It’s that time of year! The Masters will soon be in full swing and golf fans everywhere will be focused on the action this spring. While only a fortunate few get to attend the venerable event, millions watch on TV as the Southern traditions of Augusta National unfold mostly offscreen. From Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches to Azalea Cocktails and iconic Green Jackets, there really is no place like Magnolia Lane.
So let’s get to the Azalea Cocktails! Made with pineapple juice, fresh lemon juice, vodka or rum, and a splash of grenadine, they’re great to make if you have a mob to entertain on Masters Sunday. Ingredients: 1 oz. fresh lemon juice, 2 oz. pineapple juice, 2 oz. vodka or rum, a splash of grenadine, and lemon slice. Combine first four ingredients with ice in a pitcher. Strain and pour in glasses over ice. Garnish with lemon slice.
Now let’s get to a little more Southern history and another historic cocktail: When John Quincy Adams took the oath of office, it was under a dark cloud of controversy. The election of 1824 was a bitterly contested four-man race between Andrew Jackson (born in the backwoods of the Carolinas), Henry Clay, William Crawford, and Adams.
Since no candidate won a majority of electoral votes, the election was thrown into the House of Representatives where Clay, as Speaker of the House, gave his support to Adams, even though Jackson won the most popular and electoral votes. Adams then quickly appointed Clay as Secretary of State. Outraged and feeling cheated out of the White House, Jackson called the deal a “Corrupt Bargain” to “cheat the will of the people.”
With these accusations hanging over his head, Adams’ four years in office weren’t easy ones. Although his intelligence, family background, and political experience could have made him a great president, he lacked the charisma needed to create a base of loyal supporters.
Not surprisingly, he lost the election of 1828 in a landslide, and when Jackson was inaugurated on March 4, 1829, twenty thousand of his loyal supporters, who believed he had been cheated out of the White House four years earlier, descended “like locusts” upon Washington “eager to celebrate the long-delayed victory of their champion.”
Jackson’s inauguration “sparked a celebration that did all but set fire to the White House” as thousands of rowdy fans crammed inside and destroyed the French furniture, silk draperies, and fine china as ices and cakes “were gobbled up as fast they appeared on long serving tables.”
In a letter, a Washington socialite described the chaos this way: But what a scene did we witness! The Majesty of the People had disappeared, and a rabble, a mob, of boys, women, children, scrambling, fighting, romping. Ladies fainted, men were seen with bloody noses, and such a scene of confusion took place as is impossible to describe. But it was the People’s Day, and the People’s President, and the People would Rule!
Another observer described the chaos this way: Orange Whiskey Punch by barrel fulls were inside, but as waiters opened the door, a rush would be made, the glasses broken, the pails of liquor upset, and the most painful confusion prevailed. The tubs of Whiskey Punch were taken outside into the garden to lead the crowds from the rooms.
Although no one knows how the punch was made that day, you can make Orange Whiskey Punch or Azalea Cocktails, named for the gorgeous pink azaleas in full bloom at the 13th at Augusta each spring, if you’ve got a mob to entertain on Masters Sunday!
Enjoy your walk and drink responsibly,
Suzy Evans, J.D., Ph.D.