Of all the Gin Joints in all the countries of all the world, you walked into mine. Here...Casablanca, French Morocco, paradise lost.
Paris has fallen, and that hardly amounts to a hill of beans in this crazy world. A man's got to do what a man's got to do...and for me, that's keep this joint runnin' and keep my own neck out of trouble, with Vichy or Berlin, until I can hitch the next flight out'a here.
This entire city has gone mad, brother ready to sell brother up the river for a handful of cash and a pat on the back from the right hands. Spies and scoundrels abound here, and loyalty is as fickle as a lover's embrace. Nazis and Resistance, natives and colonizers, gangsters and marks.
And they all come here to the Cabaret, where the booze flows, the roulette wheel spins, and the piano picks out a small slice of sanity in a world gone mad.
A year ago this was a small paradise on earth, a place of western progress amid the heartless sands and savagery of the ancient African desert. Just look at the Deco-Gothic majesty of the Casablanca Cathedral to see what this city of shadows once was and you'll know what I mean.
But there's no use crying over spilled milk. Tonight, enjoy the music of Herman Hupfeld's greatest hit As Time Goes By.
And you could probably use a mind eraser to go with that sour memory of times lost. Well, if there's one thing this crazy town has, it's limes and pomegranates in spades. So the house special for tonight is the Jack Rose Cocktail, one of the the Six Classic Cocktails of the Prohibition era [now mostly forgotten].
Jack Rose Cocktail:
- 1.5 oz Applejack (Apple Brandy)
- Juice of 1/2 Lime or 1/3 Lemon (roughly 3/4 to 1 oz)
- 1 Tsp Grenadine (or as much as 1 oz to taste)
Shake all vigorously over ice, strain into cocktail glass...be advised, this one will take some experimentation to find the right balance for you.
Enjoy it, pal...for who knows what the hell will happen next...
Psst! Sidi! Over here! Yes, Sidi, I have a special thing you need to see! The French may claim this land, but it is our people who have lived here since the days of Hanibal! And we have new music of our own, music for a new modern identity! Raï music, the meeting of two worlds! Yes, over here! No, do not let them see you, Sidi. They will not understand. The French, the Germans, the Mullahs...they do not understand! Listen, this is the music of Cheikha Rimitti [link to a video; embedding blocked], the queen of Raï! She is a revolution in music ! This is the hidden face of Morocco. The Morocco of Tomorrow!
1 - Literally! Raï music is the punk music of Morrocco: subversive, underground, and deemed dangerous by authorities. Remitti, who died only recently following a long, influential, and subversive career, is the Godmother of the genre. And it is a genre absolutely, violently hated by the far right in Morrocco. As late as the mid 2000s Raï producers and musicians have been assassinated by religious zelots...and yet the musicians play on!