April 18, 2017

Cocktail Talk: Miss Mackenzie

Image result for miss mackenzie trollopeAh, Trollope. It’s always good to go back to Trollope (for me, that is. For you, too, I hope), re-reading books I love. But it’s also amazing to uncover one of the few Anthony Trollope books I haven’t yet read (there are only a few left, which is amazing – if that isn’t tooting my own horn too much – when you consider the vast assortment of books he managed to write), which happened recently with a novel called Miss Mackenzie. And, as you’d expect, it’s a fantastic read, a little different in that the heroine is a bit older than the norm, and in an interesting situation (which is the norm). I don’t want to spoil anything, so won’t say anything more, but it’s a dandy book. Not a lot of drinking, really, and, to be completely honest (not a bad thing, most days), the below isn’t even a drinking quote, in a cocktail or spirits or etc. way. But it feels like one! Maybe it is, in a way, too. Hmm. Either way, it is amazing. You’ll agree. I can feel it.

“I have heard a great deal about Mr. Stumfold,” continued Mr. Rubb, not appearing to observe the lady’s altered manner, “not only here and where I have been for the last few days, but up in London also. He is quite a public character, you know.”
“Clergymen in towns, who have large congregations, always must so be, I suppose.”
“Well, yes; more or less. But Mr. Stumfold is decidedly more, and not less. People say he is going in for a bishopric.”
“I had not heard it,” said Miss Mackenzie, who did not quite understand what was meant by going in for a bishopric.
“Oh, yes, and a very likely man he would have been a year or two ago. But they say the prime minister has changed his tap lately.”
“Changed his tap!” said Miss Mackenzie.
“He used to draw his bishops very bitter, but now he draws them mild and creamy. I dare say Stumfold did his best, but he didn’t quite get his hay in while the sun shone.”

–Anthony Trollope, Miss Mackenzie

May 24, 2016

Cocktail Talk: Can You Forgive Her

can-you-forgive-herAnthony Trollop and I hang out, usually over some port. It’s a swell time, and as a long-time reader of this blog (which you are, right? Right?), you probable already know this, cause of past Trollope Cocktail Talks (which I know you’ve read, right? Right?), and my general fawning over him. I recently just re-read the first of the awesome Palliser novels, a book called Can You Forgive Her. Not the tops of that series of his (to me, the Phineas books are best), but still amazingly good. And it has this quote, which tells about how a good whiskey drink is a swell mood-changer.

And when he got to his club the waiters found him quite unmanageable about his dinner, which he ate alone, rejecting all proposition of companionship. But later in the evening he regained his composure over a glass of whiskey-toddy and a cigar. “She’s got her own money,” he said to himself, “and what does it matter? I don’t suppose she’ll marry her cousin. I don’t think she’s fool enough for that. And after all she’ll probably make it up again with John Grey.” And in this way he determined that he might let this annoyance run off him, and that he need not as a father take the trouble of any interference.

–Can You Forgive Her, Anthony Trollope

November 10, 2015

Cocktail Talk: Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite

sir-harryYou know this, because you’re a regular reader: I love books by Anthony Trollope. I believe there are more Trollope Cocktail Talk posts than any other type. So, I’m not going to go in deep into the whys and such here (go read the older posts, if you’ve missed any, which you probably haven’t, because you’re a regular reader). Here, instead, we’re diving in quick to a quote from Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite, a shorter, lesser-known Trollope sparkler. Actually, though it sparkles in some ways, it’s also probably one of the top five most-depressing-ending Trollope books. Still worth a read, but don’t expect it to be all smiles once that last page is turned. Maybe you’ll even need a drink?

Early on the morning after George’s return he was run to ground by Mr. Boltby’s confidential clerk, at the hotel behind the club. It was so early, to George at least, that he was still in bed. But the clerk, who had breakfasted at eight, been at his office by nine, and had worked hard for two hours and a half since, did not think it at all early. George, who knew that his pheasant-shooting pleasure was past, and that immediate trouble was in store for him, had consoled himself over-night with a good deal of curaçoa and seltzer and brandy, and had taken these comforting potations after a bottle of Champagne. He was, consequently, rather out of sorts when he was run to ground in his very bedroom by Boltby’s clerk.

– Anthony Trollope, Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite

October 20, 2015

Cocktail Talk: Eye For An Eye

eye-for-an-eyeWell, I may have had more Cocktail Talk posts from Anthony Trollope than any other author. I haven’t, like, counted, or anything, so it’s a guess – but a good one. If you’d like to learn about my Trollopean leanings, then you should go browse those posts. Or, read this one first, then browse them. One way or another, browse them! Hah. An Eye For An Eye isn’t consider in the core top Trollopes, but it’s a good read, and one that moves rapidly. There’s lots of Irish coastline, and lots of characters driven in ways that feel appropriate even today, even if the actual kickoff motivations aren’t. There’s also love, revenge, betrayal, and the below quote about drinking with a priest.

The dinner at the priest’s was very jovial. There was a bottle of sherry and there was a bottle of port, procured, chiefly for the sake of appearance, from a grocer’s shop at Ennistimon;–but the whiskey had come from Cork and had been in the priest’s keeping for the last dozen years. He good-humoredly acknowledged that the wine was nothing, but expressed an opinion that Mr. Neville might find it difficult to beat the “sperrits.” “It’s thrue for you, Father Marty,” said the rival priest from Milltown Malbay, “and it’s you that should know good sperrits from bad if ony man in Ireland does.”

–Anthony Trollope, An Eye For An Eye

July 14, 2015

Cocktail Talk: John Caldigate

john-caldigateHey, I think everyone in the world knows this, but if you’re one of the few that don’t, well, I am here to tell you – I love me some Anthony Trollope. I wonder where I rank, now that I’m pondering the whole thing, on the world’s list of Anthony Trollope fans. I’ll bet I’m in the top 100! Really! I’ve read nearly everything (and that’s saying something, cause he was one prolific mid-1800s English writer) and many things twice. I’ve read so much Trollope I’m amazed when I find one of the few books I’ve missed. Amazed and happy, as when I picked up John Caldigate recently. Most of those I haven’t read aren’t considered “major” Trollope works (whatever that means), but damn, I believe John Caligate should get some consideration. One of the more epic Trollope’s I’ve read, it has a huge cast of characters, a sea voyage, some time spent in the Australian gold mines, a bigamy trial, and lots of the English countryside-ing that Trollope is so known for. I loved it. And not just because of the below quote, which describes how a certain farmer drinks his wine.

Then the tray was brought in with wine, and everybody drank everybody’s health, and there was another shaking of hands all round. Mr. Purvidge, it was observed, drank the health of every separate member of the family in a separate bumper, pressing the edge of the glass securely to his lips, and then sending the whole contents down his throat at one throw with a chunk from his little finger.

– Anthony Trollop, John Caldigate

September 23, 2014

Cocktail Talk: Ralph the Heir

ralphI recently picked up a couple Trollope books I hadn’t read before (which is rare – if you don’t know of my Trollopean love, go check out past Trollope Cocktail Talks), thanks to Powell’s, and as long-time readers of this here blog could guess, I was super excited to find them. Both because I could happily read Trollope all day long, and because the books tend to contain a nice bit of Cocktail Talk, too. For example, one of the books was Ralph the Heir, about a somewhat ne’er-do-well running into trouble before some inheritance kicks in, along with being about his much nicer cousins, and how they all end up and with who. It’s fantastic, really. But having a ne’er-do-well means, naturally, that there’s some time spent in clubs and bars, which leads to the below quote – one of the best about how service is sometimes driven.

Mrs. Horsball got out from some secluded nook a special bottle of orange-brandy in his favour – which Lieutenant Cox would have consumed on the day of its opening, had not Mrs. Horsball with considerable acrimony declined to supply his orders. The sister with ringlets smiled and smirked whenever the young Squire went near the bar. The sister in ringlets was given to flirtations of this kind, would listen with sweetest complacency to compliments on her beauty, and would return them with interest. But she never encouraged this sort of intimacy with gentlemen who did not pay their bills, or with those whose dealings with the house were not of a profitable nature. The man who expected that Miss Horsball would smile upon him because he ordered a glass of sherry and bitters or half-a-pint of pale ale was very much mistaken; but the softness of her smile for those who consumed the Moonbeam Champagne was unbounded. Love and commerce with her ran together, and regulated each other in a manner that was exceedingly advantageous to her brother.

–Anthony Trollope, Ralph the Heir

July 1, 2014

Cocktail Talk: Doctor Thorne

doctor-thorneI probably don’t need to reiterate my love for English writer Anthony Trollope, but what the heck – I love me some Trollope. I’ve nearly, nearly, read all of his books (well, I’m still missing a few, but I’ve done a fair job and am hunting out the few that I’m missing), and re-read a ton, too. But somehow, the first time I read Doctor Thorne (one of the Chronicles of Barset), I skipped, or read but then forgot about, the below quote. Which is, admittedly, a quote about a character who has a serious probably with the drink. But still! It mentions some bottles that continue to be favorites today, including one thing that’s being in made in Seattle after a long absence by the Old Ballard Liquor Co. See if you can figure out which one!

His father had killed himself with brandy; the son, more elevated in his tastes, was doing the same thing with curaçao, maraschino, and cherry-bounce.

–Anthony Trollope, Doctor Thorne

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November 5, 2013

Cocktail Talk: Is He Popenjoy?

is-he-popenjoyMy un-stopping love for the great English novelist Anthony Trollope continues with each of his books I read (there are a lot, luckily). Recently I finished the lesser-known treasure Is He Popenjoy?, all about class and legacy and inheritance in multiple ways. What I wish now is that some fine bartender out there would make up a drink called The Popenjoy. I would pay a pretty penny for that, if it was awesome. It would have to contain cherry brandy, which is mentioned in the books, as well as curaçao, which is in the dandy quote below (oh, if you do make up a drink here, go with Pierre Ferrand curaçao, please). If you create The Popenjoy, please let me know asap.

She was in the habit of sitting by him and talking to him late in the evening, while he was sipping his curaçao and soda-water, and had become accustomed to hear odd things from him. He liked her because he could say what he please to her, and she would laugh and listen and show no offence.

–Anthony Trollope, Is He Popenjoy?

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