Frontier Psychiatrist

Frontier Mixology, Vol. 25; Tango Till They’re Sore No. 2

Posted on: October 15, 2010

By way of disclaimer, the closest the Frontier Mixologist has been to Argentina is eating steak with chimichurri sauce.  One can’t help but note, however, that Argentina has suffered a reversal of fortune more upending than what happened to Randolph and Mortimer Duke.  In the late Nineteenth century Argentina was one the world’s ten richest countries.  The newly constructed railroads — built by Italian and Spanish immigrants and funded by British financiers — brought the great wealth of the pampa to port and thence to the world.

Nowadays, after decades of military misrule and disastrous fiscal policies, the Argentine economy is a joke and the country has become a discount traveler’s dream: Europe for a quarter of the cost!  Pity the poor porteños who have to contend with recent US college graduates expats moving down to open a California Burrito Company.  Back in the heady days of its own Belle Époch, Buenos Aires aped much in continental fashion, but its own cultural export was a musical style and accompanying dance that had arisen in Argentina and Uruguay: the tango.
Like jazz in the US, tango music started off as cheap entertainment in seedy brothels, and then developed into a popular musical form, made world-famous for its sensual dance and as the backing for songs by the likes of Carlos Gardel.  Tango’s distinctive feature is an orchestration involving  two bandoneónes, a South American concertina.Tango was a world-wide cultural fad in the 1920s and 30s, and it comes as no surprise that the dance lent its name to a cocktail.  Indeed, to several cocktails.  The best of which is the second formulation from The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book.

Tango Cocktail No. 2

¾ oz. dry vermouth

¾ oz. sweet vermouth

¾ oz. Benedictine

¾ oz. light rum

¾ oz. orange juice (fresh-squeezed is a must)

Shake with ice; strain into a chilled cocktail glass; garnish with a twist if desired.

Even if you’ve never danced the tango, and wouldn’t know how, this is a delicious drink that has a lot going on in it.  The combination of flavors is eye-opening, but the drink itself is fairly light.  It  serves as a great introduction to someone who might not be sure if they like straight up cocktails or thinks she doesn’t like vermouth.

Talk about a potent mix - Stallone & Russell

It is variously reported that Argentina has more psychologists per capita than any other country.  Argentina’s uniquely neurotic national character aside, the claim that dancing the tango has a specifically salutary effect on those suffering from Parkinson’s disease seems a bit suspect.  Putting on Por Una Cabeza and whipping up a couple of Tango No. 2 cocktails, however, is clinically proven to lift one’s spirits.

Drink up,

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Staff

L.V. Lopez, Publisher
Keith Meatto, Editor-In-Chief
Peter Lillis, Managing Editor
Freya Bellin
Andrew Hertzberg
Franklin Laviola
Gina Myers
Jared Thomas
Jordan Mainzer

Contributors

James Tadd Adcox
Michael Bakkensen
Sophie Barbasch
John Raymond Barker
Jeffery Berg
P.J. Bezanson
Lee Bob Black
Jessica Blank
Mark Blankenship
Micaela Blei
Amy Braunschweiger
Jeb Brown
Jamie Carr
Laura Carter
Damien Casten
Krissa Corbett Kavouras
Jillian Coneys
Jen Davis
Chris Dippel
Claire Dippel
Amy Elkins
Mike Errico
Alaina Ferris
Lucas Foglia
Fryd Frydendahl
Tyler Gilmore
Tiffany Hairston
Django Haskins
Todd Hido
Paul Houseman
Susan Hyon
Michael Itkoff
Eric Jensen
David S. Jung
Eric Katz
Will Kenton
Michael Kingsbaker
Steven Klein
Katie Kline
Anna Kushner
Jim Knable
Jess Lacher
Chris Landriau
Caitlin Leffel
David Levi
Daniel F. Levin
Carrie Levy
Jim Lillis
Sophie Lyvoff
Max Maddock
Bob McGrory
Chris Lillis Meatto
Mark Meatto
Kevin Mueller
Chris Q. Murphy
Gina Myers
Tim Myers
Alex Nackman
Michael Nicholoff
Elisabeth Nicholson
Nicole Pettigrew
Allyson Paty
Dana Perry
Jared R. Pike
Mayumi Shimose Poe
Marisa Ptak
Sarah Robbins
Anjoli Roy
Beeb Salzer
Terry Selucky
Serious Juice
David Skeist
Suzanne Farrell Smith
Amy Stein
Jay Tarbath
Christianne Tisdale
Phillip Toledano
Joe Trapasso
Sofie van Dam
Jeff Wilser
Susan Worsham
Khaliah Williams
David Wilson
James Yeh
Bernard Yenelouis
Wayan Zoey

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Sons of Dionysus


A Transmedia Novel of Myth, Mirth, and the Magical Excess of Youth.