Thursday, January 31, 2008

Time for a Cocktail (and a Vintage Swizzle Stick)...

With all that’s going on with our standard poodle Bisbee, I am in need of a cocktail. Hmmm…what’s the origin of that silly word and how does it connect to the tucson cowgirl blog?

Well, let me tell you. The term cocktail is all-American, first seen in print in an 1806 colonial NY newspaper. Bartender purists today will tell you that only a small selection of mixed drinks served in low-ball (3 oz.) glasses are truly cocktails.

I want one now, served in a pretty glass goblet with swizzle stick just as my mom would do back in Brooklyn in the 1950s. I have happy memories of mom’s cocktail parties. Not that drinking was a priority…it was the party and its style that were special. My mom wore her handmade cocktail dress (pretty!)….the parties she planned with dad were fun, inexpensive ways to gather family and friends. Her favorite cocktail was a whiskey sour (served in a lowball glass goblet). Of course each drink had its own swizzle stick and was handed to guests with an interesting cloth cocktail napkin (never, never paper napkins).

With few exceptions (one being the luau hosted by friends Peggy and Mike), parties today are different, often focusing on lavish, catered spreads, disposable glasses and throw-away napkins. I’m not impressed. When I think of fun parties, I think of my mom in her beautifully sewn black cocktail dress….serving her whiskey sours to guests. I still have some of her cocktail napkins and swizzle sticks. So when I saw some interesting vintage swizzlers in Preen, I had to buy them….and pair them in this picture with one of mom’s deco cocktail napkins. Tucsonans will recognize the swizzle stick from now-closed Tack Room. May glamour and handcrafted details always prevail over plastic and disposable!


Leigh said...

So that's why you never stopped looking in the garage for that blender!
May you make many wonderful "cocktails" for both of us.
Love, Leigh.

Jennifer said...

I would have loved to have been a guest at one of your mom's parites. You must get your great hosting abilities form her!

stevesurf said...

...damn I missed another drinking opportunity with my most favorite west coast people!

That garage is a treasure chest; I'll be right over ;)

We could not take sitting inside any more, so we had a nice random bike ride from Canal to the GW Bridge and back. It was glorius cycling along the hudson in February, in fact my friend George wore shorts:

Happy drinking; better to drink than eat 'cause you won't have Andy Samberg sneaking up to punch you!!!

love you guys

Peggy said...

Thanks for the compliment (I think...we do use disposables at our tiki party)!

I love to collect swizzle sticks, too...they are so classy. Sounds like your mom was one of the classiest...true to her personal style and values. I'd love to see that cocktail dress. return to those days.