The first pints of strawberries have appeared at farmers’ markets in New York. That can only mean one thing: summer has finally arrived. There’s no better way to celebrate the season’s arrival than with my favorite strawberry cocktail, the Royal Highball. Read More
Serving up the Nonino Spritz
For an Italian-themed special event hosted by Terlato Wines recently, I was asked to create a signature cocktail. The cocktail would be served before dinner, so that got me thinking about a variation on the Aperol Spritz, my favorite summertime sparkler, made with Aperol liqueur, prosecco, and soda, with a slice of orange.
The Silver Screen is brimming with cocktail references. AP writer Michelle Locke recently interviewed me about the some of the most interesting stories behind on-screen cocktails, including the Blood and Sand. Read the full article for a boozy trip in the way-back machine, or click for the recipe.
Last night, some new Parisian friends asked me to make a cocktail–something light and sparkly to refresh us in the balmy summer evening out in coastal Connecticut. My first thought was a French 75, a classic cocktail that I profile in STORIED SIPS, but we didn’t have any fresh lemons. What I did have was pink grapefruit. So I played around a bit, and came up with a fantastic summer sparkler that I’ll be making for the rest of the season.
© 2013 Poul Lange
In the 1930s and 1940s, everyone who was anyone went to the Stork Club. The New York nightclub and restaurant was a hangout for the country’s elite, from entertainers like Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball to politicians like Ronald Regan and John F. Kennedy, Jr. On any given night, the “King of Swing” Benny Goodman and his orchestra would be performing, while the club’s patrons canoodled over Champagne, cocktails, and caviar. Read More
The Royal Highball Cocktail originated at the bar at The Ritz Hotel in Paris. © 2013 Poul Lange
Since 1898, The Ritz Hotel in Paris has played host to celebrities and royals, from Coco Chanel and Marcel Proust to Cole Porter and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The hotel’s bar has specialized in catering to the whims of a demanding clientele, including King Alfonso XII of Spain, who was a regular in the 1920s. Legend has it that the Royal Highball cocktail was developed by renowned Ritz barman Frank Meier in honor of King Alfonso at the opening of the Ritz bar, in 1921. The festive, yet strong sparkler is made from Cognac, Champagne, and muddled strawberries. Read More
The signature spirit of the Caribbean has a storied history. First as aguardiente de cana (an early form of rum), then in its more refined expressions, the history of rum is inseparable from the history of the Caribbean islands, with its highs (rum ignited island economies) and lows (it also fueled the slave trade). Mount Gay is the grandfather of rum dynasties, at least according to recorded evidence. The Barbados-based brand traces its heritage back to a historical document from 1703. Read More
Fleischmann’s Mixer’s Manual, 1959
This adorably kitschy recipe card comes from Fleischmann’s Gin, which is said to have produced America’s first gin.
Actual Stork Club card from the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
In the 1930s and 40s, the Stork Club — owned by the dapper Sherman Billingsley — was the hottest nightclub and restaurant in New York City. So when I clicked on Slate.com to find photographs of real membership cards to the city’s speakeasies, I nearly fell out of my chair. It’s pretty remarkable that some forward-thinking tippler managed to keep track of his cards and preserve them for posterity. But here they are, part of the rare manuscripts collection at Cornell University. Phew. Read More
Orange juice, or no juice? That’s the question with a Bronx cocktail.
Orange juice in cocktails has never struck me a particularly appealing. I do adore the Stork Club cocktail, mostly for its vintage New York society flair (the Stork Club was a 1930s and 40s celebrity hotspot). But that’s about where I draw the line. So I was intrigued to stumble across a recipe for the classic New York borough drink, the Bronx Cocktail, that is juice-free, and another that is practically juice-free.