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!
The Gentlemen of Elegant Leisure