Rule 37: Mary Pickford

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.

For this week’s Rule 37 cocktail, here’s another one from “Old Man Drinks” the cocktail book used for last week’s Rule 37, The Grumpy Old Man. This drink, however, is the polar opposite of a grumpy old man: a cheery young girl called Mary Pickford.

Look at those puppies. The dogs I mean.

Yeah, I know, you have no idea who Mary Pickford is. Well, she was pretty much the biggest star of the silent film era. She started in vaudeville, eventually graduating to theater by age 15. She discovered the “flickers” a couple years later and decided to make the jump to silent film, marched into some dude’s office (who happened to be named D.W. Griffith) and landed a job on the spot. Her silent film career spanned pretty much the whole era, and she was famous worldwide for her mane of golden locks. She often played the role of little girls, and in one case, a little boy (AND his mother). By 1916 this 24-year-old chick was raking in $150,000 a year when the average household salary was about $2,000. She went on to become a cofounder of a little organization called United Artists, then the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She married some dude named Douglas Fairbanks, who was also apparently some kind of actor-type guy. She eventually got tired of playing “Little Mary,” and wanted more adult roles, so she pulled a Felicity (or a Britney), and chopped off her famous curls. She was still kind of hot, but people were LIVID that she would do such a thing.

Hot and crazy is still hot.

Eventually, she and some guy named Charlie Chaplin were the sole owners of United Artists until she sold out for a cool $1.5 million (IN 1955 DOLLARS). Retired from the movie biz, she married some other actor, and mostly stayed at home to drink a lot. In 1976, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences were all like “is she still alive?” and finding that she was, they decided to give her an honorary Oscar, which is nice considering she was one of the FOUNDERS OF THE WHOLE DEAL. Plus, she already had an Oscar from her 1929 film, Coquette. She died a couple years after the honorary Oscar, but is pretty much a legend of early film, not only for her acting, but for the business role she played in establishing various institutions that stand to this day. LIKE THE DAMN OSCARS.

The recipe book I snagged this from describes the drink as “sweet and tart – just like ‘America’s Sweetheart’ herself.” None of that Horseface Roberts “America’s Sweetheart” nonsense either. Since we’re going so sweet, I figured I’d go all the way and use some sugary happy sunshine vanilla Bully Boy white rum. It can dominate a drink, but with equal parts pineapple juice in the drink, I want a rum that’s going to make itself known, and not fade away like a Bacardi white would.

Mary Pickford
From the book: “That Mary Pickford sure had nice gams. In the 1920s, about the only thing that could take a man’s mind off those stems was this cocktail, which was named for the silent movie star by a bartender in Havana.

– 2 oz light rum (Bully Boy)
– 2 oz pineapple juice
– 1 teaspoon grenadine
– 1 teaspoon Maraschino liqueur

Shake it like a crying toddler, strain and serve into a cocktail glass. If you get some pineapple foam on the top, you did it right. Garnish with a lime twist, which I neglected to include. I’m sure the lime tart flavor plays better, but aesthetically I’d use a lemon twist to mimic Mary’s golden curls.

It reeks of pineapple juice, though the Bully Boy, as always, manages to poke through with its sweet aroma of sugar, vanilla and rainbows. It tastes overwhelmingly of pineapple juice, though the Bully Boy adds that fresh-baked sugar cookie-ness, and the maraschino does come through in the finish with a tart snap. I can’t pick out the grenadine specifically, but this is such a sweet drink overall that it could easily get lost in there. The maraschino really helps cut through a bit of the overwhelming sweetness, and I think using less pineapple juice might help bring the drink into a more palatable state. It’s quite lovely, but I wouldn’t want to drink these all night. I’d wake up the next morning with a hangover and dia-bee-tus. But as long as I woke up next to some gams like Mary had, then it’d be worth it.

Pictured: nice gams.

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