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Remember the Maine

One of my favorite recent bar experiences was at The Varnish in Los Angeles, a small, dimly lit speakeasy. The Varnish was co-founded by Sasha Petraske, who hails from my favorite bar in NYC, Milk and Honey (another speakeasy).

My first drink of the evening was a Remember the Maine:

  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • ¾ ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Cherry Heering
  • ½ teaspoon absinthe or legal substitute

Stir with ice – ”briskly in clock-wise fashion–this makes it sea-going, presumably!” – then strain into chilled cocktail glass or saucer champagne glass. Twist a curl of lemon peel over the drink.

(recipe via The Cocktail Chronicles, from Charles H. Baker, Jr.’s The Gentleman’s Companion)

I enjoyed this fragrant drink as I sat in my own candlelit, wooden booth, flipping through the pages of Everyday Drinking by Kingsley Amis. A wonderful experience, indeed.

I think I’ll mix myself one of these right now, to commemorate the start of this weekend. Cheers, and Happy Friday!

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