The Case of the Caretaker’s Cat

CaretakersCat

The Drink

1 JIGGER* ITALIAN VERMOUTH
1 JIGGER GIN
1 PONY** RUM
1/2 PONY GRENADINE
4 DASHES LIME JUICE

“Shake, pour, imbibe, kick the cat and send for the caretaker.”

– From So Red the Nose

* 1.5 ounces
** 1 ounce

I think there’s this idea that drinkers in the 1930’s just didn’t do sweet and fruity — that a stiff brandy with a lime wedge constituted a cocktail, and a dry martini was their idea of light and feminine. But that’s not really true. My experience has been the mid century liked a little sweetness, so long as it was heavy, rich, and of a consistency just a tad thinner than Pepto-Bismol. Continue reading

Sing Sing Nights

IMG_1499 (2)The Drink

We can almost see the warden, the captain of the guards, and a couple of gentlemen in striped coveralls singing “Sweet Adeline” and imbibing the Sing Sing Nights Cocktail devised by Harry Stephen Keeler.

1 PONY* OF PURE GRAIN ALCOHOL
1 1/2 TEASPOONS OF SUGAR SYRUP
1 1/2 TEASPOONS PURE ORANGE JUICE
Shake with 3 Ice Cubes till at least Half of the bulk of the Cubes has dissolved.

-From So Red the Nose

* =shot

For the grain alcohol I used Everclear because, well, you know. It’s what’s at the store, and I’m not quite to the point of raiding the medicine cabinet yet. Simple syrup can be made easily enough, and the juice was squeezed right from the fruit into my cocktail shaker, as per Keeler’s instructions. If you do make this drink, take that part about the ice cubes seriously; grain alcohol of any brand isn’t something to mess around with. Continue reading

Esky’s Hot Spot/Esquire Magazine

The Drink

Eskys

I might add that enough of these will make you cast down the laurel, hang up the fiddle and do parlor tricks without being asked.

1 OR 2 LUMPS OF LOAF SUGAR,
Dissolved in a Little Hot Water
1 SQUIRT OF LEMON JUICE
1 WINE GLASS OF IRISH WHISKEY

Fill glass with hot water, stir well. Add slice of lemon. Grate nutmeg over top.

– From So Red the Nose

EskyDecWow. It is so far from being hot toddy season it’s not even funny. Here’s hoping you get a summer cold so you can enjoy this one. Continue reading

Favorite Books of 2015

Believe or not, I do, in fact, read things published after 1935. The last week of December, for example, I spent burning through the wonderful, weird world of Archie AU* in a desperate attempt to meet my Goodreads Reading Challenge (Comic books count as books right? Shut up. I read Anthony Adverse this year.).

Actually I read many amazing books this year, some of them capital-“G” Great Books. I even had to narrow my list down this time, to the ones I was truly passionate about. And it is that carefully curated list which I present to you now. Ladies and gentlemen, my top four most-loved books discovered in 2015 are:
Continue reading

The Pumpkin Coach

The Drink

PumpkinCoach

Louis Paul lifts a little glass slipper filled with his potent concoction to the opulent wench in the pumpkin coach.

2 PARTS LIQUEUR CESORIAC
1 PART VERMOUTH (Italian Cinzano)
1 PART CHERRY JUICE
3 LIMES (to each pint)
SLATHERS OF ICE (or you will go home in a basket).

–from So Red the Nose

Oh cesoriac. This forgotten midcentury liqueur may be less popular today, but that makes it no less delicious.  Continue reading