July 4, 2010

"Well, help yourself...because of the debt of honor to General Lafayette!"

"You know your own history, right?

You don't know who he is, do you?! What was it? The Spanish-American War? The French Banana War? What? The Revolutionary War! Hung out with Washington. Lafayette. Street named after him in New York. Forget it!"

Yes, only a warped mind would think "Oh, America's Independence Day! Let's reference a British transvestite comedian! It'll be brilliant!" Lucky for you, dear readers, you're dealing with a mind that is precisely that warped.

I've missed you! Have you missed me? No? Oh well. I've also missed being able to taste and being able to go ten minutes without coughing, sneezing or generally wanting to vacuum out various body cavities with a straw duct-taped to a shop-vac. Stupid sinuses. Stupid lungs.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Sorry. That quote above from Eddie Izzard really is germane to the post tonight though. Because I enjoy being contrary, and thought I'd post a drink named after General Lafayette. My understanding of this drink is that it's intended to be a blending of US culture and French culture (with a little West Indies thrown in for good measure) and so it seems fitting. On the 234th anniversary of the final approval of the text of America's Declaration of Independence (the signing didn't actually happen until August 2nd), I give you:
The Lafayette Cocktail

1 1/2 oz rye whiskey
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz Dubonnet (rouge)
1 dash Angostura bitters (I added a dash of Bittercube's Jamaican Bitters #2, as well)

Stir all well with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
The rye is very much an American spirit, and the Dubonnet and dry vermouth, of course, are French. The bitters, well, they're of Caribbean origin, but we'll let that slide...some Colonial Americans were, too, after all.

Taste-wise, it's pretty much a dry Manhattan, but the quinquina nature of the Dubonnet makes it a little bit different. Still, there are definitely worse ways to toast the nascent events that started my country on the often rocky road to independence. Happy Independence Day, to my American readers, and I hope my foreign readers will raise their glasses, too...America may not be perfect, but lord knows we've tried, and that's gotta count for something.

The Lafayette Cocktail


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