Remember what things were like before? Before we distanced? Before masks were an argument? Back when we felt we could trust the data. When we turned to science for answers about this world and let faith handle questions about the next. When we went to doctors about medicine and went to our politicians for comforting lies. Yes, there were always quack doctors and there was even the occasional honest politician, but they mostly stayed in their own sandboxes, or when they got out, we the people, would remind them what we had hired them to do. It is crazy how things have changed in such a short time. I am sorry, how things have changed in such a short “unprecedented” time. Oh well, let’s skip the formalities and get to drinking. Please join me now as we stand and make, Another Time.

This one is a Nashville original, created a few years ago by Riley Perrin from Attaboy. I love Attaboy, it has a great speakeasy feel, no menus, you just talk about flavor profiles and then they make you an amazing flat-rate drink. Very cool vibe, kind of everything you want a bar to be. They took a big hit back in March with the tornadoes. Wow! Remember that? Right before we went into quarantined life. The night when tornadoes ripped across the mid-state leaving death and destruction in their wake. It is decidedly not funny, how that tragedy has gotten lost in all of the mind-numbing horribleness since then. I remember helping clear debris in East Nashville the next weekend, when Covid-19 was still a mystery to me. Seeing the unbelievable damage, talking with friends about how they were going to rebuild, how they were coping. Hard to believe that was only five months and a lifetime ago. We don’t get out much these days, so I don’t even know if Attaboy has rebuilt. They had serious damage to the building and, sadly, one of their bartenders and his girlfriend lost their lives in the storm.

I am surprised at how hard that just hit me. How I could have forgotten the devastation the mid-state suffered in the time just before. I hope that Attaboy is doing well, recovering. I hope that for all of our friends who have had to rebuild, many not knowing when or if they will be able to open again. How different is life is going to look when we emerge from our hibernation? How many familiar faces will no longer be on the other side of the bar, how many of the bars will no longer be there? Change is inevitable and we need it, but we don’t have to like it.

This drink was created there in the time before the time just before. It is a very cool riff on a classic daiquiri that surprised me with its complexity of flavor. Grab your tins and pop in 1 1/2 ounces of Black Pot Still Rum, I went with Hamilton; 1 ounce of pineapple juice, 1/2 an ounce of fresh squeezed lime juice, 1/2 an ounce of coconut cream and 3 drops of 18-21 Havana & Hide Bitters. Add some ice and give it a soulful shake to the beat of “Gold Dust Woman“. Why? Cause, it’s got a cool vibe and it was playing the last time I had a drink in Attaboy. Beside, you need more Fleetwood Mac in your life, or at least more Stevie. Double strain into a Nick & Nora and add three drops of bitters to the top, drag a toothpick through them to make some fancy little hearts, if you like, then garnish with a lime wheel and serve.

Are you kidding me with this drink? This is so damned good. That coconut just sings through like Stevie wailing on Rhiannon, that black rum providing a groovy bottom note while the pineapple keeps time behind that bright lime. This drink works. I love that. This drink is a riff on a classic, that doesn’t really depart that far from the formula, but has a completely different outcome. It is all about balance and this one hits it. Hats off and drinks up to Riley Perrin.

I keep forgetting that this is real life. So often, it feels like an in between time, an interlude. Like we are waiting on life to start again, but this is it, as good as it gets, for now. Babies are born, people get married, friends move away, loved ones die. The kids who just started back to school, some in masks, some at home, they don’t get a second shot at 5th grade. That baseball season that never happened is not coming back. When we get to the end, we don’t get to go back and cash in that summer of 2020 we never used. Somebody said to me once, that you get 18 summers with your kid, if you are lucky. We have tried to make this one count, but somehow it doesn’t feel that way. Birthdays away from friends, hanging out with the parents all the time, learning to navigate the world with as little contact as possible. This is a weird time to be a kid. A weird time to be a parent. I wish it were another time, but this is what we have got and at least we have each other and an excellent drink. As Pa would say, “It’s all gonna be alright…eventually.” Till then, stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane my friends.