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The Cocktails of the Ritz Paris

by

The Cocktails of the Ritz Paris Cover

 

 

Excerpt

The psychology of mixing drinks

Before you set out to make a cocktail, you should ask yourself several questions:

1. Who is the person that I am making this cocktail for?

It's just like the recipe for success in any business: you have to know your customer. You have to take into account what gender they are, and what age. Young people have less drinking experience than, let's say, the over-30s. (The over-30s, with their reasonable amount of drinking experience, seem to have been on a constant quest for the drier, more simple cocktail: the ultimate is perhaps the Platinum Bullet. That's just pure gin or vodka served in a Dry Martini glass refrigerated at -18.4°C, with one olive and a thought for Louis Pratt. This cocktail was invented in the Bar Hemingway in 1996, but of course was inspired by the Silver Bullet.) But back to the youngsters; they go for exotic cocktails that are sweet, with lots of juices, the kind of thing you would drink by the swimming pool in Bora Bora.

Girls drink lighter than boys do. They want to drink alcohol without the taste of it and, in general, without too much of the effect. Of course, there are girls and there are girls, but one thing's for sure: saving ladies from total inebriation is an honourable endeavour.

Young men can sometimes want something powerful. Because they are young they want to feel the kick, and they would not be seen dead (in front of their pals) drinking something light. But then again, exactly which young men are we talking about? Rugby footballers at 9 o'clock in the evening or Pimm's cricketers at 5 o'clock in the afternoon? Or are they highly-stressed stock-exchange types, or the superfit local swimming team?

2. What are they celebrating?

It's very important to know what is being celebrated: the cocktail must reflect the event. As the Rank Xerox team once asked me: if the latest copier was a cocktail, what would it look like and how would it taste? How's that for a challenge? If the event is a (post-) sporting one, one has to be light and low in alcohol. If it's St. Patrick's Day, you had better use an Irish whiskey base.

Business cocktails are often vodka based (vodka based equals no bad breath, which is why Ernest Hemingway had the Bloody Mary invented for him, or so his favourite bartender said...). For business functions, the colour or the name or the ingredients of the cocktail should be relevant to the origins of the company or its president. Of course the name must have an irresistible charm about it, too.

3. What's their objective in having this cocktail?

Do they just want to have a light thirst-quenching drink, or do they want to forget a bad week? Models often like the former, although catwalk cocktails have to be short, dry and effective, to produce an instant calming effect. In this case the Kamikaze seems to rule with its reassuring mix of vodka, lemon juice and Cointreau. Needless to say, I don't know who invented it. Sometimes, of course, people just want to get drunk! (Oh, that's a horrible word! What's it doing in a book about cocktails?)

Whatever the customers' objective, you must counterbalance their prescription with what you think would be right. Two heads are better than one, especially in such a serious business as drinking.

4. What's my objective as the creator of this cocktail?

If your customer seems flagging in energy you really ought to make a cocktail with lots of fresh juice in it. You should include sugar, a drop of alcohol and something fizzy to pep the person up, probably champagne or ginger ale. In this case, why not try the French 75, a cocktail invented in Paris (though not in the Ritz Paris) during the First World War. Incidentally, this became a very popular cocktail in the United States upon the conclusion of hostilities. We call our version a Ritz 75 as our preparation seems to be very popular and I don't want to get other bartenders in trouble.

Another cocktail, this time invented by Pauola from Argentina (a student of the Ritz Escoffier Bar classes), is perfect for a lady that would like a long drink that is refreshing but at the same time extremely light in alcohol. (This cocktail was the result of a written exercise to develop a cocktail on a hot day for a certain Elisabeth, who was also a student of the Ritz Escoffier School.)

Kashenka

This cocktail was named and invented for a very pretty Polish cabaret dancer who worked in Paris in 1991, not far from the Ritz Paris.

4-5 strawberries

2 teaspoons of white castor sugar

Polish vodka

Remove the leaves and put strawberries into a large Old Fashioned glass. Add the sugar and apply enough pressure on the fruit so as to slightly bleed them without crushing them. Add largely cracked ice all the way to the top.

Pour in Polish vodka and stir gently. Garnish with a red rose petal.

Copyright © 2003 by Editions du Chêne

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743247528
Author:
Field, Colin Peter
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Location:
New York
Subject:
Cocktails
Subject:
History
Subject:
Beverages - Wine & Spirits
Subject:
Beverages - Bartending
Subject:
General Cooking
Subject:
Cocktails - History
Subject:
Cooking and Food-Bartending and Liquor
Edition Description:
Hardback
Series Volume:
179.
Publication Date:
20030631
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
54 color illustrations t/o
Pages:
144
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.88 in 16.205 oz

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Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » Beverages » Bartending and Liquor

The Cocktails of the Ritz Paris New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$23.99 In Stock
Product details 144 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9780743247528 Reviews:
"Review" by , "At once a recipe book, a history, a collection of anecdotes and a rumination on the philosophy of drinking, this small volume belongs in every liquor cabinet (and behind every bar)."
"Review" by , "The Bar Hemingway has several times been called the Best Bar in the World, notably by Forbes magazine.... [W]ritten in a more erudite and witty manner than most cocktail books, and includes light-hearted color drawings."
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