But what does Mixology Monday "Cocktail Chronicles" mean? I figured that we should look to Paul's magnum opus and digest the theme of it all -- what is timeless (or potentially timeless) and elegant in its simplicity. Paul commented in his interview, "[it]'s wonderful to see that level of creativity but simplicity is going to be the glue that continues to hold interest in the cocktail together. The moment that we make cocktails too difficult or too inaccessible to the average guest, the average consumer, then we start losing people." Paul does support a minor tweak of a major classic as well as dusting off a lesser known vintage recipe like the Creole Contentment; in addition, proto-classics like the Chartreuse Swizzle and the Penicillin intrigue him for their potential to be remembered twenty years from now. Moreover, he is a big fan of the story when there is one whether about a somewhat novel ingredient like a quinquina, the bartender making it, or the history behind a cocktail or the bar from which it originated. Indeed, I quoted Paul as saying, "If I write about these and manage to make them boring, then I have done an incredible disservice. So I feel an incredible obligation not only to the drinks themselves, but to the bartenders who created them, and also to the heritage of cocktail writing to try to elevate it."
So for this theme, channel your inner Paul Clarke. Think about simplicity, elegance, and timelessness to the point that this drink would not feel strange about drinking and writing about this at MxMo M. Feel free to feature a drink that Paul wrote about in his book or on his dusty blog, and feel free to search through your own library collection for something interesting to fit the bill. Try to develop a story around it to bring even the most simplest cocktail recipe to a higher level of intrigue for the reader. The Negroni is just a 3 parts recipe, but Gaz Regan certainly elevated it in his book The Negroni.
Here's how to play:
• Find or concoct a recipe that represents simplicity, elegance, and timelessness to you.
• Make the drink and then post the recipe, a photo, and your thoughts about the libation on your blog, tumblr, or website or on the eGullet Spirits and Cocktails forum.
• Include in your post the MxMo (the classic or the special MxMo C) logo and a link back to both the Mixology Monday and Cocktail Virgin sites. And once the round-up is posted, a link to that summary post would be appreciated.
• Provide a link to your submission in the comment section here, tweet at @cocktailvirgin, or send an email to yarm-at-verizon.net with the word "MxMo" somewhere in the subject line.
The due date is Monday, August 24th which I will interpret as whatever gets posted before my next day off which could be the 25th or 26th (and yes, I will tack on late entries since it is part of the act of cat herding). And the round up will definitely be up before my personal deadline of the 31st since I'm leaving for Camp Runamok the next morning!
Figure 1: Audio evidence of Paul agreeing to do MxMo 100.