There has been a lot of chatter about this Mixology Monday, the 100th one. People wondered if we could get Paul Clarke to host it, but Papa is busy with promoting his new book The Cocktail Chronicles: Navigating the Cocktail Renaissance with Jigger, Shaker & Glass as well as the magic he does with Imbibe Magazine and elsewhere. While interviewing him at Tales of the Cocktail last month, I did get Paul to promise to participate in this Mixology Monday (audio evidence on the CocktailVirgin announcement post). The people I had on the schedule for August were a little uneasy about hosting such a momentous event and shifted over a month which left me to host yet another Mixology Monday. But what to do for Mixology Monday C? C is for Cookie, but it is also for Cocktail… and Chronicles. Yes, Paul’s blog that started it all.
This month’s theme slated for August 24th is one that will get you considering the drinks of yore that will still be the drinks of tomorrow Please read my full announcement post, but here is a brief description:
But what does Mixology Monday “Cocktail Chronicles” mean? I figured that we should look to Paul’s magnum opus and digest the theme of it all — what is timeless (or potentially timeless) and elegant in its simplicity. Paul commented in his interview, “[it]’s wonderful to see that level of creativity but simplicity is going to be the glue that continues to hold interest in the cocktail together. The moment that we make cocktails too difficult or too inaccessible to the average guest, the average consumer, then we start losing people.” Paul does support a minor tweak of a major classic as well as dusting off a lesser known vintage recipe like the Creole Contentment; in addition, proto-classics like the Chartreuse Swizzle and the Penicillin intrigue him for their potential to be remembered twenty years from now. Moreover, he is a big fan of the story when there is one whether about a somewhat novel ingredient like a quinquina, the bartender making it, or the history behind a cocktail or the bar from which it originated. Indeed, I quoted Paul as saying, “If I write about these and manage to make them boring, then I have done an incredible disservice. So I feel an incredible obligation not only to the drinks themselves, but to the bartenders who created them, and also to the heritage of cocktail writing to try to elevate it.”
So for this theme, channel your inner Paul Clarke. Think about simplicity, elegance, and timelessness to the point that you would not feel strange about drinking and writing about this at MxMo M. Feel free to feature a drink that Paul wrote about in his book or on his dusty blog, and feel free to search through your own library collection for something interesting to fit the bill. Try to develop a story around it to bring even the most simplest cocktail recipe to a higher level of intrigue for the reader. The Negroni is just a 3 parts recipe, but Gaz Regan certainly elevated it in his book The Negroni. Briefly, here’s how to participate:
- Find or concoct a recipe that represents simplicity, elegance, and timelessness to you, then post the recipe, and include a photo and your remarks, on your blog, tumblr, or website. If you lack one of those, feel free to post on eGullet’s Spirits and Cocktails forum.
- Include the MxMo logo (either the classic or the MxMo 100 one that I created for this event) in your post plus links back to the Mixology Monday and CocktailVirgin sites. Once the roundup post is put up, updating your post to include a link to that one as well would be appreciated.
- Let Fred know about your post by Monday night, August 24th by posting a link to your post in the comment section on his post, writing him at yarm-at-verizon-dot-net with “MxMo” in the subject, or by tweeting at him via @cocktailvirgin.
That gives us all two weeks to start thinking about timelessness drinks that can bring in new drinkers and maintain the old ones so they do not mumble something about fuddy-duddy recipes with a look mixed with confusion and irritation. Cheers to Papa Clarke for launching Mixology Monday and I hope this 100th episode is a worthy tribute!