One of my favorite parts of my book collection is “The New Annotated Sherlock Homes,” which I received as a Christmas gift years ago. Featuring voluminous notes by Leslie Klinger and a beautiful introduction by John Le Carre, this is the best one-stop introduction to the world of Sherlock. Much to my disadvantage, it has been almost a decade since I went through the stories. Well, no more. I’ve made a pact to read through every story, one a day. To make this even more fun (and relevant to this blog) I’ll work to pair the stories with Sherlock-themed cocktails. So let’s get started!
“A Scandal in Bohemia,” I believe, is a top 10 Sherlock story and probably my favorite. It features Holmes at his most human and is laden with wonderful lines “You don’t mind breaking the law” and “women are naturally secretive”; these came back to me almost immediately. It is a standout story as it introduces us to the woman Irene Adler, introduced in the first sentence by an admiring Watson. “Scandal” is also the only story in which Sherlock, bespoiler of grand conspiracies and crimes throughout Europe and beyond, actually loses. Instead of excusing his own failure or raging against his opponent, he asks only for her picture — a nod to the women who matched him. What a testament to his character, I think, and to Doyle’s progressivism; how easy it would have been to chalk the failure up to some medieval theory of feminine cunning. I often recommend this story for people who are looking for an introduction to Holmes canon as it is breezy but relentlessly intriguing and concludes in a manner worthy of Ms. Norton nee Adler.
Oh yes, the drink — I found the “Reichenbach Falls” (spoiler alert: the falls where Holmes and Moriarty meet their supposed end) cocktail via “The Drunken Moogle.” The drink was fine but the flavor was rootless, vague, and never bit. I think the lemonade washes it out a bit, and would recommend going with an ounce and half instead of the three recommended. Still, it was relaxing and with dozens of Sherlock stories in front of you, who could complain?
1 oz London Dry Gin
2 oz Dry Sherry
1 splash Stirring’s Blood Orange Bitters
3 oz Lemonade