It’s been a bit of a day and I ended up with more to do in the evening than I had anticipated, so please excuse my brevity. To be fair, I am looking forward to a drink tonight, lord knows we all need one. For the folks who are just tired of all this, nearly 3,000 people have died, today, so far, in the US alone. Over 100,000 people in the hospital tonight. Over 100,000 families praying that they get to see and hold and talk to their loved ones again and that they don’t join the over 276,000 families who have lost someone to this disease. So yeah, wear the damned mask. You didn’t come here to get lectured though, you came for the dancing monkey to say something funny. So get up, stand up and join me as we make the Banana Calling.

This riff on the London Calling was created by Cameron Atfield at Dandelyan in London in 2018. So, it is a relative newcomer on the cocktail scene. On one level it’s a complicated gin sour, but it felt like so much more. Grab your tins and pop in 1 2/3 ounces of gin, I chose New Amsterdam; 1/2 an ounce of Banane du Bresil, I chose Giffards; 1/3 of an ounce of sherry, just under an ounce of fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1/3 of an ounce of simple syrup and 2-3 drops of 18-21 Havana & Hide Bitters. Add ice and give it a good shake, might as well have some fun with it so crank up The Clash and “London Calling” in honor of this cocktail’s inspiration and the remarkable tone deafness of those who chose this song to represent the London Olympics, probably the same crew who didn’t bother to listen to any of the lyrics when they chose “Fortunate Son“ to play at Trump rallies. I swear sometimes that they are just fucking with people, trying to see if anyone is paying attention. Anyway, once your tins are good and cold, like the ice age is coming, double strain into a chilled Nick & Nora and garnish with an expressed lemon peel.

I like the hell out of this. The banana is surprisingly subtle, like if you didn’t know it was in there you would taste it but perhaps not recognize the flavor profile and that really works. The sherry plays with the banana to help disguise it. Yes, yes, yes. I like this very much. This may be one of my new secret weapons. So simple, so well-balanced. By jove, I think we have something here. I’ll try it again in a few days to make sure that it isn’t the thirst talking, but this one is lovely.

It seems kind of silly and pointless to be writing words about drinks and getting ready to watch The Mandalorian, when so many are suffering tonight, but I don’t know what else to do. The lord sort of gives us a pass in these situations, after all there will be poor and hungry and, presumably, sick always, as if that makes it ok. Still it feels awfully flippant to be writing petulantly about how much I love the interplay of the bananas and the sherry when so many are grieving or sitting at home dreading a phone call or lying in bed struggling for breath. Puts things in a bit of perspective, doesn’t it. So, if you can, hug folks a little tighter tonight. Tell your friends or your family that you love them, we all need to hear it. And, as silly as it is, enjoy your drink or your tv show or that book or a hot cup of tea, whatever it is you have in your life, enjoy that. Smiles can be hard to come by. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.