Jimmy Lee – Recipe from the ‘Old Waldorf Bar Guide’

For many years, the Paymaster of the old Waldorf was 

“Jimmie” Lee, a popular young Irishman. Jimmie was so entirely Gaelic in his sympathies that when a couple of kilted cells early in the War came to the Waldorf and played their tunes, Jimmie followed those pied pipers back to Erin, got mixed up in the revolution, and narrowly escaped getting hung—or shot. He came back after the War was over, a 100% American. Solon thinks the cocktail was named after this Jimmie Lee. He recalls a prominent citizen of Youngstown, Ohio, in connection with the mixture, and his recollection is that that gentleman was an admirer of the Waldorf’s Paymaster, and presided at its christening. 

Dash of Peychaud Bitters 

One-third French Vermuth 

One-third Italian Vermuth 

One-third Plymouth Gin 

Frappe and serve with Orange Peel

Irish uprisings are sadly something which happen with alarming regularity, unsurprisingly for a country which seems to almost constantly be occupied by an unwelcome neighbour.

I suspect the revolution mentioned was either the Easter Uprising of 1916 or the War of Independence from 1919 to 1922, both of which ended like so many other disputes here, in large numbers of innocent and guilty people being imprisoned, and an unlucky few executed.

The United states has been a hotbed for Irish Activists, forever. Ever since the potato blight in the early 1800’s millions of Irish have immigrated to the US, how many? Today Ireland has a population of 6.5 million and the US has 33 million people who claim to be of Irish descent, and it wasn’t until 911 in 2001 that the US government took a stance against all terrorism, inclusive of that in Ireland and without an influx of weapons, money and men of ‘military age’ that things started to develop politically.

I suspect Jimmy Lee was far from alone in his voyage ‘home’, and I’m saddened thinking of the multitude of youth, manipulated in the same way that suicide bombers are today, that lost there lives to sectarian violence or the hangman’s noose thousands of kilometres away from their actual homes, not the homes of their great great grandparents.

And the drink is awesome.

Peychauds plays very well with the herbs in the vermouth, and shaken it drops the abv and chills the drink nicely giving it a lot of the grace of a martini, but with less of the bite. I’m not sure how this drink relates to Mr Lee, whether he was a fan of it, I think if he had a drink named after him something along the lines of a Irish Whiskey Manhattan or the Chancey Olcott (4th October) would be more fitting. Well worth a try.