Happy Hour Fridays – “The Algonquin”
The Algonquin is named for the Algonquin Hotel in New York City. Its location at 59 West 44th Street made it a central meeting location for writers, editors and others associated with the surrounding environs, among them the offices of New Yorker magazine and theaters like 49th Street and Punch & Judy (long since demolished). All of this is well and good, as New York has long been the epicenter of theater and writing in the United States, but in June of 1919, a group of friends began meeting there regularly for lunch, a gathering which would continue for eight years and come to be known, at various times, as the Algonquin Round Table and the Vicious Circle.
Among the members were humorists, playwrights, screenwriters, actors and editors like Robert Benchley, Edna Ferber, George S. Kaufman, Harpo Marx, Robert E. Sherwood, Alexander Woollcott, Donald Ogden Stewart and, my personal favorite, Dorothy Parker. As famous for her well-fortified liver as for her quick, biting wit, Ms. Parker is a legend worth remembering—even if you don’t know her name, you’ve probably quoted one of her more famous lines: “What fresh Hell is this?”
1½ oz rye whiskey
¾ oz dry vermouth
¾ oz pineapple juice
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a brandied cherry, if you so desire