On Tuesday, 24 March, WISE members learned about the science of cocktails at The Laughing Buddha. Bartender Dan Cronin also taught us about the history of certain drinks, and how women have been involved in the art of mixology from the beginning. We learned that the Cosmopolitan, traditionally known as a “girly drink”, was originally intended to be quite boozy, and was invented by Cheryl Cook.
Our second sample was the Betsy Ross. While the story about her sewing the first American flag is generally regarded to be apocryphal, she is still a figure of historical significance. She went against the wishes of her family to marry for love in 1773, and was excommunicated from her Quaker faith for it. Talk about a strong woman! The eponymous drink consisted of brandy, port, and bitters. It was very strong, just like its namesake.
Finally we learned about Ada “Coley” Coleman, an american bartender who left for London during Prohibition. She was highly regarded among her peers for her cocktail crafting skills. She created, among other drinks, the Claridge: a mix of gin, dry vermouth, triple sec, and apricot brandy. This was the clear favorite of the night.
We also learned how the size and composition of ice affects a drink, the pros and cons of different strainers, and why James Bond was wrong and you should *never* shake a martini.