March 20, 2009

Cocktail Talk: The Yellow Mask and Other Stories

It’s a dog-gone dreary first day of spring here, with clouds, wind, and intermittently nasty and extra-nasty rain, and I’ve had a cold/flu/allergy/asstastic thing all week (my sinuses hate me, I swear), and am generally in a woe-is-me state of mind (cause, well, I have to work, when I should be under the covers drinking a hot drink and watching the Thin Man or some such). With that, I’m turning to two quotes from Wilkie Collins short stories, quotes about warming up with a drink and fire, a situation I’d much like to be within. Being that Mr. Collins (old schools Dickens era writer and partier) is most remembered for rolling out some formative ancestors to our current detective yarns and mysteries, and has a habit of putting his characters in unfriendly situations, maybe I shouldn’t wish to be one of his characters–but dang, that “gin and water hot” sounds dreamy right now.


He said, ‘All right?’ and walked back to the inn. In the hall he ordered hot rum and water, cigars, slippers, and a fire to be lit in his room

After settling these little matters, having half-an-hour to spare, I turned to and did myself a bloater at the office-fire and had a drop of gin and water hot and felt comparatively happy.


–Wilkie Collins, The Yellow Mask and Other Stories


PS: Just realized “The Yellow Mask” would be a pretty great name for a drink. It’d need to be a bit creepy though (the story is). But hey, if anyone reading this wants to take a shot at a drink that fits the name, go to—just let me know how it turns out.

Nicole Sholly said:

The Yellow Mask sounds a little X-Meny to me, if only because of Logan’s yellow spandex. (Yes, the name is from a literary gent, but I’m going pop-cult with it.) Which begs the question, What would Charles Xavier drink? He seems like a wine guy.

admin said:

That is a a great question. Definitely wine on occasion, but also something like ice cold expensive gin with a drop of something exotic in it (like starfruit juice or something) before firing up the mutant machine. And for when he’s entertaining the ladies, probably something really smooth like the Bon Soir. I mean, he is pretty smooth.

Mark Butler said:

That’s kind of a two-parter.

The ol’ X-Man would probably opt for something aged, like a brandy or a cognac. And if Chris Claremont was writing it, there’d be a tedious back story about how Professor X fought a “battle perilous” with a “swashbuckling rogue thief” where “no quarter was asked, and none taken” and even by pushing his psychic abilities “to the utter limit,” he barely escaped with his life, let alone the cask of exotic nectar. Granted, the brandy would be really amazing, but the story would knock you out before the booze did.

But the Yellow Mask is probably more of an arch-foe of Captain America or Iron Man. “I don’t believe it! Gasp! The Yellow Mask was really the Mandarin all along!” Sadly, that means the Yellow Mask cocktail should probably have poison in it.

admin said:

This is from my pal Philip, who emailed me about the Yellow Mask options:

Iron Fist comes to mind first. Although it’s more of a do-rag with eye-holes, but still …

The old Cat Man had a yellowish mask but it’s a little more orange/brown nowadays.

Cyclops, maybe?

Then there was the Yellow Kid, but that’s a different sub-set of comic nerdness.

I’ll get my best people on this.

philip said:

Because I haven’t stopped thinking about it:

Mister Miracle has a yellow mask (his face is yellow but the red part covers his head). The Weaponers of Qward wear yellow(ish) helmets that partially cover their faces. Bumblebee who kicks around with the Teen Titans sort of, sometimes has a yellow mask, and I’m embarrassed that I didn’t think of Kid Flash sooner. Both Wally West and Bart Allen sported the yellow mask in their early days.

And for your Marvel types, we have Iron Man, occasionally with a yellow face on his mask. The aforementioned Wolverine. Nova? Kind of? And Thanos, a little.

Not done thinking about it, even if you are …

Nicole Sholly said:

The second Nite Owl wears yellow-ish goggles (in the book), and Silk Spectre II wears yellow, but no mask could cover her pretty face. And there’s always the Comedian’s yellow smiley face button. But maybe that drink should be called the Bloody Eddy.

Mark Butler said:

I think there’s an opportunity for a whole range of Watchmen cocktails. The Black Freighter… rum and squid ink? The “Doctor” Manhattan, with two curacao soaked cherries? Hey kids! Comics cocktails!

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