- 1 shot vodka
- cranberry juice
- lime wedges
- highball glass
- ice cubes
I remember the first time I was introduced to this drink. It was when I was working at a 5 star hotel in Canada, just outside of Vancouver. Every Sunday morning the hotel used to do a very large brunch buffet that was booked out weeks in advance by locals and tourists alike. The food was incredible, the buffet abundant and overflowing with fresh seafood, the waterfront setting stunning, the patrons stuffy and boring and the entire staff were usually hung over from the night before.
The Sunday buffet in this restaurant was also the only day that the Hotel would spring for a proper pianist to play for the guests. We did have a full time pianist in the lobby of the hotel but I can assure I was not alone in thinking that that pianist should never have been transferred from his old job in accounts receivable, he was awful, “Henri” I think he called himself, when he was in accounts he was just plain old “Henry”.
Anyhow I digress, even though most of the staff had had a big Saturday night none of us ever complained about working Sundays as we got to enjoy the magic of “Lawrence” on the keys. Lawrence was a relatively short guy and although he was not overweight, he did have a portly appearance. He was always impeccably dressed in the finest imported suits and always had on many, large and clearly very expensive rings. I used to marvel at how he could even play the piano with that much gold and that many diamonds on his hands. Lawrence was as big a hit with the customers as he was with the staff. The little old ladies taken to brunch by their loving families would walk up and request songs that must’ve been 10 times older than Lawrence. Yet as soon as they would request it he would reply in his Liberace-esque manner “Oh you mean this one sweety!” and off he would go. Later on the grandkids would request songs and he would be equally accommodating. The man’s repertoire was endless.
Throughout the morning and early afternoons Lawrence would obviously take a couple of breaks, on these breaks the one place one could be certain to find him was at the bar entertaining the bartender, Jason, with his flamboyant recollections of his earlier days. On one occasion I recall going out to check the buffet and returned to the kitchen to inform our Chef de Partie that she would need to keep an eye on the salmon platter and to replenish the omelette station for our Junior Sous Chef working on the buffet that morning. With things under control I joined Jason and Lawrence for a few minutes in the bar. Upon joining them Lawrence was in the middle of telling Jason a story about his time in LA in the late 70’s. I don’t remember the details but I do remember that the story involved Lawrence regularly driving around LA in his peach coloured Cadillac (which had a Chandelier in it by the way) with a Cranberry Martini in one hand and the steering wheel in the other.
“Cranberry?” I said.
“Oh yeah darling, their delicious” Lawrence replied
“Make him one Jason!” He asked of the Bartender.
“Oh no, thanks but no thanks, still a bit early for a Martini of any sort.” I hastily said.
Jason knew me better than that and knew I didn’t mean it but that I was more or less trying to appear professional and he instead suggested a Cape Cod.
“Cape Cod?” I inquired.
“Honey, you’ve never had a Cape Cod?” Lawrence interjected, seeming stunned he demanded, “Make him one Jason.”
“In fact make us all one, but make mine a double!” he said laughingly.
Here you have the Bartender and a Senior Chef being told what to do by a contract musician. Normally a no go, but the fact was that Lawrence was the life of that place on Sundays and we all respected him for it. Lawrence got better treatment than VIP’s or the hotel manager and was worth every bit of the hotels food and beverage we handed out to him. Anyhow long story short, that was my first Cape Cod and on that slightly seedy Sunday morning it was the tastiest drink I could’ve wished for.
I think I must’ve had a few hundred of them since then and thought of the very talented little Mr Lawrence every time. Lawrence what ever you’re up to and where ever you are Cheers!
- Fill the highball glass with ice.
- Add 1 shot of vodka.
- Squeeze and add 1 lime wedge into the glass.
- Top with cranberry juice.
- Squeeze and add another lime wedge into the glass, serve.
- (although no longer technically a Cape Cod, but some people like to add soda water).