american dreams retro – lenya and a cocktail

time for music and a cocktail. both with an american twist. and a cake thrown in … for vegan, glutenfree and lactosefree measure 🙂

let’s start with the drink. i believe this is an italian invention but with an american name: americano


very simple and a great aperitif! it only consists of campari (or a similar bitter liqueur … i usually use one that has a bit more of a rubarb twist than usual campari) and vermouth rosso (martini rosso works well), mixed in equal measures and shaken with ice! add a couple of orange slices and more ice – it is bitter and sweet and tastes quite moreish. for a lighter version, one can stretch it in a long drink glass with soda or mineral water, then it becomes a spritz!

let’s stay american with the music, or rather ‘viennamerican’: LOTTE LENYA


lotte lenya was not a singer per se, with that rather gravely voice of her later years (similar to marianne faithfull nowadays), but god could she interpret rings around singers with a more pleasant voice. she became a champion of her husband’s oeuvre (she was married to kurt weill … i think twice!), both of his berlin works, as later, after emigration to america, of his american stage works. her accent is charming and she just gives everything her own special charm and tough personality. there are many gems on this cd of american theatre songs, the heartbreak of  ‘it never was you’, the melancholy of ‘september song’, the offbeat erotocism of ‘speak low’ or the irony of ‘saga of jenny’ … to name only a few.

there are many bonus songs on the cd, ranging from her contribution to the original broadway run of ‘cabaret’ (she was fräulein schneider of course) to a duet of ‘mack the knife’ with louis armstrong … boy could that lady swing too!!! the don’t do them like this anymore nowadays it seems … what a pity! listen, discover and be totally drawn into the world of lenya, weill and their likes. music like this will never ever age or become dated!!!


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