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Archive for the ‘Scoff Law’ Category

mxmologoLUPEC Boston is honored to be hosting today’s Mixology Monday at our humble abode.  Inspired by a chance encounter that Pink Lady had with a cocktail novice, we’ve decided to consider those cocktails that would be suitably delicious for the first timer.

Obviously there are a couple things to consider when offering up advice to the amateur cocktailian.  First off your suggestions need to be balanced.  Something too bitter, too sweet or too boozey results in our possible convert spending an eternity in vodka/soda purgatory.

And secondly we should consider accessibility.  Folks are afraid of words they don’t know or understand.  And rather than ask for guidance and clarification they will often just turn and run.  Cocktails for the first timer should be relatively simple and incorporate common ingredients.  Not only do we want the cocktail newcomer to enjoy and understand what they’ve just imbibed, we want to be able to write down the recipe and make it clear that it is something they can easily create for themselves at home!

Let’s hear from some of lovely ladies of LUPEC Boston.  How would they pave thelupec_logo72 way to cocktail glory for an amateur?

Pink Lady is a firm believer in the power of the Jack Rose.  “I think in sweeter incarnations and made with a little Peychaud’s, it could easily trick booze-fearing drinkers into swilling back something made with a brown liquor.”

Bourbon Belle chimed in with the Sidecar.  She describes “the combination of the bold and interesting flavor of brandy that is juxtaposed with the sour kick of fresh lemon juice and balanced with the sweet orange flavor of Cointreau” as a great well-balanced cocktail that goes down easy for the novice drinker.

Pink Gin agrees that the brown spirits tend to be an easier sell to the cocktail beginner.  She suggests a Mint Julep (hopefully served in the proper vessel) or perhaps her father’s favorite, a Bourbon Manhattan.  If Pink Gin gets her charm from her father I’m sure he could successfully put a Manhattan in the hands of any teetotaler!

Pinky Gonzalez pipes in with some options to help a newbie recover from any previous gincidents.  She’s used the Left Bank (Gin, St Germain and Sauvignon Blanc) to make “gin-drinkers out of many an unwitting soul.”  She also recommends the Vesper, saying “it’s good for vodka drinkers/gin fearers; the idea that there is vodka in there is enough for some to ‘go there.’  The Lillet offers the vermouth-fearer an alternative and the James Bond reference is a good hook for some folks.”

As someone who spends a big chunk of my life behind the stick making drinks for the general public I’m constantly considering gateway cocktails.  There is nothing more gratifying than introducing someone whose “usual” is a vodka and soda to the wonderful world of flavorful, balanced cocktails.  For this reason I’ve taken to calling them my greatway cocktails.  For our purposes today we will be focusing on gin and whiskey, the two base spirits that seem to be most misunderstood by the masses.

Let’s start with gin.  There is an erroneous fear of gin running rampant through our society that LUPEC is attempting to quell.  Gin is delicious and according to our good friend Patrick Sullivan it makes you smarter.  Armed with this fact and a few cocktails conversion is imminent.

Fine and Dandy Cocktail (from the Savoy Cocktail Book)

1/2 Plymouth Gin

1/4 Cointreau

1/4 Lemon Juice

1 dash Angostura Bitters

Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.

The Fine and Dandy is a greatway cocktail for many reasons.  Like Bourbon Belle’s suggestion of the Sidecar, the sweet and sour aspects of this cocktail are wonderfully balanced but do not overwhelm the nuances of the gin.  In addition this cocktail gently introduces bitters, a cocktail ingredient that unnecessarily frightens the cocktail neophyte.

imagesThe Stork Club Cocktail

1.5 oz Gin

.5 Cointreau

1 oz Orange Juice

.25 oz Lime Juice

1 Dash Angostura Bitters

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Orange juice equals breakfast, the start to one’s day.  Why not start one’s cocktail journey with the juicy house cocktail of one of Manhattan’s most historic hot spots.

As a lover of all brown spirits I can’t imagine not enjoying a perfectly made Manhattan.  But as I know this is not the case for all let’s consider a couple of whiskey based greatway cocktails.

The Scofflaw Cocktail

1 oz Rye Whiskey

1 oz French Vermouth

.5 oz Grenadine

.5 oz Lemon Juice

1 dash Orange Bitters

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

This delicious cocktail is perfect for introducing someone to the joys of whiskey and vermouth.   It’s sure to make a newbie ooo and ah.

The Algonquinothers_46780_8

1.5 oz Rye Whiskey

.75 oz Dry Vermouth

.75 oz Fresh Pineapple Juice

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Another juicy option for introducing folks to the joys of marrying whiskey and vermouth.  Encourage the newbie to raise her or his glass to Ms Dorothy Parker, one of our favorite forebroads and member of the Algonquin’s famed round table.

Thank you to all who have participated in our Mixology Monday saluting First Timers.  Check back in the next couple of days for our round up!

Cin Cin!

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Welcome to the Endangered Cocktail of the Month, a new feature on the LUPEC Boston online home. To help us achieve our goals of “breeding, raising, and releasing nearly extinct drinks into the wild”, LUPEC Boston will select a new classic cocktail to revive at local bars and restaurants each month. We’ll write about the drink here and in our newsletter, and supply explicit instructions for how to make one at home – or how to instruct your local barkeep in making one. We encourage you to print (or write down) this recipe and bring it to your favorite local bar while you’re out and about this month, thus spread the gospel of the Endangered Cocktail and enriching the collective knowledge base of our city’s bartenders.

THE SCOFF LAW COCKTAIL
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add:
1.5 oz Old Overholt Rye Whiskey
1 oz. dry vermouth
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz. fresh grenadine

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

The Scoff Law Cocktail originated during prohibition and was named in honor of those who refused to recognize the 18th amendment. For more history of the cocktail, check out this post.

There are also several variations on this cocktail, many of which substitute grenadine with Green Chartreuse. If your local bar only carries bottled grenadine, opt for the Chartreuse version instead. We wholeheartedly support (and enjoy) these variations!

Please drop us a note to let us know about your experiences in the field, reviving The Scoff Law.

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by Pink Lady

scoff·law \-ˌlȯ\ – noun: a contemptuous law violator.*

As the story goes, the Scoff Law cocktail was invented in 1924 at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. The word, however, was invented in Boston the previous fall. Here’s story of how one beget the other.**

In October of 1923 prominent Anti-Saloon League member Delcevare King conceived of an peculiar sort of marketing campaign designed to bring shame and scorn upon flouters of the 18th Amendment and Volstead Act which prohibited the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors.” King developed a contest to offer $200 (roughly equivalent to $2,400 today) to the person who could invent a word “which best expresses the idea of lawless drinker, menace, scoffer, bad citizen, or whatnot, with the biting power of ‘scab’ or ‘slacker’.” By the January 1, 1924 deadline 25,000 entries poured in from all over the country (with a few international ones, too), suggesting gems like scut, boozlag, alcolog, hooch-sniper, rum-rough, and law-loose-liquor-lover, according to a Boston Herald article on the topic.

Each word was judged against the following criteria: it should be no more than two syllables, begin with an “s” (to make it “sting”), refer to illegal drinkers only (not drinkers at large) and emphasize the law-breaking rather than liquor as the problem, and be linked to the following statement by President Harding: “Lawless drinking is a menace to the republic itself.” On January 16, 1924 the Boston Herald announced the winning word, the “scofflaw”, proposed by two separate contestants, Henry Dale Irving of Andover and Kate L. Butler of Dorchester. (They split the prize money.)

The entire premise of King’s contest was subject to widespread mockery in the media and beyond and using the word in vain seemed an almost instantaneous reaction to King’s earnest endeavor. The New York Times predicted “scofflaws” would be impervious to the word: “said sinners will not be startled nor abashed at being told that they do what they have never tried to conceal.”

Right. Said sinners relished the term and raised a glass. As Chicago Tribune reported on January 27, “Jack, the genial manager of Harry’s Bar in Paris, yesterday invented the Scoff-Law Cocktail, and it has already become exceedingly popular among American Prohibition dodgers.”

We’ll drink to that.

The SCOFF-LAW
Harry’s Bar in Paris version
1 oz. Canadian whiskey (originally recommended because it contained at least SOME rye)
1 oz. dry vermouth
.25 oz. lemon juice
A hearty dash grenadine & bitters.
Shake with ice & strain into a cocktail glass.

*Merriam-Webster Online. 21 September 2008
** The story is well-detailed in Allan Metcalf’s Predicting New Words, p. 44.

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texas1

by Pinky Gonzales

…This was the standard greeting you’d likely receive from the jovial, peroxide blonde manning the house at one of several Manhattan speakeasies during Prohibition. Of course, this would foreshadow the spending of all your dough, on illegal hooch and tips for the showgirls. You’d happily fork over $25 (back then no chump change) for a fifth of Scotch, or $2 for a pitcher of water if you brought your own “booster”, and whatever else followed. texasclubsignThe place would probably be packed, open a few hours later than all the rest, and the wisecracking, witty pal of Mae West named Texas Guinan would be seeing to it you were having a darned good time.

Before being seduced into the world of club ownership through bartending and guest emceeing, Texas started out in Vaudville, then in Westerns as an actress and producer. 1917’s The Wildcat introduced America’s first movie cowgirl.
1926_burlesque_drena_beach
Her nite club career included “the grandaddy of speakeasies,” the El Fey Club, opened in 1924 with gangster Larry Fey. Later came Club Intime, a Dorothy Parker hangout and subterranean spot near Times Square where entry would involve a steep staircase, two bouncers and a peephole. There was also the Rendezvous, the 300 Club, the Argonaut, the Century, the Salon Royal, and Tex Guinan’s. Infamous for being hauled off to the pokey on a regular basis and having her joints shut down by Feds, Texas enjoyed having the band strikeup “The Prisoner’s Song” on her way out the door. And always would she deny selling anything but “mixers” to at her clubs, noting “a man could get hurt falling off a bar stool!” Re-opening after raids, she would sometimes wear a necklace of gold padlocks just to show the cops there were no hard feelings. guntex1_1She worked tirelessly until age 49, when she was stricken by illness and passed away. 12,000 attended her 1933 funeral procession in Manhattan, and a month later to the day of her death, Prohibition was repealed. Looks like a Women’s History Month toast is in store for this gal!

SCOFF LAW COCKTAIL (what else?)
1 oz rye whiskey
1 oz dry vermouth
.75 oz fresh lemon juice
.75 oz green Chartreuse (or pomegranate grenadine according to some recipes – also excellent)
2 dashes orange bitters
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Cheers!

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