the following is the original formula as given to me by Herb Smith of the Spanish Room in the Deshler-Wallick Hotel in Columbus, Ohio, one of the best bartenders I have met in recent years. He takes his profession seriously, really studies his liquors, and really knows them. He takes keen pride in his work and in making your drink exactly as you like it. His besetting sin is that, personally, he likes them a bit on the sweet side, which accounts for the somewhat ladylike (and, therefore, insidious) quality of the…..

Manana – David Embury

1 part Lemon Juice

1 part Grenadine

2 parts Apricot Brandy

6 parts White Cuban Rum

Its lines like this which make me love reading this book.

At the time the Deshler Wallick Hotel was one of the worlds largest, and sat partially in the LeVeque tower, listed in Americas National Register of Historic Places. Work on this beautiful art deco building started before the 1920’s. The Prohibition led depression ruined its first owners the ‘American Insurance Union’. Now I don’t know anything about construction, or insurance, neither are particularly gripping topics, however this ‘Union’ was started by members of the ‘Fraternal Mystic Circle’, many of whom were members of the Knights of Pythias. Yes you read that correctly. I was going to write ‘USA 1920 was a seriously weird place’ however the Knights started in 1864, and today has a membership of over 50000. USA is still a strange place if you scratch a little under the surface.

And Embury is right, it’s too sweet, you have one part sour to three parts sweet, it’s a big variation from his standard 8-2-1 and doesn’t work. I guess he kept the recipe unchanged as a nod to his friend, although I’m not sure they’re still friends after the way he referred to the drink.

I find everything about this drink just a little insidious