Frontier Psychiatrist

Frontier Mixology: A Cocktail for Ms. Hathaway and Mr. Franco

Posted on: February 25, 2011

Whether you’re hosting an Oscar party, watching with a few close friends, or (especially if) watching alone, a pair of mens’ and ladies’ cocktails from Hollywood’s golden age is not out of place.  Given this year’s two hosts, and that the Academy still segregates its major awards by gender, we’ve got a cocktail for both Best Actress and Best Actor.After learning about nominees whom you’d never heard of before, you’ve now boldly made your predictions.  You have made your picks, haven’t you? When the envelopes are opened, a cocktail will either celebrate your perspicacity or soothe the pain of your poor choices.

First up is the Best Actress nominee, the Pink Lady.  The Frontier Mixologist’s wife wisely suggested this cocktail for Valentine’s Day, for which it is a great choice.  It merits attention at Oscar time, too, because it was a favorite of old Hollywood, and seems to somehow embody that era.  Constance Bennett sips one in the 1937 comedy Topper (nominated for two awards), and it was the favorite of über-bombshell Jayne MansfieldGrenadine was a particularly popular ingredient in the 1930s, sort of the St. Germain of the day, and, while many recipes called for cream, the best are made instead with an egg white, which adds body without dulling either the acidity or the spirits.

The Pink Lady

1½ oz. gin (sugg. Plymouth)

¾ oz. applejack

½ oz. fresh lemon juice

1 fresh egg white

barspoon of all-natural grenadine

Fill a cocktail shaker with the ingredients but no ice and shake for 10 to 15 seconds, carefully add ice and shake vigorously for another 30 seconds or so.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

A softened version of a Jack Rose, this seemingly “girly” cocktail is actually a well-balanced, not too sweet drink, which employs classic ingredients and techniques.  It’s name, however, make it difficult for the Frontier Mixologist to order one at a bar — he thus makes them at home.

We move on to a more masculine-named haberdashery of a drink for the Best Actor nominee, the Brown Derby.

The Brown Derby

2 oz. Bourbon

1 oz. fresh grapefruit juice

½ oz. honey syrup (combine equal parts honey and water over low heat, allow to cool)

Shake with ice; strain into a chilled cocktail coupe.

From a now-extinct Hollywood institution, the Vendôme Club, this cocktail is named after the famous Brown Derby restaurants — fixtures of 1930s Los Angeles. Building on the structure of a classic whiskey sour, in this variation the earthy sweetness of the honey and bourbon blend well with the softer, unique sourness of the grapefruit.

So, whether you’ll be wearing a tuxedo to watch the awards or just sitting around in your movie-watching sweats, considering whipping up this duo of classic cocktails to mark the occasion.

Drink up,


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