Tuesday, December 12

Breath in the Afternoon

Browsing through my bookshelf I ran across "So Red the Nose (or, Breath in the Afternoon)," a 1935 collection of 30 cocktail recipes from early 20th Century authors. The book if filled with whimsical illustrations and self-parody. I'm reprinting here, with its accompanying illustration, Christopher Morley's "Swiss Family Manhattan Cocktail," named after his novel of the same title.
Swiss Family Manhattan Cocktail

2/3 Rye Whisky
1/3 Italian Vermouth
1 Dash Absinthe
Stir and Serve Excessively Cold

"An alternative name for this drink," writes the ebullient Chris, is
"Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder."

Thirteen hundred of these cocktails were said to have disappeared at the coming-out party for Swiss Family Manhattan on the eighty-fifth floor of the Empire State Building some years ago. Al Smith drank the first one, presumably from his brown derby. Toward the end of the party a number of citizens noticed that the Chrysler building was leaning over to upport the Empire State, and the Goddess of Liberty was undulating like a torch singer. The Old Mandarin says, "This one really lays them end to end on the Bowling Green."


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