I have forgotten whole chapters of my life. Seriously, I am not sure who to blame, it’s probably me, but it is not that unusual for friends to begin telling stories of things I have, allegedly, done that I have no recollection of, whatsoever. Usually, when some details get dropped in I make the connection and it all comes flying back to me. Digging those memories out and dusting them off is always fun. Kind like meeting an old friend, even if that old friend is just an earlier version of me. So in honor of the people we were, won’t you please join me now as we stand and make, the Blue Corvette.
First things first, this one is a special request by a dear friend who knows me too well. When she suggested it, I was pretty sure she was just messing with me. I am sure there are lots of Corvette Cocktails, like the Little Red Corvette or the unfortunate Corvette Summer, but there is no reason in the world for there to be a blue corvette. Well, no reason, except blue curaÃ§ao, which we will be seeing later. Anyway, she had tapped a particular memory of my electric blue 1985 Corvette, a car which offered to teach me some humility and, failing that, tried to kill me. She and I went for a drive one afternoon, there may have been some goading on her part, followed by some white smoke, maybe a j-turn or two, pretty sure there were a couple of donuts in the middle of the road, the details are fuzzy, but it is safe to say hilarity ensued. Well, for me anyway. I am sure she had some fun, after some time to recover and therapy. What can I say, I like to go fast, act foolish and push things to the edge, including my dear Wonder Twin. I hope that she’s forgiven me my trespasses. We are still friends 30+ years later, so I guess it all worked out.
This drink has a vaunted history, I am sure, though that does not seem to be documented anywhere. It appears on a single Australian cocktail site without attribution, so it is not outside the realm of possibility that Dara just made it up and posted it there to mess with me. The inexplicable inclusion of Campari to this recipe only deepens my suspicions. Just to be safe I departed from the dubious directions that site gave when it came to building the drink in order to make something with a chance of tasting decent. Let’s make it, for science, for glory and for that missing chaperone.
Grab your tins and pop in 1 ounce of Southern Comfort, 1 ounce of “hey look at me, I’m” blue curaÃ§ao and 1/3 of an ounce of that devil bitch Campari. Pop in some artisanal ice cubes and shake to the sounds of Diamond David Lee Roth’s “Damn Good” off the album Skyscraper. A cassette that was almost certainly playing through that Dolby Stereo when the aforementioned shenanigans occurred. When the tins are good and cold, damn good and cold, strain into something tall over ice and top with lemon-lime soda. Garnish with a lemon wheel and the keys to an electric Blue Corvette on a senior tassel keyring that has faded from blue to purple over the years.
Like a lot of my adventures, this one turned out better than it had any right to. It is actually a lot like my old vette. I would have loved this drink when I was younger, but now, while I can enjoy the novelty of it from time to time, I know that I could not do it every day. Weirdly enough, it works. I am not a fan of blue curaÃ§ao drinks usually, just because if you are using the blue stuff instead of the equally tasty clear option, there are probably other problems with the drink you are trying to conceal. Trust me, I know all about misdirection. Also not a huge fan of Southern Comfort, going way back to a college experience I have no recollection of, but a certain haunted feeling and look that comes over me whenever someone opens a bottle near me. And then there is the Campari. That nasty, bitter, probably hates hobbitses Campari, the element that actually brings this one together and makes it somewhat palatable. With all that sweet stuff going on the bitterness of the Campari brings a base to this drink that makes it work.
I took the liberty of backlighting this one, cause, well, just look at it. That’s how the past should be viewed anyway, through a certain veil of nostalgia that rubs the rough edges off and let’s the happiness and joy shine through. High school was kinda like the car. It tried to teach me some humility and when that didn’t work it gave me some scars to remember it by, but on the whole it was a good time. Those friends from the time when you were still figuring out who you were going to be are special, at least the ones who have stuck with you through the years. Baz Luhrmann said that “the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.” He’s right, you know. I often wonder what my oldest friends think, as they watch me re-invent myself over and over again. Finding that at nearly 50 I only have a marginally more solid idea of how the world works than I did at 20, though my collection of etchings shows marked improvement. I do know this, no matter what the world tries to do, it is the people that matter. The relationships are what make the journey worth it. I haven’t always been the best at taking care of those, but I am trying. Well, I say I am trying, but mostly I am just feeling bad about not reaching out to the people I miss the most during these unprecedented times, but you get what I am saying. I am trying to be better, someday. Hopefully, we will all get there together and can laugh about it on the other side. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends, I do love y’all.