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 Brésil
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


Hard-Boiled Apple


GRADE "A" FANCY RIPS THE LID OFF THE SENSATIONAL, LURID UNDERBELLY OF CRIME FICTION IN NEW YORK CITY! The Hardboiled Apple, our new map guide published by Herb Lester Associates snoops out 55 locations in the big town to tell the story.

Lurking around the corner, waiting to be uncovered: the places authors lived and worked, and the scenes of the crimes, from the dark beginnings of the genre to the gritty present. David Goodis’ poisoned streets and alleys, Richard Price’s combat zone Lower East Side, Chester Himes’ carnival-shooting-gallery version of Harlem. Inside info on a cast of characters as diverse as the city, ranging from the lowest brow to the highest: two-fisted gumshoes and femmes fatales, dogged detectives and supervillains. We've got the low-down on the genteel whodunitry of Van Dine; the Black Mask tough guys Hammett and Daly; the antisocial lone wolf from Spillane or Highsmith; the all-American organized crime family via Puzo or Condon.

Uncover the history of New York City suspense fiction from dime novels to pulp magazines to drugstore paperbacks and current best-sellers. Delivered in the high-class packaging you’ve come to expect from Herb Lester, with a handsome new large format map, plus a keen notebook to aid your sleuthing, just like the real gumshoes use.