Category Archives: benedictine

Meryl and Julia: the cocktails

The 82nd annual Academy Awards are this Sunday. I’ll admit, I do get enraptured in the red carpet hoopla, the extravagant celebrity fashion, the self-indulgent speeches. Plus, I like movies. I also like the timing of this shindig. A month or so before the awards, I happily escape the cold and head to the movie theater to see many of the Oscar nominated picks.

No big awards show is a big awards show without Meryl Streep. Last Sunday’s New York Times called her a “cinematic chameleon for all audiences.” And with that, I dedicate this blog post to her 16th Oscar nomination — this year for best performance by an actress in a leading role for “Julie and Julia.” In this role, Meryl becomes Julia Child — and, because of her outstanding performance — Julia has now become Meryl. When Ms. Streep was nominated for an Academy Award last year for “Doubt,” Gourmet named a cocktail in her honor.

The Meryl Streep cocktail, courtesy of Gourmet,
because the lady is tasteful, classy and golden.

The Meryl Streep
courtesy of Gourmet


  • 1 teaspoon Goldschläger, including some gold flecks
  • 1 teaspoon Bénédictine
  • Demi-sec Champagne or Prosecco (well-chilled)

Combine Goldschläger and Bénédictine in a Champagne flute, then top off with Champagne.

Another cocktail option for awards ceremony watching, is a drink honoring of Ms. Julia Child. Back in August, a New York Times’ Shaken & Stirred column focused on Noilly Prat vermouth. The recipe featured? The Upside-Down Martini, which is said to be Julia’s favorite cocktail.

Upside-Down Martini
courtesy of The New York Times, adapted from Libation


  • 3/4 ounce gin
  • 3 3/4 ounces Noilly Prat vermouth
  • Lemon twist, for garnish

Combine the gin and vermouth in a mixing glass with ice and stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with the lemon twist. (Alternatively, you can serve it on the rocks; combine the ingredients in a rocks glass with ice, garnish and serve.)

Ms. S&C will be *live blogging* the event from a friend’s seventh annual Oscar Extravaganza party. So, if you’re home watching the show, check-in with S&C and share your comments!

posted by Ms. S&C

My winter refuge

This long, cold, brutal winter has put Ms. S&C on something of a whiskey kick.

It started with the Clementina Old Fashioned during the first snowstorm. Then I was introduced to the Cocktail à la Louisiane at The Passenger. Aftermath of the second blizzard had the mister and I seeking refuge at The Gibson, where we tried a Derby and a Vieux Carre.

All of these cocktails are made with bourbon or rye whiskey, and three out of four are made with my new favorite mysterious herbal liqueur, Bénédictine. They all pack quite a punch. Of course, instead of calling them “strong,” I can now refer to them as “body-warming.”

I first tasted the Vieux Carre at a cocktail seminar on Great Hotel Bar Cocktails. I didn’t think it was a standout there, but I also hadn’t spent my days digging out of three feet of snow. Sure, it’s boozy, but it also makes for a great sipping and soothing cocktail after long days of shoveling.

How has Ms. S&C survived the winter? With help from
whiskey cocktails like the Vieux Carre.

The drink was invented by the head bartender at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, and is named after the French term for what we all know as The French Quarter. Le Vieux Carré translates to “Old Square.” I found this recipe and history over at The Gumbo Pages, which covers all things Louisiana.

Vieux Carre

Ingredients (for one):

  • 1 ounce rye whiskey
  • 1 ounce Cognac
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon Bénédictine D.O.M.
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Fill a double Old Fashioned glass with ice. Combine all ingredients in glass and stir well. Garnish with lemon peel.

posted by Ms. S&C