This article was translated by John R. Bopp
We were shocked. Is there a “Basque style” of preparing cocktails? We had no idea, and discovering these kinds of stories is one of the main reasons we keep up the blog. We love these surprises we get regarding things that are Basque that we had no idea about.
The list of these discoveries would be endless, but to highlight a few, some of the most surprising would be the large number of things named “Bilbao” (and that list is far from exhaustive); the Basque heritage of the 1951 Miss America, who was also known as the “Basque Spitfire”; Basque crochet, traditional Basque rouge; the marvelous story of the Basque Indian Reserve 18 in (British Columbia); the Basque stitch and the Basque knot in embroidery; the Basque Country pastry shop in California; or the Basque system in chess.
The list could be a lot longer, but we want to leave some room for our new discovery in this article by Stephanie Carter on the website Eater. In it, she tells us about a bar that’s opening soon, which is inspired by Cuba and will be called Manolito. What does this have to do with the Basques?
Well, firstly, she says the bartenders will use the “Basque technique” to prepare martinis. As we said earlier, we had no idea that mixing the different components that make up a martini by pouring it out several times from a height was the “Basque style”. We’re very curious to know what James Bond would think of this way of preparing his signature drink.
So, after learning about this, we decided to look a bit deeper into the relationship between this article and Basques, based on the information we’ve gathered in the blog.
For example, this cocktail bar is opening in New Orleans, where the most famous Creole sauce in America, Zatarain’s, is made. And, it’s the most emblematic city in the state, and became the home to a large number of Basques when they had to abandon French territories in modern-day Canada, and their traditions have become a significant part of Cajun culture.
The same goes for the reference to Cuba, where Basques have had a notable presence. In 1902 in Havana, the jai alai court was inaugurated to the sound of “Gernikako Arbola”, and where Basque pelotaris had so many adventures alongside Hemingway, including the hunt for Nazi subs in World War II, as well as consuming a significant percentage of the daiquiris made at the El Floridita in those years.
As we’ve said many times before, it’s amazing to see how such a small people can have such a large impact on the world.
Eater – 21/2/2018 – USA
Chris Hannah and Nick Detrich Team Up For a New Cuban Bar
Chris Hannah, head bartender at the James Beard Award-winning French 75, is joining rum wunderkind Nick Detrich and Konrad Kantor in opening a new Cuban bar in the French Quarter spot vacated when Cuban restaurant by El Libre decided to move Uptown. Manolito, which is slated to open the third week of March, is an “an El Floridita inspired Cuban bar” inspired by several trips Hannah and Detrich took together to Cuba, reports drinks website NeatPour.