Mary Astor’s Astor Painless Anaesthetic

It has been the week of the bad back.  Painkillers haven’t touched it.  Alternation of the application of a frozen slab of parsnip soup with a hot water bottle has had no impact.  The only thing that helps with the constant pain is BOOZE.  Luckily there is a new house cocktail – Astor’s Painless Anaesthetic – entirely appropriate don’t you think?


I have a new osteopath.  I like her very much.  My main takeaway from my first visit regarding back care over the next few days was her saying this: “Alcohol, yes.  Housework, no.”  Bring on the Painless Anaesthetics!


Mary Astor’s Astor Painless Anaesthetic – from the Stork Club Bar Book (1946)

3 oz gin

1 oz French vermouth

1 0z Italian vermouth

1 oz cognac

Shake well with ice cubes and dash of orange bitters, twist of lemon peel and just a touch of sugar.


I bought my lovely Bitter Union bitters from my much loved Prohibition Wines in Muswell Hill.  We had a long chat about movie star cocktails and Mr and Mrs Prohibition are going to design a cocktail specially for Silver Screen Suppers.  It will be called the Gloria Swanson Swansong.  Can’t wait!


MAN THE ASTOR PAINLESS ANAESTHETICS DO THE TRICK!  I would say those proportions are for one person in a lot of pain, or for two pain-free folks who just fancy a nice refresher.  Thanks Mary!  

Mary Astor-1938

Mary Astor-1938

From the spine of the book: “Indexed and packaged to bemuse the palate and alarm the senses, The Stork Club Bar Book (in its peculiar way) belongs with the pharmacopoeia.  It’s purely medicinal.”  

What shall I have next?!  I am drawn towards the Binnie Barnes Schnorkel – just for the name…

2 Responses to Mary Astor’s Astor Painless Anaesthetic

  1. Mark Brisenden 29 May, 2017 at 10:41 am #

    Gorgeous photo of Mary . One of my favourites and I will try the c/tail one day, couple of m.cherries might go well too instead of twist. But that’s 6 0z’s of booze ! I have read her autobiog ‘My Story’ and I guess this was where her problems with alcohol started. Does the Stork Bar book have a recipe for Prairie oysters for the morning after !?

    • Jenny 29 May, 2017 at 6:08 pm #

      HA HA – it sure does… Yolk of egg, 1 dash Lea & Perrins Sauce, red pepper and salt to taste, 1 and 1/2 oz brandy or madeira. Serve in an old fashioned glass. Dash of vinegar on top. Sounds good…

      The Stork Bar Boo is very funny, and there are lots of movie star cocktails in it. I’ll be working my way through them at some speed!

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