My first evening in Berlin I am much too tired to go out and explore the city. Instead, I take the elevator back down to the lobby thinking I’ll just grab something quick to eat at the bar. As I walk back through the lobby a young polo couple, still flying their colors and looking delightedly sweaty, come bursting through the rotunda, obviously late for the ball, with their two enormous wolf hounds prancing right behind them, their royal toenails tap-dancing a four-hoofed beat on the marble floors of the hotel. Everyone—the bellboys, the guests, myself—get out of their way as they sprint for the elevator.
The Hapsburgs live!
A pianist in the lobby is playing “Fly Me To The Moon.” I sink into a cushy seat in the lobby bar and am surrounded by the music, the clinking of glasses, and a low murmur of conversation. A group of young female refugees from the big polo ball are whispering and gossiping at the bar. From the rear, they look identical—except for the color and style of their hair; straight blonde, wavy brunette, frizzy redhead.
When nobody comes over to take my drink order, I make my way to the bar, standing next to the seated women who are all drinking the same cocktail, something decidedly orangy. I ask the barman what it is the ladies are drinking, thinking I might get one myself.
“Das ist ein Shultz cocktail,” he says.
And what is a Shultz cocktail?
He leans forward, looking at me very seriously. “Dat iss a secret,” he says.
The woman closest to me, with the long blond hair, gives me a quick glance and giggles. “Do you speak English?” I ask her.
“Could you tell me what it is you ladies are drinking? It looks quite refreshing.”
“It is a Shultz cocktail,” she says.
“Yes, I understand that. But what’s in a Shultz cocktail?”
“Ah,” she says. “A Shultz cocktail is made of equal parts orange juice, orange juice, and orange juice. It’s very popular in Berlin.”
She giggles again and all her friends giggle as well.
The barman comes back.
“I’d like a Lansing cocktail,” I tell him.
“This I don’t know,” he says, both hands leaning on the bar.
“It’s a bit of a secret but I’ll tell you how to make one,” I tell him.
“Take a cocktail glass and fill it halfway up with ice.” He nods again. “Then fill it with equal parts bourbon, bourbon, and bourbon. Serve.”
The barman gives me a dirty look and goes off to make my cocktail. He brings it back to me along with a small bowl of beer nuts. And this is my dinner.
Comments are now closed.