Because I have rotted my brain watching thousands of hours of women screaming at each other courtesy of Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise, I can recite Beverly Hills cast member Dorit Kemsley’s cocktail order, repeated perhaps hundreds of times on the show, from memory. It’s a Belvedere and soda with three lemons, juiced and “carcass out,” served in a short glass. It’s a simple drink that’s inspired much conversation, an in-depth investigation from the intrepid truth-tellers at Gawker, and plenty of derision. Unfortunately, it’s also absolutely perfect.
If you aren’t familiar with the oeuvre of Dorit Kemsley, you really only need one word to describe her: extra. She’s always dripping in designer labels and diamonds, so it’s really no surprise that she would demand someone else squeeze her lemon wedges, and discard their emptied carcasses so that she doesn’t even have to see them. Obviously, Kemsley’s drink of choice is essentially just a vodka soda, a classic cocktail beloved by many thanks to its simplicity, but this version is slightly more complicated, and the effort is worth it.
In what I only ever call “the Dorit” when I drink it at home, the addition of so much lemon juice creates a sense of balance between the sharpness of the bubbles and the sting of the vodka. Of course, I don’t normally have Belvedere on my shelf because I am a mere journalist, not the CEO of my own fledgling swimwear and self-tanner empire, but Tito’s will do just fine. I do have to discard my own lemon carcasses when I drink it at home, though, an injustice from which I’ll likely never recover.
Practically, serving the Dorit in a short glass means that there’s less actual club soda, which just feels much more to-the-point when you’re trying to catch a buzz, and is also exceedingly helpful in situations where you don’t want to burp your face off, either while sipping drinks with friends at home or while Bravo’s cameras are tracking your every move. Real Housewives aficionados may also realize that it’s not especially far removed from the “Skinnygirl” margarita (lime juice, triple sec, tequila) recipe that helped make Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel a multimillionaire.
Ultimately, the appeal of this cocktail is simple: It will get you drunk in a hurry, but still tastes pretty good. It’s easier on the body than more sugary libations, and lends a distinct air of chicness to any aspiring lady who lunches. With the carcasses out, I also never have to worry about choking — or worse, chomping down — on an errant lemon seed that’s ended up in my cocktail, and that’s the true luxury of the Dorit.