Thursday, December 15, 2005

Cocktail Of The Week: The Letters "V" And "W"
Vicious Sid And What The Hell?

My cocktail of the week project is starting to wind down now. I am at the tail end of the alphabet, and the choices are becoming more narrow. I can't wait until I hit the letter "X." This week the "V" cocktail is called Vicious Sid after Sid Vicious, formerly a member of the punk group, The Sex Pistols, formerly a mortal.

Sid's real name was John Simon Ritchie, but he was renamed by band member John Lydon (Johnny Rotten), after Lydon's pet hamster "Sid the Vicious" who had a habit of biting people. Sid the Human had some equally nasty habits. Prior to his departure from the Sex Pistols, Sid made a notable recording of Frank Sinatra's My Way. Personally? I always enjoyed his rendition of Eddie Cochran's song called Something Else, because he sings it like a really dumb American teenager. Sid is often remembered for his relationship with an American girl called Nancy Spungen (an early Courtney Love influence), whom he wound up stabbing to death in the Chelsea Hotel (222 West 23rd Street) in New York City. Months after this occurrence, he was found dead from a drug overdose of heroin purchased for him by his mother. Let's put on the oh-so-cheery and seasonal Lou Reed's Chelsea Girls while we toast Sid. Here's his cocktail:

Vicious Sid Cocktail

1 1/2 ounces light rum
1/2 ounce peach liqueu
1/2 ounce triple s
1 ounce lemon
1 dash of bitters
Shake with ice and serve in a martini glass

Vicious Sid Cocktail
"I'll drink it My Way"

The "W" cocktail is called What the Hell, and it reminded me of this devil ornament I have on my Christmas tree. Some of you may have seen th
ose old-fashioned German ornaments for sale shaped like fruits and vegetables, the birds with the feathered tails, cottages and acorns. They are often reproduced off of antique molds and each has symbolic meaning.

An acorn orn
ament, for example, represents not only the oak tree, considered sacred in Germany, but also the coming of Christ, and his rebirth. Bird ornaments are symbolic of harbingers of good things to come, and then there is one rarely seen ornament in this country called Krumpus--a devil's head.


In Medevial
times there were roaming bands of performers who would put on Paradise Plays during the Christmas and Solstice season. These plays depicted life and death, The Garden of Eden, and good and evil. They also included depictions of Saint Nicholas and his roving band of servants. Apple ornaments were symbolic in Germany of paradise, the temptation of evil and many glassblowers showed the apple cut in half to reflect the "star" pattern in the fruit which represented Christ's birth star, as well as the seeds of fruitfulness for the coming year.

I was lucky enough one year to find a Krumpus ornament, and I have had people comment on how odd it is to see a devil's head on a Christmas tree. During the Paradise Plays, representation of the devil was to remind the revelers of the dangers of living an unholy life, and Krumpus reminded little boys and girls that he was there to punish those who misbehaved during the past year. I find it interesting that the devil's head mold used to reproduce these ornaments is one of the earliest made when glassblowers started making these symbolic images for Christmas.

"I've got your number, Cube.
No gifts for you."

There is also a pickle ornament, another thing you rarely see on a tree, and the ritual behind this ornament is that you place it first on the tree, hidden, and that the person who finds it on Christmas morning gets an extra gift from Saint Nicholas. I was telling a friend about this tradition this past week, and he shot me a look. I knew where he was going with this. He said, "A hidden Christmas pickle, huh? That gift may take nine months for delivery."

Here is the What the Hell cocktail in honor of Krumpu
s and being good during the holidays, prior to Santa Claus' arrival.

What The Hell Cocktail

1 ounce dry vemouth
1 ounce gin

1 ounce apricot brandy
1 dash lemon juice
1 dash grenadine

Shake with ice and serve in an old-fashioned glass*

What The Hell Cocktail
"Hot toddys at my place next time?"

* When I had my cocktail made up, I used a wine glass for photographic purposes. I also asked for two strawberries. I cut two little holes on either side, near the top of the first berry, and a slot along it's base so it could be put onto the edge of the glass. I then cut two little horns from the second strawberry to insert into the first, making a tiny strawberry devil's head for the drink.

Again, mucho thanks to my brother for his Photoshop work. He was complaining to me about the quality of my photography in terms of light and focus on the cocktails. I said, "Give me a break
. I am not shooting these in a photography studio. I'm in a bar, for God's sake." He told me the Vicious Sid collage was one of the hardest things he's worked on recently, requiring forty layers and the dissembling of the cocktail glass to rework in an imaginary straw and other patterns. Is he dedicated, or what?

I would like to remind readers that there is a blog called DC Drinks which describes itself as "Reviews, rantlets, and ribald on all things alcoholic."
DC Drinks

Oi! Cheers!


Blogger Emily Flowerz said...

Love the pickle.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Velvet said...

I am cracking up at your X-mas ornaments.

I'm starting to think of you as the Martha Stewart of Pop Culture and all things Alcohol.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've heard of the pickle thing as well. We never had it at my house...but I know other family that did.

Both drinks look mighty yum-licous!

5:04 PM  
Blogger Momentary Academic said...

Those drinks look like they are divine, or what's the opposite of that?

5:04 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...


5:10 PM  
Blogger proletariatputz said...

awesome, i'll drink to sid anytime, now I can drink of sid anytime.

6:04 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

I have a pickle on my tree, as do my folks.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Just a -dash- of bitters in Sid's cocktail?? That seems awfully restrained. The Sex Pistols were so great, though I should admit I liked the Ramones better. I always thought they should have made a record called Joey Ramone's Love Ballads.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Dj: I bought my brother one this year when we were out getting his tree. He had never heard of it before, so now the pickle has another fan.

2) Thanks. I'm not sure what I am.

3) Chase, I hope you are having a good time during the holidays despite work, etc.

4) Academic. I actually altered that cocktail. It was yellow when made up, and I suggested the bartender add a dash of grenadine to make it a more appropriate and devilish red.

5) Proletariat. It's funny. I was reading someone else's blog tonight and they were writing about the Sex Pistols. I think Sid is out there channeling like mad today.

6) Phil. I would imagine you have a very traditional tree, but if it were a "true" Playaz tree, they might have to ban it in 36 States. Little "vials," tiny Kangols, an iconic shaped Kenny Rogers medallion, a jet, bail money...

7) Reya: I still love the Ramones. I have a pretty broad range of music tastes that goes WAY back. LOBOTOMY!!!

9:41 PM  
Blogger KOB said...

I would have devil drinks if my guest was an angel.

1:16 AM  
Blogger Blue Dog Art said...

Yep, we've got the pickle ornament too.

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose you could add a cocktail stirer for the sid cocktail. Wouldn't a little knife add the right touch?

Have yourself a merry little hangover.


10:33 AM  
Blogger cupcakegrrl said...

I think the Vicious Sid should be a flaming drink, as he'd set the room afire before he stabbed her.

If you don't want to change the recipe, then perhaps the suggested cocktail stirred could be a lighter. or a burning Chelsea Hotel pencil, if possible.

I've slept at the Chelsea Hotel. While it's trendy and everything, I too considered setting the mattress to flame, as it was darn uncomfortable.

Have fun with the drinkies!

11:10 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

KOB: Good luck finding one. I don't know any, personally. I imagine you'll be hearing bells when you do.

Blue: Based on what some of you have been writing, I'm pleasantly surprised how often the pickle is turning up on trees.

Grince: I seriously thought about adding a razor blade to the side of the glass as it's garnish, since Sid was famous for slashing at his flesh with sharp objects.

Cupcake: I thought about writing more on the history of the Chelsea Hotel (which does have it's troubled history), or about Sid's final days. When his mother found his dead body the next morning, this after she bought the heroin that killed him, she was quoted as saying she realized he was dead because his body was cold (D'oh), and that he had a "pink aura" surrounding him. I held off because I tend to go on tangents as it is with the Sex Pistols, Christmas ornaments, Paradise Plays, Krumpus, hidden pickles...oh yeah, and cocktails.

12:07 PM  
Blogger cuff said...

Now Cube let's not jump to conclusions by claiming that Sid killed Nancy. As the movie Sid and Nancy has it, they rode off together in a cab.

My favorite thing about Sid is that on tour photos/vids he either isn't playing or his bass doesn't have all its strings.

12:45 PM  
Blogger A Unique Alias said...

I've never played "Hide the Pickle" as a Christmas type activity, but it's a fun game.

As far as the acorn ornament goes, what's acorn in Latin, again? Are the euphemisms intentional, or do I just have a dirty mind??

2:08 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Mass: I know. He just slings the bass around and never sounds a note...not a logical one, anyhoo.

AUA: Balanus , but if you ask Phil, it's a standard answer: "asscornicus."

2:21 PM  
Blogger Megarita said...

I envy your shiny and symbolic swag. Damn covetousness....

4:44 PM  
Blogger Namaste said...

love the recipes!

5:12 PM  
Blogger Chairborne Stranger said...

I could go for one or two of those!
Thanks for visit and comment!

8:31 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

My first client today was a long-time regular and this was his final therapeutic massage before his wedding. Everything about the session should have been calm, yet stately, getting him ready to take this huge step.

EXCEPT ... all I could think was:

I am the anti-Christ
And I am an anarchist
Don't know what I want but I know how to get it
I want to DESTROY ...

Cuz I wanna be
An anarchist
Get pissed

Fortunately I was able to keep it together during the session. Sid is definitely haunting a few of us at least.

8:35 PM  
Blogger The Absurdist said...

I recall reading in "England's Dreaming" that Sid Vicious did not play bass for any of the band's studio recordings. It seems he had the right look and attitude for the Sex Pistols but little if any musical inclination.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Meg: And I love your ribbon wreath and tree.

Namaste: Thanks. I'm not sure what I should do for my next year's resolution, or if it should again involving drinking, as this project did. Something to consider in the next few weeks.

Chair: Welks, and I'm glad to see your blog is building a following. Stay safe.

Reya: I have a friend Loralee, and we both mention songs that just jam up our heads for days. People have blogged about this phenomenon, and then their readers curse them for planting the seeds.

Absurdist: You are absolutely right. He couldn't play at all. They hired him because they thought he looked "right," and had the punk attitude they were seeking. Aren't we seeing more and more of this now in our own present? People proclaiming to be what they are not and living it without needing to fulfill it? Shades of Marshall McLuhan. To use one of his quotes, "Mud sometimes give the illusion of depth."

12:33 PM  
Blogger elvira black said...

Ah yes, Sid, Sid, Sid...

What an incredible concept, and so much fun! You and your brother did an amazing job with the photos.

I would have said the Sid cocktail could use a pinch of smack, but I guess that's neither legal nor practical.

11:38 AM  

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