Whether it’s the image of happy hour before the curtain goes up or one for the road after the curtain goes down, the story of Broadway is not complete without a drinking tale or two. Now, a new book discusses some of Broadway’s legends, as well as the equally legendary drinks they inspired. I’ll Drink to That! is the brainchild of NYU arts professor Laurence Maslon; it regales Broadway enthusiasts and mixologists alike with stories from the Great Wet Way. Maslon appeared on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program to discuss his inspiration for the tome.
“A cocktail is like a Broadway show,” Maslon mused with Berman and Riedel. “The whole should be greater than the sum of its parts. There are a lot of things that have to come together to make it work its magic, and sometimes it’s elusive, and then I realized how many shows used booze in some way or another to tell their story.”
To that end, Maslon even included over 30 recipes. “We have a vodka stinger, which is a sort of ultimate recipe... we have a Bloody Sweeney, which is a version of a Bloody Mary, of course you’ve got to have that… we’ve got the Bali Hai Mai Tai, if you’re going to do a cocktail from South Pacific… and then there’s some cocktails like the old-fashioned, which is a song written by Cole Porter for Ethel Merman in 1940… So, some cocktails come straight from Broadway shows, and some are rather fanciful inventions on my own part.”
I’ll Drink to That! covers Broadway from Anything Goes to Hamilton. It’s published by Weldon Owen and features photos by Broadway photographer Joan Marcus. It might be worth mixing a drink as you peruse some of the classic anecdotes before a night on the town.
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