The problem which presents itself, even with this formula in one's possession, is of course the procurement of the Pisco on which research must be based. A recent inquiry failed to disclose a single bottle of the essence.
And even assuming the prescription to be accurate, what was the secret of compounding the ingredients, the secret that required a good ten minutes of the master's time and the Special skill of his matchlessly knowing hand?
Perhaps it is best not to delve too far into forbidden lore. Let us rather leave the secret of the Pisco punch a holy mystery for all time to come, like the language of Etruria and the divinations of the Chaldeans, the circles of Merlin, and the expertise of those chemists who produced the vanished dyestuffs of Tyre. Let its legend hover wistful and unobtainable over San Francisco as the mists roll in around Telegraph Hill at sundown. Let it not be profaned by a generation of haste and ineptitude, but let it remain a memory to be carried through the ages and to eternity only by Duncan Nicol, his eyeglasses lodged over one car and on his face a smile of transcendant wisdom as inscrutable and timeless as that of the Sphinx.