Cocktails with a Curator: Houdon’s “Comtesse du Cayla”

March 12, 2021

In this week’s episode of Cocktails with a Curator, Assistant Curator Giulio Dalvit examines the beguiling marble bust of The Comtesse du Cayla by Jean-Antoine Houdon. This beautifully intimate portrait showcases the artist’s virtuoso rendering of surfaces and volumes—it is almost impossible to imagine that the grapevine-girdled Comtesse began as a single block of marble. This week’s complementary cocktail, the Frosé, evokes summers in the south of France, where her family owned vast estates.

Look for Houdon's Comtesse du Cayla on the fourth floor of Frick Madison, where it is installed next to canvases from Fragonard’s Progress of Love series and illuminated by natural light from one of the Breuer building’s trapezoidal windows.

Cocktail Recipe


1 bottle rosé 
8 oz. strawberries, hulled and quartered 
1/2 cup sugar 
juice of one lemon 

Freeze rosé overnight in deep pan. (It will become slushy but not frozen solid.) 
Mix strawberries and sugar, let sit for 30 minutes. 
Combine with lemon juice, purée in blender. 

Audiences under 21 are encouraged to join with a non-alcoholic drink.


Strawberry Limeade 

lime juice 
soda water 
ice cubes 

Muddle or purée strawberries, lime juice, honey, and basil. (Adjust proportions to taste.) 
Add ice cubes, top up with soda water, garnish with cucumber. 




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