Food for Thought
Cocktails and Dames
The Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails (LUPEC) is a very worthwhile organization that sets out to preserve “cocktails that are endangered or even believed to be extinct.” From their home office in Pittsburgh, PA, LUPEC’s aims are not only to resurrect vintage cocktails, but to also advise on how to be a “really excellent bartender.” They hold regular meetings, such as Cinco de Mayo: Revolution, Feminism and Tequila! (the minutes are online), and their website features cocktail recipes, member bios, and polls measuring the favorite time of day to enjoy a cocktail.
Meanwhile, back in New York, we have the Dames of Beef. While the Dames also enjoy a stiff drink, their “meetings” take place in the restaurants of a departed era in New York City history. Restaurants where one receives “sides” with their main course, and perhaps even a salad to start. The group began in 2003 by friends who shared a love of the 1940s and ’50s, old-school New York, and sought it out in the modern city. Many of the first restaurants they went to were steakhouses, hence The Dames of Beef: Keens, Frankie & Johnnie’s, etc. According to a 2006 article about the group in the New York Times, the group consists of 12 women, and unfortunately has initiated a ‘no new members rule’.