As some of my Dear Readers may remember, last year I struggled with forgoing the pleasure of a daily gin martini in observation of Lent. Not so this year, I'm relieved to relate. At my (advancing) age there aren't all that many vices that I have left in my much-deplenished arsenal, so the prospect of giving up one of the few remaining ones that I have was sinply too much for me to bear.
|My "new" vintage Reed & Barton cocktail shaker,|
taken in front of a portrait in our city livingroom
Not only am I no longer all that interested in most other vices (that was then, this is now), but the physical toll (not to mention the impact on one's dignity) of engaging in such activities (particularly in public) these days simply doesn't have the appeal for me that it once did. Ah, well.
But I still drink alcohol (and coffee for that matter), and I plan on continuing to do so until it isn't pleasurable for me anymore. And I can't imagine that happening any time soon, either—absent an unwelcomed intervention of some sort (perish the thought!).
This past Saturday, while attending a large antiques show at Pier 94 in New York City with Boy and his divine assistant, Nancie Peterson, I found this charming silver-plated Reed & Barton cocktail shaker. Priced very attractively, it was probably made in the 1950s and is whimsically constructed in the shape of an old-fashioned milk can. Which is entirely fitting, I might add, as an ice-cold gin martini (very light on the vermouth, please) is—as they say—mothers milk to this particular writer.
All the usual suspects that one expects to see out at such shows were there, including well-known decorators, magazine editors, fellow collectors, and smart antiques dealers shopping for inventory. It was fun stopping and speaking with a number of them, albeit briefly and in passing, as none of us had much time to gab, since we were all there determined to hunt for treasures among the rather mostly dross-like offerings. One must move fast at these shows, right out of the opening gate, as the offerings tend to get picked over very quickly by eagle-eyed, early-bird arrivals.
|The underside of the shaker still retains|
its original label
Fortunately I found this cocktail shaker on one of my early rounds of the pier, and I scooped it up with nary a second thought nor a dither. As I said, one must move fast under such circumstances. What a delightful and welcome addition this shaker is to my small and frequently used collection. With but a little bit of silver polish and a modest amount of elbow grease it will soon gleam anew.
Tell me, Dear Reader, do you have a favorite cocktail shaker?
Next: the perfect cocktail jigger
Photographs by Boy Fenwick