Classic Cocktail Quote: Bette Davis

“There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of Champagne.” –Bette Davis

(N.B.: I’d recommend Louis Roederer Blanc de Blanc, a limited-production Champagne that is one of my faves — honeysuckle nose with hints of candied fruit and pastry. Exceptional.)

Where to Drink Next: The Dead Rabbit

Dead Rabbit's upstairs parlor. Photo Credit: Andrew Kist / Hanna Lee Communications, Inc.

The name might not sound auspicious, but the Dead Rabbit is the most exciting new bar in New York City, bar none. The mid-19th century-styled drinking saloon takes its unusual moniker from an Irish street gang that roamed Lower Manhattan in the 1850s (if you must know, they were a part of the Roach Guards, also known as the Black Birds. But I digress.).

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Gatsby-Inspired Cocktails in New York City

The Plaza HotelFor me, there’s no cocktail era more romantic than the Roaring Twenties. Since reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby as a teenager, I have been hopelessly hooked on jazz music, cocktails, and New York City. That trifecta of passions has only deepened over the years. This year, my cocktail glass literally runneth over. Read More

It’s Time for March (Classic Martini) Madness

Photo Credit: Poul Lange

Slate.com has no shortage of excellent content, but their interactive Martini Madness contest is the most brilliant thing I’ve seen on the site yet. Their contributors researched most everything that’s been written on the world’s most iconic cocktail, distilling it into 80 drinks, with recipes and the occasional anecdote. Rules of the game? The drink must contain gin and vermouth. Everything else is up for grabs. Which recipes make it into the final NCAA-inspired brackets? You decide.

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Classic Cocktail Quote: F. Scott Fitzgerald

“The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other’s names.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Iconic Martini Moment from 1934

The 1934 film, The Thin Man, is known as one of the best chronicles of classic cocktail culture. The movie, based on a novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett, finds a detective (Nick) and his heiress wife (Nora) try to solve a murder mystery on a path lined with plenty of cocktails.

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Tasting Notes: Atsby Armadillo Cake

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAIf I handed you an aperitif that started out with cardamom, cinnamon, and caramel notes, followed by a slightly astringent spice tea-like quality in the mid-palate, with a long, citrusy finish, would you think it was vermouth? Probably not. I’ve been testing Atsby Armadillo Cake out on friends, and not one has guessed that it was a vermouth. Which might be a good thing.

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Ode to Vermouth

vermouth_illustration

Collage by Poul Lange, © 2013

If you’re not familiar with the illustrator of Storied Sips (coming out on October 8), you should be. Poul Lange is a brilliant, award-winning collage artist whose work is whimsical yet refined. I feel truly lucky to have collaborated on this book with him. As you can surmise from this image, we’re both big fans of vintage–and vermouth. I think that message comes through loud and clear with this latest illustration. Enjoy!

What is a pousse-cafe?

pousse_cafe

From Jerry Thomas’ 1862 book, How to Mix Drinks

Popularized in the mid-1800s, a poussé cafe is a multicolored, layered drink taken as a coffee chaser. In French, poussé literally means “to push,” as in, to push down the coffee. The differing specific gravities of each liqueur keeps the layers separate, though you have to be careful to pour slowly over the back of a spoon to achieve the Missoni-like layered look. At some point, these concoctions must have been popular.

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