Wednesday, December 30, 2015

S.S. van Dines's The Canary Murder Case Cocktail

I recently came across an unusual book from 1935, So Red the Nose, or -- Breath in the Afternoon, a collection of cocktail recipes by 30 leading authors.

Among the drinks included in this illustrated book are Ernest Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon Cocktail ("After six of these cocktails The Sun Also Rises"); Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan Cocktail; Erskine Caldwell's Tobacco Road Cocktail; and Rockwell Kent's Salamina Cocktail. Other authors included in the book are Alexander Woolcott, Theodore Dreiser, Christopher Morley, Irving Stone, E. Phillips Oppenheim, MacKinley Kantor, Harriet Monroe, Hervey Allen and others.

What caught my attention was S. S. Van Dine's The Canary Murder Case Cocktail. Van Dine, of course, authored the mystery novel that was the basis for the 1929 detective film co-starring William Powell and Louise Brooks. Each was quite popular in their day.

Van Dine, something of a bon vivant and man about town, offered this recipe for his mystery cocktail: 1/2 jigger dry gin, 1/2 jigger cognac, 1/2 jigger yellow vermouth, 1 jigger orange juice, 1 dash orange bitters, shake well. Enjoy. And Happy new year.

Here is a picture taken on the set of The Canary Murder Case depicting author S. S. van Dine and actor William Powell.

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