The actor’s boozy TV romps are everything rock ’n’ roll is missing.
There was a time, not too long ago, when rock ’n’ roll on TV was dangerous. Elvis had to be shot above the waist. The Beatles might cause a riot. The Sex Pistols might cut you as soon as answer your question. Keith Moon might blow his drums up. J Mascis might cripple you with a look of hot disdain.
That’s all over now, with eager-to-please newbies smiling brightly for the camera, all too happy to not rock the boat, playing it sweet, fluffy and nonthreatening as newly hatched chicks.
And that’s why Danny DeVito’s recent drunky TV romps are such a rockin’ revelation. Here’s a guy, on national TV, unabashedly inebriated, talking shit about our president. Then there he is again, wondering aloud what local newscaster Jennaphr Frederick’s vagina might look like with a kid hanging out of it.
Punk. Fucking. Rock.
DeVito has his own brand of premium limoncello now, deciding it was a market he should get into after sales of the adult beverage went through the roof after his woozy rant on The View . I asked DeVito, who’s in town next week playing Frank Reynolds as part of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia ’s stage production of The Nightman Cometh (read the cover), to give me his best sales pitch for his product.
Boy did he. Without taking a breath. Take it away, Frank!
“Right in the heart of this are three organic co-ops that supply the lemons for my limoncello. Nestled in the middle of these hills and this mountainous area is kind of a mom-and-pop organization. It’s maybe an acre, and there are three beautiful buildings that are old, but they’re really well-kept and they’re very revered by all the people there.
“There’s the gathering of the lemons, which is an amazing thing to see, men and women gathering all the lemons in one area. Then there’s the cleaning of the lemons. They make sure there’s no sticks and dirt, and then they bring them into this warehouse where they have these giant stainless steel vats, and a machine that’s like a long, automated thing that sticks out and grabs the lemon. It’s like a little claw. It comes out and there’s women with a bin of lemons in front of them, and they load these claws with the lemons. It’s all done by hand.
“They take the zest of the lemon—only the outer edge of the lemon. That zest is gathered and mixed with a beautifully filtered, pure alcohol. Down at the bottom of the vats there are these little windmill things that constantly turn it, churning all this zest in the vats, and after a certain amount of time, the alcohol takes all the oils and vitamins and goodness and color out of that zest.
“Then they mix that with sugar and water. That’s the key right there: a certain amount of sugar and a certain amount of water. I’ve tasted lots and lots of limoncello and picked the mixture that I like so that it’s not too … it’s almost like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. But you gotta have a kick. So it’s 60 proof. It’s got a sweetness and a tartness that I just love.
“It’s a beautiful drink after dinner, ice cold. It’s the best. You can drink it all night long. People love it.”
Here now, some of the ways Mr. DeVito enjoys his limoncello …
Cold and fizzy: “I put about a third of limoncello in a flute glass and fill the rest of it up with a sparkling wine from Northern Italy called Prosecco, and serve it as people arrive. It’s a real cool starter drink and it’s got bubbles in it. It’s just the perfect sweetness. It also gives you the Danny DeVito kick.”
The Limoncello Margarita: “I go half-and-half with tequila, shake it with ice. It’s fabulous.”
The Danny Lemon Drop: “Limoncello, a bit of vodka, shake it up. That’s a real zipper drink, a real nice martini.”
Spicy Lemon-Lime, available at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse: “I take lime juice and lemon juice and limoncello—like maybe a third, a third and a third—or maybe a bit more limoncello than the juice. I drop a jalapeno in it. Oh man, that’s good. Don’t squeeze it in there because you’ll burn your mouth.”
Danny’s Late Night Limoncello: “Late at night with a big pot of mint tea. Just fresh mint tea. Throw a couple shots in there. Oh man, it’s like a little hot toddy.” ■
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