A TOAST TO ROSIE SCHAAP
14 Apr 2017 By David Fuhrmann-Lim
Drinking through the years: The New York Times’ ‘Drink’ column ends today, here are some of their best pieces on drinking and cocktail culture.
In 2011, Rosie Schaap began Drink, a monthly column on the pleasures of bar culture and good drink, with a new recipe with each entry. Schaap has written about everything from an extraordinary San Francisco bar crawl (20 pubs in four days) to creating alcohol-free cocktails that are just as satisfying as their boozy counterparts. As the column ends this week, here are some of our favorite pieces.
“Drinking in the day is an occasion unto itself, to be enjoyed on its own congenial terms. And there are terms. It shouldn’t lead to drinking all night. It can’t happen all the time. There is such a thing as starting too early. That said — we’re all adults here, aren’t we? — after lunch sounds about right.”
Credit Aya Brackett for The New York Times. Food stylist: Kayoko Akabori.
“Creative bartenders in New York and elsewhere recognize what a versatile player wine — red, white, rosé, flat, sparkling — is. It’s easy enough to mix it with soda and add a squeeze of citrus, but there are innumerable other, more delicious possibilities. And galvanized by stronger spirits (even richly flavorful ones like cognac and rum), a wine-based drink packs a far more powerful punch.”
“What I want now are cocktails reflective of the changing of seasons: a little moody and weird, both as bitter and as sweet as autumn itself, and as evocative and transporting as a Weill song.”
Credit Davide Luciano for The New York Times. Food stylist: Maggie Ruggiero. Prop stylist: Gozde Eker.
“A walk in a garden won’t soothe away all stress or subdue all sorrow, and neither will a good cocktail. But they can lift us up. Even simply garnishing a drink with fresh flowers (make sure they are edible grade and do avoid mums: in the name of research I learned the hard way how terrible they taste) makes a cocktail more beautiful, more special, more like a John Singer Sargent painting, more like a sunny — even hopeful — spring day in a glass.”
“If the martini is the undisputed king of gin drinks, the Manhattan rules the whiskey ones. And though I’m utterly intransigent about how a good martini ought to be made, I’m flexible when it comes to the Manhattan. Even in its innumerable variations, the deep and dark character stays intact.”
“Is it wrong to request a cocktail in a pub — or a beer in a cocktail bar? Of course not. But I’m a believer in reading a bar before placing an order, because you’ll have a better experience if you do.
“Few spirits bear so heavy a semiotic burden as gin, which is regarded by many as mother’s ruin, the destroyer, the devil, the drink that shall not be named. More often than not, when I try to nudge wary customers gently toward gin (instead of, you know, vodka), they look at me as if I’ve offered them a live grenade.”
Credit Photograph by Grant Cornett. Food stylist: Maggie Ruggiero. Prop stylist: Theo Vamvounakis.
“Dating back to 1862, these belong to the dubious category of drinks engineered, in a counterintuitive, vaguely homeopathic way, to vanquish hangovers, like other well-known hairs-of-dogs. I would be remiss to endorse this application. But the two best-known versions have an indisputably bracing, no-nonsense quality that does seem to slap a sagging soul back into the realm of the living.”
Read it at New York Times Magazine