December 29, 2009

Was Champagne Created by the Devil?

Everyone is asking it: was Champagne created by the devil (providing your belief system has a devil in it–if not, just fake it for now) to entrap people into getting loopy and lustful as the old year ends? I mean, we do consume a lot of Champagne and bubbly (and Champagne and bubbly cocktails, one hopes, to get away from the mundane-ity) this time of year, and it is sort-a like the death of the year, and the devil is on people’s minds when they think of death. And drunken revelry has mistakenly been touted as evil before (when, in actuality, it is really full of goodness a full 87.463% of the time). What do I think about the whole “Champagne was created by the devil” rigmarole that’s being tossed around so much on TV news shows and talk radio? Well, let’s see what the ads say, because advertising is the most trustworthy business there is (after used-car selling, prostitution, and the NBA). First, check out this ad, from way back in 1908 (I think):



You see the devil is, actually, involved, using the bubbly to entice a lovely young maiden and a dancing, prancing (romancing), satyr. Or is it a faun? Or just a drunk kid? I get those confused. Wait, what’s that you say? The woman is pouring the bubbly for the devilish character? That makes it less probable that he created it. But wait, though, wait (again), what about this ad from a little later in history:



Here, mean ol’ scratch is pouring it out with an evil grin. No doubt about it. Well, maybe a little doubt. I mean, he is pouring it a long way–why would he want to potentially spill what he created? It almost seems like he’s showing off his bar skills, maybe looking for a new gig behind the stick, and not trying to drunky up the masses at all. Maybe, just maybe, the devil didn’t create Champagne in the least bit (and maybe, just maybe, I’m just devil’d up from reading too many pre-code devilish horror comics during The Horrors of It All’s Devilcember). Wait, though, wait (again): this last ad below definitely points to the possibilities of the devil at least being associated with Champagne. Because if this isn’t a minion of the devil pushing the Champagne in the ad, I don’t know my religious cosmology:



Okay, wait, though, wait (one last time): I think I get it, finally. The devil is only responsible for Champagne or bubbly in a can. I think I can believe that. Now, go stock up for New Year’s Eve, devilish ones, and don’t forget to save a glass of bubbliciousness for me (as long as it’s poured from a bottle).

December 30, 2008

Cocktail Video: The Valencia

Take your New Year’s Eve party up a notch (if that’s possible–knowing the readers and pals I have, your New Year’s Eve parties are already notched up so high the belt might break. But even so, you still might like a new New Year’s bubbly beauty) with the Valencia, a drink I think sounds like it refers to an old, but somewhat shadily classy, apartment house, probably a brick brownstone, where the serious parties have happened, are happening, and will continue to happen as long as we’re lucky to walk and drink on this earth. Valencia the drink contains a captivating combination of apricot brandy, orange juice, orange bitters, and Champagne or sparkling wine (the latter being why it’s so fitting for the last day in December). In the below video, which is posted via the fine folks at How2Heroes (a site you should check out if you like drinking and cooking videos) you can see me making one of these sparklers.


If that’s not enough, and if you really want to start your New Year right (or oddly), check out this video of me (also from How2Heroes) talking about how I got into cocktail love and booze-writing and all that liquor madness. I’m also wearing a pink tie and straw hat and name dropping the Essential Dr. Strange Volume I.

And if that’s not enough, know that I’m wishing you, from a distance, if not in person (though I wish I was), the happiest and most wonderfulest 2009 imaginable. And then some. Cheers!

Rathbun on Film