Every week I write the 10-Minute Happy Hour to allow each of us permission to make a moment. No overly involved dinner party or stress-filled gatherings touted here. Just 10 minutes and you get to take a beat and toast the week behind or the weekend to come. Following suit, the newly released book Storied Sips, page after page, highlights how a simple cocktail can "strip away the mundane, gild an evening ... and add a little flair." It's a perfect book for you to enjoy with this week's cocktail, and a must-read for drink-lovers.
Like many other drink books, this one has cocktails along with their stories and recipes. Yet unlike others, this tiny book and its alluring collage-based illustrations is able to transport you to another time, a different era. In just a page or two the writer paints vivid pictures that allow you to hear the music of that moment, smell the smoke in that bar she's speaking of. It's a little magical.
For this week's Happy Hour we're stirring up some history with the Mamie Taylor cocktail. It's a classic made specially for the famed opera singer Mayme Taylor (there is no real reason noted why her name spelling changed) by a barman who couldn't fill her first order of claret lemonade. Instead she sipped this gingery, smoky, citrusy pour and was sold. Lucky for us her approval sent this drink on to a prosperous bar life and in equal measure the drink's popularity is said to have boosted her career in turn.
So grab a glass, and a copy of Storied Sips for your bar or your next hostess gift. Pick any page for a trip back in time and a visit with timeless cocktails worthy of a spin in your shaker.
→ Find it at your independent bookstore, local library, or Amazon: Storied Sips: Evocative Cocktails for Everyday Escapes, with 40 Recipes by Erica Duecy and illustrated by Poul Lange
Classic Mamie Taylor Cocktail
1/2 ounce lime juice
2 ounces blended Scotch
4 to 6 ounces ginger beer
Lime wedge garnish
In a tall glass filled with ice squeeze half a lime then add Scotch.
Top with ginger beer and garnish with a lime wedge.
Note: This recipe was reprinted from Storied Sips with permission from Random House.
(Images: Maureen Petrosky)