I dreamt last night of the past. Of people I haven’t seen in years. Of watching the world go by, sipping a glass of whiskey or a pint of the black stuff from my customary table in the corner of an Irish pub, a cigarette burning lazily in the ashtray. Wandering into a bar where your drink was sitting at your table by the time you got there. That got me thinking about old friends and Irish whiskey and a drink I’ve wanted to try, so join me now, as we stand and make, the Dublin Minstrel.
I’ve never actually been to Dublin. I’ve traveled all over the west of Ireland and the south, but I have skipped Dublin, always with a plan to make a special trip. Kinda funny in a time when going almost anywhere would feel like a special trip and our chances of going back to Ireland anytime soon feel pretty grim. Not funny, funny. You know what I mean. Let’s go ahead and make the drink before I get all maudlin. At least if I’m in my cups I’ll have an excuse to sing sad songs.
Grab your tins and pop in 2/3 of an ounce of fresh squeezed lime juice, 2/3 of an ounce of that wonderfully herbal green chartreuse, 2/3 of an ounce of maraschino liqueur and 1 ounce of Irish Whiskey, I went with my workhorse, a good honest, Jameson. Add two drops of 18-21 Prohibition Aromatic bitters, some ice and shake well, preferably to the beat of “Fields of Athenry” go with Paddy Reilly or Dropkick Murphys, as your mood dictates, yeah they are about a million miles apart stylistically, but I don’t know how you are feeling. Double strain into a Nick & Nora and garnish with a bit of fresh rosemary.
Obviously, this is a riff on the classic The Last Word, and it works. I’m not sure if it stands on its own or if it really just makes me wish I had the original, that said, it is damned good. To be fair, I’m partial to Irish whiskey, so I may be biased. Pretty much everything that works in the last word works here, I’m still not sure if I wouldn’t rather have it with gin, but I’m definitely not kicking it out of bed. I’m not kicking it out of bed defiantly, either. No matter what autocorrect wants. That just not who I am.
Bed. That’s where we were when we started, lost in dream. Sitting in the corner of The Seanachie. It wasn’t all pleasant and did not always make sense, it was a dream after all. Halfway though a drink I heard the buzz of jet engines. So, I popped outside just in time to a plane crash in the pasture behind my house. Don’t you love how in dreams you can travel miles and years just by passing through a doorway. I headed over to help, but first I had to wrestle a large black angus bull who wanted to eat my watchband. That took a bit of doing, which explains why I was so tired when I woke up. After helping the passengers disembark, the pilot chose a handful of us to continue on to Chicago, where he promised to buy us dinner. So, there I was sitting between Liam and Laura in first class, wearing my mask, talking to the other passengers and that’s when it happened. That is the moment things just got too weird and I realized I was dreaming. Not while sitting in a pub that has been gone for 20 years. Not when I walked out of the bar into my field. Not when an experimental v-shaped airliner did three falling leaf rolls to bleed off airspeed and made an “unplanned contact with terrain” out back. Not while fighting a bull who tried to eat my watch. Not when I, inexplicably actually survived that. No, it was only when I was sitting on a plane getting ready to travel somewhere with the family that my mind went “ Umm, dude? I feel like we are outside the bounds of reality. Maybe you should do a sanity check.” Yeah, I may be going a little stir crazy. Good thing I have y’all and this drink to help me keep things together. In spite of my subconscious and it’s inability to do so, I hope that you can, stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.