Need a drink? Cool, so do I. It’s high time we imbibed here on Cooking The Simpsons and I’ve got just the recipe.
Season three’s “Bart the Murderer” is “supoib” for a few reasons, among others: 1. Cocoa Beanie’s appearance, 2. Skinner’s survival story and 3. Neil Patrick Harris’ cameo. It begins with Bart having a real bad day. Homer beats him to the cereal box prize, the dog eats his homework, he misses the bus and gets rained on, he’s late to school and splits his pants at recess, and he forgets his permission slip and misses out on the chocolate factory. He’s stuck licking envelopes with Principal Skinner while the other kids gorge on chocolate and kick around a mascot named Cocoa Beanie. Mmm… Cocoa Beanie. On his way home, Bart crashes his skateboard and ends up in the “Legitimate Businessman’s Social Club,” also known as the front for Springfield’s mob. When he picks a winning horse and makes Legs a tasty Manhattan (more on that in a bit), Fat Tony hires Bart as a bartender and helper.
After some suspicious activity (like a Flowers By Irene truck spying on the Simpsons’ home), Marge insists that Homer pay a visit to the club. Homer being Homer is totally oblivious, so Bart continues his career of drink-making and harboring stolen cigarettes. After Bart is late to work and blames Skinner, the mob pays the principal a visit (“I don’t have an appointment with any large men”). Soon after Seymour goes missing. A body hunt turns up empty-handed and he is presumed dead, leaving Bart with nightmares about death row. Yeah, things get dark, guys. When he confronts Fat Tony, the boss denies any wrongdoing just as Chief Wiggum shows up to arrest them all (“What’s a moida?”). Bart sits in jail next to a buff Sideshow Bob and good old Lionel Hutz arrives to defend him. Things are looking grim in court when Principal Skinner himself barges in and tells his heroic tale of escaping a pile of newspapers. Seeing as the victim is not dead, the case is dismissed. Bart quits his job and the family sits down to watch a made-for-TV movie about the whole ordeal starring a spiky-haired Neil Patrick Harris.
The real star of this episode (other than Bart) is a classic drink: the Manhattan. Bart mixes up loads of them for the mobsters and their friends including Chief Wiggum and gets rave reviews. Then Louie makes a “flat, flavorless” version the nearly gets everyone killed. I mean, the animators drew a lot of brown triangles with little red circles for this one. Luckily, we get a peek at the recipe when Bart makes his very first cocktail. It’s on the wall in the bar, and is replicated exactly as shown below. I added some notes, but the recipe is classic and on point. You should probably mix up a few as soon as possible.
Just for fun, and since this edition of Cooking The Simpsons is so normal it freaks me out, I included a recipe for Louie’s “wine spritzers.” It’s all he knows how to make, but they’re so good that it doesn’t matter.
Serves one in a classy little glass
1/2 oz Italian sweet vermouth*
1 jigger (1 1/2 oz) bourbon, blend or rye*
Dash of Angostura bitters (optional)*
Mix with cracked ice until thoroughly chilled*, strain into cocktail glass and serve with cherry.*
*Good vermouth is worth it. Store it in the fridge.
*Again, don’t skimp. There’s only a few ingredients. High-quality rye is my favorite for this recipe, but a good bourbon will work just as well.
*Don’t leave out the bitters. So good!
*Bart shakes his cocktail, but we won’t hold it against him.
*I used a fancy Luxardo cherry. They are amazing.
And in case you don’t like bourbon/just for fun:
Serves as many mobsters as you like
3 parts white wine, preferably Sauvignon Blanc, chilled
1 part club soda, chilled
1 lemon or orange twist per drink
Fill wine glasses with ice. Add three parts cold white wine and one cold part club soda. Garnish with a twist.
Let’s raise a glass of Manhattan or wine spritzer or milk to The Simpsons for always making us laugh, even when we’re having a real bad day.
P.S. Other fun food appearances in this episode: lots of cereal. Jackie O’s (free stretch-pants inside), Chocolate Frosted Frosty Krusty Flakes (with glow-in-the-dark police badge), Vitapillars, Kelp Chex.
Laurel Randolph is a food and lifestyle writer hailing from Tennessee and living in Los Angeles. She enjoys cooking, baking and candlestick making. Tweet at her face: @laurelrandy