My hetero-life mate, Seth decided to get older today, not sure what he was thinking but who am I to judge. Anyway, another year in the books for my friend, so it’s only fitting that I make something fruity and full of rum for the fella who made me appreciate Tiki drinks and bars as the wonderful escape from reality that they are. So in his honor, we’re making the classic Painkiller.
Today, we celebrated my sister-in-law’s birthday and she had a special, super-soft request. So, make your way past the cupcake decoration station, around the boy band karaoke, and past the unicorn, to the drinks table for a Piña Colada.
I can admit it, I make mistakes all the time. I make assumptions from incomplete datasets. I fall victim to confirmation bias. It happens, but I’m trying to be better. I have hated on this drink for many a year, for no real reason. When I was considering cocktails I kinda scoffed as I skipped over this one. But, it’s a classic and when I thought about it, I didn’t know why I hated it, I just did. Probably, from it’s 90’s reputation as the go to drink for fashionable ladies about town, I never was a fan of Sex in the City. Today, in the interest of open mindedness I am tossing out my preconceptions and making a Cosmopolitan.
Eleven years ago, I wrote a story called “The Road Goes Ever On…” about “range extenders”, from my sneakers to my first bike to cars and kayaks and finally back to hiking boots. I thought it was clever for the time. I had just turned 37, was sort of feeling middle age creeping in on me. Oddly enough, I was in the best shape of my adult life, but feeling the strains of a misspent youth. I wasn’t a father, yet. That journey was still just over the horizon. It really is amazing how many things have changed in what seems like such a short time. My son just turned 10, so he has had a whole lifetime since I was reminiscing about Kangaroo’s and Mongoose. There are a lot of friends and family who are no longer with us, having extended their range into Shakespeare’s great “undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns.” A lot of water under the bridge. If you look back to that post in April of ’09, I mention finding my old BMX in the back of a barn and a plan to put her back on the road again. Well, sometimes starting is the hardest part…
I really didn’t want to make a cocktail tonight. Driving home from work I heard the sobering news that today the US passed 100,000 deaths from Covid-19. It is hard to imagine. 100,000 people who won’t come home tonight. 100,000 families, many in isolation, mourning the loss of a loved one. I came within a hair’s breadth of photographing an empty glass to honor a football stadium full of people who cannot enjoy a frivolous cocktail tonight. I struggled with what would be appropriate, what could mean anything at times like these, there has to be some good that comes from this. So, tonight we are making an unusual cocktail from Theory Bar in Athens, Greece, the Look for the Silver Lining.
It’s been super strange being home on Memorial Day weekend, seeing all the memories of great times with friends all around the country. Thinking about those no longer with us, the ones who went before. So, no fire breathing drinks for this Memorial Day, just a quiet, unassuming little sip of heaven, the Honey Bee.
It certainly feels tropical in Tennessee today, all the humidity with none of those pesky, cool ocean breezes to blow your parasol away. Still, it makes me want a boat drink, something with a little umbrella, so I’m gonna try one I have been looking forward to, the Halekulani.
It’s the Saturday before Memorial Day which usually means I’m exhausted but surrounded by friends from all over the world at GeoWoodstock. We know this year was different, even before it was rescheduled to 2021, but this weekend is always special for our crew, even more so since The Godfather left us nearly five years ago, so sit back and think about 18 years of good times as we make a Salty Dog in honor of my friend, Joe Armstrong.
So you think you’re hip? You think you’re cool? You’ve had a shot and a pickleback while listening to Nickleback? Well, if you’re tired of standing in lines to clubs you’ll never get in, up your game, quit doing shots with the cool kids and grow into a hipper, bearded cocktail, The Pickled Surfer.
I love Tiki drinks, Tiki bars, Tiki music, Tiki culture, just all the things. Always have, most likely always will. Honestly, I have been looking forward to making this drink since this whole thing started. I found the right mug, tracked down the ingredients and made the syrup. So crank up The Cranberries cause it’s time to make the Zombie.