Many milestones to contemplate in this important post tonight. First of all this is our 100th post. Crazy to think about, but I guess we built something here. Something worth doing. For this post, (and inspired by the friend posts) we thought we’d kick off a new series. One that we’d love to share and have friends of ours share: all of our favorite top ten cocktails. Since I do the pouring and the writing, I’m going to take control of the first countdown.
For my 10th fave, I am going to have to tell you a little horrific tale (surprised?); one that is likely unfamiliar to you. It is the story of the Axeman of New Orleans, a true tale of murder, gore, and jazz. You see, the Axeman murdered at least eight people between the years 1911-1919 in the city of New Orleans and was never caught. His modus operandi was to randomly chop unsuspecting city folk with their own axes or straight razors in their own homes. Gleefully doing Satan’s work, the Axeman, in Jack-the-Ripper-like fashion, taunted the people of NOLA by writing the New Orleans Times-Picayune the following note:
Hell, March 13, 1919
They have never caught me and they never will. They have never seen me, for I am invisible, even as the ether that surrounds your earth. I am not a human being, but a spirit and a demon from the hottest hell. I am what you Orleanians and your foolish police call the Axeman.
When I see fit, I shall come and claim other victims. I alone know whom they shall be. I shall leave no clue except my bloody axe, besmeared with blood and brains of he whom I have sent below to keep me company.
If you wish you may tell the police to be careful not to rile me. Of course, I am a reasonable spirit. I take no offense at the way they have conducted their investigations in the past. In fact, they have been so utterly stupid as to not only amuse me, but His Satanic Majesty, Francis Josef, etc. But tell them to beware. Let them not try to discover what I am, for it were better that they were never born than to incur the wrath of the Axeman. I don‘t think there is any need of such a warning, for I feel sure the police will always dodge me, as they have in the past. They are wise and know how to keep away from all harm.
Undoubtedly, you Orleanians think of me as a most horrible murderer, which I am, but I could be much worse if I wanted to. If I wished, I could pay a visit to your city every night. At will I could slay thousands of your best citizens, for I am in close relationship with the Angel of Death.
Now, to be exact, at 12:15 (earthly time) on next Tuesday night, I am going to pass over New Orleans. In my infinite mercy, I am going to make a little proposition to you people. Here it is:
I am very fond of jazz music, and I swear by all the devils in the nether regions that every person shall be spared in whose home a jazz band is in full swing at the time I have just mentioned. If everyone has a jazz band going, well, then, so much the better for you people. One thing is certain and that is that some of your people who do not jazz it on Tuesday night (if there be any) will get the axe.
Well, as I am cold and crave the warmth of my native Tartarus, and it is about time I leave your earthly home, I will cease my discourse. Hoping that thou wilt publish this, that it may go well with thee, I have been, am and will be the worst spirit that ever existed either in fact or realm of fancy.
This letter referred to an attack on Tuesday evening (or Wednesday morning if you like) exactly 94 years tonight at 12:15 am. That means you have only a couple of hours to get your jazz on before the Axeman comes calling. So you might as well have a New Orleans classic while you’re at it. My 10th favorite is the Sazerac, a smooth and complex libation that lulls you in with sophistication and then, like the Axeman, smacks you into oblivion. What a way to go.
Top Ten: Holly's #10
1 teaspoon Herbsaint (or Absinthe)
1 teaspoon of simple syrup
3 heavy dashes Peychaud's bitters
3 ounces rye whiskey (try Sazerac brand 6 year; for the photo I used Queen Jennie and skipped the simple syrup due to Jennie's sorghum goodness)
Chill an old fashioned glass. Add ice to a separate mixing glass. Pour the syrup, whiskey, and bitters over the ice and stir just enough to cool the drink. Go back to the old fashioned glass and discard the ice. Coat the inside of the OF glass with the Herbsaint, leaving a puddle at the bottom. Strain the contents of the mixing glass into the OF glass. Twist a swath of lemon peel over the surface of the drink. Rub the peel around the lip of the glass and place the twisted peel into the drink (a must in my opinion- adds to the beauty and complexity of this wonder). Enjoy to jazz. Stay alive. Good luck.