In 1905, a play called “The Scarlet Pimpernel” opened in England to negative reviews. The novel, based on the play, was published soon after and was a success. “The Scarlet Pimpernel” is a story about an aristocratic dandy, Sir Percy Blakeney, who led a double life as a masked hero and leader of a secret society who rescued French aristocrats from revolutionaries during the beginning of the French Revolution.
In 1955, Tony Curtis starred in a movie called “The Purple Mask” set a decade after the French Revolution. Like the Scarlet Pimpernel before him, the Purple Mask rescued royals in trouble.
Whether or not the Purple Mask cocktail, made with vodka, crème de cacao and grape syrup, was named after the movie or inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, I do not know. It is delicious though and I have Speedy to thank for the experience.
Purple Mask is usually prepared with grape juice. But since we have grape syrup, that was what Speedy used. If you find the drink a bit sweet, you can add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice to add a bit of zest. »