Updated: Dec 18, 2022
Mary Crawford…a cosmo girl? That complex, charming, antagonist from Mansfield Park? Sure. And why not? To me, her tractable morals make a far more congenial drinking buddy, I mean, compelling literary character than the novel’s heroine, Fanny Price.
Over the holiday break, I saw a rerun of the HBO hit Sex in the City (1998-2004) and was struck by the similarities between the often brazen, candid, and highly sexual character, who is “unafraid of confrontation,” Samantha Jones, and Austen’s antagonist, Miss Mary Crawford. Maybe the similarities are a bit of a two-hundred-year stretch but I found both characters appealing–confident, fun, engaging, and forward-thinking despite their questionable ethics.
“…I will stake my last like a woman of spirit. No cold prudence for me. I am not born to sit still and do nothing. If I lose the game, it shall not be from not striving for it.” (Mary Crawford, Mansfield Park)
I believe both women are ahead of their times, often expressing amoral, shocking views not accepted by polite society and yet still practical, though brow-raising, notions. “A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.” (Mary Crawford, Mansfield Park) Hey now. Don’t judge.
And Samantha is forever voicing opinions that I find astonishing anyone would say aloud. “…all relationships I know are based on the foundation of lies and mutually accepted delusions.” (Samantha Jones, Sex in the City) I can’t help but snicker at such jaded nonsense. But then I look around and wonder if for some that is their reality. “I would have everybody marry if they can do it properly: I do not like to have people throw themselves away; but everybody should marry as soon as they can do it to advantage.” (Mary Crawford, Mansfield Park)
In this first week of 2016, as we all set new resolutions, and as I approach my forty-eighth year, I lift a tall, sexy martini glass with that pink vodka concoction in Miss Crawford’s honor. “Varnish and gilding hide many stains.” (Mary Crawford, Mansfield Park) Cheers! #JaneWithATwist
I like this easy recipe from Inspired Taste. You Will Need FOR 1 SERVING 2 ounces (1/4 cup) vodka 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) triple sec 3/4 ounce (1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons) cranberry juice 1/4 to 1/2 ounce (1 1/2 teaspoons to 3 teaspoons) fresh lime juice 1 2-inch orange peel/twist ice FOR 4 SERVINGS 8 ounces (1 cup) vodka 2 ounces (1/4 cup) triple sec 3 ounces (1/3 cup) cranberry juice 1 to 2 ounces (2 tablespoons to 4 tablespoons) fresh lime juice 4 2-inch orange peels/twists
Directions FOR 1 Serving Fill a cocktail shaker with ice then add vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and lime juice. (We like the extra bite of extra lime juice, so we use 1/2 an ounce in our cosmopolitan cocktails. However, use what is best for your taste). Shake the cocktail shaker for about 30 seconds until well chilled. Then, strain into a martini glass. Garnish with orange peel/twist. For an extra burst of flavor, peel the orange twist over the filled cocktail glass. This way, the orange oils spray into the glass. FOR 4 SERVINGS Add vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and the lime juice to a pitcher then stir. Refrigerate. Then, once ready to serve, pour into four martini glasses and garnish with orange peel/twist.
Some of my favorite lines from both strong characters:
“Nothing ever fatigues me but doing what I do not like.” (Mary Crawford, Mansfield Park)
“Always look like you know where you’re going even if you don’t.” (Samantha Jones, Sex in the City)
“Pictures of perfection, as you know, make me sick and wicked.” (Mary Crawford, Mansfield Park)
“If you want the life, you have to look the part.” (Samantha Jones, Sex in the City)