Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Invention of The Cocktail

Good Lord! We have missed an historic event: The two hundredth anniversay of the invention of the cocktail. I quote from Jonathon Miles’ celebratory column in Sunday’s New York Times.

“Two hundred years and a day ago, the term "cocktail" first popped into print (so far as we know) in The Balance and Columbian Repository of Hudson, N.Y. "Cock tail, then, is a stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters — it is vulgarly called a bittered sling and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion," went this inaugural mention. "It is said also, to be of great use to a Democratic candidate: because, a person having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow any thing else." A snarky birth, to be sure, but hallelujah for it.”

As any mixologist worth the name recognizes, this was the ancestor of what today we call the Old Fashioned.

Several years ago I wrote a poem (copyrighted, if you please but feel free to reprint with appropriate credit) about the preferred cocktail of the truly sophisticated, The Martini.


Oh give me Martinis medicinal, cold.
I want them astringent and forthright and bold.
At the end of a day when I’m truly done in
I welcome a glass that is filled to the brim
With a whiff of vermouth and four ounces of gin.

And take to your heart this immutable truth:
Martinis are made out of gin and vermouth.
They aren’t just concoctions of stuff you have handy,
They’re really not made with sweet cordials or brandy.
They’re not colored blue or be-clouded with brine,
Though best when straight up, ‘on the rocks’ is just fine.

A final reminder, I’ll not let it pass,
What makes a Martini is not just the glass!


George Tuttle said...

BEER. Bring me a beer!

Favorites-Samuel Adams, of course! Any New Englander who doesn't like a cold Sam Adams on draught is not worth his ticket on the T.

Nimbus' Monkey Shine-A great, if not excellent Southwestern beer.

Guiness-Just not for breakfast anymore!

Young's Double Chocolate Stout-The Brits can make sweets into beer!

Art Jacobson said...

Wow, George,

A chocolate stout? Does it taste chocolatey?

Bottoms up!

Kralmajales said...
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George Tuttle said...

More Nimbuser's!! All we need now is to bring them downtown and make it more like Lo-Do in Denver.

I wish Joe Pyrite would join these boards. He knows his beer. He told me at his house party for Jeff Latas that he has two Old Chicago Round the Beer World tours under his belt and getting close to finishing a third one. He said it was something around 110 beers you have to drink (not all at once hopefully).

But Art, Young's double Chocolate Stout is not too sweet it is probably one of the most full-flavored beers I have drank in a long time since my time in Germany. Let's not go down those days at Oktoberfest!

Kralmajales said...
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x4mr said...

Delighted to see these remarks!

In the old days, considered beer to be of two types: 1) Guinness and 2) garbage.

The growth of other fine brewskies like Sam Adams (fabulous!) and various microbrews helps restore faith that there is indeed a god.

Would love to see Nimbus downtown. Will have to try Young's double chocolate--thanks for the tip!

Now it's primarily scotch. Nothing beats Laphroaig and a good cigar.

Art Jacobson said...

If not Martinis...its Bourbon for me.
I like cigars, too, but it's hard to keep 'em lit after dipping them in the booze.

Seriously, folks, I love a good cigar.

George Tuttle said...

I believe that Nimbus could be the major anchor to get the downtown revitalization on track. Rio Nuevo could have been a reality over 8 years ago if, (my thinking here) Eckstrom and Grijalva would not have put the squeeze on the county to put the ballpark on a vacant tract of land west of Kino Hopsital. That simple move, in my mind, has placed the downtown revitalization years behind schedule.

I can remember when the City of Portland, ME received a franchise for AA baseball. There was two major thoughts brought up in the process to decide where a staduim goes: 1. To put it in a place where there is other entertainment nearby, if not within walking distance of the proposed ball park. 2. Find a location that made it logical for fans to go see a game. They found a perfect spot just north of downtown. Lots of parking and most amenities within walking distance of Hadlock Field.

I think that the City of Tucson has missed the boat in this Rio Nuevo concept. What we are seeing now is nothing but a pissing contest over a bridge and a proposed brewery. Stupid!

Karen Armstead said...

Oh, gosh. Was it "shaken, not stirred," or "stirred, not shaken?" Now, how was it .007 liked his martinis?

x4mr said...

Shaken, not stirred.

Forgot to acknowledge Art's poetry earlier and add that yes, a marvelous Martini is indeed marvelous.

Kralmajales said...
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