Saturday, 26 January 2013

"It has to be the hour... you can't miss!"

Last night I went to a party, called: 'I'm not going to hurt you  - I'm from the BBC.' As you may have gathered, it was a BBC-themed do, and a group of us decided to go as characters from The Hour.
If you haven't heard of The Hour, then take some time to go and watch it! It is a fantastic newsroom drama set in 1950s Britain and has just completed showing it's second series. This show is great for many reasons, including (but not limited to) a fantastic cast (including the likes of Romola Garai, Anna Chancellor, Ben Whishaw, Dominic West and Oona Chaplin), a flawless set design (with original 1950s BBC film equipment in the studio), incessant smoking, the Suez crisis, whisky, romance, scandal and murder.

Here's the trailer for the first series:

And a trailer for the second series:

The party itself was a small one, and here are a couple of photographs from the evening. I went as Marnie Madden, and the host as Bel Rowley (on the right in the first photograph). All photo credits go to Jack Marlowe, who came as Freddie Lyon.

If you're a cocktail drinker, you might want to check out The Hour cocktails - one for each of the main characters - created by The Blue Bar at The Algonquin Hotel. I found these recipes on The Hour page on BBC America, which has a veritable treasure trove of videos, photos and resources.
The Algonquin Hotel‘s The Blue Bar mixologists provided the following concepts and recipes. The Algonquin Hotel is a longstanding historical landmark, which has been a centrifugal part of culture and glamor of Manhattan through the ages. Once a favorite haunt of legends such as John Barrymore, Ernest Hemingway and Dorothy Parker, what better place to find a historically authentic cocktail menu that represents the class and sophistication of ‘The Hour.’

Lix Storm – (The Algonquin Cocktail) –
  Lix is the Kathryn Hepburn of ‘The Hour’ and is comfortable surrounded by worldly men. She enjoys indulging in an old school drink amongst her peers. This classic         whiskey-based cocktail has a high-rye content on the rocks.
· 2oz Top Shelf rye whiskey
· ¾ oz Top Shelf Dry Vermouth
· ¾ oz Pineapple Juice
            · Add ice and shake well, to be strained into a cocktail glass with a lemon twist
Hector Madden – (Classic Dry Martini)
Hector is the alpha male of the show, who relies on his excessive wits and charms to win over the public. Surely he would be the classic, no nonsense martini drinker made with Beefeater Gin.
4.5 oz London dry gin
3 dashes of dry vermouth
Served in a martini glass
Garnish with 3 Olives
Stirred with ice
Bel Rowley – (Classic Sidecar Cocktail)
Depending on the age of the Cognac, The Sidecar is one of the most classic and expensive cocktails in the world. Folklore credits the invention of the drink to an American army Captain during WWI, who, while serving in Paris named the drink after the motorcycle sidecar that he rode in to the Bistro where the drink originated. Others claim it was first introduced at “Buck’s Club” in London or The Ritz Hotel in Paris at the end of WWI. Bel’s attraction to the Side Car is a reflection of her longing for acceptance in the old world with it’s refined tastes, including a little bit of sugar on the rim of the glass.
· 5 parts VSOP Cognas
· 3 parts Cointreau
   · 2 parts fresh lemon juice
  · Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, sugar rimmed
Freddie Lyon – (The Re-Bel Sazerac)
“The Sazerac” is one of the oldest drinks in the world and is accepted as the oldest of the new world. Although the defining character of the “Sazerac Cocktail’ lies in it’s preparation with Absinthe of the traditional type of wormwood used in pre-banned Absinthes, that were never banned in the UK. It’s unique character of preparation calls for ice packed into a Western Style Glass, making it a perfect drink for Freddie, who has just returned from his journey to America. 
· 1 cube sugar
    · 1½ ounces (35ml) American Rye Whiskey
     · ¼ ounce Herbsaint
           · 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
   · Orange peel
Marnie Madden – (The Aviation, aka The Marnie Flight)
Marnie is a well traveled and worldly sophisticate. “The Aviation” is a classic cocktail made with a dry gin base, maraschino liqueur, Crème de Violette, and lemon juice. All these ingredients are poured into a Cocktail Shaker filled with ice, shaken well and strained into a cocktail glass. Marnie then calls for her standard maraschino cherry garnish to be cut and placed kissing the glass lip, refined, like her.
· 2-2 ½ oz British Dry Gin
· ½ oz Lemon Juice
· ¾ oz Maraschino Liqueur
    · ¼ oz Crème de Violette

Jess xx

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