We’re entering the third weekend of Hop Sing Laundromat being open to anyone who comes up to the unmarked storefront at 1029 Race Street (Well anyone who follows these rules and is dressed appropriately at least).
It is also the first weekend that the Chinatown bar will have a printed cocktail menu. The list has twelve drinks broken down by primary spirit. The descriptions are interesting to say the least, most with a tie to American history, and one referring to a certain restaurant critic. For cocktails we’ve tried and remember, our notes are in italic.
Hop Sing Laundromat Drink List
Henry “Box” Brown
In 1849, liberty was mailed to the city of Brotherly Love. Born into slavery in 1815, Henry Brown executed a stunning escape to freedom by arranging to ship himself from Richmond, Virginia in a dry goods box to a downtown abolitionist. Needless to say, we are pleased to name our very first libation after the greatest arrival in the history of Philadelphia.
The Stonewall Riot
“We are the Stonewall girls, we wear our hair in curls, we wear no underwear, we show our pubic hair, we wear our dungarees, above our nelly knees!” With this cry, in the early morning hours of June 28th, 1969, members of one of the most marginalized communities in New York City decided to stand up and fight back for their rights. This libation pays respect to their courage and beliefs.
Once imprisoned before the Revolutionary War for preaching without a license, Rev. Elijah Craig is credited with the invention of bourbon whiskey. It goes to show the Lord works in a mysterious way and we do wish it would happen more often when it comes to whiskey.
The Boston Healer
Before women had the right to vote, this female worked first for eight years as a nurse before becoming the first African-American woman to receive a medical degree in the United States. “I early conceived a liking for, and sought every opportunity to relieve the sufferings of others,” said Rebecca Lee Crumpler, who treated former slaves when she moved to Richmond, Virginia after the Civil War. Her notes were later published as “A Book of Medical Discourses,” one of the nation’s first medical publications by an African-America. (Iced coffee, peppermint, bourbon, honey liqueur, vanilla liqueur – red bull and vodka for the sophisticated)
COGNAC & BRANDY
On Tuesday June 6, 1944 members of the Allied Forces commenced “Operation Overlord” by storming of the beaches at Normandy. It has been said one of the most noble things a man can do is fight for someone who cannot fend for themselves. With this libation, we honor the men who prevented German from becoming the official language of Paris, France and earned the name “The Greatest Generation.”
At Last Stand Hill, in the summer of 1876, when underdog Indian warriors engaged the Federal Army at The Battle of Greasy Grass their tenacious charge confused General Custer’s command structure, and in a short time decimated the 7th Calvary. With this libation we acknowledge one of the biggest upsets in American history.
“What America needs now is a drink.” And with these words, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ended the thirteen-year, ten-month, seventeen-hour and thirty-two-and-a-half minute noble experiment of Prohibition at 4:31pm on December 5, 1933. Well, Mr. President, you could not have chosen a better time of the day to sign this historic document. With this libation, we raise our glass to the father of all happy hours! (Two gins, two Spanish vermouths and Chartreuse. Looks like ice water)
A Failed Entertainment
Inspired by the working title for the novel “Infinite Jest” by the late David Foster Wallace, this libation pays tribute to one of the finest writers of his generation, to whom we owe thanks for statements like “almost nothing important that ever happens to you happens because you engineer it.” (Gin, mint and grapefruit)
While the phrase “Nevermore,” might have caused haunting chills and meant something different to Edgar Allen Poe, who once lived along the 700 block of Spring Garden Street, with this drink we hope you have found your perfect nightcap and nothing more. (coffee flavor, cream, no sugar, gin)
TEQUILA & MEZCAL
Clubber Lang’s Lemonade
This favorite son of South Philly made us all proud when he pummeled the villainous Balboa at the Spectrum in 1982. To this day, he remains the most beloved brawler in the neighborhood of 9th Street & Passyunk Avenue. We can only hope this lemonade brings back the proud memory of that surreal victory.
Esta Tierra es Tuya
We strongly encourage you to order this libation by its given name. (Illegal mescal, flower, egg whites – smoky)
Bells of Brotherly Love
Here is one to an individual who has ruled Philadelphia with an iron pen/keyboard for over 14 years. Not much is known about this handsome gentleman except he is known to bring tears to grown men & women in the dining world or Ben Franklin Bridge for that matter. This libation celebrates & welcomes another 14 years of great writing or in worst case scenario, rush-hour traffic report from Camden, NJ starting next week. (Pictured and described on Michael Klein’s blog.)
All drinks are $12. Hop Sing Laundromat is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday in June. Six days a week starting in July when the drink list will expand to 25 or so.