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Cheers! A cocktail for book lovers

Posted by Delia Cabe  December 23, 2011 03:48 PM

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Looking for a festive libation with literary ties, I came across a recipe for writer Dorothy Parker's cocktail of choice: Champagne Cocktail (below). According to Hemingway & Bailey's Bartending Guide to Great American Writers, Parker, after her introduction to champagne , wrote the following:

Three be things I shall never attain: Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.

Parker, who was one of the founding members of the renowned Algonquin Round Table, would have raised a toast last week to the recent triumph of the hotel's resident cat, Matilda. This year, someone complained to the New York City health department about the Ragdoll cat's presence in the bar and restaurant area in the lobby of the Algonquin Hotel. For awhile, Matilda was confined on a leash behind the registration desk. Thanks to the addition of an invisible electric fence, Matilda once again can roam free--within limits--in the hotel lobby.

In the story about Matilda's unleashing this week, the New York Times included this bit of history about the series of cats who have resided at the Algonquin:

Matilda is the latest in a long line of Algonquin cats going back to the 1930s. The first, a stray who wandered in off West 44th Street with as much elan as a famous guest, was known as Rusty or Hamlet. Since then, each cat has been succeeded by another with the same name, Hamlet for the males, Matilda for the females.

And now, the recipe for Dorothy Parker's favorite cocktail:

Champagne Cocktail

  • 1 sugar cube

  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters

  • Champagne

  • Lemon twist

Drop sugar cube into a chilled champagne flute and soak with bitters. Fill with champagne. Garnish with twist. Sometimes an ounce of cognac is added.
Recipe from Hemingway & Bailey's Bartending Guide to Great American Writers

Cheers to Matilda! Here's to you, book lovers, everywhere, and may you receive many books for Christmas or Hanukah!
Portable Dorothy Parker.jpg

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About the author

Delia Cabe's work has appeared in The Boston Globe Magazine, Boston Magazine, Self, Prevention, Scientific American Presents, and other publications. In between posts, you can read Cabe's tweets at!/DeliaCabe, More »

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