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The Man of Distinction. A cocktail to celebrate the life and legacy of Hilyard Robinson.

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

Not only was Hilyard Robinson a prolific, modernist, black architect, he was also the subject in one of a series of advertisements by the Canadian whiskey company Lord Calvert. The campaign, called Men of Distinction, ran throughout the forties and fifties, featuring note-worthy artists, architects, actors, and well, men of distinction. In the 1951 feature on Hilyard Robinson, he is seen in one image in his office reviewing drawings with another architect and in another image hosting some buddies in his stylish mid-century modern living room. "A successful architect and a successful host". According to a 1946 issue of the New Yorker, in exchange for allowing themselves to be photographed,these men of distinction received a case of Lord Calvert and $300.00 toward their favorite charity. Not a bad deal. Thanks to this fantastic ad campaign it seemed only appropriate to use Lord Calvert whiskey in a cocktail that celebrates the life and work of Hilyard Robinson. Did you miss the post on Hilyard Robinson? check it out here

Advertisement for Lord Calvert Whiskey, Ebony. February 1952, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Yale University

Canadian whiskey gets a bad rap from whiskey snobs. As a bourbonista, I had never even tried blended whiskey. It turns out there are many small producers creating artisanal blended whiskeys that equal their unblended cousins. Lord Calvert is not one of those. But on a hot summer day, with temperatures in the eighties, a Sazerac- cocktail can never go amiss. We've just swapped out the Rye with Lord Calvert for a Canadian take on the Sazerac, that we're calling the Man of Distinction. You can call it whatever you like.

Man of Distinction

Ingredients 2 oz. Lord Calvert Canadian whiskey .25 oz Absinthe or Pastis 3 dashes of bitters

1 Lemon peel

Step 1. Chill an old fashioned glass in the freezer with ice.

Step 2. Get your lemon peel ready. Step 3. In a mixing glass add the whiskey and the bitters. Step 4 Add ice to the mixing glass and stir to chill. Step 5 Grab your glass from the freezer, and empty the ice. Rinse the glass with your Pastis or Absinth (and empty out the rinse) Step 7. Pour the chilled libation into the glass and express the lemon peel over the drink. Step 8. Drink up.


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