For years and years, DT and I have had a cocktail around 7p in the evening, as I was preparing dinner. In this RV resort, cocktail hour seems to start around 4p. At this hour, our fellow campers fire-up their golf carts or boats and cruise the resort - cocktails-in-hand. They go from campsite to campsite, boat dock to boat dock, visiting friends, neighbors, strangers, anyone. Most participants have a dog or two on-board. Nibbles are encouraged.
With this in mind, tonight's column is devoted to the RV cocktail. Your RV is going to need a few things to serve cocktails:
Glasses: Martini glasses are fantastic, but totally impractical in a moving house. (Not to mention... I am so blind, tall glasses tend to get knocked-over when I'm around, so we use "stemless" martini glasses in the RV. They are made by Libbey and are very inexpensive.) You will also need a few highball glasses, old-fashioned glasses and, of course, wine glasses. Do not bother with red wine, white wine, burgundy, etc... glasses in your RV. (Who does this?) Just get sturdy all-purpose wine glasses. Think Ikea or Bed, Bath & Beyond. No need for anything else. A margarita can be served in a stemless martini glass, an old fashioned glass or a wine glass. Be resourceful. You are camping! (Or disregard this entire paragraph and use disposable cups. Biodegradable, of course.)
Booze & Mixers: To stock a basic bar, have a bottle of vodka, white rum, scotch, gin, Jack Daniels/bourbon and tequila. Dry and sweet (red) vermouth. Angostura bitters. Soda water, tonic water, cola, juices, lemons, limes, cocktail olives and onions. (Party Girl Tip: pour out the liquid in the olive/onion jar and replace it with dry vermouth; keep refrigerated. This will be all the vermouth needed in a martini or Gibson cocktail.) And don't forget the beer and/or wine drinkers in your crowd! Something for everyone.
Paraphernalia: Get a nice cocktail shaker. I am loving the OXO Cocktail Shaker. The stainless steel shaker is insulated, so does not freeze your fingers, and the lid always pops off. Dishwasher safe. Buy a good corkscrew, foil cutter, ice bucket and tongs. Find fun cocktail picks and pretty cocktail napkins. You will also need lots of ice.
Several of the food bloggers I follow have been writing about old-time cocktails from the 50's. Classics. Cocktails consumed by their Dads. You know, the "olden days"... before Chardonnay became widely available in America. Cocktails that required a martini glass. A shaker. Ice. Or a pretty glass.
Like a Manhattan.
Whiskey from America, sweet vermouth from Italy or France, bitters from Trinidad & Tobago and a maraschino cherry from the USA (or an amarena cherry from Italy). It seems so complicated, yet my parents must have had these options in the 1950's as the Manhattan was all the rage. There is nothing like a well-made cocktail, served in a properly chilled glass.
Tell me, please - in the comment section below - what is your favorite cocktail - and how is it prepared?
Until my next update, I remain, your tipsy correspondent.
RV PARK: Motorcoach Country Club - The Crown Jewel of Motorcoach Resorts. 400 sites, three pools, three spas, fitness center, golf, bocce ball, tennis, 2-mile waterway, fine-dining restaurant, bar, security, planned activities, perfectly maintained. Sites for sale or rent.