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On the Rocks

June 22, 2009

The profussor is sad.

For the past few years, one of the best parts of Saturday mornings was picking up the Wall Street Journal, and flipping to the weekend section.  If Mrs. Fussy got to the paper first, I would ask her, “So, what’s the cocktail of the week?”

Of course I am referring to Eric Felten’s weekly column, “How’s Your Drink.”

With my traveling and all, I am a bit behind on the news.  But as I was reading his latest article from June 21st a story was unfolding before me that I did not like.  Mr. Felten would be moving on to other projects for the paper, and my beloved column would cease its regular appearance.

I am not sure how long the WSJ will allow non-subscribers to view the final column for free, but as of today, you can read it here.

He and I did not always agree on a few subjective matters of taste.  But his column was almost always interesting, peeling away layers of lore and painting vivid pictures of how cocktails and spirits emerged from a time and a place.

And his impact was probably felt more widely than even he realized.  All the way up in Albany, our wine, spirits and cocktail columnist was moved to write a contrary opinion to Mr. Felten’s recent column on the decline of vodka.

For the record, I support Mr. Felten’s position on this matter, and continue to scratch my head whenever I read our local columnist.

If I were not a subscriber to the paper, How’s Your Drink was such a strong column that it would have justified the price for the entire weekend edition.  And now it’s gone.

I did just learn that Felten has a book.  And honestly, I am not sure how the column will translate to book form.  It may be too much, too fast.  But perhaps if one could read a chapter per week, it could be a reasonable substitute for the column – especially if you missed his missives the first time around.

He toasted his readers with what he describes as a “deftly modified Martini called the Journalist Cocktail.”

2 oz. gin
½ oz. dry vermouth
½ oz. sweet vermouth
1 squeeze fresh lemon juice
1 splash orange curacao
1 dash Angostura bitters

It is shaken with ice, strained into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnished with a lemon twist.

Perhaps you will make one tonight, and join me in spirit as I toast Mr. Felten’s contribution to fighting the good fight against bad drinks.  And again, if you think gin isn’t your thing, let me know and I’ll work with you to get you over the hump.

At least John and Dottie, the two best wine writers of our day, continue to publish their weekly column in the Saturday Journal.  So it’s not a completely dire situation.

Still, Mr. Felten will be sorely missed.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 22, 2009 12:06 pm

    that stinks : (

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