Ever wondered about the history of the cocktail party? The ancient Greeks had a cocktail hour in the late afternoon or evening, complete with hors d’oeuvres. From the 1930's through the 1960's, the cocktail hour became once again a very popular recreational activity. Well-dressed men and women in stylish dresses called "cocktail dresses"congregated in other peoples homes or in bars and clubs to unwind, socialize, and relax before dinner.
Cocktail parties spoke of denote class, money, and a certain debonair sophistication.
Because of the popularity of the cocktail party, to not have the proper "cocktail accouterments" was unheard of. Everyone owned the essential barware, a swank cocktail shaker, an atomic designed cocktail tray, and cocktail glass. Discussions of the days news circulated while great music saturated the atmosphere. It was a time of day that gave everyone the opportunity to enjoy the leisure that the cocktail party embodied.
In our high tech world, maybe it is time to put away the laptop and blackberry for a while and once again take the essence of the cocktail party out of the closet dust it off and take time to enjoy a good drink and good company without texing or answering an email for a few hours.
Not to be confused with the French 75 consisting of gin topped with champagne; this vintage cocktail recipe with Armagnac and Pernod Absinthe is taken from a page in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails Deluxe Edition written by Ted Haigh, aka Dr. Cocktail. Dr. Cocktail’s rendition calls for Calvados inclusion, but Armagnac has been used as a rather nice substitution.
2 parts Armagnac
1 part Gin
1/4 part Homemade Grenadine
Wash glass with Pernod
Place ice in cocktail glass with approximately 1 teaspoon of Pernod. Set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to blend and chill. Swirl Pernod with ice to coat cocktail glass and discard Pernod soaked ice. Strain contents of shaker into cocktail glass.
The original recipe calls for 1/4 part Pernod rather than washing the glass with Pernod. However, including the full measure called for overwhelms the cocktail leaving little more than the taste of absinthe with the remaining ingredients becoming less noticeable. In this adaptation the hint of Pernod washed in the glass gives the aura of Pernod with slightest taste which lingers in a lovely way. The cocktail recipe still hovers upon the sweet side, but contains a nice nutty blend with the Armagnac inclusion.
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