Drink of the Week: The Algonquin

the Algonquin.As a teenager, I found myself seriously infatuated with an older women. So great was the age difference that she had actually been dead since I was in kindergarten.

Legendary wit and poet laureate of dissipated enlightenment, Dorothy Parker was probably the most interesting of the literary lights that graced New York’s Algonquin Hotel’s famed round table of notable quipsters. The informal gang o’ pals also included humorist Robert Benchley (Parker’s platonic bff), and critic Alexander Wolcott. Another great wit in the group, Harpo Marx, like Teller after him, never said a word when the cameras and microphones were on, but apparently could chat up a storm on his own time.

Now, to be honest, while the Algonquin crew and especially the wondrous Ms. Parker definitely enjoyed more than their share of cocktails, there’s no evidence they actually ever sipped a single Algonquin. Still, they should have. It’s a dry, sophisticated drink, a fruity twist on the Perfect Manhattan that’s a really solid addition to the cannon of Prohibition-era beverages.

Yes, we have no indication that they ever had the drink, but also no proof that they didn’t. I chose, therefore, to print the legend. Let’s just assume that the woman who we are told said ““If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised” and the man who opined that “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker” enjoyed an Algonquin together. It’ll taste better that way.

The Algonquin

2 ounces rye whiskey
1 ounce pineapple juice
1 ounce dry vermouth
1 maraschino cherry (desirable garnish)
1 mint leaf (optional, but intriguing, garnish)

Combine your whiskey, juice, and vermouth in a mixing vessel with the usual ton of ice. Some think you should stir it, but I say they’re wrong. Shake the dang thing vigorously and strain into a large, chilled cocktail glass. If you want smaller portions, or have small cocktail glasses, simply use 1 1/2 ounces whiskey to 3/4 ounce each pineapple juice and vermouth. Toast which ever Algonquin Round Table member you choose, but I choose the amazing Dorothy.

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The particular example of an Algonquin pictured above was not crafted by your humble boozescribe, but comes courtesy of ace mixologist, Ian, at my neighborhood watering hole, Tonga Hut. Following my instructions, Ian added a high-end Luxardo maraschino cherry and threw on a mint leaf on top, departing from the classic recipe with a Tonga Hut trademark.

Making the drink at home, I had good luck with a number of different brands. Like Ian, I found that using 100 proof Rittenhouse Rye yielded an excellent result. I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Old Overholt — increasingly the default rye at craft bars nevertheless — but it still yielded a decent, if slightly more astringent, beverage. I also enjoyed killing my bottle of sweet Redemption Rye for an Algonquin’s sake.

As for vermouths, I vacillated between your basic Martini and the fancier Dolin’s. The former was smooth and relaxed while the latter added a bit of spice. Oddly enough, I think I lean towards a simpler, dryer rye for an Algonquin.

The most dramatic difference, oddly enough, was between two different brands of canned pineapple juice. (It’s against my religion, Lazy Bumism, to actually cut up and juice an whole pineapple.) There was a fairly precipitous drop in the quality of my drinks when I switched from Trader Joe’s shockingly delicious not-from-concentrate, which brags that it tastes like it would if you squeezed it yourself, to your basic Dole’s. I’m not an expert on the finer points of pineapple juice but I can tell you that the better tasting pineapple juice resulted in the better tasting Algonquin.

  

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How to Dress Like a Man

lawyer in law library

It’s a strange fact of modern life that many young men have no clue how to dress well. Like learning how to cook instead of eating out or buying packaged meals, learning to dress well is an important life skill that appears to be fading from modern life. This creeping obsolescence would not matter if there were no consequences, but men who don’t learn how to dress well are unlikely to find professional careers or marry women who have a sense of style.

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Arnette Eyewear’s Public Enemy Collection Sunglasses

Public Enemy Arnette Sunglasses

What I didn’t realize while it was happening in the 1980s and 90s, and even up until this year, was how successfully Public Enemy branded themselves in an era when “branding” wasn’t a buzzword or something that everyone was trying to build, bereft of skill as they may be.

Even today, if you blast Public Enemy in your office at what is considered more than a reasonable volume, it will likely be received as a “statement” of some kind, just like when you hear a commercial for the latest U2 album and know there must be a new Apple product out.

The Public Enemy logo, a silhouette of a b-boy in the crosshairs of a gun sight, stood on its own merit independent of the group and became a defiant fashion statement against oppression (perceived or real), e.g. Edward Furlong as antagonist John Connor in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” who wears a PE shirt for the entirety of the movie.

Iconic still today, sunglass company Arnette Eyewear launched a limited edition Public Enemy Collection as a part of both its “Uncommon Projects” initiative and the 25th Anniversary of the song, “Fight the Power.”

“I like to wear sunglasses, but I don’t like to wear sunglasses at performances,” the group’s Chuck D said to Rolling Stone. “We decided to do this because we were tired of not having things for people. We’re not going to go do some lucrative vodka shit, where it’s the rapper goes big and has his own vodka. I can’t do that. I’m not part of that one. But I hope these do well.”

Built on the classic look of Arnette’s Witch Doctor frame, the glasses come with interchangeable black and white arms that feature the logo on one side and the classic “Public Enemy” name on the other.

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Building a fire pit with Lowe’s & allen + roth

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With cool fall weather blowing in, it’s not too late to tackle some of your landscaping projects. Autumn is the perfect time to roll up your sleeves and create a landscape to enjoy all year long.

A fire pit will be a welcome addition for entertaining in almost any space. It’s a cozy gathering spot and offers an enjoyable way to spend time with family and friends on a lazy summer evening, a cool fall night or a snowy winter afternoon.

You’ll also find that it’s a project most people can do themselves with a few simple tools, so don’t think you have to pay an arm and a leg to a contractor to get this done. You can find everything you need from Lowe’s, particularly materials from allen + roth.

I recently completed this project with the help of friends and family, with most of the work being done over a three-day period. You can see the final result in the first photo, and then the rest of the slideshow shows the progress of the project from beginning to end.

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Top 5 moments of fortune

ID-1009406 By Carlos Porto
Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/By Carlos Porto

It is believed that the message inscribed within a Fortune Cookie bring luck, but words of fortune aren’t always what they’re made out to be. Gala Casino have put together a list of weird and wonderful fortunes to support International Fortune Cookie Day, and here are few of the quirkier examples:

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