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Pirate Jenny- a campy cocktail that's perfect for day drinking!

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

Johanna Eyk photographed by Max Watenpuhl
from Haunted Bauhaus by Elizabeth Otto

With its pink color and Kurt Weil references, the Pirate Jenny is the perfect pairing for the post about Queer bauhaus. The recipe hails from one of my favorite bars ever, Berlyn in Brooklyn. With its hand-knit sausages, tiny stuffed dachshunds, and cuckoo clocks, it was the perfect combination of German camp and Brooklyn chic. Sadly it was too good to last. But its memory will live on in this absolutely delicious cocktail.

Pirate Jenny

  • 2 oz Tequila

  • 1.5 oz Aperol

  • a splash of fresh lime juice

  • a dash of sea salt (for the pirates...)

Shake the above ingredients and strain into an old fashioned glass with ice.

Top the drink with grapefruit soda and a splash of sparkling rose.

Download the Lotte Lenya and Nina Simone versions of the song Pirate Jenny from Spotify and kick back for some quality summer pride time.

Who was Pirate Jenny you ask? Pirate Jenny is a song from the Three Penny Opera by Kurt Weill with words by Bertolt Brecht dating from 1928. German cabaret singer Lotte Lenya originated the role of Jenny. In the song, Jenny a poor hotel maid, dreams of her revenge on the people who treat her with disdain. The song is considered an anthem of the oppressed, and a song of resistance. It became a socialist anthem in the thirties and was popularized again in 1964 when Nina Simone famously put her own spin on it. It has inspired countless artists since to cover it, including drag queen Sasha Velour. In another queer twist the openly gay American composer Mark Blitzstein translated the original opera into English. Mark Blitzstein was murdered in 1964 in what we would now classify as a hate crime.

Thirsty for more? Read all about LGBTQ history at the bauhaus here


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