Hi de ho, folks, and welcome one and all to the Cabaret's 25th Episode Extravaganza, featuring not one star performance, but two, and not one cocktail, but two! Yes, folks, we're Doubling Down in celebration tonight, and where better to celebrate than in that Mecca of the Hip and Happenin', Harlem, New York!
Bronzeville at Night 1949 by Archibald John Motley, Jr (American Harlem Renaissance painter, 1891-1981)
Yes sirrie, Jack, we're club hopping in Harlem, taking full advantage of the Renaissance that this neighborhood is experiencing right now. First, we visit the famous, fabulous Cotton Club to see a performance by that coolest of cool cats, the legendary Cab Calloway himself! If some mad scientist were to distill the essence of Cool into physical form, Cab would be the result. This man invented Hep, folks! See him here as he wows us all with his superhit single, Minnie the Moocher, or "the Hi De Ho song". I have a feeling this cat will still be swinging in his eighties!
Cab Calloway is Cool in liquid form...
Dynamite, folks, just pure dynamite! Hi De Ho just sticks with you, don't it, Pops? How about a Hi Ho Cocktail to go with that? A Martini derivative using white port rather than vermouth, it goes down smooth and intoxicating as Cab himself!
Hi Ho Cocktail:
Shake over ice, garnish with a lemon twist.
Photo Credit: © Colleen Graham
Now, for my own tastes the Cotton Club may be swingin', but it's got one thing that just don't seem right: it's a segregated club. That means ol' Cab don't get to join us for drinks. Does that seem right to you? My agent Mr. Siegel seems rather fine with that, but not me. So let's head over to a place where we can all jump together, the equally legendary, and integrated, Savoy!
This here is Chick Webb's stompin' grounds, and guess who he's got singing for him tonight? The one and only Ella Fitzgerald herself! And the folks are jumpin' from the rafters here tonight! By comparison, the folks in the Cotton Club were down right stoic. So loosen up, Jack! Hit the floor and dance!
Weren't we just at St. Louis?
Class! Pure class! Chick is a man that knows how to get to the corner of Smooth and Jumpin'. Makes me want to put on a tuxedo. Heck, makes me want to put on a few tuxedoes! Tuxedo Cocktails, that is. Another Martini derivative, this one's a little sweeter and spicier thanks to anis liquer, maraschino, and bitters. It's like Old Fashioned dated Martini with a little Sazerac on the side!
Stir all ingredients over ice & strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
So, folks, hope you enjoyed our 25th Episode party. Harlem is my kind of town! Thanks as always for stopping by, we couldn't 've done it without you fine folks! Keep it swingin', and I'll see you on the up side, Momies and Daddies!