Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Happy Hour: glassware

This inviting tableau comes to us from the 1946 edition of the Cocktail and Wine Digest: Encyclopedia & Guide for Home & Bar. It drives home this inescapable point: if you want to have as nice an experience as these happy couples are having you better be having your drinks in the appropriate glasses!

Well, never wanting to ruin a perfectly good evening, how can we know what the appropriate glassware is for a given drink? Let's start out with this quiz, taken from the 1974 edition of The Booze Book published by Playboy Press:

Well, it's a hell of a thing to spring a quiz like that at you without any studying at all. Let's have a little review while we grade your tests. This is a spread from a 1953 recipe booklet published by DuBouchett:

As you can see, the names of the given glasses are given at the bottom, coordinating with the little numbers next to the glasses. Notice that they have no fewer than 4 separate "cocktail" glasses, as well as glasses for a sour and a flip (these being drinks that we now think of as cocktails, although they have a unique origin separate from cocktails -- but they're seldom ordered anymore, especially flips; perhaps we'll feature the flip some future Friday). Why 4 separate "cocktail" glasses? Maybe to fill out the picture? They did things differently in the 50s. Here's a more "down to basics" list of glasses from a 1980s-era booklet:

Reading the note at the end, it's clear that they're even relaxing and being a little less fussy on the precise glassware. But, if you want fussiness and precision, study this detailed explanation from the circa 1970 edition of the Playboy's Host & Bar Book:

And, maybe on the lighter side, for laughs, here are some glassware suggestions from the ever reliable 1974 edition of You Are What You Drink:

So, even if you are drinking out of shaving mugs and flower pots, at least now you have the fundamentals of glassware at your finger tips. Eager to see how you did on the quiz? (or, ready to take it again now that you've had your lesson?) Answers below! Cheers!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

July 28 in Chicago history

Rosehill Cemetery dedicated on July 28, 1859.

Monday, July 26, 2010

July 26 in Rogers Park history

The Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society ( was founded on July 26, 1975.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

July 24 in Chicago history

The S.S. Eastland, a tour ship boarding to set sail across Lake Michigan, capsized while docked in the Chicago River, trapping countless passengers and resulting in the deaths of 844 passengers and crew on July 24, 1915.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Happy Hour: Gin and Tonic

We couldn't let the summer slip by without paying tribute to a classic drink that is often associated with a summer's evening, yet is enjoyed all year long. Gin and tonic go together like cookies and milk, except with better results. Here's a recipe from a Fleishmann's recipe booklet, where they quaintly refer to "quinine water":
Of course, nowadays we call "quinine water" simply "tonic". Otherwise, wouldn't it be "Gin & Quinine"? Doesn't have the same ring, does it? Here's a recipe from the 1974 edition of "You Are What You Drink" where they recommend making the drink with ice cubes made with tonic:

Enjoy your summer, enjoy your croquet, and cheers!

Monday, July 19, 2010

July 19 in Rogers Park history

The Rogers Park Water Works completes its new and enlarged intake at Touhy Ave. and Lake Michigan on July 19, 1897.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Happy Hour: a Harvey Wallbanger

Doesn't this tray present a tempting choice of options? Harvey is #3, there on the right. (The tall one!) (and, yes, those are cocktail weenies!) Here's how you can recreate this kind of magic yourself:
This is taken directly from Galliano's circa-early 70's promotional recipe booklet entitled "Welcome to Galliano's World of New Tastes" where they promise that "Italy's premier liqueur is also the perfect mixing ingredient."
The Harvey Wallbanger is probably single-handedly responsible for popularizing Galliano, and why you can spot its signature narrow, skinny, spire of a bottle with its golden liqueur in the back row of every bar.
The Harvey Wallbanger is pretty much the quintessential 70's drink. Equally good as an eye-opener or as a drink of choice at one of those singles bars that became so popular in that decade, it proved a reliable stand-by drink order.
Where did the name come from, though? Well, here's one take on the origins of the drink:
We suppose that story works. Here's another take on a Harvey Wallbanger, from one of those singles bars:

Penny pinching, indeed.

July 16 in Chicago history

Millennium Park opens to the public on July 16, 2004.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

July 15 in Rogers Park history

Property owners on Ridge Ave. petition for the paving of the street on July 15, 1892.

Also on July 15: Angel Guardian Orphanage closes in 1974.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Happy Hour: the Daisy

A few weeks ago in our tongue-in-cheek discussion about drinks for the "advanced" bartender, we came to the point that a lot of classic drinks are simply two or three ingredients thrown together in the right proportions. In that case, the point was that you (yes, you, too!) can be an accomplished home bartender. Another point to be drawn from that is today's Friday Happy Hour topic.

A very popular drink these days -- and it's a good one -- is a vodka soda. Or, often a so-called "Citron soda" made with Absolut Citron or any other infused vodka. They're light, refreshing -- it's a great drink. They're simple to make -- hence even an "advanced" bartender can master them.

These "soda" drinks have a forgotten ancestry. A "daisy" was a kind of drink that mixed a spirit (your choice), lemon or lime juice, grenadine or a sweet syrup, and topped it off with soda. Illustrated in the following recipes from our 1946 edition of the "Cocktail and Wine Digest" by Oscar Haimo:

Now, of course, this was from an era when no one was drinking vodka yet.
Maybe it was because of the Cold War or something. But, take that citrus from the lemon juice , imagine that it's calling for vodka, and you kind of have a Citron soda.
Here's a recipe for a gin daisy from our 1948 Fleishmann's Mixer's Manual:
So, a daisy is just as easy to make as your trusty old vodka soda, and it has such an interesting history behind it. Why not add this drink to your bag of tricks and trot it out whenever you have your friends over and one of them asks for a vodka soda or something along those lines? Suddenly you're an expert! Also, by now, maybe you're kind of understanding that a daisy is a perfect summer drink -- on the rocks, spirit and soda, citrus and sweetener, and some pretty garnishes thrown in. As they say, two is too many, three is never enough!
It's too bad that you can't walk into a bar and order a daisy, since this old war horse of a drink was put out to pasture years ago. It still has legs, though, and maybe she'll make another run. But next time you or a friend orders a vodka soda, and they serve it with a wedge of lemon or a twist, think of the daisy!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Happy Hour: Happy 4th!

Courtesy of the House of Seagram, here's a 4th of July to be remembered:

All that's missing are the fireworks! Cheers!