*LUPEC Boston’s latest ruminations, in case you missed ‘em in this week’s issue of the Dig.
By Pink Lady and Hanky Panky
As we discussed last week, our recent involvement in the Boston Center for Adult Education’s “From Jackie to Michelle – Celebrating the First Ladies of Fashion” fundraiser prompted us to ask ourselves “What Would Jackie/Michelle Drink?” Jackie Kennedy’s love for Daiquiris in Camelot is well documented. But what does Michelle Obama drink? Our inquiries to White House Social Secretary Desirée Rogers’ office went un-answered, so we improvised at the event, serving the Southside Cocktail to represent Ms. Obama, who grew up and raised her family in the Chicago neighborhood that bears the name.
We linked the drink to Chi-town for our event, but the Southside was well known as the house cocktail at the 21 Club in New York. Owners Jack Kriendler and Charles E. Berns got into the Speakeasy business to help pay for night -school during Prohibition. They owned various joints around Manhattan, but once their operations moved uptown, they attracted ritzier clientele, including many Yale graduates and some classy broads, like Dorothy Parker and Edna Ferber.
The 21 Club’s secret Wine Cellar was once an elaborate system for hiding Prohibition-era hooch and was built to be virtually invisible. The entrance was shielded from fuzz’s watchful eyes by several smoked hams hanging from the ceiling and a shelf full of canned goods. The 2.5-ton door was built to look like part of the cement wall, and entry required sliding a slender 18″ meat skewer through one of the wall’s many cracks. Nowadays, the secret room is one of the most coveted private dining venues in the city.
There are lots of great tales about the 21 Club. One finds Clare Booth Luce stepping aside to allow Dorothy Parker entrance to the Club muttering, “Age before beauty,” to which Parker replied “Pearls before swine.” In another, Robert Benchley shrugs off his raincoat saying, “Get me out of this wet coat and into a dry Martini.”
Who created the cocktail? Who knows. But Dale DeGroff proudly and rightfully places it in the world of sours, which by definition are sweet, sour and strong: a simple combination that can be absolutely terrible if it is out of balance.
Boston Fashion Week starts in a few short days. Celebrate with one of these – we’re not sure if Michelle Obama has ever had one, but we’re sure she’d enjoy this decidedly fashionable beverage.
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
2 mint sprigs, muddle with lemon & sugar
1 1/2 oz gin
Muddle lemon, mint, and sugar in bottom of mixing glass. Add gin & ice and shake. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.
FOR MORE GREAT COCKTAIL RECIPES, VISIT LUPECBOSTON.COM.