For Mysteries & More!

Friday Cocktail


Try a truly sophisticated drink this Friday, the Algonquin.

In 1902, the Algonquin Hotel opened in New York City on West 44th Street.  The cocktail named for the hotel is certainly over 60 years old, but when exactly it was created (or why) is a little foggy.  The hotel’s original owner made the hotel a ‘dry’ one in 1917, long before Prohibition.  Yet the hotel’s fame is due to its famous clientele—some of them famous lushes—from that era.  Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Edna Ferber, Harpo Marx, George S. Kaufman, and Alexander Woollcott were some of the most famous members of the Algonquin Round Table who frequented the hotel about 1919 to 1929.   These celebrated writers, critics, and actors met to exchange wit and dry sarcasm, dubbing themselves the “Vicious Circle.”

Did they try this very cocktail on the sly at the ‘dry’ hotel?  In any case, this drink is ideal for celebrating May as National Short Story month.  So try one and offer up a toast to Dorothy Parker and the Circle!

What You’ll Need:  Rye Whiskey, Dry Vermouth, Pineapple Juice, and optionally, Bitters.

Pour 1 1/2 ounces of your favorite rye whiskey into a shaker over cracked ice.  Add in 3/4 ounce each of dry vermouth and pineapple juice.  Optionally, add in 2 to 3 dashes of bitters.  Shake and then strain into your cocktail glass of choice.  Garnish if you wish with a twist of orange peel.

How I Like It:  Esquire magazine suggested the bitters in their spotlight of this drink, and I wholeheartedly agree.  I used Angostura Bitters, giving the cocktail that subtle hint of orange.  For whiskey, I used the American Blend Seagram’s Seven.  Technically, it’s a blended whiskey and not a true rye, but it works in a pinch.

Toast your literary endeavors, but always drink responsibly!

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