When I was asked to come up with a cocktail based on a story by some writer whom I didn’t know on the theme of “The Doppelgänger,” naturally it was the theme I glommed onto. Instantly, one cocktail came to mind: The Boulevardier. You know the Boulevardier even if you don’t: it’s the Negroni with a Frenchified name and whiskey instead of gin. It’s a cocktail with literary roots, named, according to cocktailing mastermind Gary Regan in his book The Negroni, after a French literary magazine. And what is a boulevardier—a flâneur, a man-about-town—if not the essence of the doppelgänger, for his stroll would be hardly complete without his counter-party, the world around him generally, and the objects of his desires that he encounters specifically, the latter point seemingly emphasized by the Boulevardier’s substitution of darker spirits over clear ones.
With the outlines of the story fully contoured by that one instantly brilliant thought, like all good writers, I promptly set the assignment aside and turned to more pressing concerns, like cocktailing.
Then I read “Burning in the Rain.” There’s no flâneur in there. Not really. It’s sultry. Sordid.
© 2014 Bryce T Bauer