Every day a different drink. Not just how to make them, but a detailed review of how they actually taste, photos of the drinks, and stories along the way. Starting from the beginning, The Bartender's Black Book will be our guide, taking us

(and our livers) on a journey from which we may never recover. Cheers!

April 4, 2011

#89: April in Paris

1 oz Orange Liquer
Pour into a champagne glass, and fill with champagne
Use an orange slice as a garnish

Let's see, there was a movie by this name in 1952, with Doris Day and Ray Bolger. I've never seen it, so I have no idea if oranges and champagne play into the plot. It was also somewhat of a hit song back in the 30s, made into a much bigger hit for the movie by Count Basie, although it has been covered by tons of other artists over the years (Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Benny Goodman, on and on). Basically considered a jazz standard now. It's also used in Blazing Saddles, but for the life of me, I can't remember where.

Here are some notes by David Thorne Scott, a modern jazz singer and Associate Professor of Voice at Berklee College of Music, about this song, writing on

The contrast between the A sections and the bridge of “April in Paris” illustrates the process of memory. The A sections are rather static, harmonically and melodically, and the lyrics are fragments of partially remembered images. The bridge speeds everything up musically and the lyrics come into focus in complete sentences with the narrator as the subject. The A sections are like looking back through a gauzy filter, nostalgic, yearning to remember the good old days in Paris, while the bridge makes you feel like you are actually there, young again, strutting down the Champs-Elysees flirting.

The orange liquer really came through the champagne on this one, which seemed a bit surprising, since there isn't much there. It didn't make it overly sweet, just cut through the dry white grape flavor and actually enhanced it considerably.

Normally I am not much of a champagne drinker, but this was really good. I imagine other liquer flavors might work also, but they probably wouldn't be as good as this combination. I think it was the citrus overtones that really made this shine.

I'm not sure if there are a lot of orange trees in Paris, or when they bloom, but if you want to imagine yourself in a café along the Seine while drinking this, go right ahead. This drink will help the illusion.

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