The Story Behind the Royal Highball Cocktail

Royal Highball Cocktail from Storied Sips

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

Going Out? Don’t Forget Your Speakeasy Membership Card

Stork Club Speakeasy card

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

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.)