Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Cheers!

©Brigitta Huegel
Dear You, 
the funny thing is, that since almost 3 months I don't drink any alcoholic beverages - (except one glass of champagne at my birthday and a few more on New Year's Eve).
No, I haven't become a teetotaller - it is just that at the moment I don't like to.
Now one of Lennart and Alina's wonderful birthday presents was a cocktail shaker and all other equipments that an amateur barkeeper needs. And the re-issued German cult book by Charles Schumann - yes, yes, he is the beautiful model for Baldessarini -'Separates the men from the boys- "Schumann's Bar". (His bar in Munich was opened in 1982 - a time where in Europe it was difficult to find a classic Bar.)
When I visit L&A, I always look at their chic trolley-table from the Fifties, filled with bottles.
Wonderful - I want to have it! - but then I thought of the effect of films with Humphrey Bogart or Myrna Loy - these actors drink like a fish, and the audience is parched and longs for a cigarette, (though one had given up that vice more than twenty years ago).
I have no fears for L&A, because they always manage to survive the 40 days of Lent not tempted.
Now these days I was invited to the Botschaft des Königreichs der Niederlande, created by Rem Koolhaas and Ellen van Loon - a beautiful modern building!

©Brigitta Huegel

I was also invited into one private apartment. And there I saw it: in the typical male furnishing stood a white glass cabinet - with wonderful old Scotch(es) and other whisky - splendid! A real eye-catcher!
And so I determined to change our parlours a bit to the Yang-side, give it a slightly more male touch. Away, away with those ultra-thin little porcelain cups - in stamped Mr. Laphroaig, Mr. Glenmorangie, Mr. Tanqueray & Co.
Looks very good - and till now they haven't seduced me.
Though: cocktail names like "Ward Eight", "Knockout Cocktail" or "Hurricane" make me a bit mistrustful (not to speak of 'Fallen Angel', 'Zombie' or 'Kamikaze') - when I start to shake I will begin genteel with Claridge, work up (or down - as you see it) to 'Bronx Medium', until I dare to touch the 'Dirty White Mother'.
Cheers! 




18 comments:

  1. Once you've conquered the above cocktails Britta, you'll be ready for ' Sex on the Beach ' !!!!! ..... the cocktail that is !!
    I gave up for six months last year then I went back to it and now, I am only drinking when I go out or socialising ...... I often do this just to make sure that I can !!! XXXX

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hahaha, Jackie, I know "Sex on the Beach" - natural talent, I think :-) And yes: drinking when one wants it - and not because a social situation calls for it: that is the right thing. Bonus: eyes more sparkling.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My father was a Scotch drinker and I picked up the habit from him. Fortunately it has now become rather more acceptable for a woman to drink Glenmorangie or Jameson's or The Famous Grouse. I think a proper cocktail trolley would be very glamorous! When we have guest my tea table is transformed with ice bucket and other accoutrements.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On New Year's Eve I met a person who founded a Club for connoisseurs of Scotch in Berlin - charming.
      I'm dreaming of reviving the art of the Cocktail Party, Pondside: easy to arrange, quick to invite, fun. Marjorie Hillis writes: ""Whatever you do, don't let the cocktail hour be a burden. Its purpose in life is to inject a little gaiety into a weary world, and, if it doesn't do that for you, you might as well get your fun out of wearing a white ribbon and making soap-box speeches for the W.C.T.U." (Written in 1936 - I love it).

      Delete
  4. I dont drink ( only when my German freinds are visiting here or when we used to visit them),but i remember "death in the afternoon", Hemingway's cocktail.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like a heavy thing, Hemingway's cocktail. I drink in moderation, and never alone - a glass of white wine to a sunny meal or a glass of wheat beer on a really hot day (or a Scotch on a cold one) is fine; but I am happy to say as in all things I know my limit (and that is the limit of a small stomach).

      Delete
  5. Your cabinet is lovely. It is full without being cluttered. I'm sure it adds to the look of your room.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Emma! The good thing is: this cabinet stands at the side of the room - so normally one doesn't look at it much - no temptation thus.

      Delete
  6. I remember wonderful mixed drinks, and sharing the contents of a martini shaker with my daughter's mother-in-law. Especially on a Sunday morning, with all the birds in the woods singing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds lovely, Joanne - and that is the spirit I hope for on my planned cocktail party.

      Delete
  7. I'm not a drinks gal - just a glass of red now and then, and champagne on special ocassions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's my motto too, Rosemary - to celebrate something, or to enjoy something special. In a restaurant I sometimes order a 0,1 glass - that's enough for me, and I even possess 6 glasses for 0,1 wheat beer - a real rarity from the Andechser Brauerei - all men think them "awful!" - I think: just the right measure, for me at least :-)

      Delete
  8. My dentist friend in Bremerhaven is a bit of a Scotch whisky expert. He read that Laphroiag tasted of burning car-tyres, so bought some and discovered that it did taste of burning car-tyres.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that Laphroiag tastes (a tiny bit - I love it) like a cold ashtray... So your dentist friend in Bremerhaven will also own a piece of land in Scotland? (As I do: the great advertisement idea of Laphroiag is to give you that, if you send them the staniol capsule - but it is just enough to stand on with two feet).

      Delete
  9. You had me looking in my cocktail cabinet to see what's there. It's so long since I went near it. The only whisky is a blend. it's a Macaulay. It's about half full. It's my cough and cold medicine. i just discovered a grappa I didn't know I had. Might try a drop later. ;_) thanks!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mmmh, tasty: grappa (we always get one bottle for Christmas - and it too lasts for a year. And Whiskey in a "hot Toddy" seems a nice way to get over a cold. Better than "Klosterfrau Melissengeist" - well, maybe not better, but definitely more delicious!

      Delete
  10. Britta..The television shows of my youth always featured the most glamorous cocktail parties or drinks immediately upon arriving home from work. This idea was totally foreign to the little girl raised in the American South Bible Belt. I never grew into the habit of social or otherwise drinking. A celebration here or there. My precocious son and daughter-in-love named their first little dog... A black/brown miniature pincher... Jaeger. The origin was completely lost on me.. For the dark drink the Jaegermeister. I may have to invest in Laphroiag...I would love to own a bit of Scotland...even if it's only big enough to stand on! Smiles...Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Susan, the glamorous cocktail party are celebrating a comeback with the young people here. Schumann writes that in America cocktails also accompanied Lunch or Dinner - I would have lost my whole appetite after drinking one!
      That the name Jaegermeister is known in America: my admiration to the ad agency - they managed to give it a completely new image in Germany (first it was a drink for old men - now young people drink it).
      I see the joke: a Jäger is a huntsman, who needs a ferocious dog. :-)
      And yes: let's meet in Scotland - we will celebrate our land with a rare glass of Laphroiag (never!! never!! pour good Scotch into a cocktail, writes Charles Schumann). Best wishes! Britta

      Delete