At any given moment The Shining is in my top three favorite movies (and jostling for first place). VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray, 35mm (both whole and also slashed to hell from decades of projectionists slicing frames out of iconic scenes for their collection or enrichment), forwards and backwards, de/reconstructed in Room 237, aped in countless examples of pop culture: I have watched it whenever, wherever, and however possible.
When this great cinematic love meets my love of imbibing, I’m as happy as a guest at an Overlook Hotel party.
As San Francisco celebrates hosting the Kubrick Exhibition, I’ve tracked down a few places offering Shining-themed cocktails.
A photocopy of a photocopy. A jpeg resaved so often it loses all form. This is what I did to the noble Eeyore’s Requiem.
A friend reminded me of this delicious this bitter drink, and Serious Eats informed me of its noble pedigree: this is a Violet Hour original. (Love the Violet Hour. Love Serious Eats, for that matter.)
My friend said he’d held off making this until he found Dolin Blanc, which struck me as slightly odd since he isn’t the type to fear substitutions. Me, I fear few substitutions. And with supplies of Campari and Cynar running low, I thought I’d play with substitutions until I got a drink I no longer loved.
Creativity isn’t limited to the contents of a glass.The Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco ennobles its relatively basic bar with thematic cocktail specials at its events.
For instance, Reeve Carney’s solo show boasted a Dorian Grey cocktail.
Grey Goose vodka, orange juice, 7-Up, and cranberry juice is not my usual tipple but the Rickhouse had keenly intuited which of Carney’s roles brought me there that evening. It’s clever bar marketing that acknowledges the artist, gives in-the-know audience members a little wink, and highlights available drinks beyond your average venue choices.
One evening (it could have been afternoon) I was enjoying a drink (or two) at Comstock (that part is beyond dispute). In conversation with bartender Zach, I mentioned attending a talk that Jared Brown had given at Cafe du Nord in his capacity as a distiller of Sipsmith Gin.
“He’s stopped in here before, and he left a message in one of our books,” said Zach (who may have said something entirely different, but this is the gist). “Want to see it?”
Whether present for flavor or looks (usually both), the humble garnish works hard to differentiate your drink.
Differing schools of thought rule the citrus peel. Many a mixologist has expressed a peel over my drink. But what happens next differs. Some drop the peel into the drink. Some circle the rim with the peel first. Others believe that rubbing the peel on the stem of the glass is the proper next step, as it leaves warm citrus notes on the drinker’s hand and adds to the nose of the drink.
I’ll update as I receive more interesting examples. Comments about your oddest garnishes are welcome!
The Old Fashioned is a contentious drink. Few others (and I say that with the certainty of someone who has done no research) have such distinct geographic divisions.
Not every article on the history of the Old Fashioned acknowledges this, so I refuse to link to a single one that didn’t do their homework on the northern Midwestern niche of Wisconsin’s brandy Old Fashioneds. Slate, though, did do some pretty great homework on the topic.
As have millions of salt-of-the-earth brandy drinkers:
We here at Coupe Tales will acknowledge a certain cocktail snobbery, yes, but let it never be said that our eyes didn’t transform into little anime heart shapes when we got a glimpse of a good theme menu.
Look at that! Four Kurt Russell-themed drinks at a reasonable (for San Francisco) $10 each. Pictured is my Escape the Snake cocktail with Espolon Reposado tequila, ginger beer, and lime, which I thoroughly enjoyed while basking in the artistic interpretations of John Carpenter movies around me.
A good theme ennobles a drink, no matter what its ingredients may be.
Nestled in my checked luggage, a bottle of Sacred’s London Dry survived the return voyage to California where it now holds a place of honor among my bottles. American markets don’t offer the London Dry so cocktails made from it are few and far between in my home.
Therefore, Sacred’s event at renowned gin palace Whitechapel required a pilgrimage.