Friday, February 15, 2013

fannie porter

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
3/4 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
3/4 oz Nardini Bassano Amaro
1 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a coupe glass.

Another of the drinks that Katie Emmerson created for the Whiskey & Amari Night at the Blue Room was the Fannie Porter. The formula was one that she had tinkered with in the past, and I had a gin version at the Hawthorne that she called the Young Blood. This time, the recipe used rye whiskey and chocolate bitters, and the combination perhaps worked even better than the gin. For a glimpse of Fannie's life, I'll repost what I wrote on the Facebook event page:
Another of the amazing women that Katie and I will be honoring on Monday is Texas madam Fannie Porter. Wait, did I say madam -- er, the U.S. census listed her establishment as a "boarding house" and not a brothel. So perhaps she was a famous landlady instead? Besides the five ladies that lived there, they also sheltered quite a few outlaws on the run; famous and often frequent visitors included Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, Kid Curry, and other members of the Wild Bunch gang. She not only protected her girls but her outlaws as well.

Fannie was born in England but traveled with her parents to the U.S. at an early age. By age 15, she was already working as a prostitute in San Antonio, Texas. Her business acumen brought her to owning her own brothel by age 19 or 20 that was always filled with attractive girls with excellent hygiene and immaculate appearances. There was some turnover through the years since there was a good bit of matchmaking going on as outlaws would fall in love with the women.

Fannie was pretty well connected and ran her establishment without too much interference from the law. She was arrested once for "vagrancy" which is a police-speak for prostitution. It is surmised that it might have been linked to the time she chased a policeman from her establishment and threatened to beat him senseless with a broom.

So if you decide to partake of the libation bearing her name, we will use the utmost discretion for any and all occurrences that night. And hopefully, we do not have to chase you out with a broom.
The last drink that Katie crafted for the event was a tall drink, and it was the perfect option for anyone looking for something either refreshing or without bitter liqueurs. The special touch was a Rangpur lime marmalade that she had made that week. From the Facebook event page:
"I ain't afraid to love a man, I ain't afraid to shoot him either."

One of the most famous women we're honoring tomorrow at the Blue Room is Annie Oakley. Born Phoebe Ann Oakley Moses, she was shooting like a pro by the age of 12. Her time in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show included such acts like shooting a playing card the thin way and shooting ash off of a cigarette while it was being smoked. Through her career, Annie worked to empower women by teaching over 15,000 of them to shoot guns, not only for the exercise but as a way to defend themselves.

If you're looking for scandal, there was the 1904 story published about her getting arrested to support her cocaine habit. Unfortunately, it was a burlesque performer who told the police that her name was Annie Oakley, and the newspapers took off with the story. The real Annie spent years winning libel lawsuits but only breaking even with legal fees.

Instead of posting a besmirching quote and fearing Annie's vengeance, here's an uplifting one: “Aim at a high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, not the second time and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally you’ll hit the bull’s-eye of success.”

Just don't do too much shooting after the first or second of the drink named after her...
The recipe for the Annie Oakley was:
Annie Oakley
• 1 1/2 oz Blended Scotch
• 3/4 oz Lime Juice
• 3/4 oz Simple Syrup
• 1 heaping barspoon Rangpur Lime Marmalade
Shake with ice and strain into a Highball glass filled with ice. Top with soda water and add a straw.

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