STARS AND SPIRITS
Cocktail: The Nancy Drew
Inspiration: Actress Mary Lee Wooters
Base Ingredients: Rum
Why today? Mary Lee was born Oct. 24, 1924.
Origin: Did this drink exist before the 30 Rock episode?
Cocktail Groupings: Old Hollywood, Actresses & Stars And Spirits
Actress Mary Lee Wooters was born Oct. 24, 1924.
She was a big band singer and B movie actress from the late 1930s into the 1940s, starring mostly in Westerns.
I usually know something about the actresses I post about here, but I had to do a little reading about Mary Lee — and also about the Nancy Drew cocktail.
Mary Lee’s first screen appearance was in the Warner Brothers Nancy Drew… Reporter (released Feb. 18, 1939). In the film she played the character Mary Nickerson, the younger sister of Nancy Drew’s boyfriend, Ted Nickerson.
About This Drink:
The Nancy Drew is a simple drink, just rum and ginger ale with lime juice — which makes it a sort of buck/mule.
- 1 part white rum
- 2 parts ginger ale
- Splash lime juice
Build in a rocks glass filled with ice, and garnish with a lime wedge.
The blog A Crimson Kiss gives a recipe for a slightly more “craft” version of this drink:
- 2 oz aged rum
- 1 oz ginger syrup
- 3/4 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 oz coconut cream
- Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice; shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with a few dashes of Angostura bitters.
Thirsty For More!? Click These Links:
—Nancy Drew and “The Hardy Boy”
—Another post about 30 Rock
All The Stars & Spirits:
There are dozens of cocktails named after actors and actresses, and I’ve written about a few of them here:
•Charlie Chaplain — (Link)
•Clara Bow — Link)
•Fay Wray — (Link)
•Ginger Rogers — (Link)
•Lauren Bacall — (Link)
•Lillian Gish — (Link)
•Mary Astor — (Link)
•Mary Pickford — (Link)
Fay Wray was one of cinema’s first “Scream Queens” and today is her birthday.
She was born Vina Fay Wray on Sept. 15 in 1907.
Not familiar with the actress? Well, read on… Because she’s got more than 100 acting credits to her name — including one gargantuan role for which she’ll always be known.
Fay Wray was born in Alberta Canada and in her life she amassed upward of 100 acting credits to her name.
She acted through 1980, and in the 50s she appeared on television shows such as Perry Mason and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, but she’ll forever be know for a role she played in 1933 — as the female lead in King Kong:
Google search the name “Fay Wray and add the word “cocktail” and the first hit you’ll find will be this article on the website Punch.
It only makes sense that someone would have given this Old Hollywood actress her own cocktail, and that it would be related to her role in King Kong — or at least, I assume that’s why this drink has a banana flavor component.
The following recipe was created by Brooklyn-based bartender Matthew Bellanger.
About This Cocktail
The Fay Wray is a banana-flavored tiki drink made with rum and cognac.
- 3/4 ounce gold rum (preferably Barbancourt 4 Star Rum)
- 3/4 ounce cognac (preferably Dudugnon)
- 3/4 ounce banana liqueur, Giffard Banane du Bresil
- 3/4 ounce lime juice
- 1/4 ounce rhum agricole, Rhum Clément
- 1/4 ounce demerara syrup (2:1, sugar:water)
- 1 small lime wedge
Shake all ingredients over a small amount of crushed ice — including a lime wedge. Squeeze the lime wedge in with the other ingredients and drop it in the shaker. Pour all the ingredients, without straining, into a rocks glass and add more crushed ice. Garnish with a dried banana slice and a mint bouquet.
— Do bananas belong in cocktails? The Savory wrote this article about that question.
I had rum and fruit juice today at a bar overlooking the beach:
The Crab’s Claw is an oceanfront Caribbean restaurant in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.
The drink was their Hurricane Isabella:
Myers Dark Rum, Malibu Coconut and Banana, Triple Sec with a Splash of Grenadine and Pineapple Juice. Always Shaken (things) up. Served on the Rocks.
Last year at this same place I had a cucumber-basil mojito, but today I was in the mood for a sweet and stereotypically touristy drink.
And I had to get a pic of their tiki fountain:
This drink was a surprise stroke of genius that came as a result of a little back-and-forth with a customer.
Most times, as a bartender, I’ve got a couple different drinks on my mind in case anyone wants something but doesn’t know what they want. When someone wants me to pick for them and surprise them with something, I’ll still work with ’em to either direct ’em to a classic or one of the slate of drinks I’m holding onto in my brain — I’ll ask a couple of questions and try to read ’em and make sure they get a drink they’re going to like.
Then there are those moments when a little back-and-forth banter leads to a collaboration you would’ve never thought of on your own — which happened to me Tuesday night.
I’d served a friend a Manhattan after his dinner and then we were discussing where to go next. The idea of rum was raised and the possibility of a banana daiquiri was discussed, but then I brought up the Revolver.
The Revolver is a bourbon drink with coffee liqueur and orange bitters. It’s a simple three-ingredient cocktail, but it’s surprisingly easy for essentially being all booze.
And as I explained all this, my friend nodded in agreement and then said something like: “Yes, but banana.”
So, into the drink went banana rum — which definitely made a sort of sense. I mean, the coffee liqueur we were using in the drink was Kahlua, which is a rum-based coffee liqueur that tastes like vanilla.
And so it was settled and we made the following, a Revolver with all the typical ingredients of the traditional drink plus banana rum — making it a Banana Gun:
•2 oz Woodford Reserve
•.75 oz Kahlua
•.75 oz banana rum
•2 dashes orange bitters
Thirsty For More?
— Read here about the Revolver.
— Liquor.com’s page about the cocktail.
August is cooling down here in Western New York and although it’s not quite autumn yet, the fall flavors are already in full effect.
I love fall. It’s my favorite season. I love the cool temperatures and long sleeves, the pumpkin flavor and falling leaves — all of it! And I didn’t even mean to make a rhyme there!
Still, despite the fact that I love the fall, it’s hard to let the summer slip away so easily — especially when we’re still in the month of August.
And for that reason there’s this “Hold Fast The Summer.”
Hold Fast The Summer is a transitional drink, one part warm-weather nostalgia and one part acceptance of the changing seasons.
The recipe is easy — just Plantation’s pineapple rum, DeGroff’s pimento bitters and apple cider:
1 oz Plantation Pineapple Rum
1 oz apple cider
1 dash DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters
Stir equal parts Stiggins’ Fancy and apple cider over ice with DeGroff’s pimento bitters then strain and shoot — or double the recipe and enjoy over ice. Adjust the cider accordingly to suit your tastes and prepare mentally for the colder weather coming in the months ahead.
Here’s some history: The song “Please Mr. Postman” was released on August 21 in 1961.
The song was released by The Marvelettes and it was the first Motown song to reach the number-one position on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart.
Rather than search the Internet for a “Postman” cocktail, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the classic “Airmail” drink!
About This Drink:
The Airmail is a rum and champagne drink made with honey — or made with a honey syrup.
The recipe below is David Wondrich’s recommendation, which can be found online at Esquire.com:
•2 ounces rum (golden or aged)
•1/2 ounce lime juice
•1 teaspoon honey
•5 ounces Brut champagne
Shake all ingredients (except the champagne) over ice and strain into a chilled champagne flut. Finish by topping the drink with champagne.
In his Esquire article, Wondrich points out that the drink is sort of like “a cross between the French 75 and the Honey Bee.” And additionally, he can’t explain its origin, but it does appear for the first time in Esquire’s 1949 Handbook for Hosts.
—Check Imbibe Magazine here.
—This recipe includes Angostura Bitters.
—And the Cold-Glass blog has a really lengthy article worth reading.
By Friday afternoon I had finally finished experimenting with a homemade coconut mixer for cocktails — and these are a few of the drinks I made with it:
This Blue Hawaiian came out a little more sea foam green than I hoped it would, but maybe that was because of the milky-white color of the coconut mixer.
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White Hawaiian: This White Hawaiian was a mix of Myers Dark Rum, Kahlua, Stoli Choklat Kokonut, a little heavy cream and my homemade coconut mixer.
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I didn’t have the right rum for an appropriate Painkiller cocktail, so I substituted in Kraken.
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MAKING COCONUT MIXER
The mix I settled on was a simple syrup of sorts, but less than the usual 1:1 recipe. I made the syrup with four parts coconut water and one part coconut milk — and half the amount of sugar it usually takes to make a simple syrup.
Then, once the syrup had cooled, I blended it with shredded coconut flakes and strained out the solids.
I did use sweetened coconut flakes, though I’m sure that using non-sweetened flakes would make a perfectly fine mixer too. I don’t have any set ratios as to what made the perfect final product. It was just more of a guessing game as I alternately sweetened and diluted the mix.