Friday, February 10, 2012

Sips and snails and cocktail tales ... ?

Now that I've grabbed your attention...

From time to time in this space I've alluded to some of the various beverages and concoctions I've enjoyed, both at home and in my travels around the world.

Regular readers may have picked up on the fact that I love "vintage" ... anything. Vintage travel books, vintage travel stickers, vintage travel posters, vintage movies, vintage music, vintage clothing - the list is pretty much endless.

So it stands to reason that any event that combines cocktails with a vintage theme is almost a "must-not-miss" event on my social/travel calendar.

That's why I'm so pumped up about attending the "Tales of the Cocktail Tour Vancouver" 2012 Hollywood North official opening party, this coming Sunday evening at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, in downtown Vancouver.

To quote from the invitation/press release I received the other day:
"This event will take you back to 1930's Vancouver, a favourite Hollywood haunt at the height of U.S. prohibition ...1930's-themed cocktails from Hendrick's Gin, Glenfiddich, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Tullamore Dew, Grant's and Gibson's Finest will be served by spirits superstars like Charlotte Voisey - the two time Tales of the Cocktail Golden Spirit Winner and William Grant & Sons Global Brand Ambassador - and Xavier Padovani, the Global Brand Ambassador for Hendrick's Gin."

Wow. Guess I better dust off the old fedora for this event. (But for the record - I won't be wearing spats. I don't own spats. In fact, I've never worn spats. I've had a few, mind you ...)

Running through until Wednesday, the entire multi-day event features tastings, seminars and lots and LOTS of good food. And cocktails.

Of course, Yours Truly will be blogging about the opening after attending it. But until then, to honor the spirit (or "spirits") of the event, I'll share with you a few cocktail recipes (some vintage, some not so vintage) along with some book titles you may want to check out.


Named for the famous New York night club, from The Stork Club Cocktail Book (1946)

- 1-1/2 oz gin
- juice of half an orange
- dash of lime juice
- dash Cointreau
- dash Angostura bitters

A stork club: icy cold and ready to sip.
Pour ingredients into an ice-filled shaker. Shake, then pour into a cocktail glass.

(While the original recipe is taken from the book listed above, I came upon it in one of the books I consider to be one of my "cocktail bibles": Straight Up or On the Rocks, A cultural history of American drink, by William Grimes.)

                          VESPER MARTINI

Here it is, the official, the one-and-only James Bond Vesper Martini. This makes ONE martini, so use with caution ...

- 3 oz. dry gin
- 1 oz vodka
- 1/2 oz. blonde Lillet (it's a French aperitif)

Pour ingredients into chilled cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well for one minute. Strain into chilled martini glass with a large, thin slice of lemon peel.

(Originally from Ian Fleming's Casino Royale (1953); again, I discovered it in Grimes' book Straight Up or On the Rocks. )

The ONLY way to make a Vesper...


I have to include at least one "parrot" drink in this blog, given its name. This one comes from The Essential Book of Boat Drinks & Assorted Frozen Concoctions (that help me hang on!) by Olaf Nordstrom.

- 1 oz blackberry brandy
- 1/2 oz port
- 1/2 oz brandy

Fill shaker with cracked ice. Add ingredients. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


Try as I might to find one, none of my cocktail reference/recipe books featured any kind of drink with the word "canoe," "kayak" or even "paddle" in their name. However, a search of the web turned up this recipe on Drinks Mixer :

- 1/4 cup Kahlua coffee liqueur
- 1/4 cup Bailey's Irish cream
- 3/4 oz Grand Marnier orange liqueur
- 1 dash Absolut vodka

Pour all ingredients into a blender 3/4 filled with crushed ice.

Blend until smooth. Pour into a cocktail glass, and serve.

Good reading, better drinking.
One final note: although I didn't include any recipes from this book here in this blogpost, one of my favorite books of all time on the subject of cocktails is Hemingway & Bailey's Bartending Guide To Great American Writers.

Each two-page section features a bio, a bibliography and a recipe of a particular writer's favorite drink.

Well worth the purchase.

Anyway, happy imbibing!

Maybe I'll see you Sunday at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in downtown Vancouver; just look for the guy in the brown fedora...

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