Thursday, March 22, 2007
Then you missed the lovely ladies of LUPEC spreading the love through tiny little cocktails in tiny little plastic cups! Here's a bit about our cocktail of the evening!
PEGU CLUB COCKTAIL
1.5 oz Plymouth Gin
.5 oz Orange Curacao
.5 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Orange Bitters
Forty miles up the Rangoon River, the Pegu Club was a British Colonial Officer's club near the Gulf of Martaban in Burma. The house cocktail, bearing the same name, was created sometime before 1930 when it was referencesd by master mixologist Harry Craddock in the Savoy Cocktail Book as having "traveled, and is asked for, round the world."
After several years as the beverage director at Bemelman's Bar in the Carlyle Hotel, modern master mixologist Audrey Saunders sought to bring bask the true art of the cocktail culture by opening her Pegu Club at 77 W Houston St in Manhatttan in 2005. Applying a more culinary approach to her cocktails, Audrey describes the process as the beverage equivalent of the slow food movement. Bucking the current vodka trend she consistently creates cocktails highlighting unjustly neglected spirits that challenge the cocktail neophyte as well as the cocktail connoisseur.
Thanks to everyone who joined us that night! Also, huge thanks to our friends at Toro who kindly shared their table with us and our friends at Future Brands who donated Plymouth Gin!
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Revered poet and sculptor, Anne Whitney was a passionate opponent of slavery and advocate for women's rights. Using her art to reflect her political beliefs, Whitney sculpted the busts of many suffragists and abolitionists including Lucy Stone, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frances Willard.
In 1875 Whitney was commissioned for a statue of Samuel Adams which was contributed to the national capitol building by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Shortly thereafter she won first place for a commission for a memorial for William Sumner. Entries for the commission had been anonymous. Upon learning that the winner was a woman, the judges denied Whitney the commission. Having been an ardent supporter of Sumner's political campaign against slavery, Whitney decided to complete the statue using personal funds and contributions from friends. At the age of 80 she completed the statue and donated it to the city of Cambridge. The statue is now located outside Harvard Law School on an island at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Church Street.
1.5 oz Bourbon
.75 oz Dry Vermouth
.75 oz Pineapple Juice
2 dashes Peach Bitters
Shake and Strain
Monday, March 12, 2007
At a time when Boston was being run by the descendants of the Puritans, Isabella Stewart Gardner was known for stylish and eccentric tastes. Sporting the latest in Paris and New York fashions, this philanthropic patron of the arts was full of surprises-such as the time she persuaded the Boston Zoo to loan her two lion cubs which she proudly walked up and down Commonwealth Avenue!
Born April 14, 1840 in New York City, Isabella Stewart Gardner was educated in private schools in New York and Paris. A friendship with her schoolmate Julia Gardner led to her marriage of John ("Jack") Lowell Gardner, Jr., Julia's older brother. After their wedding they moved to Jack's hometown of Boston, settling into their residence on Beacon Street in the Back By which had been a wedding gift from Jack's father. In June 1863, Isabella gave birth to a son, John L Gardner III, known as "Jackie." Unfortunately, at the age of two, Jackie died of pneumonia sending Isabella into a period of depression and illness.
In 1874, Isabella and Jack became parents to Jack's three orphaned nephews. Isabella took an intense interest in their rigorous studies and realized her own schooling was lacking. She began reading and attending lectures at Harvard by art historian Charles Elliot Norton. Throughout the 1870's and late 1880's, Isabella and Jack frequently traveled through America, Europe and Asia to expand their knowledge of foreign cultures and art throughout the world. It is during this time that she began collecting works of art.
Back in Boston, Isabella was an avid entertainer and a frequent patron of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Known for her dinner parties and salons in her Back Bay home, Isabella hosted the likes of author Henry James, writer Sarah Orne Jewett, philosopher George Santayana and writer of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, Julia Ward Howe, as well as friends and artists like John Singer Sargent. Isabella was a sports enthusiast as well, supporting the Boston Red Sox and the Harvard football and hockey teams.
Upon the death of her husband, Isabella began work on her museum. Completed in 1903, the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum was built in the style of the Renaissance palaces of Venice in the reclaimed swamplands of Boston's Fenway area. Upon her death in 1924 she willed Fenway Court to the city of Boston as a public museum to be preserved without change. Her will created an endowment of $1 million and strict stipulations as to the maintenance of the museum. In keeping with her philanthropic nature, she also left sizable donations to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Industrial School for Crippled and Deformed Children, Animal Rescue League and Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
At a time when Puritanical tendencies remained and Boston women were expected to live in a matronly Victorian manner, Isabella Stewart Gardner lived an exuberant life. This, of course, made her the focus of the local press and the rumor mill alike. Keeping with her carefree spirit, Isabella responded to the stories of her escapades with her typical sense of humor saying, "Don't spoil a good story by telling the truth."
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
"The bicycle has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world."
- Susan B Anthony
On June 25, 1894 Annie Cohen Kopchovsky stood before a crowd of suffragists, supporters and curious onlookers in front of the Massachusetts State House and declared that she would cycle around the world. Leaving her three children behind, Annie hopped on her 42 pound Columbia bicycle carrying nothing but a change of underwear and a pearl-handled revolver to settle a bet between two Boston clubmen. Ten years earlier Thomas Steven had circled the globe on his bicycle riding 13,500 miles in 32 months and the bet was that no women could repeat his feat. The two wealthy clubmen wagered $20,000, as well as $10,000 to the woman who completed the ride. Having had only two short lessons on the bicycle, Annie set off to circle the globe in 15 months. The terms included that she start penniless and raise $5000 above her expenses during the course of her ride. On that June afternoon she earned her first $100 as a representative of New Hampshire's Londonderry Lithia Springs Water Company paid her to bear a placard and to take their name for the trip. Annie Londonderry then hopped on her bike and "sailed away like a kite down Beacon Street," according to the Boston Evening Transcript.
Annie Londonderry challanged all the Victorian notions of womanhood. She temporarily abandoned her roles of wife and mother in order to travel alone for fifteen months, most of the time wearing a man's riding suit while riding a man's bicycle. After successfully completing her ride, Annie moved her family to New York where she had a short career writing for the New York World with the byline of The New Woman. The story about her trip begins "I am a journalist and a 'new woman,' if that term means that I believe I can do anything that any man can do."