What was “Pickfair” exactly? It was the palatial spread that Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. and Mary Pickford lived in in Beverly Hills. Gentleman Fred thought we owed everyone an apology of sorts after “celebrating” Errol Flynn in our last episode. After drawing attention to that noted rapscallion, he thought we should pay tribute to some more deserving Hollywood royalty.
First up is the Fairbank cocktail. Note the missing “S”. It’s not actually known if this drink is named after old Doug himself or whether it’s named after Charles Warren Fairbanks, Teddy Roosevelt’s vice president. We figured it was close enough and chose the recipe from Ted Haigh’s “Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails".
1 3/4 ounce gin
3/4 ounce dry vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters
2 dashes creme de noyeaux. (We substituted Amaretto. Creme de Noyeaux is tough to find!)
Stir in a mixing glass with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
If you’re a fan of the Martini, we think you’ll probably like this drink. It’s very similar. There’s also a chance that you won’t like it, because it’s not similar enough. As you’ll hear in the recording, we were split 50/50 on it. Gentleman Jason liked it because of it’s similarity to the Martini with the orange bitters and Amaretto adding an interesting but dry touch to the already dry Martini. Gentleman Fred, who is not a fan of vermouth, had the same problem he has with a Martini with a little extra vermouth. He is a silly person, but we all have to learn to get along. Try it and see if you’re with the 50% or the other 50%. It’s win-win really.
Douglas Fairbanks Sr. was married to Mary Pickford. Mary Pickford was such a huuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggeeee star, she warranted a cocktail. Fittingly, it’s a great cocktail.
1 1/2 ounces white rum
1 1/2 ounces unsweetened pineapple juice
1/4 ounce grenadine
1 barspoon (1 teaspoon) maraschino liqueur
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
This drink is so nice. So dainty too. Like Mary Pickford herself. It’s like a tiny tiki drink. It’s a little sweet (be careful with the grenadine) and a little tart. Just like Mary Pickford herself. If you drink too much and become an alcoholic, you’ll also be like Mary Pickford herself. So be CAREFUL! Seriously though, this is a fantastic drink, and Gentlemen Jason just had three of them as he is writing this. You should too. The pineapple juice makes for a fantastic froth on top of this drink and the maraschino liqueur adds just the little dry surprise something.
The Gentlemen hope you try both of these drinks as soon as possible. When you do, raise a glass and give a proper toast to Doug and Mary. They deserve it!
See you next time!
There are gentlemen. There are gentlemen of elegant leisure. Then there’s Errol Flynn. He seems like he should have been a gentleman of elegant leisure but he wasn't. He wasn’t a gentleman of elegant leisure at all. He was a creepy pervert! He could probably out “Weinstein” Harvey Weinstein! Yikes. He also died right here in Vancouver, B.C. so there's a nice local connection.
We gentlemen didn’t think of that though. We were looking for drinks with Cognac in them, and we found them. Both of them come from “Beachbum Berry’s Potions of the Caribbean”. The first one is called Errol Flynn's Pick Me Up, and just because it's is named after Errol Flynn doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make it. It just means that you should make if first. Errol used to visit Havana, and when in Havana he would visit the famous Sloppy Joe’s. The folks at Sloppy Joe's often named drinks after celebrities of the day, and this one is Errol’s!
Errol Flynn’s Pick Me Up
-likely invented by Fabio Delgado Fuentes from Sloppy Joe’s in Havana, Cuba.
Taken from Beachbum Berry’s Potions of the Caribbean.
1 1/2 ounces cognac
1 1/2 ounces Dubonnet
6 drops (1/8 teaspoon) Pernod (We used Absinthe)
1 egg white
Shake well with ice cubes. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
This is our first drink with egg white. DON’T be scared. It’s not slimy. It’s not poison. What it is, is frothy, silky smooth fantastic-ness. The Dubonnet is sweet, and the cognac tastes like brandy. It is brandy. The whole thing is actually quite well balanced and the anise taste of the Absinthe kind of hangs around on the outskirts. You know it’s there though. Watching you. Watching you like creepy Errol Flynn at one of his Hollywood parties. He was really gross but the drink is not. It's really good. Plus it’s a cool red colour. Try it immediately!
Wikipedia says that ...
“Cognac (is a variety of brandy named after the town of Cognac, France. It is produced in the surrounding wine-growing region in the departments of Charente and Charente-Maritime. Cognac is a type of brandy and, after the distillation and during the aging process, is also called eau de vie. It is produced by doubly distilling white wines produced in any of the designated growing regions. Cognac production falls under French Appellation d'origine contrôlée designation, with production methods and naming required to meet certain legal requirements. Among the specified grapes Ugni blanc, known locally as Saint-Emilion, is most widely used. The brandy must be twice distilled in copper pot stills and aged at least two years in French oak barrels from Limousin or Tronçais. Cognac matures in the same way as whiskies and wine barrel age, and most cognacs spend considerably longer "on the wood" than the minimum legal requirement.”
It’s really good in cocktails as well. This next one is called a Night Cap an also comes from Sloppy Joe’s in Havana. It dates back to 1935! Lets see what the dirty Thirties used to taste like.
Recipe from A 1935 season Sloppy Joe’s souvenir pamphlet
Taken from Beachbum Berry’s Potions of the Caribbean.
3/4 ounce white crème de cacao
3/4 ounce cognac
3/4 ounce dry gin
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
Shake well with ice cubes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
We’re not sure why this delicious yellow drink is called a Night Cap. If anything, it seems like a surefire summer patio hit! The chocolate flavour blends so well with the citrus that it helps you finally understand the appeal of Terry’s Chocolate Oranges! Kind of. It’s similar to the 20th Century cocktail that we did way back in Episode 5. The citrus pops by first, and the chocolate lingers afterwards. In a pleasant way. Not like Errol Flynn would have...
Both these drinks are very good and even though they both have cognac, they’re both completely different. Please try them both and in case we haven’t mentioned it enough, go buy Beachbum Berry’s Potions of the Caribbean. Not only is it full of great drink recipes from the past 500 years (seriously), it also has great pictures and is amazingly well researched.
Oh! Also, if you'd like to see a picture of Mr. Flynn just before he left Vancouver you can click right here.
See you soon!
The Gentlemen of Elegant Leisure
A great selection of Absinthe for purchase.