Welcome to Fern Bar Fridays, a lighthearted romp (is there any other kind?) through a decade of cool music and even cooler drinks. The fern bar era, which roughly spanned 1975-1985, was filled with giant lapels and ties (and then later teeny tiny lapels and ties), ridiculous drinks, and sweet sounds. Every Friday we'll bring you a song and drink pairing emblematic of that delightful time to help you get the weekend started off on the right loafer-sans-sock-shod foot. This week we're playing blue with: "Jackie Blue" by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils.
This week's tune, "Jackie Blue" by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, is a bit more esoteric, fernishly speaking, than the previous selections, which means that we're gonna have some real fun here. Esoterism really brings out my crazy. (Those of you who have been following along just recoiled in horror at the thought that I'm capable of more crazy than I've already exhibited in this series.)
I'm mildly obsessed with the Ozark Mountain Daredevils because as an impressionable adolescent I read this batshit insane V. C. Andrews series (i.e. all of them) about a family of mountain people (though they were in West Virginia, which makes them Appalachian folk) that sparked a lifelong interest in American mountain culture. The conceit of the story, as I recall it, was that a beautiful girl, Heaven, grew up in a mountain shanty cabin with an abusive father and a devoted brother, having lost her mother as a child. In one scene that's stuck with me for reasons that I'm about to get into, Heaven and her brother, owing to their extreme mountain folk poverty—and here, we should commend old V. C. for peddling in damning geographical stereotypes—steal groceries out of the trunk of a woman's car as she unloads her weekly marketing into her home. They discover that Heaven has snagged a bag full of non-foodstuffs, including tinfoil, which with she is utterly fascinated, having never known the luxury of a roll of Reynolds Wrap. Can't say I blame her. Tinfoil is pretty righteous, unlike that bastard cling wrap. Cripes, what a little asshole cling wrap is. Nary a wisp of cling wrap is allowed in Rita's, the imaginary fern bar that exists in my head. And if you so much as think about trying to sneak some past me, I will suffocate you with the very substance with which you've so sullied my fern bar by bringing across its threshold.
While I've already worked through my complicated feelings toward cling wrap (after having spent some serious time exploring my complicated feelings about Michael McDonald), I'm still coming to grips with the fact that, while the lyrics are completely and totally and obviously about a woman, I've always pictured Jackie Blue as a man. What can I say, I'm not the sharpest frond on the fern. But intellectual prowess is hardly called for in order to enjoy the "Jackie Blue" experience; the song rhymes "ooh" with "blue" while somewhere in the distance Carly Simon clicks her tongue and rolls her eyes and is all "Well, it's no 'cravat' and 'gavotte,' and that’s all I have to say about that."
Drummer Larry Lee actually performs vocals on this song, and I chose this video over the other options out there because of his sweet CANNABIS drum kit plaque. But I'm a little confused as to why in this performance he's on piano duties? What in the good Frond's name is going on with you, Ozark Mountain Daredevils?? (Actually? Don't answer that. I feel that we're all better off not knowing.)
Instead of asking so many questions, let's just get hammered. This week's drink pairing is something called the "Blue Angel" that I found in the Playboy Bartender's Guide that we keep on the shelf at Rita's, right next to the Connect Four, Scrabble and our tattered copy of Vance Randolph's Pissing in the Snow and Other Ozark Folktales.
½ oz. Blue Curaçao
½ oz. Parfait d'Amour
½ oz. brandy
½ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. heavy cream
Shake well with ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.
First of all, what even is Parfait d'Amour? To the wikipedia! Oh dear...it turns out that Parfait d'Amour is a liqueur with a curaçao base, flavoured with rose petals, vanilla and almonds. And also? IT'S PURPLE. So if I understand this correctly, I'm to mix a purple liqueur with a blue liqueur, then add some brandy, then top that all off with the stomach turning combination of lemon juice and heavy cream? Do you know what happens when you mix lemon juice and heavy cream? It makes something akin to buttermilk and BLEEEEEEERRRRGGGGGGG buttermilk, you guys. Buttermilk is so, so, so, so, so gross.
According to the Guide it's "Cool and incredibly smooth." According to my sense of self-preservation it's "Revolting and something you should never, ever drink."