It was in June of 1919 that the famed Algonquin Round Table came into being, a group of writers, editors, actors and agents who met regularly for lunch at New York's Algonquin Hotel. The group included George S. Kaufman, playwright and New York Times drama editor, Harpo Marx and, most famously, Dorothy Parker, among many other literary stars of the era. Right around now would be the 94th birthday of the group also known as the Vicious Circle for their quick and biting wit.
The quick-talking, joke-cracking sharp humor we see represented in movies from the 1920s on is said to be mainly inspired by the banter of the members of the Vicious Circle.
There's also a classic cocktail called the Algonquin cocktail, a delicious mix of rye whiskey, dry vermouth and pineapple juice. And while it's romantic to sip on one of these drinks and imagine Ms. Parker also drinking one while spewing brilliant one-liners, the truth is that this drink was probably inspired by the Round Table but not consumed around it. No matter: it's good enough to drink in their honor regardless.
If you really do want to drink like the members of the round table, a dry martini is the way to go.
See below for few fantastic booze-themed quotes attributed to folks around the Round Table, as well as a recipe for the Algonquin cocktail.
“I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
after four I'm under my host.”
“Why don't you get out of that wet coat and into a dry martini?”
– Robert Benchley
“I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.”
– Dorothy Parker
From: David Wondrich, cocktail guru.
1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey
3/4 ounce French dry vermouth
3/4 ounce unsweetened pineapple juice
1. Stir the whiskey, vermouth and pineapple juice well with cracked ice.
2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
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