Billie Burke cocktail

9 Sep

The actress Billie Burke (1884-1970), star of Broadway, silent movies and talkies, is best remembered today for her turn as Glinda, the Good Witch of the North in the Wizard of Oz. In real life, though, it seems she was more of an evil enchantress: in her memoirs she describes her own necromantic take on the Bloody Mary. Enjoy.

The Billie Burke Cocktail

I can’t make a Martini, or even an acceptable whisky-and-soda for a gentleman caller, but there is one cocktail I do know how to prepare and here it is:

One of the best midmorning or midafternoon pickups for energy and over-all well-being is the liver tomato juice cocktail. Wash young beef liver in cold water and dry on paper towel. Remove skin and tough fibers with a very sharp knife. Freeze. When you are ready to make your cocktail, grate about two tablespoons of the frozen liver, stir it quickly into a glass of cold tomato juice, season well with Worcestershire sauce, horse radish, or any favorite seasoning, salt and pepper, and drink at once.

Be sure to return the liver to freezing compartment immediately after grating. A pound of liver will make a week’s supply of cocktails if kept frozen.

This is a stimulant. Anything containing alcohol, no matter how pleasant, is a depressant. Some of my best friends are depressed.

— Billie Burke, With Powder on My Nose (New York: Coward-McCann, 1959), pp. 186-7.


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