Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What's Wrong With Most Cocktail Joints?

This is what's wrong with most cocktail joints. Or, rather, the places that fancy themselves cocktail joints.

I was on the Upper West Side and I pasted by a bar called The Evelyn Lounge. Being a New York history buff, I knew immediately what they were talking about: chorus girl Evelyn Nesbit, who used to perch on a red velvet swing in the altogether to please libidinous architect Stanford White. When her husband found out, he fired a gun into White's head at Madison Square Garden. Big scandal 100 years back.

So I was naturally attracted and came in close to eyeball the cocktail menuu. I very nearly threw up. I mean, just look at it. This isn't a cocktail menu. It's a recipe for intoxication for people who don't know anything about spirits and don't like the way alcohol tastes. It's candy for would-be grown-ups. The drinks are even named after soda pop and ice cream: Orange Crush, Pink Lemonade, Creamsicle. Vodka and juice, vodka and juice, with a little rum thrown in for variety.

And the drink named after Nesbit? Absolute ruby red vodka, peach schnapps, tonic and lime juice. I doubt the real Evelyn ever encountered vodka in her life. Gin, yes, and plenty of it.

The only cool thing about the place is the address, 380 Columbus. After Harry Thaw, Evelyn's jealous husband, shot and killed White, the couple retired in this buidling.

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