Thursday, December 22, 2005

Cocktail of the Week: The Letter "X"
For Xavier Cugat... Or
Let's Put The "X" Back In X-Mas

Have A Cuchi Cuchi Christmas

The cocktail project continues to wind down. Next week will finish the alphabet. My bartender who has been so totally supportive in making up these unfamiliar drinks and playing along with glass selections, garnishes, even lighting, has been wonderful. I made sure Santa paid them an early visit.

This week we made a cocktail starting with the letter "X," and you'll have to trust me when I say there isn't much to work with under that hatch mark. I did find one called the Xavier Cugat, named after the most popular Latin band leader of the 1940's. He was considered the "Rhumba King" of his day. I wonder what would happen if you went into a dance club today and asked someone to rhumba? Desi Arnaz (Lucille Ball's husband) joined Cugat's band in 1934 before going on to his own fame.


Cuga had four wives: wife number four was Charo who is still around doing her "cuchi cuchi's" in Vegas that she is famous for. Both of them were born in Spain, but Charo was his junior by many years.

For a while, Cugat was even employed at a cartoonist at the Los Angeles Times. After a time he decided to forego photographs of himself in favor of his cariactures.

Xavier Cugat "Say hello to my little friend"

A real Renaissance kind
a guy. There is a very good website devoted to his life and work:

Xavier Cugat is the featured musician from Come visit Xavier, this wonderful big band leader.

Charo (on the right) judging a Charo contest
at the Trannyshack in San Franciso this year

Xavier Cugat Cocktail

3/4 ounce triple sec

3/4 ounce Kahlua coffee liqueur
1/2 ounce Amaretto almond
1 ounce whipping cream

Shake briefly with a glass full of crushed ice
and serve in a double cocktail glass

Postscript: Thanks again to my brother for his Photoshopping talents. There is an album called Cugi's Cocktails (Cuigi being Cugat's nickname). The perfect listening accompaniment to drinking a Cugi cocktail.

** Don't forget. There is a wonderful blog called DC Drinks that has everything you want to know about booze presented in an interesting and educated way so that you will learn as you follow. DC Drinks


Blogger Siryn said...

Now that drink sounds scrumptious.

I'm a sucker for anything with Kahlua and/or Amaretto.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Stef said...

that martini sounds mighty tasty! I'm with siryn, if it's got kahlua or amaretto, especially with whipped cream, i'm sold!

10:36 PM  

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