June 13, 2011

Cocktail Talk: Mr. Pinkerton Goes to Scotland Yard

Ah, Mr. Pinkerton. Not a member of the celebrated detective agency at all, but a portly British chap (and yes, this is one of those occasion where “chap” is necessary) who falls into a humdinger of a mystery out of a combination of chance and boredom. That is, though on the outside it looks harmless, a deadly combination. I, myself, have gotten into mischief through it (though never coming close to a Scotland Yard-worthy entanglement). And you know what much of this mystery hinges on (well, really, how could you, unless you’ve read the book, and as it’s fairly obscure I’m guessing you haven’t)? A cocktail party where they bring out one of those “new-fangled American contraptions for mixing spirits.” I’m guessing they mean a cocktail shaker, but they aren’t that new-fangled, are they? Maybe it was an invention I don’t even know about? For shame, if so.

 

Mr. Paget had brought along with him one of the new-fangled American contraptions for mixing spirits, and he, Linda Darrell, and Hugh Ripley had brought some mint from the garden, sent Gaskins to the fish monger’s for six pennyworth of ice, and mixed it up with lemon juice. They made what they call a cocktail out of it.

 

–David Frome, Mr. Pinkerton Goes to Scotland Yard

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