1980s Recipes + Menus


November 1982
    It’s hard to imagine an opera singer being so popular that his arrest for “annoying” a woman at the Central Park Zoo would unleash weeks of exhaustive coverage in The New York Times. But Enrico Caruso was the Brad Pitt of the early 1900s. His every move was monitored, which makes it even more peculiar that he would have pinched a woman’s bottom at the monkey house in the Central Park Zoo. Yet that’s what a certain “Mrs. Hannah Graham” alleged (it turned out she’d given a false name and address to the arresting officer, which made her impossible for the police to find; the Times had better luck). Several well-documented court dates and appeals later, Caruso was found guilty and fined the maximum of $10. None of which explains why this cocktail has endured. It’s not bad, but you’d think the famed Italian tenor would merit a more sophisticated drink. At one point, he actually had one. As Eric Felten pointed out in a May 2009 Wall Street Journal article, a bartender named Red Asher created a drink with brandy, sweet vermouth, and Benedictine and called it a Caruso, but it never caught on. There is no justice.

    1 pony (1 ounce) gin, 1 pony (1 ounce) dry vermouth, 1 pony (1 ounce) white crème de menthe

    In a cocktail shaker combine the gin, the vermouth, and the crème de menthe and pour the mixture into a stemmed cocktail glass filled with 1/2 cup crushed ice. Makes 1 drink.
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