Saint-Ouen, France — The glorious cocktail which over the years gave over to the even more glorious cocktail hour is outfitted with an origin that remains shrouded in mystery ditto the etymology of the word. One fun story is that the word originated during the Revolutionary War in a tavern in New England run by Miss Betsy Flanagan who apparently had a crafty sense of humor. American officers who frequented the place complained about a local Tory living rather well while they had trouble making ends meet. Betsy served them a drink of rum mixed with fruit juice. Each drink was decorated with the tail of the Tory’s rooster. A French army officer is believed to have cried out « Vive le coq tail, » coq being the French word for rooster. Perhaps the bilingual toast gave rise to the word, perhaps not but the cocktail is universal and with the likes of Betsy back in the 18th century appears to be as much of a woman’s world as of a man’s.
Direction the Marché Serpette in the luxury part of the Paris flea market on the edge of town where collector and gallery owner Olwen Forest, known for her vintage jewelry collections, also officiates over an unparalleled collection of cocktail paraphernalia. Everything you need to make a perfect cocktail and a perfect cocktail hour look is on hand from shakers to ice-buckets, spoons, tongs and cocktail pics all adding up to that perfect cocktail party. The collection of accessories ranges from the superb Art Deco era to the 1980s. If you can’t get to Paris right now The Gourmet Gazette brings this fabulous collection to you for your next visit.