In search of further Burgundy-appropriate cocktails, I hauled out Playboy’s Host & Bar Book (1971), a wonderful wide-lapelled time capsule. (How does one throw an “urban luau”? “Don’t get hung up on adorning your pad with fishnets and colored-glass globes,” author Thomas Mario counsels. Just begin by visiting your florist: “Tell him the size of your luau table and ask for enough flat ferns to cover it.”) From Playboy’s rabbit warren hopped out this oddity:
1 ounce scotch
1 ounce dry sherry
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon orange juice
½ teaspoon simple syrup
Shake well with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Serve.
Though slightly reminiscent of a sherry cobbler that has been forgotten in the fridge, the Shoot is nonetheless totally OK. Said the bartender, “I don’t hate it, which is surprising.” Note well: Playboy advises this as a preprandial beverage: “Serve before a dinner of roast pheasant or partridge.”
And what if you’d rather enjoy this egomaniac’s liquor while avoiding Me Decade atmosphere? May I suggest some scotch-based drinks with showbiz patinas? The most obvious would be the Rob Roy, a Manhattan variation named for the stage adaptation of the Walter Scott novel. But that one tastes like literal patina. The brighter choice is to mix a Mamie Taylor, a buck named for a Broadway singer. In Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, Ted Haigh remarks on the media blitz of poems, jokes, and articles that established this little number as “a posh drink of the privileged class” at the turn of the 20th century—as a highball for which people paid top dollar simply on the basis of name recognition.
2 ounces scotch
¾ ounce lime juice
Ginger beer or ginger ale, the spicier the better
Pour the scotch and lime juice into a tall glass over ice. Top with the soft drink and give the thing a gentle stir. Splash in some green chartreuse if feeling fancy. Substitute a one-second blast of Sprite for the lime juice if preparing this drink at a cineplex soda fountain.
The Mamie Taylor is quite refreshing, and if Anchorman 2 were a summer release, there would be no need to search any further for this scotch’s best use. But, in the mood for something appropriate to a holiday release, I turned back to the Playboy bar book and its “Scotch Holiday Sour”—scotch, cherry liqueur, sweet vermouth, too much lemon juice, and an egg white. It’s a serious drink, too serious, excessively tart and unhappily dry. Its sourness worked my face into a frown.
Then the barman, my recent gimlet-tinkering accomplice, observed that the Scotch Holiday Sour bore a certain resemblance to the Blood and Sand, which is named for a bad Valentino movie. Both the drink and the film stand as evidence that not all so-called classics are all that great, but I figured that, doctoring the scripts of both recipes, we could triangulate a decently tasty tribute to the Paramount Pictures marketing department. I was going to call it the Catchphrase Cocktail, but he had a jollier notion.
2 ounces Ron Burgundy scotchy scotch scotch
1 ounce Cherry Heering
½ ounce sweet vermouth
½ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce orange juice
1 barspoon simple syrup
1 large egg white
Garnish: orange twist
Shake without ice to emulsify the egg white. Add ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist, preferably using a channel knife to construct a silly frilly pigtail of a ribbon dangling from the glass like a party streamer. Serve with the wink of a leering eye and the snap of a pointing index finger.
I suggest the “Stay Classy” as the most responsible last act of any Ron Burgundy cocktail session. This suggestion is born of my experience failing to do so. I tried, as a sequel to it, to use my Anchorman scotch in a Rusty Nail Hot Toddy. That warmer tasted fine, but it did not test well with my stomach lining, which for a harrowing moment threatened to put this whole project in turnaround.