Friday, December 10, 2010

10 December 1956 “Cocktail Party”

This is the card I designed, laid out and printed for our upcoming Christmas cocktail party. I played around with a few ideas. I was going to have the rooster on the rim of a martini glass with a woman in a 1950’s cocktail dress as the olive in the martini, but it became too fussy. Obviously, the tongue-in-cheek of it is that the rooster, also known as a cock, his ‘cock-tail’ forms the “C”.
There are many stories as the derivation of the word ‘cocktail’, most of which were probably told after having a few, thus their truth is only as good as the amount imbibed. This is my favorite version:
In 1779, after her husband was killed in the American War of Independence, innkeeper Betsy Flanagan opened an inn near Yorktown that was frequented by American and French soldiers. An English chicken farmer lived nearby. Due to the political climate at the time, Betsy was probably not too fond of her neighbor, prompting her to promise her American and French customers that she would serve them a meal of roast chicken one day. Her guests occasionally mocked her boasts saying she would never go through with it. One evening, an unusual number of officers gathered at her inn, so Betsy served a lavish meal of chicken, stolen from her English neighbor. When the meal was over, Betsy moved her guests to the bar, where she served up drinks decorated with a tail-feather from the chickens. The officers drank until morning, periodically making rowdy calls for more "cock tails."
The old use ingredient for cocktails use to require: stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters. When a cocktail no longer  required this recipe with bitters, that cocktail that did have all these ingredients became known as ‘The Old Fashioned’.  Thus, an Old Fashioned contains this old recipe for what was once considered a cocktail
Old Fashioned
2 oz. bourbon or rye whiskey
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1/4 oz. 2:1 rich simple syrup (or one sugar cube if preferred)
orange peel
Ice cubes
Tools: muddler, barspoon
Glass: old fashioned
Muddle syrup and orange peel in glass. Add bitters and whiskey and stir. Add ice cubes and stir again. (I like mine with a maraschino cherry for taste-though I never eat them)muddlerbarspoonThis is a muddler barspoon combo. A muddle is used like a pestle to mash the fruit etc in the bottom of a glass to release the flavor for when the liquor is added.
cocktailparty We will be serving various vintage cocktails, such as
Cranberry Champagne Cocktail
¼ oz Grand Marnier®
1 oz cranberry juice
5-6 oz Champagne
Pour Grand Marnier into a champagne flute. Add chilled cranberry juice. Fill flute with ice cold Champagne. Garnish with a long, curly sliver of orange peel.
2 oz Rye or Bourbon whiskey
½ oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura® bitters
Add the ingredients to a mixing glass half full of ice cubes and stir. Rub the cut edge of an orange peel around the lip of the chilled cocktail glass. Strain the drink into the glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.
This next drink is fun and surprisingly delicious. Do you like thin mint girl scout cookies? Then you must try this cocktail. Even though my recipe is from my 1956 May Gourmet magazine, I am making it for our Christmas party, as it is Green! I might serve it with red-sugared rim glasses, how fun and festive!
Grasshopper recipe
3/4 oz green creme de menthe
3/4 oz white creme de cacao
3/4 oz light cream
Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.

What are some of your favorite cocktail recipes?
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