If you're into thinkin' and drinkin'

Episode 36: Movin On Up — Park Avenue

Classic cocktail #36 is the Park Avenue.  Aside from its origins being the 1940s, we have no other history behind this one.  It seems like just another product that garnered fans by virtue of its name.  How many products, recipes, etc. have relied upon the symbols of success to gain attention?  I suspect that before advertising began waging its interminable war upon our psyches, people were ripe for its manipulation.  The images a name could summon might be all that was needed for customers to be stupefied by the possibilities.

Paging through the cocktail bible we’ve been using as a source there is quite the menagerie of cocktails utilizing fame and fortune as indicators in their names.  “Drink this and you will be like the upper crust of New York…you might even become one!”  Now, seeing names like that seem more like tawdry attempts at manipulation by children.  I’ve often wondered how much more savvy we’ve become in disarming advertising tricks compared to a century ago.  Is the advertising just different or are we actually smarter, more critical and analytical than our forebears?  Will Burger Kings ever seem royal again?

The ingredients for the cocktail are as follows:

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 1/2 oz Curacao

I liked this drink.  It was initially surprising how many flavors were competing at once but that’s part of what made it so unique.  Also, I suspect this drink was the end of the pineapple juice tsunami that struck the U.S. in the early 1900s.  I’ve seen other blogs mention how they expected this to be more tropical with the pineapple juice but with the Park Avenue name and other ingredients it doesn’t meet that kind of characterization, but I imagine with the deluge of pineapple juice through the previous decades, pineapples didn’t connote the exotic any longer…it was just another juice.

Please note, I am just speculating on various hypotheses with no real evidence.  Though I would like to hear a specialist’s assessment, it’s fun to consider nevertheless.

In any case, enjoy the show.  As there was so little information and the drink was so simple, the conversation topics ranged far and wide and allowed for better bar-talk in general.

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