The Friday Tipple: Pitcher’s Revenge

Boozers, it’s tough being a pitcher in the post-season. Sluggers are lining up left and right to hit another ball out of the park, meaning that starting pitchers are rarely making it past the fifth inning and the bullpens are worn out. But St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter managed to pull off a win through six full innings during game 1 of the World Series this week, with poor beleaguered Jaime Garcia actually getting in seven innings in game 2. We thought that deserved a little tip of the ballcap, hence, the Pitcher’s Revenge.

It turns out that St. Louis has rather an illustrious heritage when it comes to the cocktail, besides being the birthplace of famous tipplers such as Josephine Baker and Tennessee Williams. It is widely thought to be the city where the official “cocktail party” first originated, thrown by Julius and Clara Walsh in 1917, who were already known for an earlier “baby party” at the St. Louis Country Club, where the party-goers drank out of baby bottles while sporting frilled baby bonnets. The Walshes may have developed their love for cocktails at that same country club, where the bar was ruled by an African-American bartender named Tom Bullock, widely known across the midwest and beyond for his skills and who published his popular book “The Ideal Bartender” the same year, dedicated “to those who enjoy snug club rooms, that they may learn for themselves the art of preparing what is good”.

This week’s tipple honors some popular cocktails from 1917, The Bronx Cocktail and the Cooperstown Cocktail, which we also felt seemed fitting for the World Series (oh, sorry, Yankees fans, but at least you can suck down a drink from the Bronx while you watch the Cards). We were also inspired by those bags of darling little Clementine oranges that are selling cheap at the grocery store now that fall has set in— they make a nice fresh juice that takes on a color very close to Gatorade. The pitchers might want to sneak this tipple into those big orange jugs in the dugout, and it should be just enough to get the opposing hitters to swing a little wide of the fences. Batter up!

Pitcher’s Revenge

The Cooperstown Cocktail calls for fresh mint, but we substituted basil because it imparts a slightly grassy flavor which is just about perfect when enjoying a rousing game of baseball.

3 or 4 Clementine oranges

Gin (we like Catoctin Creek’s Organic Watershed Gin)

French vermouth (dry)

Italian vermouth (sweet)

2 fresh basil leaves

dash bitters (Bittermens’ Boston Bittahs adds the right note)

Juice the Clementines. Lightly bruise the basil leaves in the bottom of a cocktail shaker and add ice. Pour 3 ounces of juice, 1.5 ounces of gin, and a slight splash of each vermouth into the shaker. Shake vigorously and pour the contents into a large wineglass. Add a dash of bitters and garnish with a slice of Clementine.

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