Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thirsty Thursday - Once in a Blue Moon

Somewhere in the nearly 1000 posts I've written for this blog I've touched on the subject of the blue moon. A blue moon is defined as the second full moon within a single calendar month, and the next blue moon will be coming on July 31, 2015. So, to welcome our dear cerulean sphere, I'm recommending a taste of moon juice - a blue moon cocktail.

According to Imbibe Magazine, the blue moon was the house cocktail of a New York establishment called Joel's Green Room. Joel's was a bohemian hangout, pimped by its owner, Joel Rinaldo, as being to New York what Maxim's was to Paris. According to Joel its cabaret floor show featured 20 singers and the restaurant seated "1000 diners including 500 show folks always at Joel's after the show." If you were into more cerebral pursuits, any of the waiters would happily sell customers a copy of a book penned by Joel himself on what he called the "polygeneric theory of life", basically disavowing the legitimacy of the theory of evolution. Yes, in short, Joel was a huckster.

What can be said for certain is that Joel's Green Room did pull in actors and actresses from the New York theater scene. Most of them probably starred in supporting roles or featured in the chorus, but there were exceptions to the rule. O. Henry and Emma Goldman wound up at Joel's and there's even a story of Enrico Caruso singing O Sole Mio to a Charlie Chaplin violin accompaniment, though like Joel's theories on the origin of man, nothing can be proved.

The Blue Moon supposedly was described by N.Y. columnist O. O. McIntyre as "high powered in action", whatever that means. It was a Prussian blue persuader, the lubricant for Bohemia in New York, and its true recipe is lost to time because Rinaldo never wrote it down. There are multiple versions printed in various publications, all with their own interpretation, but none truly is the original. So, I present two versions, first the Imbibe translation which is boozier and then the Cocktail Parade version printed in 1933.

Imbibe's Blue Moon
2 oz. dry gin
1/2 oz. Crème Yvette or crème de violette
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
Add the above to a cocktail shaker with ice, shake, and serve with a twist of lemon in a martini glass.

Cocktail Prade's Blue Moon (or Contented Cow)
1/3 Gin
1/3 Whole Milk
1/3 Grenadine or Heavy Raspberry or Strawberry Syrup
Add the above to an ice-filled cocktail shaker, shake, and serve in a martini glass.

My personal opinion is the Imbibe version probably is more accurate, in spite of being reconstructed much later. I know that milk played a role in many drinks of the 20's and 30's, but grenadine, raspberry, or strawberry syrup would produce a pink drink, not the purple-blue described by period drinkers. Either way, here's purple in your eye old moon.

No comments: