Every Wednesday we’re giving you a deeper look into what makes the minds behind Kempt tick. We call it: The Kempt Five.
The two-month marathon of debauchery otherwise known as Mardi Gras is coming to an end tomorrow, aka Fat Tuesday.
But before we settle in for the Lenten season, we’ve put together a handy guide to what your Bourbon Street imbibing is really telling those beautifully beaded sirens surrounding you.
The leaves, they are a-changing. The days are getting shorter. And there’s getting to be quite the chill in the air.
Fall has (finally) descended in full force, and that means it’s time to ditch those refreshing summer cocktails for drinks that do a better job of warming your bones after a long day of raking leaves. Something maple-y, perhaps? But be warned: your choice of autumnal elixir is sure to make a pretty intense assertion about you, so it’s crucial to decide beforehand what you want it saying. And since we’re always here to help, we went ahead and took their statements to make that choice a little easier for you.
Bartenders. The good ones are impossibly dexterous, effortlessly cool, elegantly nonchalant. And we appreciate that. So we’re honoring the best of the bunch. Next up: Harry Craddock.
Name: Harry Lawson Craddock
Place of birth: Stroud, England
Years active: 1897–1947
Locations of employ: Chicago, New York, London
Notable employers: The Hoffman House (NYC), The Knickerbocker Hotel (NYC), The Holland House (NYC), The Savoy Hotel (London), The Dorchester Hotel (London)
Cocktails invented: 250, give or take
Books written: 1
Wax statues at Madame Tussauds: 1
The sun is out. The air is hot. And you’re going to need a drink.
But before you start ordering or mixing up cold, refreshing adult beverages at will, you’ll want to choose wisely. Because with the vast number of blended, lime-y, tiny-umbrella-wielding options before you, what you ultimately end up sipping on is making a statement. And since we’re here to help, we’ve gone ahead and laid out a handy road map for you:
Bartenders. The good ones are impossibly dexterous, effortlessly cool, elegantly nonchalant. And we appreciate that. So we thought it time to honor the best of the bunch. Up first: Jerry Thomas.
Known as the Father of American Mixology, Jer was a master behind the bar. As a teenager in the late 1840s, he cut his teeth in New York before heading west to tend bar during the California gold rush. He kept traveling, slinging drinks in Chicago, St. Louis, Charleston and New Orleans before settling back in New York, where he manned the bar at the Metropolitan Hotel. (Don’t go looking for it—the opulent structure once stood at the corner of Broadway and Prince, but was demolished in 1895.)
Introducing the most complicated recipe book on earth…
The same folks who brought you the taxonomy of beer have broken down 68 classic cocktails into the spirits, mixers and garnishes involved, and distilled the whole thing into a blindingly complex three-foot chart. (We’ve already spent 20 minutes looking at it, and we’re not even into mixers yet.)
It took over a year to compile, but by our lights it was worth it: the next time someone asks you to mix them up a Dorflinger, you’ll be well prepared.
It’s been a strange month for magazines.
We got to see more of Michelle Williams’ Marilyn impression, the wisdom of an ex-president and some quality drinking-and-shooting time with the bull-shaped creature known as Channing Tatum.
But naturally, you’ll want more than that, so we’ve got an intricately detailed summary after the jump…
Bitters have been a cocktail go-to for years—and hopefully a bottle or two found its way into your liquor cabinet at some point—but thanks to Brad Thomas Parsons’s Bitters, we stumbled upon some more interesting uses for the magic drops.
So if by some coincidence you find yourself overstuffed with turkey in a few weeks’ time (possibly as a result of excessive thankfulness), a few dashes of Angostura may be just what you need to get back on your feet.
As anyone familiar with New York’s recent cocktail revival can attest, drinks are subject to the same trends as tie width. Last year’s wine bar soon gives way to next year’s cocktail bar…which conveniently serves 1930s-style cocktails.
The Magnificent Bastard recently devoted a post to the question, “how good does a scotch have to be before you won’t use it in a Rob Roy?.” Understandably, it led us to pose the following counter-query: “Does anyone still drink Rob Roys?”
Of course, no one would be happier than us if the classic Rat Pack mixture made a revival, but at the moment it seems to be best known as the punchline of hilariously-outmoded-cocktail jokes. We may have to wait another decade before this is acceptable behavior again.
With cocktail spots popping up left and right, it’s a good time to brush up on your drink-mixing. (You can never watch *Cocktail* too many times.) But while you’re working on your Sidecar, don’t forget the glassware.
This Angela Adams number calls itself a Martini glass, but its stemless simplicity is more suited to old-school cocktails like a Manhattan or a Dark & Stormy. And the frosted art-deco symbol makes it look like something out of the 20s, the last great cocktail renaissance.
It’ll go perfect with a little vermouth…
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