Let’s face the music and dance

In times of trouble – and we are surely in one of those times at the moment – there is an answer to the gloom we all might be feeling, and that’s the cocktail. From a spritz to a Manhattan to a Shirley Temple, a cocktail is the embodiment of style and sophistication, not to mention technical skill and the perfect solution to brightening up yet another evening at home.

It is in times of trouble that we need enchanting amusements more than ever. In times of isolation and boredom, every possibility to lift the spirit must be fulfilled. Forget the common pilsner on the sofa, watching a game – there are no games to be seen! This is the moment in history to explore the wonderful world of cocktails together with Schweppes. A cocktail carnival live-streamed from Hotel At Sixt for the launch of this issue.

The iconic songwriter Cole Porter knew how to enjoy himself, even though he lived through two world wars, the Spanish flu and a riding accident that almost killed him and left him disabled. He, if anyone, knew how to stir up a cocktail, whether it was in Venice where he lived for years, or back in New York where he stayed at the Waldorf Towers hotel for nearly 30 years. He truly experienced some good times in his life, but also some tough times, so his motto in life was always to enhance any possibility for enjoyment. The line in one of his contemporary Irving Berlin’s major hits is more vibrant than ever in times like these: “There may be trouble ahead / but while there’s moonlight and music and love and romance / Let’s face the music and dance”.

It is not coincident that the history of the cocktail often coincides with times of trouble. During the great depression, cocktail culture boomed around the world. Films from the thirties did all their best to glamorise the ‘cocktail era’, an epithet they preferred to focus on. On the silver screen, the cocktail evolved from a universal symbol of dissoluteness into one of class and civility. Every new film had to be presented with a signature drink if possible. This was the time when the cocktail became mainstream and found its place into the heart of American and European culture. And why not – we all need to relax when the bank account is diminishing and hordes of unemployed people are standing in line. If we can not visit our usual bar and are sitting in our apartments around the clock instead, then let’s make the home into our favorite bar!

This is the time for versatility. Make your flat into an efficient office during the day and a cocktail saloon at night. Discipline has never been more important than now and rather than indulge in having a beer or a glass of wine whenever you’re feeling bored, you should challenge yourself to reach a higher plateau of satisfaction. Now is the time to dress up for dinner, not walk about in your pyjamas all day. Tux or evening dress is not at all over the top – in fact, it is recommended. I once came across an old gentleman who lived in splendid solitude next to a dried-out quarry in northern Nigeria, who every evening put on his tuxedo for dinner. Otherwise, he explained, ”I would lose it all.”.

If you are lucky enough to share your life with someone or if you’re living alone, it doesn’t really matter: do you best to make every meal into a true delight. And before your after-dinner Netflix premiere, do not forget to serve the cocktail of the evening. It is the effort that counts. To take time. Put love into every detail. Make it into a holy ceremony. One new every day. One for each mood. One for every new challenge tomorrow.

We have had the great minds at Schweppes put together the ultimate cocktails for these times. Specially adapted to match perfectly with your chosen evening activity, be that sharing time with friends online, listening to your favourite music or just relaxing with a magazine. To make this celebration into a true cocktail feast we have decided to live stream a cocktail-making class from hotel At Sixt in Stockholm. 
It is in times like these we need the cocktail more than ever. With or without alcohol!

FLAVOUR: Schweppes Premium Mixer Tonic: Pink Pepper

Ingredients: 40ml Roku gin, two ginger slices, top with Schweppes Premium Mixer Tonic &Pink Pepper, ice cubes.

FLAVOUR: Schweppes Premium Mixer Tonic: Pink Pepper

40ml Lillet Blanc, 30ml Campo Viejo Cava, cucumber strips, mint sprigs & strawberry slices, Schweppes Premium Mixer Tonic & Pink Pepper, ice cubes.

FLAVOUR: Schweppes Premium Mixer Ginger Beer & Chili

Ingredients: 40ml Plantation Grande Reserve rum, ginger & chili slices, top with Schweppes Premium Mixer Ginger Beer & Chili, ice cubes.

FLAVOUR: Schweppes Premium Mixer Tonic: Pink Pepper

40ml Absolut Vodka, one lime wedge, Schweppes Premium Mixer Ginger Beer & Chili, ice cubes.

FLAVOUR: Schweppes Premium Mixer Hibiscus

Ingredients: 40ml Diplomatico Planas (aged white rum), strawberry slices & basil leaves, top with Schweppes Premium Mixer Hibiscus, ice cubes.

 FLAVOUR: Schweppes Premium Tonic & Twist Of Lime

40ml Roku gin, grapefruit zest & rosemary sprigs, top with Schweppes Premium Tonic & Twist Of Lime, ice cubes.

Words by Tor Bergman 
Photography by The Forumist Production
Special thanks to Schweppes

Picture credits:
3# Picture of Cole Porter (source online)
4# Picture of the Crysler building (source online)
7# Picture of a classic themed bar (source online)
8# Picture from a party after the lift of the prohibition, USA 1920s (source online)
All other pictures from the live-stream at Hotel At Sixt for the launch of this issue