Saturday, January 28, 2006

THE COCKTAIL HOUR

This gorgeous dress, made of pink silk gazar with matching pink feathers, was designed by Christobel Balenciaga who was a master at this type of hemline. He often used it in coats and short jackets, the inspiration coming from the bullfighters cloaks of his native Spain. It’s a cocktail dress and made for the cocktail hour. You didn’t rush in this dress it was made for gliding although it’s a bit like watching a swan on water, all the hard work is going on underneath.
You had to start off with a rigid boned strapless bra, girdle to hold up the stockings and no light weight lycra either. Then layer upon layer of petticoats, pulled tight at the waist. You had to be elegant to wear this, while juggling a cocktail glass, cigarette, sometimes with a holder and evening bag. All this while engaging in a witty conversation without falling over the furniture. If you could afford the couture, you could afford the lady’s maid or two that was needed to hook you into the undergarments and the dress.

Now we’re into the 21st Century and the cocktail hour as an elegant engagement has morphed into boozed up binge over the course of many hours or as long as it takes to get off your face.

My interest in the cocktail du jour is finally finding out what a jelly shot or Jello shot, if you’re American, is. I only heard about this a month or so back when an acquaintance told me she was getting ready to party but had forgotten the jelly crystals for her jelly shots.

When I finally get around to googling I’m amazed at how much is out there but I chose the DrinkStreet.com site. Mystery solved. The jelly crystals are dissolved in boiling water, cold water added and vodka or other and the mixture poured into shot glasses. Some prefer it in cupcake papers which can be easily torn away leaving the jelly shot to be slid down the throat in one action. Some prefer to leave out the cold water and use iced vodka instead.

I’m reading through the comments at this site and the whole reason for jelly shots is to get the maximum amount of alcohol in the shortest time. Depending on the type and amount of liquor involved, four to six shots should have you off your face very quickly. The jelly, of course, is to disguise the taste of the alcohol and being jelly they’re easy to make and store in the fridge to waste no time starting the party.

It’s not about enjoying a cocktail, it’s about getting smashed. No elegant cocktail dresses needed, a pair of low rider jeans, fluorescent thong knickers peeping over the top and a t-shirt and it’s, “goodbye, liver”. I’ve seen some weird party drinks over the years but this beats them all. Except for one. Does anyone remember the Bubblegum? That was Ouzo and raspberry lemonade and my stomach turns just thinking about it. I preferred Pernod in a long glass full of ice, one glass only. That was my rule, one glass only. Does anyone remember Cold Duck, sparkling burgundy? The Blight had some spectacular hangovers with that. Then there was Bacardi and coke, bourbon and coke and all the other “and coke”. It was all about disguising the taste of the alcohol with something sweet because it was never for the pleasure of drink, it was always to get smashed. The only thing that’s changed these days is the age of the smashee.

That was the thing about a proper cocktail, it was slow drinking and just like elegant dressing, it’s way too old fashioned. Brandy Alexander, anyone.


Sorry fashion addicts, the blog ate the dress but it was beautiful.

6 comments:

Davo said...

Ah, design. Bit difficult to wear slashed puffed sleeves showing a hint of burgundy silk .. fer a bloke, these days. heh

Lord Sedgwick said...

See your Cold Duck and raise you a Porphyry Pearl.

Bottoms up. (Does my Porphyry Pearl look big in this?)

JahTeh said...

Davo, I can see you wearing just that in the role of Hamlet. I love the way everybody dies in that play, it's like The Terminater in tights.

Porphyry Pearl rings a bell your excellency. Didn't it come in a bowling pin shaped bottle? This is a childhood memory, you understand.

JahTeh said...

Another for you Guv'nr, Black Tulip!
Ladies did not drink beer, they drank this with a strip of cucumber(?).

Lord Sedgwick said...

Yep, know Black Tulip well. Sounds like the code name of an exotic WW11 temptress/spy who would have been played in the fillums by Leslie Caron.

Along with Pimms No. 1 and Masala (for to mixed with the coke) it was the fare de least resisantance provided by us blokes for the *girls* at balls and dinner dances.

The young things today maybe familiar with balls, (manfully - beause I have balls - resists temptation to launch into Will "The Glasshouse" Anderson type innuendo ... dammit, I just did di'n't I?) however I'd wager the phrase/concept 'dinner dances' would bring a glaze to non babyboomer eyes.

Not to be picky, but i do recollect ladies did drink beer ... albeit cut with lemonade and brought out to the missus seated in the car outside the "Commercial/Railway/Rex/Turf Hotel)by hubby who, after huntering and gathering for the little woman, returned to his natural habitat, the public bar.

JahTeh said...

Masala and coke, headache in a glass.

Do our young ones still refer to certain drinks as "leg-openers' or have they become more refined?