John F. Kennedy reportedly was sipping his favorite cocktail — a daiquiri — when he found out he’d won the presidential election in November 1960. Fittingly, the daiquiri will be one of the signature drinks crafted by Proper, the trendy cocktail bar on West Magnolia Avenue, at the 55th annual Fort Worth Opera Ball on Sept. 19. The event’s theme, Presidential Gala, is a nod to the FWO-commissioned opera JFK — about Kennedy’s final night and morning in Fort Worth — which will make its world premiere at Bass Hall next spring. The event promises to recall the 1960s elegance of the Kennedy White House and will honor Cornelia “Corky” Friedman, wife of Fort Worth Mayor Bayard Friedman when Kennedy was assassinated. Proper owner Lisa Little-Adams’ version of the daiquiri , dubbed Bon Jour El Presidente, is made tangy with a cider vinegar and pineapple-infused shrub and then spritzed with aromatic bitters.
Fort Worth Opera Presidential Gala
Renaissance Worthington Hotel
Event tickets: $75-$375, with tables available. The $75 ticket admits one to the “Young Professionals After Party,” themed after Fort Worth’s 1960s nightclub The Cellar, featuring dessert, cocktails, dancing to the music of In10City, casino gaming and a raffle, beginning at 9 p.m. The $375 ticket includes admission to the After Party, plus a 6:30 p.m. cocktail party with entertainment by the Paschal High School Jazz Combo, JFK opera stars and a Marilyn Monroe lookalike, and a three-course dinner with wine pairings.
Bon Jour El Presidente
Makes 1 drink
• 1 1/2 ounces Duquesne Rhum Vieux
• 1/2 ounce Pineapple Ginger Clove Shrub (recipe follows)
• 3/4 ounce lime juice
• 1/2 ounce Madagascar Vanilla Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
• Spritz of Angostura bitters
• Thinly sliced lime wheel for garnish
1. Shake all ingredients, except bitters and lime wheel, in a mixing tin with ice and strain into a coupe glass.
2. Using a small spray bottle, lightly spray bitters over the top of the cocktail. Garnish with lime wheel.
Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup
Makes 3 cups
• 1 large Madagascar vanilla bean, split lengthwise
• 2 cups water
• 1 1/2 cups pure cane sugar
1. Place vanilla bean in a small saucepan and add water and sugar. Stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Turn heat to low and let simmer 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
2. Strain syrup into a bottle or jar and chill overnight for a more intense vanilla flavor.
Pineapple Ginger Clove Shrub
Makes 2 3/4 cups
• 2 cups fresh pineapple
• 1-inch knob fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
• 4-5 whole cloves
• 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
• 1 cup apple cider vinegar
1. Place the pineapple, ginger and cloves in a large non-reactive bowl. Add the sugar and stir. Cover bowl with a clean cloth and let sit at room temperature for about 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
2. Add apple cider vinegar and let sit for another 24 hours or until sugar has completely dissolved.
3. Pour into clean bottles or jars and seal. Store in refrigerator.
— 409 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 817-984-1133