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Tinseltown Toasts: The Embassy

drinks_embassyOpened in 1930 adjacent to the Montmartre, the Embassy Club maintained a private membership list of 300, including Charlie Chaplin and Gloria Swanson.  By excluding the gawking public, the Embassy Club failed, pulling down the once-popular Montmartre (same owners) with it.

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Happy 2014!

drinks_french125

It goes without saying that New Year’s and Champagne go together like good intentions and broken resolutions.  If you’re looking for a way to make things a little more interesting than just popping the cork on the bubbly, we suggest the following:

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The Oxonian

drinks_oxonian_sma 12BB original

3 parts Advocaat (Dutch/Belgian eggnog liqueur)
3 parts ESB ale (Extra Special/Strong Bitter)
1 part (or to taste) spiced brown sugar syrup (recipe below)

Add all ingredients to a glass of any shape or sort and stir to combine. Some may like a cube or two of ice. Grate a bit of fresh nutmeg over the top

 

For Syrup:

Dissolve 2 cups light brown or evaporated cane sugar into 1 cup water over low heat
Add 0.25 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, ground cloves and ground ginger
Stir until combined, and allow to cool

Featured Glassware: Boston Double Old-Fashioned by Villeroy & Boch

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It was roughly around this past Halloween that we answered our nation’s call. By “our nation”, we mean PBS.org, and by “answered”, we mean responded to their email requesting an original drink for a collection of holiday recipes. Obviously, it was an honor to be among those chosen by PBS, but coming up with a new Christmas-themed concoction was a bit of a challenge. Not only did the drink need to be simultaneously new and fresh while still conjuring up Christmas traditions, it also needed an appropriate moniker — something that could rationally be applied yet esoteric enough not to have been previously taken.

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Herschell Gordon Lewis and the Corpse Reviver Shot

Despite whatever negative connotations the term “exploitation cinema” might bring to mind, it is a concept which, at its heart, is really much more benign than you might think. Basically, an exploitation film is one which focuses on an element simply for the sake of luring in the audience – sex, blood, a specific ethnicity, or even Megan Fox and giant transforming robots. And, in the parlance of Hollywood, exploitation was a way for the major studios to distinguish the “low brow” fare of the little guys from their own “important” movies. More to the point, exploitation cinema was, and remains, a way for people without marketing budgets to compete in a lopsided marketplace. Take, for example, “The Human Centipede” – for which, I’m sure, you’ve never seen a poster or a television commercial but about which you’ve certainly heard and formed an opinion.

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1912 – Mardi Gras and the Baby Doll

By Lesley Jacobs Solmonson

 

2 oz Brandy
1.5 oz Orange Liqueur
0.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass
Or, pour directly into a rocks glass over ice

Featured Glassware:  Scotch Whisky Tumbler No. 1 by Villeroy & Boch

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Fat Tuesday –better known as Mardi Gras – is upon us and, with it, celebrations spanning the globe from Belgium to Brazil to the Big Easy.  Each Mardi Gras is unique in its way, but, given our current affection for all things 1912, it is the pre-Lenten revels of New Orleans that interest us today.

Originally a religious festival, Mardi Gras was brought to the Crescent City by French settlers who indulged in rich food and drink – as well as parades, masked balls, and late night carousing – before the fasting of Lent.  Most of the festivities were and still are centered on krewes and social clubs, among them the Baby Dolls who celebrate their 100th anniversary this year.   Tracing their roots to New Orleans’ 6th Ward, historically a cornerstone of Creole culture, the Dolls are one of the many “second line” groups in the brass band parades, which evolved out of traditional jazz funerals. Read More…