Friday, February 25, 2011
Start Spreadin' Tha News
As we move back into our regular schedule of evening drinks by the hot-dog cooker, I felt it was time to take a trip. Last year for my birthday I felt a little overwhelmed with the Olympics (among other things) and decided to take a leave of absence from here and head south to the warm confines of San Diego. This year I'm in a New York state of mind.....
It was actually a 2-part trip, as my friends' dad makes a mean 'So-Co Mon' (which is a Manhattan made with Southern Comfort). We were all down in Florida last Christmas and drank them every night. If only I had a picture of Allan's mustache - I'm sure I could've found a way to get him in this book! I dedicate this weeks drink to Allan, Minnesota cool and Miami hot.
Take a trip back to the Gilded Age with this classic cocktail, which was reportedly invented in 1874 at New York's Manhattan Club at a reception in honour of Governor William Tilden. Winston Churchill's mother was one of the first people to drink one, and it was the cocktail of choice for Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack, so you know it's as old school as it gets. For a more authentic nineteenth-century experience, substitute rye for the bourbon. That's the way Diamond Jim Brady would have had it.
"You should have seen me back in the day, kid. I was a real terror. The ladies loved me and the men were afraid of me. A real terror"
- Arnie, 75, "businessman"
1oz sweet vermouth
Dash Angostura bitters
Still not ready to get back into the gin I figured that a little bourbon would do me right. When my pop goes on his annual pilgrimage down to Florida in the R.V. his drink of choice down there is a Jim & cola. It's in my jeans right?
Yeah not so much. I mean it was fine, but it was also unspectacular in every way. At one point we experimented with using a red vermouth instead of the white but that was more sweet if anything. Adding a sweet vermouth to a sweet bourbon and cherry with just the bitters to balance it seems like a rookie mistake to me - or at least it doesn't jive too well for my palate. I like a drink that's balanced, has a good up-front kick from the alcohol and finishes smooth.
To be fair this one snuck up on me a little bit. By drink #4 I was rocking out to some Bang Camero on Rock Band (as one is known to do) and I recognized that familiar act of one slowly losing his grip on sobriety: rock kicks, playing the guitar like a ray-gun, various tongue gymnastics.. and so on. I guess after everything is said and done this drink wasn't half-bad. Something you can feel comfortable ordering in a posh restaurant so you look cultured while you're trying to work your way into a socialite's drawers. I have said too much!
Now for the grade part of the program: I like Manhattan's, I give them a 42 but I can't dance to it (honorable mention to John Keating for that one).
Stay tuned my dear friends as drinks will be coming fast & furious (with a Vancouver Drift) this week as birthday celebrations are upon us. Which drink will receive the coveted slot of 'Birthday Dinner Beverage'? Stay tuned....