It was back to Musso and Frank last night. It was Manny Aguirre's 78th birthday. A true Hollywood icon, Manny has tended bar in several of the most legendary Los Angeles establishments (such as Nickodell's, Scandia and almost 25 years at Musso and Frank) over the course of his 55 year career. Manny is often credited with being the man who makes the Best Martini in America. Both his talent at his craft and his charming demeanor have made him beloved by everyone who has ever taken a seat at his bar. Last night, the entire restaurant sang Happy Birthday to him and gave him a standing ovation! I baked him a lovely batch of Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. And I took advantage of my evening with Manny to further my own cause. Who better to trust to make me a cocktail with grapefruit juice?
After some minor consideration, I decided a Salty Dog, with gin, would be the way to go. I'm not ready to go Greyhound just yet. And I hoped the salted rim of the glass would do its part to ease me into the world of grapefruit juice.
Well. I thought it would be worse. I don't think I've actually ever drank grapefruit juice before.... why would I have?!? Manny used pink grapefruit juice, which I guess was milder than regular. The salt and gin helped to dilute the bitterness a bit. The bad aftertaste was still there, but not nearly as bad as when I ate the actual grapefruits!
My verdict: Salty Dog was better than any beer I have tried, except for Guinness. Salty Dog was better than cranberry juice. But Salty Dog is not as good as a Gin and Tonic or Root Beer. And, as it wasn't a very strong drink, I did not wake up needing some Hair of the Salty Dog!
I'll be back to visit Manny in the near future. I mean, he's 78 years old and probably going to retire one day soon! I think my next task for this master will be to commission him to make me a vegan Bloody Mary! Because if anyone can make a Bloody Mary that I would like, it would be Manny!
Also.... over 400 blog views! Thanks to everyone who keeps checking back on my culinary adventure. I appreciate it, and I especially appreciate all of the tips and suggestions you have given me! :-)