Thursday, 24 May 2018

One hundred years of one house in Chorlton part 103 ......... the Negroni

The continuing story of the house Joe and Mary Ann Scott lived in for over 50 years and the families that have lived here since.*

A Negroni
Now I wonder what Joe and Mary Ann would have made of a Negroni which is that iconic Italian cocktail, made of one part gin, one part vermouth rosso, and one part Campari, garnished with orange peel.

It is of course just what you need on a hot summer’s day, when you walk through the front door in the early evening making a bee line for the garden, and a chair in the sun.

That said I only discovered it recently, and we were not in Florence where the drink originated but on Burton Road on a very wet and grey afternoon.

But the drink lifted me and yesterday, as the sun cracked the paving stones I decided to make the cocktail.

Of course I will never know whether either Joe or Mary Ann liked cocktails or for that matter whether they drank at all and if they did what their favourite drink might have been.

Sadly there are few people now who remember them and I would be surprised if they knew what Mr and Mrs Scott drank.

Beech Road circa late 1940s
It would be easy and lazy to fall back on stereotypical historical assumptions and jump to the conclusion that Joe went for beer and that Mary Ann liked the odd glass of sherry, given that they were both born in the 1880s, grew to maturity as the new century turned over and were just up the road from four pubs.

What I found fascinating is that the cocktail was already nearly 30 years old when they were born.

According to one source the first reference to a cocktail was in 1860 and two years later there are cocktail recipes included in a guide for bartenders.**

Beech Road
And in 1917, just  two years after they moved into our house, there was allegedly, the first cocktail party held by a Mrs Julius S Walsh Jr of St Louis, Missouri.

Now Chorlton in 1917 is a long way from St Louis, Missouri in 1917, but the Scott’s were adept at embracing change.  Their house was built without gas lighting using electricity instead, they had a telephone by 1925 and and a television just thirty years later.

So I have no reason to think that on a warm evening after a day building Chorlton’s houses Joe and Mary Ann would not have settled down to a Brandy Alexander, Savoy Corpse Reviver or the intriguingly named the Tom and Jerry.

All of which I will leave you to look up, but as I have already done so I know I will be happiest with that Negroni.

Location; Chorlton

Picture; a Negroni, March 24 2009, Geoff Peters from Vancouver, BC, Canada, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license and Beech Road circa late 1940s from the Lloyd Collection.

*The story of a house, 


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