Brendan Dorr, Baltimore bartender and bon vivant, gets excited about the Nick and Nora glass because it’s from the era of cocktail revival — the 1930s, after Prohibition. Dorr, an aficionado of mixed drinks and a student of cocktail history, was happy to see the recent revival of the Nick and Nora. It’s an elegant glass, small and stemmed — and Dorr says there should be a row of them with every home bar.
Named Baltimore’s best bartender this year by The Baltimore Sun, Brendan Dorr has become a regular contributor to the Roughly Speaking podcast, and in Episode 335 he offers a guide to equipping the home bar for holiday cocktails.
A few Nick and Nora glasses, for mixed drinks served straight up, should be on the shelf.
The Nick and Nora was made famous 80 years ago when William Powell and Myrna Loy starred in a series of six comedy-mystery movies about a detective and his savvy wife, Nick and Nora Charles. The series started in 1934, the year after Prohibition’s repeal, with “The Thin Man,” based on the popular novel of the same title by Maryland native (and one-time Pinkerton man) Dashiell Hammett. The films are noted for snappy dialogue and lots of martinis.
Dorr runs down the fundamentals of the well-equipped home bar on the podcast. His list, illustrated in the interactive picture at the top of this post, includes a few other glasses, some stainless steel tools of the bartender’s trade and three basic aromatics, including “the Godfather of bitters,’’ Angostura.
Also on today’s show: Long-time Baltimore restaurateur John Shields tells us how to roast a Christmas goose — with some assistance from the city's newest restaurateur, the British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. I interviewed Shields in the kitchen of his restaurant, Gertrude's in the Baltimore Museum of Art, and drew Ramsay’s advice from one of his instructional videos. Ramsay recently opened a steak house in the Horseshoe Live Casino. You will hear that both chefs agree: "Goose fat is gold."