*The latest ruminations from LUPEC Boston, in case you missed them in The Weekly Dig.
by Pinky Gonzales
One of America’s most famous 1940s-era cabarets once glittered in our very own backyard. The Latin Quarter stood on quiet Winchester Street in the tiny Bay Village neighborhood, a cherry pit’s throw from where the old (and doomed) Cocoanut Grove nightclub once sparkled.
The Latin Quarter was known for its elaborate, “naughty but nice” revue. Featuring 6-foot-tall showgirls dubbed “long-stemmed roses,” national acts and Golden Era cocktails, this Parisian-inspired nightspot aimed high and ruled the roost for over two decades, spawning the big shows of Las Vegas. When owners Lou Walters (Barbara’s dad!) and Sonja and E.M. Loew (Loew’s Theatres) were bringing in half a million dollars per year, they redirected profits into building an LQ Miami, then the now-legendary LQ Times Square.
But after the Cocoanut Grove burned down in ’42, a damper was put on Boston’s nightlife. Officials temporarily closed LQ and 51(!) other area establishments to ensure they were up to code on fire inspections.
A happy remnant of this nearly forgotten place has been preserved for us today: 176 cocktails, once poured by their bartenders, recently reprinted as Latin Quarter Souvenir Book of Cocktails & How to Mix Them by Halliwell Hobbes, an LQ historian. The book serves up both sterling classics and festive sips like Diamond Fizz, Americano, Bosom Caresser, Honey Bee, Harvard, Marconi Wireless and the potion we give you here. Thanks, LQ.
ANTS IN THE PANTS
1 1/2 oz gin
3/4 oz Grand Marnier
3/4 oz Italian (sweet) vermouth
Dash fresh lemon juice
Shake with cracked ice, strain into a cocktail glass and ornament with peel of a lemon.
Also on the list of libations at the Latin Quarter:
BETWEEN THE SHEETS
1 oz Brandy (or Cognac)
1 oz Cointreau (orange liqueur)
1 oz Gin
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.