COCKTAILS | A bouquet of Black Roses

BlackRoseThe Black Rose, a variant of the Sazerac and the Jack Rose.

I have been, and will always be, a Scotch man. But I like the Highland amber neat or on the rocks. For cocktails, I find myself increasingly attracted to Bourbon, the most American of spirits.

Since the New Year, Evan Williams and I have gone on a journey. Along the way, we’ve rediscovered the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan and tried new tastes like the Ward 8. Tonight, I selected the Black Rose, a variant of both the Sazerac and the Jack Rose. Like the Sazerac, it calls for Peychaud’s. Like the Jack Rose, there’s grenadine. The end result: a tasty apertif well worth your effort.

• 2 ounces bourbon
• Dashes grenadine
• Dashes Peychaud’s bitters
• Flamed lemon peel

Fill up an Old-Fashioned glass with ice, adding the bourbon, grenadine and bitters. Flame the lemon peel and serve. Enjoy.

COCKTAILS | Drop into the Stork Club

StorkClubCocktailThe Stork Club cocktail, a liquid relic of Old New York.

Stork Club barA couple of evenings ago, deterred from going out to dinner by the arctic cold, we turned to Dale DeGroff. No, we didn’t ring him up; we opened up his “Essential Cocktail.” From the extensive menu, we selected the Stork Club cocktail, a relic of one of New York’s greatest old night clubs.

The Stork, opened in 1929 by Sherman Billingsley, was among the most exclusive night spots in Old New York. A seat in the club’s storied Cub Room signaled your arrival. Among the cocktails sipped at the Stork Club, was its siganture, a gin, Cointreau and citrus and Angostura. It was one of countless cocktails mixed every night at the bar, left.

We were pleased — particularly because DeGroff’s recipe called for a flamed orange peel, which is accomplished by lightly seering a small peel of orange.

Billingsley’s daughter, Shermane, maintains a charming online archive of the place, which includes an adequate history, radio and TV clips and other electronic ephemera that document the famous 53rd Street haunt. Here’s a particularly entertaining video from the dawn of television:

Here’s the recipe for the cocktail:

• 1 1/2 ounces gin
• 3/4 ounce Cointreau
• 1 ounce orange juice
• 1/2 ounce lime juice
• Dashes Angostura
• Flamed orange peel

Combine your gin, Cointreau, orange juice, lime juice, Angostura in a shaker over ice. Shake over ice and serve up in a cocktail glass. Garnish with the orange peel.

CLIP | Lena Horne, ‘Stormy Weather,’ 1943

SKIING | Young Reynolds mounts up

TJRThomas Reynolds tries out the sticks for the first time earlier this month.

Outdoor correspondent Steve Reynolds sent along this charming image of his son, Thomas, 1, on skis for the first time.

Skiing is an important component not only of Lake Placid culture but also in Reynolds culture. Steve was an All-American at St. Lawrence and we all have high hopes for the next generation.

FRONT PAGES | Agony in Arizona

The tragic shootings in Arizona, which left six people dead and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a Tucson Democrat, critically injured, are likely to dominate the front pages of America’s major newspapers for days to come.

Enumerable questions remain, of course. The murky motivations of Jared Lee Loughner, the obviously unstable shooter, are ripe for deeper probing. For better and quite possibly for worse, conversations about civility in public discourse and gun control are sure to continue to churn.

Both the Arizona Daily Star, Tucson’s paper, and the Phoenix-based Arizona Republic have been cranking extraordinary coverage of events and will probably vie for Pulitzers when all is said and done.

Here’s a look at front pages from yesterday, Monday, Jan. 10 and today, Tuesday, Jan. 11:



BULLETIN | Buffalo’s Pitt Petri to close Jan. 28

Pitt PetriThe logo of Pitt Petri, a Buffalo institution that is set to close Jan. 28

Sad news from the Queen City this morning: Pitt Petri, the venerable Delaware Avenue emporium will close its doors on Jan. 28 after a poor holiday shopping season, The Buffalo News reports.

The store, founded in 1924, offers the best in home goods and has been housed registries for Buffalo brides for as long as anyone can remember. Among the store’s signature items is a chip-and-dip engraved with a running Buffalo. We’ve given these as wedding gifts over the years, substituting the Buffalo for monograms. Among the other wonderful things the store offers are Leonore Doskow silver (Mrs. F. gave me a monogrammed belt buckle as a 27th birthday present), beautiful magazine racks and dishes engraved with wedding invitations.

Pitt Petri’s fortunes have been lagging for several years. The Williamsville outlet closed in 2009 and late last year, the Petri family announced plans to reduce the size of the Delaware Avenue location. Those plans changed after the holidays. Merchandise is on offer for 50 percent off through the closing.

Buffalo women across the land will shed tears in their wine tonight.

FRONT PAGES | Cuomo, Duffy take reins in Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy went right to work in New York’s capital after taking office at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

Cuomo, the state’s 56th governor, and Duffy, the 76th lieutenant governor, held a staff meeting first thing on Saturday morning and took immediate steps to make the transactions of state government more open and transparent. Cuomo ordered concrete barriers installed in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks removed from the Capitol’s State Street entrance. He also reopened the Hall of Governors to the public; it had been closed during the tenure of former Gov. George Pataki for security reasons.

After an official swearing-in in the Capitol’s War Room that was marked by austerity, Cuomo delivered remarks that set his agenda. Albany, he said, would no longer be in the hands of special interests and lobbyists. A property-tax cap is a must and working to further streamline state government is also a priority, he said.

Here’s a gallery of front pages from Sunday’s New York papers:

FRONT PAGES | New York and the blizzard

We just missed the blizzard that has immobilized much of the New York metropolitan area. On Sunday, we departed my parents’ house in New Jersey just after 8:30 a.m. and drove west toward Buffalo, where snow is dealt with in a civilized, expedient manner.

Colleagues and friends who call our city home are mad as hell. One friend, a Brooklyn resident, posted incredible photos of her Carroll Gardens street on Facebook. The images depict abandoned police prowlers, cabs and city busses. Plows are nowhere to be seen.

Here’s a look at front pages from around the metro area today:

LIVES | Elaine Kaufman, Old New York institution, 1929-2010

ElaineRobin Leach and Elaine Kaufman, 1980s. Image courtesy of the LIFE archive.

Last night, the place to be was Elaine’s.

My in-laws were in town and they were good sports — they agreed to wander down to the famous Upper East Side watering hole after a late, light supper. We were among the hundreds who descended on the place to mourn Elaine Kaufman, who died yesterday at 81.

Born in the Bronx in 1929 and raised in Queens and Washington Heights, Kaufman opened her restaurant in 1963. The former Austro-Hungarian restaurant became the salon and clubhouse of the city’s media and literary elites. John Lindsay, Jackie Kennedy, Woody Allen, George Plimpton, Bill Buckley, Gay Talese and scores of other Old New York players were all regulars.

PostToday’s New York Post.

Predictably, the city’s media are in a dither about Elaine’s passing. This morning’s Post is chock full of tribute coverage, though that’s hardly a surprise as editor Col Allan is a regular. New York magazine has a piece online — and the Times is on the case as well.

Another Old New York institution we’ll never forget.

FRONT PAGES | Scrambling after WikiLeaks

WikiLeaksToday’s New York Post.

A number of American and Canadian newspapers devoted front-page real estate to reaction from Washington and Ottawa about the recent release of massive cache of American diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks. The cables — some 250,000 — detail America’s foreign policy in a number of areas, including the war-torn Middle East and Southeast Asia.

David Brooks, writing in today’s Times, examines the difficulties journalists face in covering the release, which has been decried by the Obama administration. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday called the disclosure “an attack on the international community” and its culture of diplomatic rapport.

Here’s a gallery of front pages:

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