The author of the Maggie Hope Mystery series
writes about KBO, cocktails, code-breaking, and red lipstick.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mr. Churchill's Father

Winston Churchill had a complicated relationship with his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, the Duke of Marlborough.

Sir Winston wrote in Life of Marlborough, that "famous men are usually the product of an unhappy childhood. The stern compression of circumstances, the twinges of adversity, the spur of slights and taunts in early years, are needed to evoke that ruthless fixity of purpose and tenacious mother-wit without which great actions are seldom accomplished."

Perhaps thinking of this, in 1898 he wrote of Mohammed: "Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong; and a boy deprived of a father's care often develops, if he escapes the perils of youth, an independence and vigour of thought which may restore in after life the heavy loss of early days."

Well, after all that, I know I could certainly use a cocktail. And, as fate would have it, there's one called The Duke of Marlborough. Named for Churchill's father? Perhaps. It's a fortified-wine-based cocktail, which would right for Lord Randolph's era.

Let's pretend that if the Duke had been alive to witness all his son's accomplishments, he would have raised a glass to him.

The Duke of Marlborough

1 twist orange peel

Stir well over ice cubes in a mixing glass. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, add a twist of orange peel, and serve.

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