystery which you can read up on further. It is also the subject of the upcoming documentary Dark Side of the Mountain by filmmaker Eric Walter.

Masud rustles up the following cocktail magic:

Gin Ricky

2oz Gin

½ Lime

Club Soda

Add the gin to a Collins glass full of ice. Add the juice of the half-lime and drop the shell into the glass. Top with soda water.

Moscow Mule

2oz Vodka

6oz Ginger Beer

2 dashes Ginger Bitters

Sprig of mint

Wedge of lime

Pour the vodka into a metal mug, julep tin or tumblr. Load up ¾ full with crushed ice then fill to the top with the ginger beer and stir gently to combine. Add a few dashes of ginger bitters and serve with a sprig of mint to garnish and squeeze the lime over.

4. Tez Ilyas and the Lead Masks of Vintem Hill

Stand-up comedian, star of 'Live at the Apollo', 'Mock the Week' and 'Man Like Mobeen' and all-round good guy Tez Ilyas joins us for some tasty mocktails and helps us try to get to the bottom of the weird Lead Masks Case.

In the summer of 1966, two 30something electrical engineers were found reclining in a relaxed position atop a hill in Brazil, both wearing raincoats and, bizarrely, both with eyemasks made of lead. A strange note with instructions lay next to them and toxicology were unable to determine what had killed them.

Bizarrely, a very similar death (right down to the lead eyemask) had occurred four years previously in almost the exact same spot...

While discussing the case, Masud fixed us some delicious non-alcoholic cocktails:

Sweet Sunshine

4oz Orange Juice

½ oz Grenadine

Orange Slice

 

Fill a highball glass with ice and orange juice. Slowly pour the Grenadine over, it will sink. Garnish with orange slice.

Sundowner

4oz Grape Juice

2 ½ oz Sparkling Water

1 Mint Sprig to Garnish

 

In a highball glass with ice pour over the grape juice then sparkling water. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

5. Joanne McNally and the Bizarre Murder of

Taking a sip in the bar today is none other than Joanne McNally. Joanne burst onto the Irish comedy scene in 2014, and in less than a year in the business, she became the co-host on RTÉ 2’s flagship comedy show ‘Republic of Telly’, and has recently hosted Presenter on Republic of Telly RTÉ2 , Women on the Verge RTÉ 1, and Soft Border Patrol BBC One. She is currently working on her new stand up show for this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival and can be seen gigging across the UK and Ireland.

She popped in to help unravel the weird killing of J. B. Elwell, the man some say was the inspiration for The Great Gatsby. In the early morning of June 11, 1920, the renowned bridge player and socialite was murdered in his locked house, in an apparently locked room, with a gunshot wound to the head. No trace of any killer nor murder weapon was found yet the bullet which killed him was placed neatly on a table to his side.

 

Joanne was served…

 

Campari Spritz

2oz Prosecco

1oz Club Soda

2oz Campari

 

Fill rocks glass with ice. Add sparkling wine, club soda, and campari. Stir Gently. Garnish with olives.

 

Great Gatsby

1oz Vodka

1oz Lillet Blanc

2 ½ oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice

 

Fill mixing glass halfway with ice. Add vodka, Lillet blanc, and grapefruit juice. Stir until cold. Strain into ice-filled glass. Garnish with orange slice.

    J. B. Elwell

6. Nish Kumar and the Curious Tale of Clairvius

Slinking into the bar this week is star of BBC2's 'The Mash Report', 'Live at the Apollo', 'Mock the Week' and countless others Nish Kumar! Critically acclaimed comic, internationally famed meme, wonderfully nice gentleman and an inveterate clever and hilarious clogs, Nish has achieved global success, receiving huge recognition from both industry & fans alike. He hasn’t stopped from appearing across our screens in many TV shows, and we’re very glad he managed to stumble into our joint to help mull over the weird case of Clairvius Narcisse.

In the 1960s in Haiti, Clairvius came down with a fever and died suddenly, certified by his sister who was present and by doctors at seemingly the only hospital in Haiti to keep records. Buried soon afterwards, his family said goodbye to Clairvius and continued about their lives.

18 years later... Clairvius returns from the dead and appears to his sister in the marketplace, using a childhood nickname only they used. There was no question, this man was Clairvius Narcisse. But there was also no question that he had died and been buried 18 years previously. How was Clairvius back and did it have something to do with the prevailing legend of Haitian Zombies?

A macabre tale which you can read up on further by searching Clarivius' name...

For this episode, Masud whipped up…

 

Filibuster

1.5oz Rye Whiskey

¾ oz Lemon Juice

½ oz Maple Syrup

2 tbsp Aquafaba

Angostura Bitters

 

Add rye, lemon, maple syrup, and aquafaba to a cocktail shaker. “Dry shake” (that’s without ice) vigorously then add ice and shake again (this is a “wet shake”) strain into a coupe, garnish with angostura bitters.

Corpse Reviver

1oz Gin

1oz Cointreau

1oz Lillet

1oz Lemon Juice

Absinthe

Add a small amount of absinthe to a coupe glass and turn to coat the inside. In a mixing glass add the ingredients with ice and still until well chilled. Garnish with an orange twist.

    Narcisse

7. Sadia Azmat and the Riddle of the Flannan Isles

Our guest this week is brilliant comedian and host of the hit BBC podcast 'No Country For Young Women' Sadia Azmat! 'No Country For Young Women' has enjoyed global success and consistent reviews from audiences and critics alike. It explores Sadia and her friend discovering their roots and where to call home when your place of upbringing is different from your family's. She stopped by to unpick the mysterious disappearance of the Eilean Mor lighthouse keepers in 1900.

Three lighthouse keepers vanished from the island without a trace, as discovered by the relief team arriving by boat to take over. Theories have abounded over the last century as to what actually happened to them. Does the key lie in the journal of one of them?

For this episode, Masud rustled up…

 

Virgin Mojito

8 Mint Leaves

¾ Lime

Soda Water

1 Tsp Brown Sugar

 

Put sugar and mint leaves in the bottom of a highball glass. Muddle well, then squeeze in the lime, drop in the glass then top up with soda water.

 

Appletini

2oz Apple Juice

½ oz Simple Syrup

¼ oz Lemon Juice

 

Rim a cocktail glass with sugar, pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until chilled then strain into the glass. Garnish with a slice of apple.

    Lighthouse Keepers

8. Laura Lexx and the Strange Death of Netta

As seen on 'Live at the Apollo' and tearing up any stage she graces, Laura Lexx is one of the very best comedians working in the UK today. Her solo show 'Trying' saw her win Best Performer in the Comedians' Choice Awards and make it into Dave's Funniest Jokes of the Fringe Top 10. She called into our bar to help us talk through the tale of Netta Fornario, one hell of an interesting woman...

A tumultuous life and an obsession with the occult led Netta to a Scottish island in search of fairies. After a couple of months on the island, Netta complained of telepathic attacks and eventually was found dead in disturbing circumstances...

Laura was drinking...

Old Pal

1.5oz Rye Whiskey

2/3 oz Vermouth

2/3 oz Campari

 

Fill a mixing glass 2/3 full with ice. Add whiskey, dry vermouth and Campari. Stir until well chilled, about 20 seconds, and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Twist a piece of lemon peel over the drink and use as garnish.

 

Green Ghost

2oz Gin

1/2 oz Green Chartreuse

1/2 oz Lime Juice

 

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add gin, Chartreuse, and lime juice. Shake until well chilled. Strain into cocktail glass and serve.

    Fornario

9. Luke Kempner and the Girl Who Became Om Seti

A family affair this episode as we are joined by comedian, impressionist, actor, star of 'The Now Show' and 'The Royal Variety Performance' and none other than Sooz's brother, Luke Kempner! Luke started his career off in musical theatre, playing Marius in the UK tour of Les Misérables, appearing in Avenue Q and as the Professor in the UK tour of South Pacific. He came to prominence at the Edinburgh Fringe with his impressions-based show The Only Way Is Downton and swung by the bar to go through the strange but true story of Dorothy Eady, the girl who became Om Seti.

Born in Blackheath, London, a ​tragic childhood accident saw Dorothy pronounced dead... Except she wasn't dead. Furthermore, after the accident she began to display memories of somebody else, from another time. Called the most convincing case for reincarnation the western world has ever seen, Dorothy - latterly known as Om Seti - lived a full life in her beloved Egypt, where she said she had lived in a previous life...

The cocktails served were...

To Be Added

© 2019 CHRIS STOKES

London, United Kingdom