This week: Cartoonist David Heatley literally tells all… we inhale a glassful of London’s killer fog… and star pastry chef Adrian Vasquez makes a peanut butter sandwich that’ll make your brain hurt.
Drink Recipe: “The 52 Fizz”
For much of the 20th Century, England’s romantic mist was actually a not-so-romantic brew of coal smoke and fog — the word “smog” was coined to describe it. This week in 1952, the worst smog ever descended upon London, killing at least four thousand people… and providing the inspiration for this week’s cocktail.
Recipe as invented by Martin Ball, bartend at MatchBar in London’s Clerkenwell district:
In a shaker, add:
- 2.5 oz. Beefeater gin
- Dash of passionfruit juice, aka “Dash of Pash”
- Sweet-and-sour syrup – ¾ oz. lemon juice and ¾ oz. sugar
- ½ egg white for “cloudy” effect
- 1 barspoon of Islay whiskey for a “smoky” finish
Shake violently (to get egg white frothy) and strain into highball glass over ice.
After Dinner Mint
Notes on this week’s show
This week’s Icebreaker comes from pop maestro Ed Harcourt, who was kind enough to grant us an audience backstage after his wondrous L.A. appearance with the Gutter Twins. The expansive songs and (often hilarious) videos compiled here, btw, don’t quite convey just how hard Ed rocks live.
The MatchBar chain is run by Dick Bradsell, one of the architects of the UK’s mixology renaissance that started in the late 1990s. These days London’s considered probably the best city on Earth to quaff quality cocktails. Downside: you’ll have to pay for it in pounds sterling.
Speaking of this week’s cocktail — UK city-dwellers of old put up with a surprising amount of post-industrial smog, but it’s not like they didn’t know it was bad for them. Evidence: this 1947 British educational film… featuring some quaintly useless advice for the oxygen-starved.
Our “One For the Road” this week is a 1966 number from French chanteuse Chantal Goya. It was originally featured in Jean-Luc Godard’s teen dramedy “Masculin Feminin”… along with six other Goya tunes, a couple of which appear, groovily, here. Non French speakers are encouraged to watch anyway and bask in the palpable coolness.