What’s better than watching Anne Lister bully men, seduce women, and speed-walk around the globe in a waistcoat and top hat? Watching her do all that with your gay friends! That’s why we’re hosting a season two finale A+ Discord watch-along. What will happen in the Ann Walker vs. Captain Sutherland showdown? Has Mariana played her last scorned lover hijinks? Will Anne Lister poke another reverend in the throat with her walking stick? Have those pesky pigs done their last murder? Oh, so many mysteries to be lovingly unraveled! Gentleman Jack recapper Heather Hogan will be the Proprietor of Discord fun, and probably there will be plenty of other Autostraddle folks around to bop to that jaunty music.
When: Monday, June 13 | 6pm PST, 9pm EST (The event channel will open up for chatting one hour before the actual episode air time.)
What’s a Discord? You know how Anne Lister wrote about ten zillion letters to Mariana and Mariana wrote about ten zillion letters back, and so it took years for all their drama to play out? Well, Discord is like that but faster. All of the queer shenanigans, none of the waiting. Like Slack but without the chance of being peeped by your boss and getting asked for an off-the-clock favor. It’s pretty easy to join and if you want to make a Discord account ahead of time, you totally can. The way it works is you have one account for YOU the person, and then you can join the A+ pop-up server with the link when we put it in this post.
How do I watch Gentleman Jack? In the UK, you’ve already seen the Gentleman Jack finale because you got the episodes two weeks ahead of us in the U.S. — so you can watch on BBC’s iPlayer if you want. If you’re in the US, HBO is your way!
What will the event be like? Heather will pop up on Discord at the exact moment it opens up, and everyone else will trickle in at their leisure. We’ll have an hour to chat, share GIFs, swoon, gently clown on Mariana, and briefly mention the pigs. Maybe you’ll even make one of the snacks or mocktails Nicole has created recipes for below! Then, at 10pm EST, the finale will start on HBO and we’ll watch and chat along. Like the old days of live-tweeting, back before Twitter was a cesspool!
Drink and Snack Recommendations:
Birch & Bourbon (for Anne Lister)
I doubt Lister would have drunk Bourbon, that being from the US, but birch was a popular ingredient in beverages of the time, including in birch beer and liquor. If, in true Anne Lister spirit, you want to be extremely precise, you can use another type of whiskey (I am seeing a single malt would be historically accurate) for this. Here’s a recipe for an alcoholic birch and whiskey drink which is strong, bold and a bit unexpected, much like Anne Lister. Bonus because the birch liquor there is from a woman-owned distillery.
We’re going to follow the birch flavor here and forget about the whiskey. So, you will need:
Combine birch beer and ginger simple over ice, garnish with orange peel and enjoy!
The Lavender Lady (for Ann Walker)
What it is: essentially, a French 75 cocktail, made with lavender-infused simple syrup. I have no idea if this cocktail would have been popular during Walker’s era, but they go to France this season, so there you go, there’s the tie-in.
To make the lavender simple syrup:
2 cups white sugar
2 cups water
A hearty dash of dried lavender buds (you can often find these via tea companies)
Bring the sugar and water to a boil and stir until sugar is fully dissolved. Take off heat and let cool for a few minutes. Dump in your hearty dash of lavender buds (maybe like a quarter cup), and let steep for about four hours. Strain and refrigerate.
To make an alcoholic version of a French 75, follow this recipe which uses lemons, sparkling wine and gin, which was a popular spirit at the time. Just be sure to substitute your lavender simple syrup to make it an Ann Walker!
To make a non-alcoholic version of this beverage, combine:
4oz chilled sparkling water
1oz lavender simple syrup or more to taste
Juice of a quarter lemon (or about 1 oz) or less if you want less lemon
Serve up in a champagne flute, or over ice. Use a piece of lemon rind to garnish. This mocktail is much less sweet than Anne Lister’s above, and also has a more delicate flavor profile if that’s more your speed.
Use the rest of your lavender simple to make lavender sodas or lavender iced coffees. Live the dream!
Honeysuckle cordial via Alexis Nikole (aka The Black Forager) for Marian Lister because she is so sweet.
Honeysuckle is IN SEASON in North America, and the people of Anne Lister’s time would have eaten seasonally because this show takes place prior to the popularization of modern refrigeration technology. This recipe takes about a week to brew, and since you’re a week out, you have just enough time! The Georgians would have probably been referring to something more alcoholic if they used the term “cordial” but honestly, they were always making up various beverages, so I think this certainly counts. Judging by the fact that this is only a week-long ferment, I’m guessing this is no more alcholic than your standard kombucha. I (Nicole) am trying to make this happen for myself so if you try it, we can compare notes on the discord!
Ale / Beer / Cider / Perry / Wines
All of the above were and remained popular in Georgian times! For an easy, non-alcoholic drink, you can pick up a bottle of sparkling N/A cider :)
Recommendations for Food
Because it’s likely a warm time of year where our readers will be watching along, I’m going to recommend a period-appropriate cold collation (apologies that the writing at that link is from 1869, which is a little late, but still mostly relevant), which is, essentially, a charcuterie board-plus-plus-plus.
Here are some things you can include in your cold collation:
- Breads, biscuits, etc. Very important!
- Jams, spreads and preserves. It’s early in the season, so they would have still had some preserves from the last growing season around.
- But also fresh fruit!
- They would have had nuts, nuts coated in various things or candied nuts, and also, likely, honey.
- Gelatins! Anne lister and company would have often been served jellies / gelatins. I don’t eat normal gelatin because I’m vegetarian, but you can also make a vegan version with agar agar. I think we all know that the gelatin molds of the past kind of gross out the people of our present day, so I’m just going to recommend you look up modern recipes. Life is hard enough!
- Tinned and preserved fish. The Georgians were into preserved fish in a big way. Let Kayla guide you through her tinned fish recommendations to help you build the perfect cold collation.
- Meat, meat, meat. Honestly, just about any type of meat, served cold, prepared or preserved in just about any way you can think of, is a conceivable addition to the cold collation. They ate it all! Just for this, I had to look up what mayonnaise of cold fowl was, and you’re welcome. (Arrange cooked and cut up pieces of chicken in a pyramid (!!!!) on top of lettuce, before drenching in mayonnaise and surrounding with slices of hard boiled egg, as a kind of chicken + offspring-of-chicken tableau).
- Cheese! Any cheese you want to add to your meal works.
- Oysters were also plentiful and very popular. Here’s Ashni on how to obtain and shuck oysters.
- Just a bunch of baked desserts! Pie, custard, whatever dessert means to you.
Of course, including all of the above would be A LOT of food! This is a pick-your-own-adventure situation. Mix and match whatever you like!
Yes, this gets its own entry. Here’s a recipe for a period-appropriate “ice” which is more like a kind of gelato and less like a snow cone. The Georgians would have had a TON of flavors of these. Pistachio was popular, but also so was parmesan apparently and there even exists a recipe for rye bread ice cream, so it seems like folks were doing a great deal of ice cream experimentation! Just because you can, doesn’t mean you could. Speaking of oysters, here is a recipe for an oyster ice cream (the recipes for oyster ice cream I found were American, but here you go). So, you know, if you want to eat ice cream / sorbet / gelato while we all watch Gentleman Jack together, you can do so safely knowing that this is a wildly period-appropriate thing to do.
We have our drinks, we have our snacks, we have our directions for getting on the discord server this Saturday.
And if you’re not already an A+ member, now is a great time to join — not just because it means you’ll be able to come to the watch-along, but also because A+ members support EVERYTHING we do. Without A+ members, there would be no Autostraddle, no Gentleman Jack recaps, no recaps of any kind around here! If you value this work and want to keep this site majority free-to-read for everyone, then joining A+ is a great way to show your support and to access bonus content and virtual events like this one! Mark you calendars and we hope we see you on Monday, June 13!