Monday, June 17, 2024

Queen Mary in Long Beach to host Edgar Allan Poe speakeasy

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Fans of Victorian Gothic literature and poetry—or just anything that resembles the aesthetic of everything from “Sleepy Hallow” and “Crimson Peak” to “Frankenstein” and “Dracula”—shall rejoice in dark harmony: The Edgar Allan Poe Speakeasy, a traveling immersive cocktail experience, will be invading The Queen’s Salon aboard The Queen Mary come May 30 through June 1.

What is the Edgar Allan Poe Speakeasy? And what can we expect when it boards The Queen Mary?

It is easy to think of the Edgar Allan Poe Speakeasy as a cocktail tour: Touring 30 cities across the United States—from smaller and lesser known places like Piqua, Ohio and Muncie, Indiana to sprawling metros like Seattle, Portland, and Grand Rapids—event organizers call it a “chilling cocktail experience in Long Beach that brings four of his stories off the page and onto the stage as told through the Poe historians while pairing them with four classic cocktails.”

And it will be hosted in the ship’s mighty Queen’s Salon room, the perfect setting for Mr. Poe’s gothic vibe: While it may hold a much more contemporary style with its overall Art Deco flourishes, with a little dim lighting, its wood paneling, inlaid parquet flooring, and overall old time-y vibe, it should prove quite fruitful for tales of the macabre and drinks dedicated to them.

What are the cocktails being served at the Edgar Allan Poe Speakeasy?

Four cocktails will be served at the event—each themed to some aspect of Poe’s life, style, and, of course, his written words. The American, Boston-born author and poet—widely considered the founding father of short fiction, detective stories, and one of the leading contributors to science fiction as it was emerging during the Gothic movement—never really saw the fruit of his labors: Working as a writer alone, he depended on a publishing world which was anything but supportive. Dying at the age of 40, he never knew that he would become one of the most respected authors in the history of literature—and of course, spawn a countrywide cocktail tour inspired by his writings.

Here are the cocktails you can expect to get with your $55 ticket:

Pale Blue Eye

A light blue cocktail made with blueberry vodka, fresh lemon juice, rose syrup and topped with La Croix, this drink is inspired by Netflix’s series of the same name, which follows Poe’s brief and somewhat mysterious time as a member of the United States Army.

Cocktail of Death

A bright vibrant cocktail made with 100-proof vodka, cherry herring, benedictine liquor, lime juice, pineapple juice, and bitters—and inspired by Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death,” which follows protagonist Prince Prospero’s attempts to avoid a dangerous plague, known as the Red Death, by hiding in his abbey.

Edgar’s Twisted Milk Punch

Equal parts Kentucky Bourbon meets with French Brandy and is mixed with vanilla cream, milk syrup, and half and half before being topped with star anise, this is inspired by Poe’s anthology of plays that reached fame when the advent of the radio audibly took them into the homes of Americans.

The Nevermore

A black and gold cocktail fueled by orange peach blossom vodka, lime juice, and secret spices, this cocktail is inspired by Poe’s arguably most known narrative poem, “The Raven,” whose titular black bird comes with the name of Nevermore.

The Edgar Allan Poe Speakeasy aboard The Queen Mary costs $55, is for those 21 and over only, and takes place May 30, May 31, and June 1. For tickets, click here.

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.

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