Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Drinks and Hats
Is there some correlation between a passion for cocktails and an inclination to wear headgear that I don't know about?
Now, I'm a hat-wearer, and it's a lonely life indeed. I'll walk down blocks of New York City before seeing another man in a fedora. Within three hours of checking into Tales of the Cocktail, however, I've easily encountered a couple dozen hatted men, as well as a few women, and one woman who like my new panama so much that she took down the address of the haberdashery I bought it at.
As the Napoleon House talk, I sat in a row where I was surrounded by straw hats. Panamas were everywhere, as well as short-brimmed pork-pie numbers. Everyone seemed well at ease in their toppers and quite proud of them. It was a brave group in general, sartorially speaking, filled with two-toned shoes and seersucker suits.
So, is it the cocktails? Or is it New Orleans and its old-worldly charms? Or is it a southern thing in general. I suspect a combination of all three. Hats are not only a tradition in the south, but a necessity; you have to protect yourself from the heat. As for spirits, well, people who take cocktails seriously tend to be nostalgists, yearning for a time when a well-made Martini was at the center of every sophisticated gathering, when Art Deco and speakeasies reigned, when our best novelists and journalist were tipplers. A time when people dressed well, when they wore hats.
Besides, a cocktail looks better in your hand if there's a hat on your head.