My Favorite Cocktail Is the Omar Bradley
It's a great story -- and part of my American journey.
Because apparently I don’t have enough to do, I recently became a contributor to CenterClip, a platform that delivers micro-podcasts (30 seconds to 5 minutes) from interesting perspectives. “The best moments in political audio delivered to your phone, everyday,” reads the first bit of website copy. “A conversation platform for short form audio segments in the political commentary space,” reads the second.
It’s a cool idea—and from the creator’s perspective, it’s like leaving a long voicemail (remember those?) with some thought you might be having about some piece of politics or culture. An audio op-ed, if you will, though I certainly don’t polish these things as much (or at all) as something I’d write in print!
One of CenterClip’s features is the Sunday Brunch, where they ask a contributor to share a recipe and a story alongside the weekly clips and debates they want to highlight. It’s a fun email to get.
This past Sunday it was my turn and while I didn’t particularly have a food recipe—I suppose I could’ve discussed the hamantaschen (a treat for the Jewish holiday Purim) I made for the very first time—I did have a cocktail recipe.
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My favorite cocktail, not that I often have it for brunch—though there’s no reason not to—is the Omar Bradley. You may have some vague association of that name with World War Two, and indeed General Bradley was commander of U.S. forces in North Africa ahead of the invasion of Sicily. Well, one evening, perhaps after meeting with British commander Bernard “Monty” Montgomery, he decided to wet his whistle.
Stepping into the British officers’ mess, he asked the bartender for a whiskey drink, but neither neat nor saccharine. The barkeep, no doubt an enlisted man who was relieved to be in this duty rather than digging latrines or whatnot, looked around at his ingredients and suggested that perhaps the general might like some brown liquid poured over marmalade. You see, unlike simple syrup or other kinds of sweeteners, the marmalade would infuse slowly, adding flavor to the drink without becoming overly cloying. And so a legend was born: not the commander, who was already of great renown, but the drink.
I liked that story so much that, when I got my green card in March 2009 and soon thereafter threw a party to celebrate, I designated the cocktail as one of my two signature drinks. People were told to either dress in green or as their favorite American archetype, so we had plenty of cowboys, cheerleaders, astronauts, and Rosie the Riveters.
And they were delighted to order either an Omar Bradley or, if they preferred clear liquor, a John Daly—which you may know is an Arnold Palmer (iced tea and lemonade) with vodka.
Recipe for an Omar Bradley
Ingredients: brown liquor (whatever kind you prefer), marmalade (also works with any kind of jam or preserves)
1. Put a dollop of marmalade in a rocks glass.
2. Add as much or little ice as you like.
3. Pour brown liquid.
4. Toast America.
Here’s my audio recording of this story—and recipe—on CenterClip. Cheers!
I always forget you are a naturalized citizen. If only those of us born in the US understood fundamental constitutional principles a fraction as well as you.