It's a Holiday Tradition

Welcome to the Weird Winter Wonderland of 2020.



And here it is—our Grade “A” Fancy original holiday cocktail for 2020, as debuted live on the Fool's Paradise program featuring Rex on WFMU:

2 oz blended Scotch
½ oz Lazzaroni Amaretto
¼ oz Cynar
¼ oz orange juice
Dash of Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter Bitters
2-4 raspberries

๐˜๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜›๐˜ฐ: Crush one raspberry in your shaker. Add ice, and the liquids; shake well and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish: 1-3 raspberries in the glass.
๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜Š๐˜ฉ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ!


This Saturday, December 19th, tune in to the Fool's Paradise program on the Fun 91, WFMU for the holiday tradition the kids all cry for, when your deejay Rex hosts a way-out office party on the air featuring more zany holiday-themed novelty records than anyone might think is prudent. But wait—there’s more. Grade "A" Fancy's chief mixing officer Karen, your the Radio Bartender, will unveil a brand new cocktail shaken up specially for the occasion.

What will it be? Tune on Saturday from 1 to 3pm ET on the mighty WFMU 91.1 FM Jersey City, and 90.1 in the Hudson Valley. If you find yourself stranded somewhere in the Yukon, you can listen in real time at WFMU.org, via the miracle of the internet.  

What will you need to play the home game? 

Here is your shopping list (check it twice):

  • Scotch (a blended one; Famous Grouse is good, and Ballantine's is terrific—their bottle still looks like the bellboy brought it up)

  • Amaretto (Lazzaroni brand suggested)

  • Cynar bitter liqueur

  • Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter Bitters

  • an orange (for juice)

  • 2-4 raspberries

We'll see you Saturday! Or you'll hear us. You know what we mean, listen in already. And check this space after the show for the official recipe.

...and to all a good night!


Be the Toast of the Remote Hosts

Friends, we'll admit it. The New Reality has become problematic. In a word: bleccch.

One bright spot has been the digital cocktail parties we’ve attended with our pals, acquaintances, and friends of friends. In the ancient past, Ma Bell had a slogan promoting its long-distance service that went, “It’s the next best thing to being there.” The Zoomies and the Facetymes aren’t exactly that, but they’re all we got. Since remotely socializing seems to take up a such an important hunk of our lives now, the staff of Grade “A” Fancy took quill to electro-parchment and created a little something on the subject. The result is our instructional booklet, (The insider’s guide on how to be) The Toast of the Remote Hosts.

How do I host one myself? you ask. Our new all-original pamphlet gets right to the heart of the matter, with twenty-four stylishly illustrated pages full of tips to make your next remote happy hour a smashing success. You will learn how to keep the conversation flowing, spot trouble before it can derail the fun, and you’ll pick up some basic cyber-etiquette, if you dare—all to help you become the remote host with the most. There are hints on how to keep things interesting while the quarantine drags on, and even a few cocktail suggestions—it’s a truly unique booklet chockablock with entertainment value.

Printable download now available in the Etsy shop.


Tipsified Vixen

For the home hobbyist, here is the recipe for our 2019 Fool's Paradise holiday cocktail.

Tipsified Vixen

2 oz pisco (we liked BarSol Quebranta)
1 oz Italian sweet vermouth
Generous ¼ oz Giffard Banane du Brรฉsil
¼ oz orange juice (or Mandarin, better yet)
¼ oz grapefruit juice (or all orange or Mandarin)
½ tsp uncooked simple syrup (or to taste, depending on juices)
Dash Fernet-Branca
5 coffee beans (reserve 3 for garnish)

Give two coffee beans a slight crack. Add the two beans to a shaker with all liquids and shake until icy cold. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and float 3 whole coffee beans atop.

Thanks to our genial host Rex and the entire cast of celebrity guests for making the annual office party a gas! Here is the archived program if you missed the fun.


See What the Elves in the Backroom Will Have, Bartender

It's that time again!

This Saturday, December 21, tune in to the Fool's Paradise program on the mighty WFMU for everyone's favorite radio sight gag, the holiday tradition the kids all cry for, as ace jock Rex hosts a way-out office party live on the air featuring the zaniest holiday-themed novelty records and on-air gift giving with a cast of celebrity merry-makers. Grade "A" Fancy's chief mixing officer Karen, your the Radio Bartender, will unveil a brand new cocktail cooked up specially for the occasion.

Tune in Saturday from 1 to 3pm on the Fun 91! In the New York City area it's WFMU 91.1 FM Jersey City, and 90.1 in the Hudson Valley. If you find yourself snowed in somewhere in the Yukon, you can listen in real time via the miracle of the internet, which I'm told is a series of tubes.

Don't you dare miss it!


Two Fingers of Suspense

Americans don't like to let anything of cultural significance slip by us, whether it be a Broadway musical*, a movie star**, or a feature film*** without naming a cocktail in its honor. And why should our newest map guide be any different? To The Hardboiled Apple: The Casefile on Suspense Writing In and About New York City, we dedicate this Grade “A” Fancy original recipe.

Teetotals need not apply. Something sinister may be lurking around the corner so slip into the nearest saloon and ask the bartender for one of these bracers. Or make it at home with the recipe below.

The Hardboiled Apple Cocktail

1-1/2 oz. rye
1-1/2 oz Laird’s Old Apple Brandy
1/2 oz apple cider
Barspoon spiced apple syrup (stolen from your garnish jar)
Dash Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters
Garnish: spiced apple ring (recipe below)
Build over ice cube in rocks glass garnished with a spiced apple ring pressed to the side of the glass.

Spiced Apple Rings for The Hardboiled Apple Cocktail

2 lbs. red-skinned apples
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. whole cloves
1 piece Mexican cinnamon
1” piece ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
6 crushed allspice berries
A squirt of red food coloring

Combine sugar, water and spices and bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes. Meanwhile, core apples (do not peel) and slice into 1/4 inch rings. Remove liquid mixture from heat, add apple rings and allow to stand 10 minutes. It is said this helps firm the apples. Return to heat and bring to a rolling boil. Simmer 30 minutes or until apples are the desired color. 
Allow the apple rings to cool in the syrup. Pack cooled apple rings loosely in hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Cover with boiling syrup.

Now that you are properly lubricated, you can cast your peepers on this guide mapping the mysteries of detective fiction born and bred in New York City.

* The Adonis

** The Mary Pickford

*** Blood and Sand