Tuesday, July 10, 2012

1955 Cocktail Review: The Stubby Collins

The first review of the cocktail recipes from the 1955 book What, When, Where, and How to Drink!! We started out with something simple- the Stubby Collins. Here is what you need:

- A Glass
- Something to stir with
- 2 oz. Dry Gin (We used Bombay as usual)
- 1 oz. Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1-3 Dashes Bitters (optional)
- 2 Ice Cubes (not pictured)

Stir lemon juice, sugar, and bitters WELL in a glass. Add ice cubes. Pour gin over it and mix well.

This was very refreshing and delightful but MUST be kept mixed well continuously, as Amy discovered on her first sip which was more like a straight shot of lemon. It is a tart drink, so if that is not your thing, you may want to adjust the lemon and sugar. Afterwards, I went back for another, she had a gin and tonic instead. This was thoroughly enjoyed but not universally LOVED. I would recommend it, overall.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What, When, Where and How to Drink

Found a little treasure the other day- a book published in 1955 entitled What, When, Where and How to Drink by Richard L. Williams and David Myers with an introduction by Sherman Billingsley:

The Table of Contents:

There are even great illustrations of some guys who look like they knew their drinks:

According to Mr. Billingsley of The Stork Club in New York City, "...this is not a subject on which it pays to be either ignorant or intolerant. To know at least a little about what to drink, and when, and how, is to be a little better equipped for present day living." Thank you, Mr. Billingsley; agreed. The book includes a section full of cocktail recipes of the period. So- it is at this point I would like to introduce you to my wonderful, amazing girlfriend Amy:

HOW amazing? Sometimes, she is the Queen of England:

But always my Queen. SO- for your benefit- Amy and I will periodically do joint reviews of the cocktails in the book and I will post both the recipe and result. The good ones will receive a truly Royal approval. Let the experiment begin!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Men's Shirt Cuffs

This was posted on the Old Picture of the Day blog this morning and as much as I love ice cream, what really caught my eye was the cuff of the shirt on the fellow turning the crank. The photo was taken in ca. 1940 but the wide cuff had the button placed at the rear, a characteristic that emerged in the very late 18th/early 19th Century, seemingly coinciding with the lengthening of the coat cuff. This characteristic endured at least through World War I, as can be seen on the ca. WW I military issue shirt:

The book Thoughts on Men's Shirts in America 1750-1900 by William L. Brown III documents this being common throughout the 19th Century with extant examples, the button continuing to be placed at the rear of the cuff even as they narrowed as coat sleeves of a more familiar length took hold. The modern, center placed button was well in place by this 1920 shirt ad:

Here is an example from 1939 of the two versions coexisting (the older man on the right has a rear placed button while the two men in the center have center placed):

This seems to have been familiar so recently that I always find it surprising that most manufactured "reenactor shirts" that I see with wide cuffs intended for use from the 18th Century through the Civil War have center placed buttons, an adaptation that seems to have taken decades to gain acceptance and existed seldom if at all through the 19th Century.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Speak French: A Book for the Soldiers

Thanks to my friend Rebecca Cooper for sharing this interesting piece of history with me. Once again, this is just slightly before the focus of this blog, but it is the book that was issued to her Grandfather to help him navigate life in France as a United States soldier during World War I: