Carmel Magazine

Summer/Fall 2020

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Page 83 of 171

armel-by-the-Sea is a perfect place to absorb the salt air, wash of waves, and fiery sunset, while hunkering down and sipping on some boozy concoction. The signature libation for the Central Coast is a glass or two of fine local wine, but lately some have taken to bourbon in the mid-afternoon as happy hour has started a few hours earlier each day now. Our favorite seat at the bar is not acces- sible. We yearn for those days of rubbing elbows with other patrons, the clink of glasses being filled with ice, and that relax- ing time to shoot the breeze with the bar- tender, as we lifted our martini glass addressing it with, "Hello, old friend." As all memorable periods of history have their own legacy, drinks had theirs also during the "Golden Age of Cocktails" (1806-1910), a time when Americans learned to love mixed drinks. Their definition of "cocktail" states that such a drink contains four essential ingre- dients: spirits, bitters, sugar and water. Bartending was among the highest-paying professions during that time, and with limited access to pre-mixed syrups or purees, everything was prepared from scratch. Even the ice was highlighted. It is written that in the 1830s, ice blocks were carved out of frozen lakes in Boston and shipped to America's southern states to chill their wine and beer. Originally, whiskey cocktails were the mixed drink of choice for Americans. Eight classic recipes of the 1920s period included the Manhattan, Between the Sheets, Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour, Clover Club, the Dry Martini and Tom Collins. The decadence of the 1930s brought the end of Prohibition, followed by the countr y recovering from its 1940s Polynesian-Tiki phase of downing vast amounts of Mai Tais and Planters Punch. Enter vodka. This spirit would take over the cocktail world by mixing it with ginger ale in a drink called the Moscow Mule during the 1950s, while the 1960s brought James Bond to the Silver Screen, who influenced the use of this clear liquor in his flamboyant flair for "martinis with vodka, shaken, not stirred." From that peri- od forward, more cocktails have been mixed with vodka than any other spirit in the drink world. The mid-century martini craze was made popular in Las Vegas by the Rat Pack, as they sauced it up on stage with their cocktails "on the rocks." It was a time where the art of the cocktail became corrupted and the rhythm of mixing drinks was somewhat lost. Instead of elegant hand-craft- ed drinks being served in beautiful glassware, the trend was for gimmicky artificial ingredients tossed in a thick glass pitcher and served for quantity not quality. Our last decade has created its own "Golden Age of Cocktails," with 82 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S U M M E R / F A L L 2 0 2 0 COLLECTING T E X T A N D P H OTO G R A P H Y B Y M A R J O R I E S N O W Sheltering in…With Cocktails C Birds were a popular form of early liquor pour spouts, as depicted in this parrot with glass eyes.

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