NOWNESS Calls Time at the Bar for a Doomed Cocktail Party to Mark the Titanic's Centenary
In a fun recreation of the last moments aboard the Titanic, still life photography duo Bohman+Sjöstrand shot the last drinks orders of NOWNESS favorites Glenn O’Brien, Jeremy Langmead and Margherita Missoni. This Sunday will mark a century since the ill-fated, and infamously “unsinkable,” luxury liner RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic Ocean, subsequently inspiring one of the most iconic disaster stories of all time. Until his recent blockbuster Avatar set a new record, director James Cameron’s eponymous aquatic hit was the highest grossing film of all time, and may well reclaim the title through its upcoming 3D re-release. Today NOWNESS commemorates the anniversary with a lighthearted twist, bypassing the lifeboats in favor of the doomed vessel’s cocktail bar. Filling the stools of famous passengers aboard in 1912, which included Macy’s owner Isidor Straus and industrialist Benjamin Guggenheim, are our own first class passengers: Glenn O’Brien, fashion designer Margherita Missoni, Mr. Porter’s Jeremy Langmead, model and singer Josephine de la Baume, composer Nico Muhly and artist Jennifer Rubell. Echoing the immortal line from Titanic, “We've dressed up in our best and are prepared to go down like gentlemen, but we would like some brandy,” NOWNESS asks each to discuss their last drink of choice. Easy on the ice please…
All I want is a margarita I had once at La Roca in Nogales, Mexico. It was Easter Sunday after a friend's wedding, her father had rented out the restaurant and the margaritas were beyond. Plus the room, the terra cotta…
I would have to opt for a dirty vodka martini—which, if drunk as the Titanic sank, would both be shaken and stirred by the time I'd finished it. A civilized person, the barman at Dukes Hotel in St James's, will tell you that you should never have more than two. I find eight rather pleasant. Despite leading to horrid hangovers, too many martinis have always, in my experience, been worth the pain. The first time I got horrendously drunk on martinis, in the little vodka bar at the Royalton Hotel in New York in about 1994, I fell asleep on the floor with my head resting on Linda Evangelista's feet. The second time, last year, I met my current partner. I can't recommend one enough.
Aperol, cava and Rose's lime juice. It's my house cocktail—every great dinner party I've ever had has been fueled by a pitcher of this.
Josephine de la Baume
A Moscow Mule: vodka, lemon, cucumber and ginger ale on the rocks.
The best drink I have ever consumed was a bottle of 1947 Petrus I got on a big birthday. But since we are talking 1912 consumptions this would not be doable. I consulted the best drinks book ever, The Gentleman's Companion by Charles H. Baker Jr., which first appeared in 1939. Mr Baker drank all over the world, with the likes of Faulkner and Hemingway, collecting cocktail recipes wherever he drank. I found one that seemed appropriate: Death in the Gulf Stream, or Hemingway's Reviver. "Take a tall water tumbler and fill it with finely cracked ice. Lace this broken debris with four good purple splashes of Angostura, add the juice and crushed peel of one green lime, and fill glass almost full with Holland gin." I figure if this drink doesn't kill you it will keep you warm until help arrives.
A piscine (ice and champagne) would be a very appropriate pre-sinking drink. It's my drink of choice in general when it comes to cruising on a boat.