Between the Sheets
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass — straining the lemon juice first.
Add Crushed ice. Shake.
Strain into a coupe or similar glass.
* * *
As the man sat next to her at the bar, the crisp, citrus note of Acqua di Parma wafted her way. She had noticed him earlier. From afar, he might be mistaken for Cary Grant’s younger, more-athletic brother. Dark suit and tie, razorblade-sharp handkerchief jutting from his breast pocket, the rest well-manicured without sacrificing that sense of imminent, masculine danger.
His cigarette case snapped open, and he thrust it her way. The corners of her mouth raised in a slight smile as the red lacquered fingertips of her hand delicately slid the clean, white paper from its bounds. The case was sterling; the cigarette, Lucky Strike. Despite the polished exterior, this one was still a little untamed on the inside, she thought. As he lit her, she stared at him over the emerging smolder of the embers.
“How about I get you between the sheets?” His gaze remained fixed ahead as he spoke, the Lucky Strike bobbing at the corner of his mouth like a buoy warning of a coming storm. She coughed, choking down the smoke she had been preparing to exhale. “Excuse me?”
“… a Between the Sheets. It’s a drink they make here. Known for it.” He waved two fingers at the barkeep. Turning to face her, his piercing slate eyes locked onto hers. “I promise you, you will not be disappointed.”
“No,” she knowingly replied, “I’m sure that I won’t.”
Having grown up during the age of the Sex on the Beach, Screaming Orgasm, and the Long Slow Comfortable Screw Against the Wall, it’s refreshing to know that the sexual politics of mixed drinks actually began long ago. Today, it’s nerds ordering their virginal comrade a Blowjob from a too pretty and too tolerant waitress. In the 1930’s, we can only hope the whole scene was carried off with a bit more dignity.
The recipe here comes from Charles H. Baker’s Gentleman’s Companion: Jigger, Beaker & Glass — one of the finest, if not the finest, drinking tours of the known world and parts beyond. At some later date, we’ll discuss the inimitable Mr. Baker in further detail, but this gem is one he chronicles during a visit to Jerusalem, during some particularly unfriendly tensions between the Arabs and the Jews. As he did the majority of times when he was faced with adversity, Baker sought out the comfort of a nearby hotel watering hole. This one, he tells us, comes “from the Bar Book of Weber at the King David”.
Lacking sweetener beyond the liqueur, the drink is tart and boozy. One of them will certainly get things more lively. The only advice Baker offers with regard to adjustments on the drink is to cut back the Orange Liqueur (he specified Cointreau) to make a drier version. Feel free to tinker.
Of course, also feel free to try the “between the sheets” line. Of course, just make sure the bar knows how to make one. And, yes, the suit will help sell it better than an RTFM t-shirt.