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*Recent ruminations from LUPEC, as originally published in The Weekly Dig.

by Barbara West

“Mary S.” of St. Louis, Missouri (c. 1851-1880) was an inventor who led a life of genius and poverty. Lacking finances and confidence, she sold the rights to her mechanical inventions to various male agents, for as little as $5 each. These men received 53 patents and a great deal of wealth. Mary S. herself died impoverished at roughly age thirty.

A businesswoman and former intelligence agent for the Union army during the Civil War, Charlotte Smith was known for empathizing with the struggles of self-supporting women.

The tragic story of Mary S. spurred Smith, an acquaintance, to seek justice and recognition for women inventors. She wrote about Mary S. in The Woman Inventor, a magazine she founded in 1891. She also pushed for the publication of an official List of Women Patentees. Feminists used the list to argue for women’s suffrage. Today, the list remains the major source of information on 19th-century female inventors. These women were patronizingly dubbed “Lady Edisons.”

Thanks to the list, we know that nearly 4,000 women received U.S. patents between 1809 and 1895—more than 5,000 if design patents are counted. One of the era’s most prolific female inventors was Margaret Knight of Boston (1838-1914). She is credited with about 90 inventions and 22 patents, the most famous of which was the first machine to make the square-bottomed paper bags that are still used in grocery stores today.

In the late 1890s, Smith moved to Boston, where she founded a Women’s Rescue League. In 1907, she organized a Woman’s Board of Trade. After spending thousands of dollars on projects to help women become self-supporting, and years of direct charity to homeless and desperate women, Charlotte Smith died alone in Boston in 1917. She was seventy-seven.

Here’s a cocktail with which to toast our industrious forebroads, known as “Lady Edisons,” this Women’s History Month.

EDISONIAN COCKTAIL

2 ounces brandy
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce fresh lemon juice

Shake brandy, Campari and lemon juice with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

CIN-CIN!

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*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, as published in The Weekly Dig.

by Pinky Gonzales + Pink Lady

Women’s History Month is upon us! Today we’ll raise a glass to bartending forebroad Ada Coleman, creator of the Hanky Panky, which is also the namesake drink of LUPEC Boston founder, Misty Kalkofen.

Coleman was the first head barman at the famed American Bar in London. As the story goes, “Coley,” a mixologist of reputable character who could trash-talk with the best of them, invented the drink for a colorful bar regular. Coleman spoke of it herself, to a London newspaper in 1925:

“The late Charles Hawtrey … was one of the best judges of cocktails that I knew. Some years ago, when he was over working, he used to come into the bar and say, ‘Coley, I am tired. Give me something with a bit of punch in it.’ It was for him that I spent hours experimenting until I had invented a new cocktail. The next time he came in, I told him I had a new drink for him. He sipped it, and, draining the glass, he said, ‘By Jove! That is the real hanky-panky!’ And Hanky-Panky it has been called ever since.”

Coleman worked at the American Bar at the swank Savoy Hotel from 1903-1926, during the cocktail’s coming-out era in Europe. Owners renamed their establishments “American Bars” as a selling point—a way of distinguishing them from mere pubs or gin & tonic joints. The American craft of mixing up Sazeracs, Martinis, Ramos Gin Fizzes and the like became all the rage. Coleman’s barstools saw the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, WC Fields, Prince of Wales and Mark Twain.

Bartender Harry Craddock filled Ada’s role managing the bar in 1924, after he had left dry America for work abroad. In 1930, he published The Savoy Cocktail Book, an Art Deco gem & many a bartender’s bible. In it, for the first time, is the printed recipe for the Hanky-Panky, below. Mix one up as you toast Coley whose spirit lives on in the likes of modern bartending broad, LUPEC’s own Hanky Panky.

HANKY-PANKY
The original, from the Savoy Cocktail Book

2 Dashes Fernet Branca
1/2 Italian Vermouth
1/2 Dry Gin

Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Squeeze orange peel on top.

CIN-CIN!
FOR MORE GREAT STORIES AND LORE, VISIT LUPECBOSTON.COM.

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*Recent ruminations from the ladies of LUPEC as originally published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

Politics and cocktails? Yes, please. With President’s Day on the horizon we thought it only fitting to highlight some of the drinking habits of our nation’s leaders, culled from the fascinating book of Presidential fare and trivia Politics and Pot Roast by Sarah Hood Solomon.

George Washington totally made whiskey at Mount Vernon. He was the first and only founding father to own and operate a commercial distillery. It enjoyed two good years of robust rye whiskey production before Washington’s death in 1799.

Though 11th President, James Polk occasionally partook in a Raspberry Shrub, he and his wife Sarah took their roles in the White House solemnly…I mean, seriously. Food & drink were not served at most receptions and dancing was forbidden.

Andrew Jackson’s administration was a different story. The simple ceremony planned to celebrate his inauguration went horribly awry when 20,000 people invaded the White House mansion. The celebrants caused an epic ruckus breaking windows, china,and furniture and causing several fires. The place was so packed that people who came in the door had to crawl out the windows. Clever cooks eventually lured revelers out of the Presidential mansion by putting out tubs of whiskey on the lawn.

President James Buchanan had a legendary tolerance. He once reprimanded a liquor merchant for sending pint bottles of champagne to fulfill orders of bubbly because they were too small. On his way to church, Buchanan liked to stop at the Jacob Baer distillery to purchase a 10-gallon cask of “Old J.B.” whiskey. He liked that he and the whiskey shared the same initials.

Alice, Theodore Roosevelt’s oldest daughter, was an independent woman after our own hearts: “She smoked on the White House roof, wore pants, and was known to have a cocktail.” (Cheers, Alice!)

While Governer of NY, FDR never let a guest’s glass go empty, often pressing his company to have a second and third drink, asking “How about another little sippy?” as he poured his favorite ‘Haitian Libation’ (made with orange juice, rum, and grenadine.) Over-served guests used houseplants to discard the contents of the glass.

President and First Lady Truman were fond of Old Fashioneds, but butler never seemed to make them correctly. He finally got it right when he tried this recipe: pour bourbon over ice; serve. Truman was prescribed 2 shots of bourbon a day by his doctor, which he took each morning with a glass of orange juice.

As you raise a glass of this favorite of George Washington, we offer you this advice, from the sage “Etiquette Rules for State Dinners” in The White House Cook Book, circe 1887:

“Don’t, when you drink, elevate your glass as if you were going to stand it inverted on your nose…Drink gently, and not pour it down your throat like water turned out of a pitcher.”

MOUNT VERNON’S MINT JULEPS
Recipe from the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association
Handful of fresh mint
1 to 4 tablespoons sugar
1/8 to 1/2 cup water
Crushed ice (about 1 cup)
1/2 to 1 cup bourbon
Powdered sugar

Reserve one mint sprig for garnish. Put remaining mint in the bottom of a (tall) glass, and crush with a mortar. Put in simple syrup (made from the sugar and water). Fill with crushed ice. Pour bourbon on top. Dip mint sprig in powdered sugar as garnish. Quantities of the ingredients may be adjusted for individual tastes.

FOR MORE GREAT RECIPES, VISIT LUPECBOSTON.COM.

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Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, as originally published in the Dig.

by Pink Lady

Scotch. Chocolate. Both delight on their own, but can make for an even more exciting evening when paired. This week, you can learn more about both from Glenlivet’s own kilted brand ambassador, Sir Jeremy Bell, while raising money to fight Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

This Thursday, the ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Association will host the Inaugural Scotch and Chocolate Event at The Commandant’s House in Charlestown, MA. Dressed in full highland kilt with bagpipes blaring, Sir Jeremy Bell will enlighten guests about the fascinating facts of Scotch, port and Champagne.  He’ll offer advice on winning combinations of chocolate and fruit for each spirit and wine, and will also teach guests how to saber a bottle of Champagne. For those who successfully chop the top off a bottle of bubbly with a Napoleonic saber, induction into the Confrerie du Sabre Dor (the brotherhood of the golden saber) awaits.
Cigar Masters will have an expert on-site to hand-roll cigars, adding to the old rich guy charm of the evening. The event will also feature hors d’oeuvres, a chocolate fountain with exotic fruits, piano playing, and live and silent auctions that include a shirt signed by Josh Beckett, a one-week Cape house rental in July, spa packages and a Scotch and cigar tasting for four at Cigar Masters.

This luxurious shindig is designed to benefit The ALS Association Massachusetts Chapter, the only ALS-related organization in Massachusetts fighting ALS (more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) on all fronts. Tickets cost $100 and are available online at http://web.alsa.org/ScotchAndChocolate, or by phone at 1-888-CURE-ALS.

Now what to wear while sabering a bottle of Champagne? Hmmm…mix up one of these as you ponder.

Speak Easy

Recipe by Oscar Quagliarini, Italy

Ice an old fashioned glass with cracked ice and Pernod, then pour it out.

In a mixing glass put:

1 sugar cube

3 drops The Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters

3 drops Chocolate Bitters

Crush the sugar cube.

Add to mixing glass:

Ice cubes

2.25 Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch (10 year old)

1 barspoon Galliano L’autentico

Stir & strain into the Pernod-rinsed Old Fashioned glass.

Flamed orange zest for garnish.

Cin-cin!


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Ruminations from the ladies of LUPEC, as originally published in The Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

As I type, freezing rain falls on ice outside my window. My entire street resembles a large, grey ice skating rink. Welcome to January in New England. Ever tried navigating a grey skating rink in platform heels and a pencil skirt? It ain’t fun. On nights like these, this LUPEC lady prefers to drink at home.

What’s a girl to do when marooned at home and craving a cocktail? Work with what you’ve got. When there’s no citrus to be found and a trip to the store is out of the question, straight spirits are the way to go. A Manhattan is an obvious choice, but what about a Hearst? Made with 2 parts gin, one part sweet vermouth, a dash of orange bitters and some lemon oil (if you’ve got it), this drink is an easy answer to the can’t-leave-the-house blues. Allegedly, the drink was famously enjoyed at the Waldorf-Astoria by newspapermen who worked for William Randolph Hearst.

If Campari is your bag and you’re looking to move beyond the Negroni, a Rosita (recipe below) is a nice way to go, a favorite of LUPEC member emeritus Contessa. We don’t know the origins of this drink at all but it sure does make for a refreshing aperitif to whet your appetite for the take out you’ve ordered because you can’t bear to leave the house.

And if you’re feeling like getting creative, you can always follow this basic, time-tested formula for an aperitif cocktail and see where it gets you, plugging in whatever ingredients you have at home. Start with 2 parts high-proof base spirit, 1 part low-proof aperitif (vermouth, Lillet, etc.) or fortified wine (dry sherry, port, etc.), maybe a 1 bar spoon of liqueur if you’ve got it and are feeling feisty, and 2 dashes whatever bitters strikes your fancy. Stir your new concoction with ice and taste, then modify to your heart’s delight.

And let us know what you’ve come up with! We’ve got at least 2 more months of this lovely winter weather to contend with.

ROSITA

1 1/2 oz silver tequila
1/2 oz Campari
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1 dash angostura bitters

Stir with ice, strain into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Cin-cin!

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*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, as originally published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

It’s 1919, you’re a working class Italian chillin’ in North End neighborhood on a surprisingly balmy 40 degree winter’s day. Suddenly you hear a large rumbling, then rapid-fire shots reminiscent of a machine gun. The ground shakes as though a train is passing, and you look up just in time to see a massive wave of molasses twice as tall as you tearing towards you down the street. Before you know it, you’re swept away in the sweet smelling, sticky tide.

Sounds like a ridiculous plot for a B movie, right? But that totally happened 92 years ago this Saturday. A 50-foot tall steel tank containing 2.3 million gallons of molasses collapsed, flooding the North End with its contents, destroying wooden homes, a brick fire station, an Elevated Railway Car, and lifting a train off its tracks. The molasses wave measured 15-feet high at points and traveled at an estimated 35 mph at its outset.

The event was a catastrophe for the working-class Italian immigrant community that lived in the North End, where the poorly maintained tank was situated. A neighborhood decimated, 150 people injured, 21 people killed – the details of the Great Boston Molasses Flood are pretty shocking, even to disaster-weary modern minds. But the scandal surrounding the flood is a fascinating, David vs. Goliath story in itself that is deftly recounted in Stephen Puleo‘s Dark Tide.

119 separate legal claims were brought again United States Industrial Agriculture, which the Superior Court of Massachusetts decided to consolidate into a single legal proceeding, “creating in effect, if not by strict legal definition, the largest class-action suit to date in Massachusetts history and one of the largest ever in U.S. legal annals,” writes Puleo. USIA tried to blame anarchist bombers for the tank explosion, but were ultimately held responsible and paid hundreds of thousands of damages to North End residents.

Pick up a copy of Dark Tide to learn more and relax with one of these as you marvel at this obscure piece of Boston lore.

THE STUDEBAKER

2 oz Laird’s 7 ½ Year Apple Brandy

.5 oz Lillet

.5 oz Grand Marnier

.25 oz Benedictine

1 barspoon molasses

Stir with ice in a mixing glass. Serve in a chilled vintage cocktail glass.

Cin-cin!

 

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Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, as originally published in this week’s Dig.

by Pink Lady

This time of year occasionally makes the ladies of LUPEC a little sad as the cold winter settles in without the parties and festivities of the holiday season to look forward to. At times like these we need to refocus on the little things, like delightful hot cocktails on a snowy winter’s day. A favorite among these is Hot Buttered Rum.

Butter + hot drinks is a tradition that dates back to the days of Henry the VIII, when buttered beer or ale was recommended as a remedy for hoarseness. Where and when spirits entered the equation is unclear, and by the pre-Prohibition Golden Age of cocktails, most imbibers eschewed this delightful buttery treat for Hot Scotch. A few still swore by it as we continue to today.

Hot Buttered Rum is even celebrated with it’s own National Holiday, January 17. We’re not sure who declared it but it certainly gives us something to look forward to on such cold, dark days. This recipe is a favorite of our pal Adam Lantheaume, proprietor of The Boston Shaker in Davis Square.

HOT BUTTERED RUM

2 heaping tbsp batter (see recipe below)

1 1/2 oz. aged rum (We enjoy Appleton Estate Extra or Mount Gay Extra Old)

2-3 ounces of boiling water

In a preheated coffee mug, combine 2 heaping tablespoons of batter with 1 1/2 ounces of rum. Top with boiling water and stir well to mix. Serve with a spoon.

Hot Buttered Rum Batter:

1 lb light brown sugar

1/2 lb unsalted butter (softened)

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground allspice

2 tsp vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, beat together softened butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract and spices until well combined. Refrigerate in an airtight reusable container for up to a month, or place in the freezer until ready to use.

If you can, make the batter in advance so the spices have an opportunity to get to know each other. Be sure to remove batter from refrigerator at least 6 hours prior to serving to allow it to soften.

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*As originally published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

Hangovers are a part of serious imbibing, as we were unpleasantly reminded the morning after our punch party last week. With New Years Eve nearly upon us, we wanted to offer a brief round up of strategies to help you cope the morning after:

Preventative Measures
As Pink Gin says, “You need to plan on the possibility that you’ll skip the night-before remedy. If you remember it, do you really need it?” Make these suggestions your mantra during the day while sober and you just may remember to follow them later in the evening:

Slow Your Roll Early: Have some nice, low alcohol sips in mind when you belly up to the bar. Cocktails made with low-alcohol liqueurs, like a Campari & soda, vermouth-based Half Sinner, Half Saint, or a San Francisco can keep you from getting too drunk too fast.

Water, water, water: Just do it. A glass between drinks is a good metric.

Eat. A Lot.: Eat a healthy portion of your dinner, even if you’re feeling full from all the water you’re drinking. You body will thank you. And, depending on how late you stay up, a second dinner might be appropriate.

Herbal Remedies as a Preemptive Strike: Take milk thistle before you start drinking (for your liver), B12 & B6 (for your hangover). One LUPEC pal swears by activated carbon pills: 2 with the first drink, one per each additional drink. All can be purchased at Whole Foods.

Morning-After Measures
Upon waking, you will likely need to ease into your day with a hearty breakfast, coconut water, ginger ale or beer, and a healthy dose of Advil. As Charles H. Baker writes of the “sort of human withering on the vine” that is the hangover in The Gentleman’s Companion, (repubbed as Jigger, Beaker, and Glass), the “Picker-Upper” is the only possible cure for when you feel “precisely like Death warmed up”: “We have…come to distrust all revivers smacking of drugdom. It is a small, tightly vicious cycle to get into, and a bit of well-aged spirits with this or that, seems much safer and more pleasant than corroding our innards with chemicals of violent proclivities, and possible habit-forming ways.”

After all, there are just two proven ways to never get a hangover: never start drinking or never stop. Once you’re ready for a little hair of the dog, any of these recipes should do:

Andy McNees’ Hangover Eraser Nos 1 & 2: For the original, build the following over ice in a pint glass: A shot of Fernet, two dashes of every kind of bitters on the bar, top with Soda water. Drink as quickly as you can through two straws like a Mind Eraser. See below for recipe No. 2.

Bloody Marys: There’s a good amount of vitamins in that there tomato juice.

Fizzes: During the pre-Prohibition heyday of the cocktail, the fizz held forth as the hangover cure de rigeur for sporting men. “Into the saloon you’d go, the kindly internist behind the bar would manipulate a bottle or two, and zam! There stood the glass packed with vitamins, proteins, and complex sugars, foaming brightly and aglow with the promise of sweet release,” writes David Wondrich in Imbibe! If you’ve never tried a Pink Lady before, now’s the time.

Good luck to you, dear readers! As Virginia Elliot and Phil D. Strong wrote in their 1930 volume Shake ‘Em Up, always remember to “Take cheer from the thought that if you are healthy enough to suffer acutely, you will probably live.”

ANDY MCNEES’ HANGOVER ERASER NO. 2
1 oz Fernet
.5 oz ginger syrup
.5 oz lemon juice
Dash Peychaud’s bitters
Dash Angostura bitters
Shake ingredients with ice & strain over new ice in a highball glass. Top with ginger beer.

Cin-cin!

FOR MORE HANGOVER REMEDIES, VISIT LUPECBOSTON.COM.

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*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, as originally published in the Weekly Dig.

by Pink Lady

Despite a scathing New York Times review for its caloric content, eggnog is all the rage this time of year. That’s all well and good to be sure. Before eggnog was the Xmas drink de rigeur, there was Tom & Jerry, a beverage well worth reviving as the cold weather cometh.

Tom & Jerry is famously credited to legendary sporting man and bar star, Professor Jerry Thomas. In his rendition, the Professor invented the drink in 1847 for a man who’d originally requested an egg beaten up in sugar. He went on to spike it with booze and hot water: “It was the one thing I’d been dreaming of for months,” he told a reporter. “I named the drink after myself, kinder familiarly,” choosing Tom & Jerry after his two pet white mice “as Jeremiah P. Thomas would have sounded rather heavy, and that wouldn’t have done for a beverage.”

Numerous references to the drink from the 1820s, 30s, and 40s prove this story isn’t true, but it sure makes a colorful anecdote. What we do know about the Tom & Jerry is that it hails from New England and was trotted out at every bar worth its bourbon when the temperatures dropped. Traditionally batched in a china bowl and doled out in little “shaving mugs”, the frothy beverage warmed imbibers well into the spring months.

Eventually Tom & Jerry disappeared from all but the most traditional saloons. Let’s bring it back this holiday season, shall we?

TOM & JERRY (single serving)

1 egg

.5 oz simple syrup

1 oz dark rum

1 oz Cognac

Hot milk or hot water

Grated nutmeg for garnish

Separate the egg white from the egg yolk and beat them separately. Fold the beaten eggs together and place into a “shaving mug”, regular mug, or Irish coffee glass. Add the sugar or simple syrup, dark rum and brandy.

Cin-cin!

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*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, as published in the Weekly Dig.

The holiday season is in full swing, and the ladies of LUPEC are throwing a party! Raising funds for local women’s charities is a major tenet of our mission. We hope you’ll join us for our Holiday Punch Party this Monday at Trina’s Starlite Lounge to benefit On the Rise, a Cambridge-based nonprofit that supports the initiative and strength of women living in crisis or homelessness.

In addition to mixing, mingling and drinking, we’ll also be holding a clothing drive. Come with an article of women’s clothing (especially winter wear, bras and undergarments) and we’ll trade you for a free drink ticket. Proceeds from drink sales will also be donated to On the Rise.

We’ll serve punch, snacks and specialty cocktails all night thanks to Bols Genever, St-Germain and others. And we’ll be taking this time to welcome three new members to our little LUPEC coven—Boston Bullet, Harvey Wallbanger and Amber Dream.

Holiday attire is encouraged and can be interpreted however you like—bring out your ugly Christmas sweater, your Three Wise Men beard or your little black cocktail dress.

Mix up one of these as you dig through your closet.

HARVEY WALLBANGER

.75 oz Galliano L’Autentico

1.5 oz Vodka

4 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice

Mix vodka and orange juice in an ice-filled highball. Float Galliano on top. Garnish with orange wedges.

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