A long-forgotten 1950s product applies “modern” technologies to re-invent the ink-on-paper cocktail recipe book. You can figure out how this one ends
The 1950s were the flowering of American modernity — an aesthetic sensibility, tugged along by a newly affluent middle class, devoted to clean lines, simple forms, and a sense of an urgent new century unfolding.
The 1950s were also some really stupid times.
Witness the Bar Guide.
The Bar Guide is a shiny plastic device the size of a Canasta deck that updates the cocktail recipe book with “hep” modern technologies like plastic, newfangled printing methods, and a cool thumb wheel with traction grooves.
Its chief accomplishment appears to be transforming something that works quite well into something that’s confusing, hard to use, and easy to break.
And this was way before the Barnes & Noble “Nook GlowLight Plus.”
I’m thinking of a number between 1 and 80
Located at the heart of the Bar Guide is a paper scroll bearing 80 numbered cocktail recipes, each condensed to the size of a fortune cookie.
Wild peppermint puts a badass twist on the gentle classic
My son, an environmental scientist, was doing whatever it is environmental scientists do somewhere in the wilds of mid-state Virginia. He came across a cluster of wild peppermint. This he would know as mentha canadensis.
Because he is a loving son, he brought back a handful for his dad to do something drinky with.
So what would I do?
I looked, I turned it around in my hand, admired its handsome scuzz. I washed it. I gave a leaf a good smack and sniffed it. Less mint, more “weed.” I bit an edge. Peppery [duh], firm. Again, weedy.
So what would I do with such a unruly bit of foliage?
Martinis aren’t much more interesting than the people who drink them. Time to give the snooty kid a good hard wedgie.
It’s not that I hate Martinis exactly. It’s more that they’re tedious, like a salad at Cosi or an episode of CSI. You know what you’re getting. They accomplish what they set out to do.
They should call any mixture of gin and vermouth a “Meh-tini.”
And of course the name Martini has been desecrated since the late Clinton administration by the reckless use of flavored vodkas and day-glo sweeteners, resulting in happy hour chalkboards nationwide filled with several varieties of “[WTF]-tinis” for $5.
Then there are the cultural connotations of the drink: haughty, heeled well, self-satisfied — “classy,” as interpreted by those who view it from below.