Just a quick post as I have a DATE tonight coming to my house for dinner so I have an immense amount of cleaning to do… I don’t want to ruin my chances with someone who appears to be quite a stitch by revealing my slovenly side too soon.
So just to mention that the wonderful Gin & It Magazine Issue 2 is out and I have something in it about the Fairbanks Cocktail (No. 1). Originally featured in the most beautiful cocktail book in the world – The Savoy Cocktail Book – published in 1930. It’s a bit confusing as there are two Fairbanks cocktails in the book and there is some debate about whether the first is related to dear, dear Doug or not, but we can be pretty sure that the second one is because of the little note which says: “We often wondered what Doug did it on. Now that we know we are going to try and do it ourselves.” And I say hell to the yeah to that.
So anyhow I rustled up a Fairbanks No 1 to test it last night – mmmm – very, very good. Not too sweet (the lemon juice and vermouth cut through the apricot brandy) and will definitely be serving these tonight to whet the appetite.
Also on the menu: Vincent Price’s Cheese Knots, Dirk Bogarde’s Chicken Clermont and Vincent Price’s Pots de Creme Chocolat.
I am stupidly excited, and not just about the dinner…
My uncle, Douglas Fairbanks Sr. was a strict teetotal until the last three years of his life (1936-1939). When this book of drink recipes was originally published (1930), alcohol was still illegal in the US, and Douglas was certainly not drinking. Whoever came up with either cocktail recipe and the note about wondering “what Doug did it on” — it is the sheer fabrication of someone who didn’t know Douglas Fairbanks Sr. at all and/or wished to use his name to promote their product and imply Doug’s approval. BTW, it’s a picture of my cousin, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, that you have at the bottom of this article. I believe it’s from 1941’s The Corsican Brothers.
Hi Letitia – thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Wow, I did know that Douglas Fairbanks Sr was teetotal for part of his life as I read “Laugh and Live” which has some great comments about how bad booze can be for some people. I think I did mention that Doug was teetotal in the Gin & It article. I didn’t realise that he was teetotal for so long though. Thanks for letting me know. Yes, I guess you are right about using his name to promote a drink. There were a few cocktails named after film stars in the 1930s, I think bartenders thought up all kinds of crazy mixtures and maybe named them after their favourite movie stars in tribute. The Savoy Cocktail Book was published in the UK – I think there was plenty of drinking over here then!
I will change the picture, thanks for pointing that out – they did look so alike!
Best wishes – Jenny