Today’s Dueling Weapon: The Tuxedo
Coming home from a long day at work is draining. Walking through the door, your mind goes into a moment of bliss before you’re woken up into your “Real Life”, home. Even if you live alone, “Real Life” comes at you fast and there are a few ways to handle it:
1. You can just take a nap and forget everyone/everything.
2. Distract yourself from it all by keeping busy (i.e. gym, writing a novel, playing with the kids, dog, wife, etc)
3. Take the honorable route and serve yourself a drink.
We seem to always select option 3.
For the hard working person we offer up a hard working drink. THE TUXEDO.
The Tuxedo is a variation on the martini – it’s an unpretentious hard worker: potent, bone-dry, and lacking in the gaudy herbal notes one finds in vermouth. Yet the sherry imparts just a hint of elegant nuttiness that mellows the gin without masking it, and the orange bitters suggest that there may yet be a twinkle in the old man’s eye.
- 2 ounces gin — London dry gin
- 1 ounce dry sherry
- 1 dash orange bitters
- Garnish: Maraschino Cherry / Lemon Peel
Serve: Martini Glass / Coupe
Shake the gin,* sherry, and bitters** well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Note: there are other Tuxedo cocktails out there, but this one appears to be the original, and is certainly the best.
* For authenticity’s sake, use Plymouth gin, although informed sources suggest that today’s product isn’t that of yesteryear.
HISTORY (via esquire.com)
The Tuxedo Club was the first “planned exercise in gracious living” in America. In the fall of 1885, Pierre Lorillard IV, of the tobacco Lorillards, took a piece of spare real estate about 35 miles out the Erie Railroad from Jersey City known as “the Wood Pile” — it supplied wood to the railroad — and there did his pleasure-dome decree. Nine months later, it was ready: a huge clubhouse, miles of new roads banked by fieldstone walls, a train station, sewers and other services, and a raft of cottages available by the season to the well-heeled (subject to approval by the club); there was even some discreet housing for the peons. Oh yeah, it was no longer the Wood Pile, a name that simply wouldn’t do. As always in the Northeast, there was a convenient Indian name lying around unused: “Tucseto.” (The “x” looks much spiffier, don’t you think?)
Anyway, on June 16, 1886, the Tuxedo Club opened. Seven hundred guests, all very very. A few months later, at the club’s first Autumn Ball, a covey of the younger set — Pierre’s son and his buds — thought they’d ruffle the stuffed shirts a bit by chopping the tails off their dress coats. The Prince of Wales, a fashion-forward type, had taken to wearing a short jacket when he was in the country, and this Tuxedo place was in the country, so…it caught on.
The tail-chopping was about the last wild thing that happened up there. Quoth Emily Post, in 1911: “Old Tuxedoites are very conservative. Unlike the Newporters, Tuxedo people are not living from excitement to excitement. Tuxedo men are hard-working businessmen who take a 7:40 or an 8:15 train every morning of the week.” Ms. Post doesn’t say what train they took home, but we’ll bet it wasn’t the first — they had to make a little time to drop by the Waldorf-Astoria bar (William Waldorf Astor was a Tuxedoite) and drain a couple of these.
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