Inside the Mind of the Monkey

There are more than just bananas in there...

Cocktails from Quarantine

Let’s get this out of the way right up front, I am not sure this is really a cocktail blog. I work hard to make sure the drinks info is solid, but I do tend to wander in the narrative. So you end up with my thoughts on the events of the day or reminisces looking back on a half century of misspent youth, loosely draped around a drink made on our kitchen counter. It’s got links to the bars, the alcohols, the music and anything else I find interesting. Nobody is making any money off of them, so click if you are into it or don’t. The bottom line is these shouts into the dark help provide some routine and ritual in a world turned upside down. It is my sincere hope that reading them will help you stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.

Charles Dickens Punch

The Twelve Drinks of Christmas: Volume 2, Drink 12

It is funny how we think of things in the past. It seems like our pictures of folks in history usually paints them as serious people, dealing with the serious business of just being alive in times less, ummm, civilized than our own. Maybe it is because our forebears tend to look so grave in those early portraits, maybe it is because we lack the imagination to see them as humans, just like ourselves finding their way through their own unprecedented times. I do love how that view sometimes gets turned on its head. For example, later in his life, Sir Isaac Newton, having discovered calculus, sorted gravity and retired from teaching, was appointed Master of the Royal Mint, a mostly ceremonial position. However, frustrated by counterfeiters, he took to disguising himself and hanging around taverns in order to catch and convict these treasonous fellows. Yeah, Sir Isaac Newton, in his later years, would dress up and go drinking in disguise in order to capture hardened criminals, for fun. So, keep your minds open and remember that folks then were much as folks are now as we stand and make Charles Dickens Punch.

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Tom & Jerry

The Twelve Drinks of Christmas: Volume 2, Drink 11

I have had hot chocolate out of these glasses a hundred times. They used to sit at the back of Grandma’s cupboard just waiting for one of the kids to slip them out for a treat. I had no idea what they were for, or why they had those guys in top hats on them instead of Tom the cat and his rodent nemesis, Jerry. What can I say, we did not grow up in the Midwest where the drink and these glass were everywhere, allegedly. So, let’s take a moment and try to learn a bit as we stand and make the classic Tom & Jerry.

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Midnight Clear

The Twelve Drinks of Christmas: Volume 2, Drink 10

Robert Burns knew all about scheming and I am often reminded of his immortal words about the “best laid plans, of mice and men,” whenever I get ready to do something. This was supposed to be a towering achievement of holiday drinks, the gem in our imaginary crown, but like so many plans this year, things “gang aft agley-ed” and it became more of a lesson in hubris. Ah, but did we not have fun? So with a nod toward just one more thing that did not quite work out during these unprecedented times, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Midnight Clear.

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Gingerbread Snap

The Twelve Drinks of Christmas: Volume 2, Drink 9

I love Ginger Snaps. I love Gingerbread. I just love Ginger. To be fair, I love Mary-Ann more, but that is a different story. Ginger is seriously one of my favorite flavors and Gingerbread is one of the most perfect expressions of it. So, with all that said, you know what I hate? Gingerbread houses. They could make high quality tasty gingerbread strong enough to build with, but the folks behind big gingerbread never do and, in this day and time, I am not sure that is good enough. So, won’t you join me now as we stand and make a Gingerbread Snap.

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Kir Royale

The Twelve Drinks of Christmas: Volume 2, Drink 8

Sometimes the holidays are about just making it through. Sure, we start the season imagining afternoons baking cookies, singing carols by an open fire, maybe even roasting a chestnut or two, but by the time that last week rolls around, we just hope we can get the most stuff completed before taking time off with the family. The lights are not always going to shine brightest at just the right time. I get that and there is nothing wrong with it. You do the best you can. So, with a nod toward not beating yourself up when that one light knocks out the whole strand, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Kir Royale.

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Dark Hedges

The Twelve Drinks of Christmas: Volume 2, Drink 7

I used to know a guy who seemed unable to escape the fact that he was born during, “the darkest days of the year,” as he put it. I suppose that was his particular demon to face. I guess we all have our own. I have never really thought of the Winter Solstice as the darkest day of the year, but rather, as a new beginning. From here forward, every day has a little more light, so it is the dawn of a brighter time. A chance to start over, to get things right this time, or perhaps, more right. So, with an eye on those better days to come won’t you join me now as we stand and make Dark Hedges.

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Italian Cookie

The Twelve Drinks of Christmas: Volume 2, Drink 6

It is all about the traditions of the season and one of my favorites is baking. There is little better than a day spent indoors baking cookies with the family as the chill wind blows outside. I always want to be one of those people who bakes all kinds of wonderful treats and then shares them with everyone I see. I also want to be the kind of person who remembers to make and send out Christmas cards on time. I fail more often than I succeed, but like they say, it’s the thought that counts. Still, I want to be that person and maybe if I believe hard enough, someday it will be true. So, with a nod toward those best laid paving stones to hell during this busy time of year, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Italian Cookie.

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Verte Chaud

The Twelve Drinks of Christmas: Volume 2, Drink 5

The holidays are a time for the classics, if you don’t believe me, check the viewing schedules for the next week or turn on your radio. It is a pretty steady diet of things you know and, possibly, love. It is also a time when you have to be careful, there are many remakes hiding out there just waiting to disappoint you. Don’t get me wrong I love a good remix, but if your re-imagined take on a classic doesn’t bring something new, don’t bother. We’re not very keen. We’ve already got one, you see. It’s very nice. So, with a nod toward those rare cases where we can improve on a classic won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Verte Chaud.

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Peppermint Patty

The Twelve Drink of Christmas: Volume 2, Drink 4

It’s the fourth day of Christmas and here I am under the weather. Good grief! The boy had a stomach bug and I thought I had escaped it, but in the middle of the night it hit me. Trying to look on the bright side and make a connection to the holidays, I could argue that an upset stomach is part of the season on some level. What with all the rich foods and opportunity for overindulgence that marks the holidays of many of us, but this is a bit much. My grandma used to give me peppermint to settle my stomach, so with a nod toward those home remedies, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Peppermint Patty.

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Coconut Eggnog

The Twelve Drinks of Christmas: Volume 2, Drink 3

It’s not always easy to slow down and relax during the holidays. I know that everyone is supposed to be taking a little more time for friends and family, but it sure feels rushed, doesn’t it? There is so much to be done, decorating the house, getting the right gifts, going to holiday events, juggling schedules, baking cookies and watching Christmas movies, or at least feeling like we should be doing al those things. Folks have got a lot on their minds, not the least of which, is trying to figure out how to pay for it all. It can get hectic. So, in the spirit of giving ourselves a little gift, let’s take a moment for a short tropical escape as we stand and make Coconut Eggnog.

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