Monday, February 18, 2008

Le Mixeur trois était un succès qualifié

"Le Mixeur Trois was a qualified success."

Success, indeed, as in meeting 4 of the 5 definitions for success according to Random House:

  • the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors...oui!
  • the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like...oui oui!
  • a successful performance or achievement...oui oui oui!
  • a person or thing that is successful...Cette définition est inexcusablement stupide!
  • Obsolete..."Désuet?" Le Mixeur Désuet? Oh, no, no, je pense non!
Yet qualified, yes, because we at Le Mixeur are perfectionists. Reports have filtered in that a handful of Mixers were not happy with their drinks, and T. Mixeur has troubling images of Mixers with less than radiant unfamiliar image when in the throes of Mixeuria.

Le Mixeur's diagnosis: not vivid enough descriptions of drinks on the menu, no visual affirmations of drinks, and not enough availability of menus.

Which leads to exchanges such as this at Le Mixeur Trois...

Mixer Un: Vous aimez votre cocktail ? -
Do you like your cocktail?

Mixer Deux: Je ne fais pas!
- I do not!

Mixer Un: (gasps, places fingertips on heart) Qu'est-ce qui ne va pas ? A-t-il été mal fait ?
- what is wrong? was it poorly made?

Mixer Deux: Le Mixeur, Mélange une boisson mal faite ? Ne soyez pas ridicule!
- Le Mixeur, Mix a poorly made drink? Don't be ridiculous!

Mixer Un: (genuflecting) Désolé. Pardonnez-moi Le Mixeur!
- Sorry. Forgive me Le Mixeur!

Mixer Deux: Le menu a dit du cognac, quelque chose avec la cerise et le xérès. Je m'attendais à quelque chose le bonbon!
- The menu said brandy, something with cherry, and sherry. I was expecting something sweet!

Mixer Un: Et n'est-ce pas? - And is it not?

Mixer Deux: Je ne le servirais pas à Toulouse-Lautrec! - I wouldn't serve this to Toulouse-Lautrec!

Mixer Un: Non même au syphilitic éclipsent avec des organes génitaux hypertrophiés ? - Not even to that syphilitic dwarf with hypertrophied genitals?

Mixer Deux: (thinks for a moment) No. No de je ne servirait pas cette boisson à un nain de syphilitic avec des organes génitaux hypertrophiés. - No. I would not serve this drink to a syphilitic dwarf with hypertrophied genitals. (places the drink disgustedly onto a table and walks away from it)

As T. Mixeur reviews this conversation a sigh can't help but pass through the lips. A valued Mixer, it seems, would not serve my drink to a syphilitic dwarf with hypertrophied genitals. This was never the reaction we had hoped for at Le Mixeur: in fact, quite the opposite. To reveal a behind the scenes moment, we had explicitly stated amongst ourselves that we hoped to create the sort of cocktails that one would serve to a syphilitic dwarf with hypertrophied genitals. In fact, the serving of a drink to
a syphilitic dwarf with hypertrophied genitals was to be the centerpiece of Le Mixeur Quatre's cabaret act.

Those dreams are now dashed.

And we at Le Mixeur take the full blame.

How could a beautiful, vibrant, intelligent Mixer, attempting to look over the shoulders of other Mixers at a poorly lit menu with script font, with nothing more than a cryptic list of ingredients, be expected to discern if this drink was bonbon or not bonbon?

How to know from this experience that the drink would be 2/3 brandy, making it stronger than the typical Mixer cares for?

How to know, without previous knowledge, that the Cherry Heering is not a sweet syrup, but a liqueur residing on the dry end of Cherry brandies, and that the small spritz of sherry was likewise a dry selection?

How further to realize that, by some alchemical magic, the brandy, Heering, and sherry would collude to build a nest where one small dash of aromatic bitters would flourish, and imbue every sip of this cocktail with its lingering scent?

In Le Mixeurville, we call this a smartly constructed cocktail. This night in Mixerville, however, it was simply known as "not what I wanted."

And this all illustrates the original point, which is that Mixers must be better illuminated as to what the character and style of each drink is, and Le Mixeur must illustrate this for them, in order for all to be illuminated and illustrated, or illuminating and illustrating, or both.

And so, for Le Mixeur Quatre, we will do the following:

  • reduce the number of drinks to 8-10 - less to consider means easier decisions
  • create profiles for each drink, with narrative descriptions of flavor, history, and whatever else streams through the consciousness during that particular moment of Mixeuria
  • include with these profiles a lovely color photograph of the drink - Mixers can then close their eyes and create mental images of how each of these drinks will look and feel in their hands.
  • provide additional copies of these illustrated menus in each area of the house - for more relaxed browsing while comfortably ensconced in one's most nurturing Mixeur element
  • adorn the menus further with symbols that help Mixers quickly understand important elements of the drinks they may potentially order. For instance this image... ...signals to the Mixer that Le Mixeur would not serve this drink to a syphilitic dwarf with hypertrophied genitals.

Le Mixeur Quatre will be the greatest Mixeur the world has ever seen. T. Mixeur's work on this began the day after Le Mixeur Trois was complete. Le Mixeur Quatre will be occurring sometime in Spring, and in honor of this time of bloom the drinks will focus on all things floral and fruity. Picture big icy drinks with condensed moisture glistening from their sides, with pineapple wedges and cherries and melon bobbing delightedly at the surface, the house permeated with the scents of mango, peach, and Elderflower. Picture it I say.

Soon to come, the emergence of a true Le Mixeur Enterprise Commune, and how we will make this happen.

Sincerest apologies to the brilliant Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec Monfa...

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