RHUBY COCKTAIL: THE AMERICAN MIRAGE
Benjamin Franklin was a scientist, philosopher, elder statesman, charmer and celebrity in Paris during his term as US ambassador to France. However, one of Franklin’s most interesting inventions was his own persona. America’s first great publicist, he was in his life and in his writings, consciously trying to create a new American archetype, often referred to as “The American Mirage.”
Although most popular in France, Franklin also had a strong following in Italy. One of his most notable followers was Gaetano Filangieri, a young, enthusiastic social reformer, eager to flaunt his considerable political knowledge, and just as eager to win praise from Franklin, whom he idolized.
Filangieri initiated an exchange of letters with Benjamin Franklin from 1782 to 1787, sending him a copy of the finished portions of his work, The Science of Legislation, at which point Franklin ordered copies of the remaining volumes as they would be published. Filangieri also mentioned to Franklin the idea of emigrating to the new nation, specifically, to the enlightened center of the new nation, Philadelphia. From his letter of December 2, 1782, to Franklin:
“Even as a child, my eyes were drawn to Philadelphia. I have become so used to viewing it as the only place where I might be happy, that I can no longer get that idea out of my head … But how can I leave my country? … Might not my own works on the law lead you to consider inviting me to help draw up the new legal code you are preparing for the United Provinces of America? … Once I got to America, who could ever convince me to return to Europe! How could I ever then leave that haven of virtue, that land of heroes and city of brothers?
Although Franklin and Filangieri never met in person, we’ve created a cocktail to commemorate this historic exchange of enlightened politics.
The American Mirage
1 part RHUBY
1 part Campari
2 parts lemonade
3 dashes citrus bitters
Top with club soda
Build in a highball glass over ice. Add RHUBY, Campari, and lemonade. Top with club soda and finish with a few dashes of bitters and a hearty lemon twist.