1939 The Gentleman's Companion volume II Beeing an Exotic Drinking Book


Actually we do think pousse cafes have been slightly diverted from their original coffee-pushing intent, for if anyone can imagine follow– ing a good demitasse of strong black Mocha with half a dozen sweet cordials roosting on the yolk of an egg, we pass! ... Some of these affairs may seem to have rather strange names but, like many other things which have gained recognition through the usage of years, we feel it only the stout thing to do to write them as they are called, and not drop the modest lash to hide our possible blushes. WORDS to the LIQUID WISE No. XV, on the NUMBER of RINGS in a POUSSE CAFE For reasons known only to barkeeps and their ancient patrons, a proper pousse caf e should contain seven,. five, or three, contrasting rings of different coloured liqueurs. Just why these numerals are sacred we have never quite learned-any more than why seven and eleven count profitably on the first roll of dice, or why folk like Haile Selassie had three-decker parasols. . • The liqueurs are poured in ever so carefully with a spoon, and sit each on top of the next, unmixed, brilliant each in its own right. The successive sips give varying taste thrills. We first got this idea in Spofford's big bungalow out in Ballygunge, Calcutta, one pre-monsoon evening in 1926. A tremendous Bengali curry, then coffee on the terrace under the low, hot stars, talking over college days, friends here and there, impending marriage, birth, death, while big bats the size of kittens shuttled back and forth over the level green of the tennis court. . . . Then the idea, we would get every cordial and liqueur in the place, and brew bigger and better pousse ca/es-and each time one went bad-mixed up hopelessly instead of remaining in distinct jewel-sharp layers, the culprit responsible had to toss it off bottoms up. When a successful one was brewed with five layers or more, the result was shared. To be exact this whole affair is a matter of precise specific gravities ONE CAUTIONING TALE about the GENTLE but UNSAFE AMA– TEUR ART of BREEDING POUSSE CAPES

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