She Had Twins When She Started This One
“And now, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you one of man’s best friends. No, it’s not the dog—It’s Jimmy Beard, father and mother of cooking in the open, harbinger of hors d’oeuvre, and creator by royal decree of the canapé. If you do not possess his magnum opus, Cook it Outdoors or his encyclopedia, Hors d’oeuvre and Canapés, you are not properly equipped to deal with present-day existence.” . . . Mr. Beard leads a life of splendor in a casserole near Washington Square. He dips a vanilla bean into homogenized ink and writes me as follows:
“Dear Mr. Gaige: May I call you Mr. Gaige?
Here is the drink . . . you requested of me. The cocktail is one that was a favorite of a great lady of long acquaintance. You may rest assured that I will never give you her telephone number. Years of tasting with a keen palate had given her, if possible, definite ideas of what, among other things, constituted a true ‘aperitif’ or introduction to the waltz and I believe she had twins when she started this one . . . Somehow or other after six or eight of these I find that the world is a fascinating place after all and the lady’s phone number if you must know it is Eldorado something.” Excerpt from a letter written by James Beard about the Riveredge Cocktail. Found in Crosby Gaige’s Cocktail Guide and Ladies’ Companion, 1945.