Sunday, October 5, 2008

Toulouse Lautrec - Mixologist?

I love trivia and this is just a little bit of historical trivia that I found. Who knew that Toulouse Lautrec was quite the amature chef & mixologist. When he was in Paris, his family would send him a weekly crate from the south of France filled with ingredients they'd shot or trapped or fished. The opening of this tuck-box was one of Lautrec's greatest weekly pleasures and every Friday he would invite his friends over and cook for them. Preserved in the Musée Lautrec in Albi are some of the menus he drew for these notorious dinner parties. As the recipes grew more and more ambitious, so they took longer and longer to prepare, leaving more and more time for cocktails. And it wasn't only fine wines they consumed. Lautrec was one of the first Frenchmen to develop a taste for American cocktails. He'd mix them in a shaker he'd had specially made, and would take great pleasure in inventing new drinks and giving them terrifying names. His most notorious cocktail he called The Earthquake, which consisted of four parts absinthe to two parts red wine with a splash of cognac. I would really love to see that shaker.
The poster at the top is showing Gentlemen at the Irish & American Bar in France. Notice the bartender using, what appears to be, two glasses as a cocktail shaker.

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