Friday, August 15, 2008

Yiddish Cocktail

At the end of a long, informative, and amusing discussion of Yiddish words and phrases used in relation to alcoholic beverages, Daily Forward columnist Michael Wex adds an unusual cocktail recipe, which I have not previously encountered:

The Yiddish Mixed Drink

The single most Jewish liqueur ever known — at least back in my youth, when it was all the rage with the ladies who bar mitzvah — is Cherry Heering, a brandy-based cherry liqueur with a name that inspires confidence at any event at which Yiddish might conceivably be or have been spoken. Real cocktails, though, have never been developed. There is but one:

Alter Kaker (invented by Paul Lewis of the Joffrey Ballet)

1.5 oz. Old Grand-Dad
5 oz. Prune Juice

Pour into highball glass over ice cubes.

Stir well.


I don't think I'll be the first to belly up to the bar to order that one, but I'd be curious to learn if any of my readers have tried it. If so, how was it?

Setting the Alter Kaker down on a cocktail napkin, I should at least mention a potentially useful phrase that Wex drops into his article:

Mevisem can also be used of other intoxicating substances. As Ray Charles would have sung on “Modern Sounds in Yiddish and Western”:

LOmeer GAYN meVIsem VERN
(You can look it up.)

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