*LUPEC Boston’s latest ruminations, in case you missed ‘em in this week’s Dig
by Pink Lady
Summer has finally arrived in Boston, as we all knew it would, with high temperatures and humidity to match. For those days when it feels too swampy to even move, we suggest lounging about with a Roof Garden Cooler in hand. The drink, which comes to us by way of David Wondrich’s Killer Cocktails, is a forgotten classic that once functioned as a sort of air conditioning for well-heeled guests at the rooftop garden at the tony Waldorf Hotel in New York City.
Opened in 1893 on the former site of owner William Waldorf Astor’s mansion, the grand luxury hotel once stood where the Empire State Building now resides. It was the first hotel of its kind, lavishly appointed with electricity throughout and private bathrooms en suite in most rooms, and offering “room service” for the first time in history. New York had never seen such opulence in a hotel. Four years later, cousin John Jacob Astor erected the Astoria Hotel right next door, which was something of a Waldorf 2.0, standing at 17 stories tall, and featuring the first indoor driveway in hotel history and a grand 1,500-seat ballroom.
Together, the Waldorf-Astoria (as it became known) helped transform the hotel from a way station for transient travelers into a cosmopolitan epicenter. It also helped advance the status of women, who could be admitted without the company of an escort. Louise Kehrer Boldt, the wife of founding proprietor George C. Boldt, was influential in this regard, and sought to make the hotel a popular social destination for women and an important part of the urban social landscape.
ROOF GARDEN COOLER
2 oz dry vermouth
1 oz lime juice
1/2 tsp superfine sugar
1 dash Angostura bitters
top with ginger ale
Combine in a glass, stir to dissolve sugar, add 4-5 ice cubes, top with ginger ale.