Tonight’s drink is a special request, from the kid of all people. His Mom is feeling under the weather this evening after her dose of vaccine and he thought she might like something special to cheer her up. I know that when I am running a mild fever a nice cold cocktail is just the thing. No, that’s wrong isn’t it? Anyway, he’s a kid and doesn’t really understand the human body’s complex relationship with alcohol, but his heart is in the right place. He had an idea for a treat to go along with her lemon cookie from Crumbl, so he went to the fridge, brought me a jar and asked if I could make a drink with it. A little research later and here we are. So, in the spirit of making things better, when you can, won’t you join me now as we stand and make, the Double Lemon Gimlet.
Travis McGee said, “Every day, no matter how you fight it, you learn a little more about yourself, and all most of it does is teach humility.” I remember the first time I read those words and thought to myself, “Yeah, right.” I still had the confident ignorance of youth going for me and I had no idea just how much I did not yet know. To be fair, I don’t know all that much now, but at least I am aware of just how much I have yet to learn. As Mark Twain once mused “Good judgment is the result of experience and experience is the result of bad judgement.” Well, I have a ton of experience, which has not necessarily translated into sound judgment. Call it a moral failing but there are some lessons I have not been able to learn, no matter how often life has tried to teach them to me. So in the hope that an old dog can still expand his repertoire of tricks, won’t you please join me as we stand and make the ever elusive, yet remarkably accessible, Bananakin Skywalker.
Writer’s block is real, y’all. Somedays the words just won’t come. You won’t even have an idea of where to go with the narrative or even what to make. I find that when this happens, you can best get past it by staring at the blank screen for awhile, quietly bearing the subtle taunt of the flashing cursor, till inspiration strikes. This can take some time. Once upon a time, I’d go outside, have a cigarette and stare off into the distance. That often works. You can almost always have a good idea about a third of the way through the smoke. This gives you enough time to forget that inspiration while you finish and return to your desk. So you find yourself back at the beginning, armed with the knowledge that you actually have ideas, you just can’t access them. Sometimes I just write a starter sentence, something like “Writer’s Block is real.” Then I add a “y’all” to make it feel more personal. A couple more lines describing the difficulty figuring out how to begin writing, maybe a longing look back at a former life and suddenly you are off to the part were you can legitimately say something about the drink you are going to make and get into the more formulaic portion of the text. So in the spirit of telling them exactly what you are doing, while you do it and getting away with it, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Rum Walnut Alexander.
There is nothing wrong with taking the easy way out, as long as you are honest about it. That’s what I am doing tonight. My school teachers probably would not believe it, but I actually used my time wisely today. One could argue that I did not plan well enough, but the time that got away from me today was well wasted. So, in the spirit of taking the time to enjoy the time you have won’t you join me as we stand and make the Montenegroni.
It was a dark and stormy night, that’s how the stories are supposed to begin. It sets up the tone for what is to follow. You know nothing good is coming next. Unless Douglas Adams is doing the writing, he might go anywhere. “It was a dark and stormy night when Joel sent off for the clown school correspondence course…” Of course, that could definitely go ominous pretty quick. I apologize for bringing up the clowns, or at least the specter of a possible future clown. Anyway, tonight is actually a dark and stormy night, so in the spirit of being spot on and totally transparent won’t you please join me as we stand and consider the classic Dark ‘n Stormy.
I bought this mug for the wife way back in September, when he was still just “the child” or Baby Yoda, set adrift among the stars with the Mandalorian. I had planned on making a drink in it for her birthday, but things change as they so often do. This little fella languished in a box for a while, not forgotten, but not getting any love either, even after he revealed himself as Grogu. Last week, during the Snowpocalypse my son and I built new shelves to showcase our cocktail glass collection, with a special area for the tiki mugs and this guy took center stage. Even since, he will not stop subtly reminding us that he still has not had his moment in the twin suns and that he sort of needs that. He’s got abandonment issues. So, in honor of late bloomers everywhere, won’t you please join me now as we stand and make The Castaway.
There is no real rhyme or reason when it comes to drink selection. I have a curated list of possibilities that I usually consult. Beyond that, it could be a song I heard, a random craving for aquavit, a request from the wife or the way a leaf catches the moonlight. So how did we get to today’s drink? Maybe I am on a weird ingredient kick. Maybe I was reading about regional cookies. Maybe this one was a request. This morning was so long ago that I can barely remember what inspired me to go down this rabbit hole. That is obviously a lie, but I needed a segue, so here we are. In the spirit of a mild prevarication in service to the narrative, won’t you join me now as we stand and make, the Two Boil Flip.
I find that a nice stroll before dinner is just the thing to get the blood pumping and stimulate the appetite. That sounds like something out of a Dickens novel, said in an offhand way by a fellow in a waistcoat, as he lights his pipe. I have a waistcoat and a pipe but I don’t have Charley writing my lines, so I just go for a walk most evenings. To be fair, in Summer I usually walk a couple of miles before work to avoid the heat, but this time of year I go for my stroll in the dark, flashlight handy in case of traffic. I love the way things look after the sun sets, the stars in the sky and the way the moon turns everything a pale silver. In honor of that subtle magical change, won’t you join me as we stand and make the Moonlight Cocktail.
It is funny just how much of life hangs on split second decisions. The ones’s that don’t seem to matter at the moment, you just take a chance and suddenly you are on a different road. You turn left instead of right and end up in an unexpected place, you hold the door for someone and share a smile or you decide to fill out an application, you speak up in a meeting or take the time to fix something you see that is wrong. Most of the big changes in my life can be traced back to something that seemed inconsequential at the time. We all know the big ones, deciding which college to attend, though, to be fair, in my case that was a snap decision made in a moment of frustration, that seems to have turned out ok, but if I look back, that decision was only made possible by a much earlier decision to sit back in a chair, light a cigarette and tell the truth to someone who cared enough to let me. So, in honor of those low probability, high impact events that shaped us, won’t you join me as we stand and make, The Wild Card.
They say that the best place to start is at the beginning, so I am going to make an effort to take us all the way back to where it all began, allegedly. They also say that today is National Margarita Day, a holiday clearly needed by the masses and the “frozen or rocks” lobby. The answer is rocks, by the way. They don’t tell you that, they just roll their eyes and laugh at you as they walk away if you get it wrong. I hope to answer the bigger question of how did we get here, but that may be a little too ambitious? For now, let’s just delve a little deeper and look for prime causes as we stand and make the Brandy Daisy.