Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Foxtrot at the Savoy

One of the things I like about mixing cocktails is its timelessness. Thumbing through my copy of The Savoy Cocktail Book, I feel like an archaeologist discovering an ancient text. At the time my grandfather was born, these were the drinks people were consuming. The names of some of these drinks are great--old-timey and cheeky--with names like the "mule's hind leg cocktail" or the "damn the weather cocktail."

These cocktails are all well and good, but as I've stated before, a lot of them are very gin heavy and many contain egg and absinthe. The weather is warming up and it's high time for something a little more summery. They have a few standards like the daiquiri which has a quote underneath from Joseph Hergesheimer's "San Cristobal de la Habana":

"The moment had arrived for a daiquiri. It was a delicate compound; it elevated my contentment to an even higher pitch. Unquestionably the cocktail on my table was a dangerous agent, for it held in its shallow glass bowl slightly encrusted with undissolved sugar the power of a contemptuous indifference to fate; it set the mind free of responsibility; obliterating both memory and tomorrow, it gave the heart an adventitious feeling of superiority and momentarily vanquished all the celebrated, the eternal fears. Yes, that was the danger of skillfully prepared intoxicating drinks."

There's a part of me that believes that people actually talked like that about things like cocktails. A spirited discussion if you will. The time period of the Savoy book is something that has been romanticized because of prohibition. Every time I make one of these drinks, I get thoughts of intellectuals in darkened rooms wearing ridiculous hats and having fascinating conversations.

This week, I thought I would show you a recipe for something that I selected partially because it has a summer theme and partially because I really like the name:

Fox Trot Cocktail
-The Juice of 1/2 Lemon or 1 Lime
-2 Dashes Orange Curaçao
-Bacardi Rum (I used about 2 oz.)
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

It's a fantastic drink for the warm summer months ahead. It's simple to make and it has everything you would want on a hot day: citrus, sweetness and rum. It resembles other drinks--a margarita with rum instead of tequila or a daiquiri with Curaçao instead of sugar--but it definitely has its own thing going on. There's a bit more tartness to it because curaçao is used instead of sugar, but it gives the cocktail a more complex flavor.

In my fantasy, I'm sitting on the balcony of my Manhattan penthouse apartment in 1930 watching the Empire State building be constructed. As I listen to the latest Jolson tune on my handy dandy gramophone, I sip my Fox Trot Cocktail and think to myself, "Life sure is swell." Maybe if the weather is nice tomorrow, I'll go to the soda jerk's and get a phosphate or a malted.


Ms Bibi said...

The Fox Trot sounds really good. I would love to live in those days just for a bit.

monica said...

last time i made a cocktail, i ended up over-serving myself!

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