created over 3 years ago | Tagged:
Penelope Cruiser: sounds like a slinky Latin sports car. Or maybe a sultry Latin porn star. Or, come to think of it, a saucy Latin drag queen, long of lash and fond of Almodóvar.
But the concoction in question turns out to be more intoxicating than any of the above. Laced with tequila and sweetened with brown sugar, the Penelope Cruiser is a margarita of sorts, findable (and drinkable) at 675 Bar, a lounge in the meatpacking district in Manhattan and as good a place as any to begin celebrating the poetry, doggerel and outright absurdity of contemporary cocktail names.
At 675 Bar you can also sip an Algerian Typist, a Beggarman Thief or a Mr. Rufus. One of those drinks brings together cachaça, celery and chartreuse, but which? The monikers offer no clue: They’re pure literary whimsy, a proudly opaque muddling of the chartreuse with the abstruse. Read on for the answer, and for more examples of the madness that occurs when bartenders turn bards and alcohol is not just the imagination’s catalyst, but also its focus.
And so the East Side Lebanese restaurant Ilili, whose semantic shenanigans begin with its palindrome of a name, presents From Beirut With Passion — not a Bond sequel but a liquid marriage of vodka and passion fruit purée. The drink also includes basil, cilantro and mint, making it an uber-herbaceous example of the blurry line between apéritif and roughage.
“It’s hard to name drinks,” Mr. Wondrich said, adding that the only sin greater than too much whimsy is too little. “I always appreciate it when people aren’t just calling a drink a -tini or a -rita, which absolutely drives me nuts.” “It’s a cheap, easy deployment of a stolen suffix,” he said. “It’s not playing the game right.”