'What We're Drinking' is a regular column in Iron & Air Magazine where we share a drink recipe and a story from someone we’d want to imbibe with.
For this round, we sit with the Vintagent – Paul d’Orleans.
In my former career as a muralist and decorative painter in San Francisco, I’d ride an old bike to work when I could. In the late 90s, that was a 1928 BMW R63, which even the moto-ignorant appreciated for its Bauhaus beauty. At the time, I was faux-woodgraining every door in a 32-unit Art Deco apartment block, and I met each resident. This included old-school bachelor Hans, who lived with Fritz, both in their 80s. Hans was excited to see the BMW. He’d wanted one just like it growing up in Germany, but the war...
The old gents invited me for a drink at 4pm. I’ve seen some kick-ass decorating by old queens, but was flabbergasted to find their home was a shrine to Kathe Kollwitz, the German graphic artist and sculptor known for dark, anti-war, humanistic images, whose work was suppressed by the Nazis. I scanned walls stacked with original drawings and prints. I’d never seen such a collection in any museum. Fritz offered a tall, cold, brown drink as I stood agog with big eyes. “So you know the artist?” he asked. Yes I did, but after a sip, I admitted not knowing the cocktail! “Ah,” he said. “Like our artist, this is a Dark and Stormy.”
With such an intro (leaving aside that a pair of German art lovers picked the national drink of Jamaica as the punchline to their home décor), how could it not become my favorite?
Starting out with a good ginger beer is critical. In a highball glass, squeeze the juice out of a small lime, then pour the glass about 2/3 full with ginger beer. Add ice, but leave an inch of room at the top, and stir. Then add an ounce or two of Myers’s Dark Rum (depending on the drunk you intend), and enjoy the darkness spreading down the glass, an inverted sunrise, a Dark and Stormy.
Paul d’Orleans is an artist and a writer living in New York City, best known for his personal site ‘The Vintagent,’ which chronicles the unique stories of motorcycling history.