The Potato in Fine Art
Do you prefer your potatoes in a landscape or in a still life or in a stew? Come with me on a tour of the humble potato in art.
Candy Bedworth 2 March 2023
min Read13 May 2023
Most of us like taking some “me time” and enjoying a long bubble bath, reading a good book, working out, or perhaps just contemplating the works of our favorite artists. If the last one is your choice I would recommend adding some fun mixed drinks. Here is my list of cocktails inspired by art for artsy drinking.
Since there are many interpretations of Kazimir Malevich’s work Black Square and Red Square, let’s just focus on moving in that picture. The black square is static and heavy and on the other side is the red, fast-moving square. It’s like a combination of sweet cream and vodka in the Red Velvet Martini.
In fact, the Red Velvet Martini is a perfect Valentine’s Day cocktail, but why not make one for yourself? Put one teaspoon of chocolate syrup at the bottom of a glass. Refrigerate. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add 1 oz cake-flavored vodka, 1 oz crème de cacao, 3 tablespoons buttermilk, and 1- 2 drops of red food color to the shaker. Shake well and strain into your chilled glass.
There is no more elegant display of an established city woman than that of Tamara de Lempicka’s women. Further, what does an elegant madame like Mrs. Boucard miss in this portrait? A Cosmopolitan!
Here is a recipe for how to make a “Cosmo” for yourself at home. Add 1 1/2 oz citrus vodka, 1 oz Cointreau, 1/2 oz fresh lime juice, and 1 dash cranberry juice with ice to a shaker. Shake! Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wheel.
If you are keen on dipping yourself into intense colors and shapes you should look up Georgia O’Keeffe. Her mesmerizing flowers are perfect contemplation material. Especially the oriental poppies with their intense orange and red transitions. The perfect drink to have with them is definitely the Aperol Spritz.
The Aperol Spritz is one of the most popular Italian aperitifs. Add 3 oz prosecco, 2 oz Aperol, and 1 oz soda water to a wine glass with ice, and stir. Garnish with an orange wheel and enjoy.
If you’re not a fan of big flowers, maybe Mark Rothko’s large-scale monochrome surfaces are a better choice for you. For example, the Orange and Yellow for welcoming the summer. You could make yourself a Tequila Sunrise to enjoy this work in better company.
The Tequila Sunrise is a slightly more complicated cocktail to make. Take a chilled highball glass. First, add 2 oz Blanco tequila, next add 4 oz fresh orange juice, finally float 1/4 oz Grenadine on the top. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.
Besides, if you’re more fond of far-off unknown lands then Paul Gauguin is your perfect companion. Travel to Tahiti with him and taste those faraway places by preparing yourself a Zombie cocktail.
The Zombie Cocktail is a tiki cocktail. Pour 1 oz dark rum, 1 oz white rum, 2 oz lime juice, and 6 oz pineapple juice into a shaker filled with ice. Shake hard. Strain the mixture into a tall glass with ice. Slowly pour 1 tbsp grenadine to color the drink. Garnish with mint sprigs and fruit.
What would be an artsy cocktail list without Absinthe? And who is more familiar with that magic drink than Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec? Obviously Vincent van Gogh.
If you have Absinthe at home, try pouring 1 1/2 oz of it into a coupe glass and add 4 1/2 oz Champagne. It is called Death in the Afternoon and was invented by Ernest Hemingway. Enjoy!
Frida Kahlo depicts herself in many of her self-portraits in front of green leaves. Those pictures, like the Self-Portrait with Monkey, have a very muggy atmosphere. They cause a thirst for something fresh and minty like the Mojito.
Mojito is my favorite cocktail. Muddle three mint leaves in a shaker. Add 2 oz white rum, 3/4 oz fresh lime juice, 1/2 oz Simple syrup, and ice and shake. Strain into a highball glass over fresh ice. Add a dash of club soda. Garnish with mint leaves and lime wheel.
Victor Patricio de Landaluze was practicing costumbrismo in the 19th century, depicting Cuban peasants, landowners, and slaves. In his works, he is doing a great job documenting life in Cuba. For example, we have a depiction of traditional customs here. I would recommend grabbing a Cuba Libre and exploring his other works.
Cuba Libre is probably the easiest tasty cocktail to make. Add 1 oz rum and 3 oz Coca-Cola to a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Edward Hopper’s silent and melancholic scenes are maybe not the best you can choose nowadays. However, they suit someone people’s personal tastes. I would recommend grabbing a Bourbon Old Fashioned to enjoy Hopper’s works fully.
First, add 1 tsp sugar, then 3 dashes of Angostura bitters, and 1 tsp water into a rocks glass. Stir it until the sugar is almost dissolved. Fill the glass with large ice cubes, add 2 oz bourbon, and gently stir. Express the oil of an orange peel over the glass, and drop it.
Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dogs are the most fun thing to look at. They are like a child’s dream (or nightmare) come true. Just add some unicorns and cotton candy. And grab a Diamond Blue to enjoy watching with.
The Diamond Blue is delicious. Add 3/4 oz Hendrick’s Gin, 3/4 oz crème de violette, and 1/4 oz Blue curaçao to a mixing glass. Squeeze a lemon wedge into the glass. Fill with ice, stir, and strain into a Champagne flute. Top with the 3 oz Champagne and garnish with a light dusting of edible silver powder.
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