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by Jason Torchinsky
A New Cocktail: The Oscar
Where are you right now? What are you doing? Write it down. Write it down, and save that scrap of paper, because someday you'll want to know exactly where you were when the first all-new cocktail of the 2000s was born.

That cocktail, my friends, is called the Oscar.

The Oscar was developed because I saw a need for an addition to an already very successful class of cocktails: the Martini class. The Martini, and its variants had just recently undergone a resurgence of popularity here in LA, a resurgence which has now, sadly , tapered down significantly. (The current rage, I'm told, is to drink Wild Turkey out of paper bags with a twist of grapefruit.) I have long been a fan of Martini-class drinks, largely because they always include some sort of little snack right there in the cocktial, such as olives in the case of the classic Martini, or pearl onions in its cousin, the Gibson.

The Oscar was developed in a fit of inspiration one night at a popular LA bar. After I gained entrance to the exclusive watering hole thanks to my VERY hip attaire (two $20s safety pinned to my stained t-shirt) I was mortified to learn that the bartender was unable to provide me with either a Martini or a Gibson because he was out of both olives AND onions. I glumly accepted a naked-seeming broth of Gin and Vermouth in a Martini glass, resigning myself to having to chug the foul brew without any snacks whatsoever.

Just as I was about to go through with it, a cold hard lump in my pants inspired me. The lump was a tin of Vienna Cocktail Sausages I always keep on my person as the result of a childhood promise I made to the now-famous economic analyst Louis Rukeyser. The inspiration was the Oscar.

I deftly opened the can and, grabbing a convienient cocktail toothpick from the Whiskey Sour of the woman next to me, skewered three sausages, dropped them into the Gin and Vermouth, and witnessed the genesis of the Oscar.
Wow. It was amazing. One sip convinced me I had birthed a miracle. Excited, I immediately followed this triumph with another, the Dirty Oscar, formed by adding the Vienna Sausage juice to the mixutre. I offered it to the woman next to me, and, based on her reaction (throwing the drink in my face, and smacking me hard across the jaw with her clog) it was an unqualified success!

So, jaded boozehounds, listen up! Insist on an Oscar at your favorite bar! Or mix some for your friends! And remember, a friend who can't appreciate an Oscar probably can't appreciate you. Happy boozing.

© copyright 2000 The Van Gogh-Goghs