*LUPEC Boston’s latest ruminations, in case you missed ‘em in this week’s Dig.
Is BIGGER really BETTER?
by Saucy Sureau
It was her dirty little secret, and a generational advantage. Emily Rumrill drank several dry Manhattans a day (first made famous by Frank Sinatra during his Rat Pack days), and my dad drank his Scotch and sodas on the rocks (made famous by the negative turn cocktails took toward highballs in the ’70s). While Grams was slowly enjoying a perfectly jiggered Manhattan on the rocks in a 6-ounce tumbler with 1 1/2 ounces of Canadian Club and 1 1/2 ounces of dry vermouth, two dashes of angostura bitters and a twist, my dad was losing miserably at cribbage with his freely poured S&S in a 14-ounce highball glass—and Grams was seemingly drinking him under the table. Or was she?
Back in the day, a classic cocktail was served straight up in a 4.5-ounce glass, 75-percent spirit, 25-percent ice melt, according to David A. Embury, author of the classic yet controversial book The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. Grams was drinking about one-third the amount of alcohol my father was, unbeknownst to him.
Nowadays, we see 10-ounce to 16-ounce martini-and-rocks glasses at bars, which require two to three times the booze to even remotely fill the glass. What happened to moderation? I remember my first “large-format cocktail” at a bar. I thanked the barman for my gigantic glass of gin and left hammered after just one drink. Newly aware of the taming powers of a little vermouth and a jigger-poured cocktail, I returned to the cribbage table the following weekend—and kicked my dad’s ass, Emily Rumrill style.
As we gather around the holiday table, remember: Bigger isn’t always better. While you’re sitting around playing cards competitively with your loved ones, classic measurements might be just the thing to help you take Uncle Ernie for all he’s worth this Thanksgiving.
GRANDMA RUMRILL’S DRY MANHATTAN
1.5 oz Canadian Club whisky
1.5 oz dry vermouth
2 dashes angostura bitters
Served on the rocks with a twist of lemon.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM LUPEC BOSTON!