Anyone else feeling a little lazy today? Maybe a bit tired of it all? Or, perhaps, overstimulated by the unending barrage of noise and trauma from all sides? There seems to be this sense of foreboding hanging over us. A collective state of “What next?” To be fair, there is a lot going on out there today. No matter what your poison, there is something for you. Want natural disasters? We’ve got hellish wildfires, tropical depressions in the gulf, snowstorms out west and if you’d prefer wildlife there’s a tiger loose in Knoxville. Political intrigue more your thing? How about voter suppression, interference from foreign powers in our election, nearly five hundred bills still stalled in the Senate, whistleblowers exposing DHS malfeasance, or a president who totally did not say those things he is on tape saying during interviews where he agreed to be recorded. Oh, you prefer social unrest? We’ve got protests over police brutality, we’ve got riots that devolve into looting being crashed by extremists looking for an opportunity to use deadly force to defend other peoples property, we’ve got fans booing at the first NFL game because the teams stood together with their arms linked in a moment of silence. That just barely scratches the surface of today’s news and all of this against the backdrop of a global pandemic with over 192,000 deaths in the US and nearly 1,000,000 deaths worldwide. So I’d say we deserve a drink here on the 19th anniversary of 9-11, a day when we are reminded not only of the terrible events, but of the unity that followed them. A unity that seems more like a dream now of a forgotten America than something we actually lived through and experienced. So, yes, I think a drink is in order. Won’t you please join me now as we stand and make, the Donn Day Afternoon.
Cleaning the drinks drawer I realized we had one radler left, so I figured that was enough of a sign to finally make this one. We are going to build this one in the glass, so go ahead and grab something appropriate. We are going to end up with 7 ounce of liquid plus ice, so a double rocks glass or something tall will work, as a nod to the beer component I went with a footed pilsner glass. Add 2 ounces of rhum agricole blanc, I went with Rhum J.M. 1/2 an ounce of fresh squeezed lime juice, 1/2 an ounce of cinnamon simple syrup and 4 ounces of Stiegl Radler grapefruit beer. Stir with a bar spoon to the beat of an old barn door flapping in the wind of a coming storm, then fill the glass with crushed ice. I garnished with a lime wheel because I was just not into it, a little grated cinnamon and a straw would have been a nice touch, but clearly I could not be bothered.
I can see that this is a good drink. It is not for me, but it is good. I’m not a fan of the grapefruit radler, not a fan of grapefruit in general and while the cinnamon grapefruit pairing shines through on this one, it’s just not for me. I may remake it with the orange or lemon radlers I love, but that kind of defeats the purpose of this drink. If you like grapefruit, I think you are going to love this one. It is refreshing and super easy to make, that rhum agricole adds a lovely topnote to what is essentially a sweet beer with a hint of cinnamon. It’s worth trying.
Trying new things is important, get out of your rut. As Lyle Lovett would say, “what would you be if you didn’t even try? You have to try”. I knew this one wasn’t quite my thing, I was right, but I am glad I gave it a shot instead of just writing it off. I often half joke that “you might as well try, all it costs is a little time and dignity”, which is also one of my most overused and least effective pick-up lines. It is true though, an open mind and willingness to experiment with things you aren’t sure about will expand your horizons and not hurt too much, usually. If you just go with the things you know, you aren’t gonna grow. Most folks say, you have to try it once, but honestly you have to try things more than once. I used to hate, hate, hate brussel sprouts. I tried them as an adult and now I look forward to crispy ones. I still have no use with boiled or steamed ones, even when covered in cheese. Tastes change. Shakespeare said “Does not the appetite alter? A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age.” That seemed a strange way to approach that dilemma. I always thought that Benedick should discover something he likes in his age, rather than referencing something he no longer cares for. The passage falls in his soliloquy over how a man can change as he discovers his love for Beatrice. Unless he’s referring to a more esoteric meat as he discovers his love for the lady, after all he was a man’s man in a troop of soldiers. One can never tell when the bard of Avon is driving the wordsmobile, he’s got subtext within subtext. If nothing else, that’ll give you something to ponder as you sip your drink. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.