Monday, September 15, 2008

How to Mix a Bronx

Had the chance to review 1934's "The Thin Man" the other night and it provided direct evidence of one-time robust popularity of now almost-forgotten The Bronx Cocktail. In Nick Charles' (played by William Powell) introductory scene, the detective is demonstrating how every drink should be shaken to a different rhythm: a Manhattan to a Fox-trot beat, a Martini to a Waltz, and a Bronx to two-step time. Imagine that: a Bronx mentioned in the same breath as those big boys. (For the moment, we shall put aside Nick's recommendation that a Martini and a Manhattan be shaken, and not stirred.)

The film also testifies to the fact that Rye had not yet taken a swan dive in popularity. Witness this exchange:

Nora: (to Nick, who is holding a drink) Is that my drink?
Nick: I don't know. What are you drinking?
Nore: Rye.
(Nick downs the drink.)
Nick: Yup. That was yours.

While we're talking of Nick & Nora, who are the two jokers seen above, splashed on walls all over town? "Norah," indeed.

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