The Lost Weekend

Okay, full confession. Chocolate wasn’t the only thing I discovered while gallivanting through Europe.

The Hugo is a a drink that has its origins in Italy. So light, delicate and refreshing. Drink up!

I discovered a taste for alcohol. Booze, hooch, the sauce. Yackity yak and all that. In other words, I discovered elderflower cordial, which is one of the main ingredients in “Hugo.” And once I tried it, folks, well, let’s just say I went off the deep end.

You see, by nature, I’m not one to imbibe. It’s not in me. In fact, Mothers Against Drunk Driving has instilled in me such a fear of driving while intoxicated, that one sip of alcohol of any kind, and I’m ready to call a cab.

On the rocks? Forget about it. One gulp and I’m three sheets to the wind. Make that four.

Yes, I’m the kind of person that can get woozy simply eating a dessert laced with alcohol. Which is why, one slice of Baked Alaska and I’m toast. A bite of fruitcake and I’m falling to pieces. Bananas Foster and I’m ready to split. Cherries jubilee has me swinging from the trees.

Which is why, I’m no match for anything that has alcohol as an ingredient. And don’t get me started on beer because I hate that stuff. The smell alone makes me want to gag.

Call me a teetotaler. One that falls off the wagon every now and then. Okay, make that rarely.

But, there I was in Salzburg. Someone had recommended we visit the Hotel Stein, which has a bar on the roof and you can enjoy the view of the mountains, the quaint architecture, and the charming bridges. We were on vacation, after all, so I decided to splurge and put aside the usual soft drink of choice, and order something different. I asked for the “Hugo” because its description on the menu piqued my interest.

Well, the Hugo is SENSATIONAL! We’re talking LOVE at first sip! I was blown away, head over heels, nearly downing the drink in one fell swoop. So good, infused with citrus and the right hint of sweetness. The mint leaves added a perfect complement to the drink. Just the right touch of everything, if you ask me, making it a uniquely refreshing drink, indeed. And, très European!

Ah, sweet mystery of life at last I found you!!

The rooftop of the Hotel Stein in Salzburg offers amazing views. Order a Hugo and you’ll see what I mean!

Not only did I enjoy my entire drink, but when I finished, I found myself licking the inside of the glass, right down to the last drop. And I was only slightly inebriated. Inebriated with joy, that is.

Here at last, is a drink after my own heart—Prosecco, elderflower cordial, mineral water, mint leaves and ice.

I left the Hotel Stein determined that I would procure my own bottle of elderflower cordial to take back to the states.

Well, I never did get a chance to buy it while in Europe and if I had, who knows how I would’ve brought it home, what with all the airline regulation about traveling with liquids, etc.

So, as soon as I returned home I was on a mission to locate it here. And, as luck would have it, I found a little shop nearby that carries elderflower cordial!

Which, brings me to my “Lost Weekend.” Thanks to Hugo, I went on a binge, a bender. Because, once you open a bottle of Prosecco, you can’t just have one drink and put the rest away for another day. It’ll lose its bubbly and, frankly, the cork is impossible to push back into the bottle’s super-narrow opening. So it’s sink or swim. Drink or fizz out.

Use it or lose it!

A view of Salzburg from atop the Hotel Stein.

Of course I had to keep drinking. Mustn’t waste a drop, you know. Happily, my friend, Christine, was visiting so she helped me prepare and drink our Hugo’s. And, our friend, Ana, stopped by, so we rallied her to help us. It was round-the-clock Hugo madness—all weekend long.

And, when we finished the Prosecco, but still had lots of mineral water, limes and mint leaves left—we had to run out and buy some more of the Italian sparkling wine! We drank ourselves into a tizzy and laughed and chatted and completely lost track of time. In fact, my memory is rather hazy about what we did the rest of the weekend.

So, it really was for me, The Lost Weekend. But, thanks to Christine, Ana and a drink called Hugo, (which is now my favorite drink in the world!), it was gads of fun, too.

Click here for a recipe to make your own Hugo drink.  But be forewarned:  you may have a lost weekend of your own!

So, tell me. What’s your drink of choice?

If you haven’t yet seen the mother of all lost weekends, this one’s a doozy. Ray Milland and Joan Wyman are terrific together.

53 thoughts on “The Lost Weekend

  1. Can’t wait to try that Hugo, Monica! Think I’ll have a “Lost Weekend” with hubby for HIS BDAY weekend. Give him his present a bit early. 🙂 TMI! I’ll blame it on Monica’s Tangled Web! 🙂

    • Brenda, I was desperate. I loved the drink and didn’t want it to end. I wanted one of those magic drinks that keeps refilling itself and never empties. In lieu of that, I had to resort to desperate measures, if you will. 😉

  2. I loved this. After iffy years in my 20s (I loved booze so much I always rented studios within walking distance from town so I could drink and not drive) I quit smoking, began exercised and became a dyed in the wool teetotaler. Then I discovered cooking. Sigh.

    I’m still a lightweight but what’s food without booze? I’d have to ask my boyfriend the names of my favorite reds but I like classic daiquiri (extra simple syrup, fresh lime, rum NO sour mix) and strawberry milkshakes with bourbon. Courtsey of a place called Fiori in the Berkshires.

  3. —I discovered a taste for alcohol. Booze, hooch, the sauce. Yackity yak and all that–


    btw, I loved “THE LOST WEEKEND”
    have you watched “WINE & ROSES?”


  4. ‘Licking the inside of the glass? . . .’ 😉 Sounds like you find a friend in Prosecco. As for my preferences, I love wine, red especially, and I’m no stranger to a good Martini or a Margarita (lime juice must be fresh, not the sweet Rose’s variety, purist that I am). Bottom line: mixed drinks are pure chemistry, and your ‘Hugo’ sounds like the perfect blend of sweet and bubbly (with a dash of mint). Delightful post.

    • Not just Prosecco, Deborah, but Elderflower! Which is absolutely divine. I don’t drink much, but when I do, it’s usually wine. Living so close to the border with Mexico, I’d developed, too, a taste for frozen Strawberry Margaritas. I also like Mojitos which is probably why I ended up liking Hugos. Their a tad alike. 🙂

  5. Monica, where was the Hugo while I was in Europe! I feel cheated! Now all I can think about is the Hugo! And I want to buy the ingredients just as soon as I conquer the Ebola virus that has assailed my senses this past week and a half! This post was a hoot! I loved it! And the visual of you drinking all the Proseco was hysterical! hee hee! Oh my, to have been a fly on the wall and to have listened to all that girl talk! We must definitely get together in Salzburg and drink Hugos! Tell me we will, pretty please! And now I’m off to jot down those ingredients! 🙂

    • Bella, I’d love to meet you in Salzburg for a pitcher of Hugo’s! We’d have the time of our lives, Amiga. In the meantime, Let me know how you like it when you do finally try it. 🙂

      I’m so sorry you haven’t been feeling well. Que cosa. If its not one thing, it’s another.

  6. No you didn’t lick the glass! LoL! It was a lost weekend but sounds like you ladies had great fun getting all liquored up. I don’t drink either and I imagine that if you didn’t either, there’s something out there that could reel me in too. I’d best stay on this side of the globe so I don’t find out.

  7. This sounds delicious and makes me want to rush to Specs (local warehouse of wine and all things alcohol) to see if they have Elderberry Cordial. I have to watch my intake having developed Epilepsy after an incident 20 years ago, but now and then I will have a drink when I am at home with my husband, we like to experiment and he is a wonderful bartender.

    Loved the rooftop shot, this alone would have tempted me to try the Hugo!

    • It’s as good as it sounds, but please make sure to ask for Elderflower Cordial (not elderberry). Hopefully, you’ll be able to enjoy a small glass and completely savor the moment. Glad you liked my photos! Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Oh Monica, this one has me laughing out aloud. I can’t drink anymore. A glass of red leaves me tired and ready for bed. A glass of white leaves me thirsty for my usual drink of choice- water – and anything stronger, I am usually dizzy after the first two sips. Lately though, I have a thing for pomacello martinis. My husband doesn’t drink either and here we are on a Friday about once a month, enjoying our glass of pomacello that I water down and make.. um, with less vodka and more limoncello 🙂

    I love the roof top photo. I saw a wonderful place in Athens, similarly and wish we had tried it. I also love prosecco and mint. Never tried it with Elderflower cordial, how delicious it sounds.
    What a lovely way to end my day. I am exhausted, yet smiling, as always, after I read your posts.

    • A glass of anything alcoholic generally knocks me out. I’m so pathetic. Sometimes, all it takes is a whiff, and I’m out like a light. Glad you like my photo of the rooftop views. It was our Sound of Music tour guide that told us about the Hotel Stein, which is located on a very prominent corner. We’d pass it everyday and never looked up to see that there was dining up there. Luckily the tour guide told us and it was like discovering the best-kept secret of Salzburg!

  9. OMgoodness, I am the same way. I really enjoy white wine but I can only have it at certain times and for sure if I’m not driving. One or two sips and I’m woozy too, just like you. I don’t know why I’m such a lightweight. Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s because I am petite. It bums me out because I WANT to drink! So white wine is my drink of choice, preferrably Chenin Blanc. I also like Margaritas but they taste WAY too good and then I definitely get drunk. Ugh.

    • Michael Ann, it’s certainly a conundrum. We find what we like and are forced to drink in moderation, lest we fall over like a drunk skunk. Sigh. If given the chance, I could drink Hugo’s all day long! 😉

  10. So funny, Monica, especially because I relate to everything you said about alcohol. I can’t hold my liquor either, but I just can’t seem to give up my Lemon Drop martinis. So much so that when my girlfriends try one with me, I officially indoctrinate them into the Lemon Drop Sisterhood. Perhaps you can join one day and I’ll try your Hugo and become indoctrinated into, what, a Hugo Hoochie? Hmmm, scrap that, but would love to try one!

  11. Monica,

    Very and inspired funny post! I can’t stop giggling, between the wordplay and the alcohol, I was a goner. Fellow teetotalers unite *clink*. Truth to be told, just the word teetotaler makes me grin. It is highly underused in my opinon :).

    I love the sound of the Elderflower cordial because I like Prosecco and mint. My favorite drink is Mojitos and I’ve spent many pleasurable hours perfecting them with mint from my garden…. Thanks for sharing the recipe and reminding me of The Lost Weekend!

    • Thanks, Coco. Frankly, I’m with you. We don’t use the word, teetotalers enough. I bet there are many who’ve never heard about it. Let’s get a petition going to bring back the word! Yay! Have you seen “The Lost Weekend,” btw? It’s a great flick. Ray Milland, I believe, won an Oscar for his performance. Glad you stopped by!

      • Monica,

        I am so down for the petition! I am a lover of obscure words :). No, I don’t believe that I have although I’m a lover of Ray Milland and classic films. I’m searching for it in the hopes that it comes on AMC or TCM soon. Although I have to say that TCM has apparently gone rogue as they have way to many modern movies airing :(.

      • That’s why I love them. Pyrotechnics and special effects aside, classics invariably remain true to the importance of story and the incresingly underrated art of acting :). My favorite oldie? Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? I flat out adored Elizabeth Taylor, Katherine Hepburn and am a devout Hitchcock fan. In fact, should blog about it lol. Thanks!

      • Coco, I’m a diehard Hitchcock fan, too! One of my faves is “Shadow of a Doubt.” I love the way it unfolds, with Theresa Wright at first devoted to her uncle, as is the entire family, but slowly she comes to realize that appearances can be deceiving. Meanwhile, her father and his friend the entire time are talking about scenarios for murder. It’s a hobby of theirs to come up with the perfect murder. There’s humor in it and suspense. Have you seen it? And yes, you should blog about it!

  12. Monica, we must be sisters from different parents! I’m not much of a drinker, either — a sip here and there, now and then, is about all I can take. Sounds like you’ve found a new love, though, and his name is Hugo — perfect for summertime!

    • Debbie, we ought to start a club of lightweights. At last we can plan a party just for us and not feel like the odd one out because we don’t want to drink. 😉 And you’re right. The Hugo makes the perfect summer drink! 😉

  13. I love a well made bloody mary, but my husband quit drinking last year, so my opportunities for them are limited since I had to kind of quit too to support him. Oh well. I’m living vicariously through people like you! Glad you had fun.

  14. Sounds like fun! I’m the same kind of drinker you are. Half a glass of wine once a week (if that) to keep my husband company. I’m at the stage where any time I mean to “unwind,” I fall asleep!

    But the Hugo really intrigues me!

  15. Sounds delightful! I’m with you on beer – can’t stand the smell – but I do enjoy a glass of wine or champagne. When it comes to mixed drinks, I like the light, summery, fruity kind and I think a Hugo would fit the bill. I think I’ll have to try one next weekend. Yum!

    • Word has it that you can find it at BevMo! I found it at a local store that sells British products and it carried the popular elderflower brand of St. Germain’s. It tasted just like the version I had while in Salzburg. Yum!

  16. I also suffer from Cantaholda Licquor. It’s a terrible disease. And it means after just a few sips of long island ice tea I’m lightheaded and shamefully giggly. Therefore, it’s usually just normal ice tea for this poor diseased gal. Though, I’m still awfully giggly even after that…

  17. You are hysterical. I can’t hold my liquor either. I am a half a drink girl. A cheap date, I guess! I’ll have to try that stuff. I do like my drinks sweet!:)

    • Jodi, from the looks of it, reading all these comments, you and I aren’t the only ones who can’t hold their liquor. I bet you we could have a party and invite 30 or 40 such people and only have to buy one bottle of wine. Think what a savings that would be!

  18. You little devil!!!!! Hugo & Elderflower cordial is your new weakness.

    I am not a drinker of alcohol of any sort, one I don’t like the taste and two it brings me out in big red blotches all over my face.

    I do like that roof top though what a super place to relax and observe others. Super view looking at another of your excellent pictures.

    Yet again a lovely post Monica.

    My drink of choice by the way is Pepsi Max, sad I know but there you are at least it’s cheap!!!

    • Why, you’re a regular Sherlock Holmes, Robert. How quickly you figured out my new weakeness. 😉

      Spending the evening atop the Hotel Stein was truly divine. Of course, my friend, Hugo, helped pass the time…

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