For a man who makes his living in the digital arena, you may be surprised to learn that I was brought up on a diet of outstanding literature. In print format. I've often said that I'm grateful to have been sired in the (late) 70s. Apart from having been a spectator during the decline of Apartheid, communism, the cold war and Charlie Sheen's acting career, I was fortunate enough to develop a deep love of great writing. The relevance to cocktails? Indulge me, if you'll excuse the pun, as I share the origins of my affinity for hard tack, mixed well.
If you have had read, and I have no doubt that you have, the American classics including; The Beautiful and Damned, The Catcher in the Rye and The Great Gatsby, you will be no doubt be familiar with the superb interplay of sweet booze and entertainment amongst the beautiful set. Talk of 'highballs', martinis and Gatsbys (ironically the favourite snack-of-choice amongst the abstaining populace of the Mother City) conjures up images of those heavenly scenes on the east coast in earlier days. And ones which I do insist on trying to recreate and emulate from time to time.
I do love the good life. My mantra, "Work is a sideline, live the holiday" was conjured up through a glorious haze, the one of which F. Scott Fitzgerald spoke when he declared, "Here's to alcohol, the rose coloured glasses of life."
So with that background, and as the man famed for reclining, drink in hand, toes in the sand beneath the comforting bosom of Lions Head, I'm often asked what my poison of choice is. To be fair, there needs to be a range of categories for this question.
To illustrate: I love nothing more than an ice cold Corona with lime (amazing how many people insist on slicing up a lemon for this purpose) during the early evening, De Grendels Rubyait with supper and a Jack Daniel's thereafter, but somewhere between all of them comes the pink drink which you really ought to know about, and which I'm certainly not shy to be seen quaffing. The glorious Cosmpolitan.
As with everything in life, there is a time and place for this gem of a drink. Starting with the basics, you need to know that drinking it at the wrong time can catapult you into the realm of one who would happily be seen, publically, in a pair of Crocs. I'm just saying, I don't recommend that you opt for a Cosmpolitan anywhere near to any sporting fixture. Never, ever. Social suicide. Equally, you should never order one whilst bare-footed.
Think about it, the time you want to order a Cosmo is when you are out with the guys and girls, pre dinner, suited and booted and when the awkward silence descends when asked by the waiter, "So, what'll it be gents?"
You know that moment – when you think that a beer might be a bit a bit crass, wine a bit lame and what is required is a moment of genius and inspiration. That is the moment where, confidently, you throw in – "I'm really in the mood for a cosmopolitan, if your barman can make one well?" Wait for, and enjoy, the awkward silence.
This will show that:
A) you know how it should be made
B) you know when it should be drunk,
C) your drinks repertoire extends beyond beer and wine,
D) you are completely worldly, well, cosmopolitan; and
E) have sophisticated taste.
Enjoy watching the rest of the gang quickly perusing the menu, trying to find inspiration and desperately seeking to pull something out of the bag to compete with the A-bomb that you've just deployed. And then drink it slowly, whilst hiding that smirk.
And when you do that, think back to this article and send up a silent prayer for daddy cool. A final word on cocktails, and parties in general, from my great friend, Oscare Wilde. "Hear no evil, speak no evil, and you won't be invited to cocktail parties."
Article by Seth Rotherham, Editor in Chief at 2Oceansvibe