Friday night is well suited to a cocktail hour, to mark the end of another work week. Kish’s drink of choice these days is a pometini (consisting of pomegranate juice and vodka) and I’m a red wine drinker. For many years now — since college, really — I have not had much of a taste for distilled spirits.
Although I don’t drink them, I have a certain fondness for cocktails. They seem classier, more sophisticated, and more fun than a glass of wine or a beer. When I was a kid, it seemed like all adults enjoyed their own cocktail of choice, and that drinking a mixed drink was just something that grown-ups did when they got home from work. After all, on Bewitched Samantha greeted Darren at the door with a pitcher of martinis, and when the Tates came over for dinner it was a very liquid affair.
Members of my own family were known for ordering particular cocktails. When Jim and I were kids, we used to go to University of Akron basketball games with Gramma and Grampa Neal , and before every game we would go to a restaurant called Sanginiti’s, where we sat at the same table and were waited on by a waitress named Christine. At dinner, Gramma had an Old-fashioned on the rocks (always ordered with the additional instruction: “and not too many rocks”), and Grampa had a Manhattan.
We learned about a bunch of new concoctions when we moved to Columbus and my parents hosted Ohio State football game parties. They had a fully stocked liquor cabinet, and partygoers would order a Tom Collins, a White Russian, a Stinger, or a Rusty Nail. When we got old enough, we would act as bartenders, and for a time I had a pretty good working knowledge of mixology. In college, Kish and I drank Seven and Sevens, available for 75 cents at Andy Capp’s bar on High Street (these drinks, which were served in a juice glass, did not seem very sophisticated in retrospect).
I’d like to see cocktails make a comeback, to the point where people don’t just order an appletini or whatever other “-tini” craze is hot at the moment, but return to some of the classics — like a real Martini, or a Brown Boxcar, or a Whiskey Sour. My guess is that, if the economy continues to bump along as it has been doing, people will be tempted to do so.