Today we’re mixing the Andy Warhol cocktail. We do so in remembrance of the day that Andrew Warhola Jr., who you know as Andy Warhol, was shot. But before and after that event Mr. Warhol was the eccentric maestro of the Pop Art movement throughout the 1960s. He left behind a wild legacy as a bona fide iconoclast of the 20th century whether you’re into Campbell’s soup or not.
So it’s only appropriate that there’s an Andy Warhol cocktail, even if Mr. Warhol’s favorite drink was Jack Daniel’s whiskey. We’ll explain more below, but the drink comes from New Zealand and gained some degree of fame when the late Gaz Regan reported on it.
Mr. Warhol was born in 1928 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His plunge into the art abyss began in the 1950s when he landed on the wicked streets of New York. There he began on the commercial side, doing illustrations for high-profile glossies like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Soon enough, his wild, feverish vision and obsession with pop culture thrust him into the realm of fine art.
In the early 1960s, Warhol championed the Pop Art revolution. He delivered a savage blow to highbrow conventions by immortalizing mundane consumer goods and glossy icons. His best known works, like the Campbell’s Soup Cans and Marilyn Monroe silkscreens, obliterated the line between art and commerce.
His infamous New York studio, known as “The Factory,” became a hotbed of experimentation and attracted a crew of artists, musicians, thespians and intellectual outlaws. Warhol himself became a cultural enigma, living as an openly gay man in the 1960s, wearing silver wigs and shrouding himself in mystery.
But it was at The Factory that our anniversary event took place. On June 3, 1968, radical feminist writer Valerie Solanas shot Warhol and Mario Amaya, the curator of Warhol’s studio. Amaya suffered only minor injuries. Warhol was shot in the stomach like Van Gogh, but unlike our impressionist friend he lived to dwell on it for 19 more years. Ms. Solanas turned herself in to police and was eventually diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
That unpleasant event had a profound effect upon Warhol’s art and psyche. His art took on a more sinister twist with a lot of skulls. He mentioned death a lot and became obsessed with security, upping the quotient at The Factory. Not as much fun.
The Andy Warhol Cocktail
Mr. Warhol is on the record as saying “Jack Daniel’s is my favorite drink.” A solid choice, he joins Frank Sinatra in that camp and if you’re so inclined you can always mix one up as a 3:2:1 or Frank’s Way. He also noted that when he was drunk he’d tell everyone they could be on the cover of interview, a magazine Warhol founded.
But because we have an eponymous cocktail explained to us by none other than the late Gaz Regan, we’re going with the Andy Warhol cocktail as Drink of the Day. He described it in his regular SFGate column in 2009.
The Andy Warhol cocktail itself came from Grant Dingwall, a bartender in New Zealand, who said “it’s probably already been invented.” Mr. Regan initially agreed but was unable to find any other drink using this combination of ordinary household supplies. Coming from a legendary bartender and cocktail book writer like Gaz Regan we don’t question it – the drink is original.
The Andy Warhol recipe calls for a flamed orange peel. Don’t be intimidated, we’ve done this for the Flame of Love and the Smoke and Mirrors cocktails. All you need is a match and some orange peel as described in the recipe below.
Andy Warhol Cocktail
- 1½ oz Cognac
- ½ oz Benedictine
- ⅓ oz Lillet Blanc
- Orange Peel
- Add all ingredients other than the orange peel to your trusty mixing glass.
- Add ice and stir to chill.
- Strain into pre-chilled Nick and Nora glass.
- Flame orange peel over drink. To do this hold the peel gently by its edges. Light the match and hold the match between the peel and the drink. In one motion squeeze the peel while moving it closer to the flame such that a spray of orange oil passes through the flame and ignites, leaving a little slick of caramelized orange oil floating atop your drink. Discard the peel, it has given its all.