Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Le Mixeur Quatre!

Come and see us...
we have new Mixeurs for you
we have music, theater, and light.

"let there be everywhere our talk.
let there be everywhere our eyes.
let there be everywhere our thoughts.
let there be everywhere our love.
let there be everywhere our actions.
breathing hope and victory
into their unspoken questions
summoning the dead to life again
to the hereafter of freedom.

cmon. men. women.
i want to be free."

-sonia sanchez, "el salvador" (1984)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

L'art de mélange le lundi...D'abord essai

The Assignment from Le Kaiser Penguin: A drink with a minimum of three ozzes of high proof spirit - preferably one with some aesthetic value and agreeable flavors.

While it runs contrary to the philosophy of Le Mixeur to skim by with the bare minimum, we nonetheless present a concoction bearing high proof spirits of exactly three ozzes (only true contrarieties dare to be contrary to even themselves).

And as such, it runs consistent with Le Mixeur to steadfastly remain enigmatic and obstreperous, and thus we present a concoction containing constituents of a specific and homemade nature (and despite being contrarieties we will grudgingly accept this consistency for the sake of mixology).

And it is without suitable explanation that Le Mixeur presents some verse as a humble offering (except to say these turns of phrase have contributed, along with the three ozzes of high proof spirit, to Le Mixeur's blessed state of this moment):


"have you forgotten what we were like then
when we were still first rate
and the day came fat with an apple in its mouth

it's no use worrying about Time
but we did have a few tricks up our sleeves
and turned some sharp corners

the whole pasture looked like our meal
we didn't need speedometers
we could manage cocktails out of ice and water

I wouldn't want to be faster
or greener than now if you were with me O you
were the best of all my days"

- frank o'hara (1950)

And now on with the cocktail...

There is a somewhat standard recipe for red wine syrup that involves equal parts of red wine and sugar cooked for approximately ten minutes. To this recipe, using Cabernet Sauvignon, we added 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and have since not regretted it.

Make this. Go ahead, we'll wait...

Now, let us mix a fine cocktail.

Playing the role of three ozzes of spirit this evening will be Alto Del Carmen Pisco. This will be a virtuoso, tour de force performance that dominates screen and stage, with only cameo appearances by the supporting cast, played by the aforementioned wine syrup, ruby grapefruit juice, lemon, and mint.

In honor of Alto Del Carmen, we dub this stew the Palo Alto, which literally means "high stick." Though none of Team Le Mixeur has ever played hockey competitively, we feel it reasonable to assume that being on the receptive end of a Palo Alto produces much the same sensation as drinking one (replacing, of course, the stench of body armor sweat, blood, and polymer with the exquisite aromas of citrus, pepper, and muscat).

Both experiences come chilled with ice.

Palo Alto

3 oz alto del carmen pisco
1/2 oz ruby grapefruit juice (for O'Hara's sake make it fresh squeezed)
1/4 oz lemon (fresh squeezed Cela va sans dire!)
1/4 oz wine syrup
3 mint leaves...spank them...don't be ashamed...spank them

Shake all in a...wait for it...cocktail shaker. Strain into a...wait for it...chilled cocktail glass.

Now, drop a 1/2 teaspoon more of wine syrup into the bottom of the glass. Don't float it. Let it sink. The drink will gain slightly in sweetness as you get closer to the bottom of the glass, until at last a dollop of spicy sweet dessert awaits you. Just in time to arouse your senses after being deadened by a three oz high stick.

But enough about the Palo Alto, and back to Frank O'Hara. We love Frank O'Hara because he loved and died on Fire Island, the latter occurring tragically at age 40 when he was struck by a dune buggy while walking the beach (Nous ne plaisantons pas!).

We love Fire Island because our late Great Uncle Chuck used to summer there, and would regale a young Norman Lear with wild yet true tales of our great grandmother Bertha Ellen "Maude" (Colahan) Anderson (who once flung a chopping knife at her husband Walter during a family dinner that missed the intended target and instead lodged itself in the wall scant inches above a young Papa Mixeur's head). Monsieur Lear would later create the television series "Maude," starring Bea Arthur as Maude and Bill Macy as her husband Walter. No knives were heaved.

We like to imagine that at one of these Fire Island shindigs Uncle Chuck and Frank O'Hara met, Mixed, and managed cocktails out of ice and water for a time, before Uncle Chuck said enough of this bullshit, and got out a bottle of scotch.

We Munats, even back then when we were still first rate, did have a few tricks up our sleeves.

Avec toute mon affection,

T. Mixeur