Some days, you’ve got to phone it in. With an opening like that, you may have surmised that it is one of those days. I’m not going to disagree with you. It’s been a long day already and I have miles to go before I sleep. Besides, I should probably save my strength as there may be debauchery. You just never can tell. So, with your kind permission, I would like to beg your indulgence, a bit of sympathy and some taste as we stand and make the Flor de PB Jerez Swizzle.
I got up early this morning, way before breakfast, as they say. I have been running all day trying to get things done, deadlines and commitments and whatnot. You know how it is, the burdens of our capitalist society falling squarely on the shoulders of us captains of industry, who also happen to be cogs in the machine keeping the wheels of commerce turning. We are heading out to see Jimmy Buffett in concert this evening with friends. I am looking forward to the show. I’ve seen him several times in venues large and small and it is always a fun show. I love the way his works are a wonderfully complex blend of sensitive poetry exploring love and loss set against his beach bum anthems celebrating the more bacchanalian side of life. As he put it himself in Atlanta’s Fox Theatre in 1978, when asked about this dichotomy, “Well, I can be real sensitive on occasions and real trashy on others…” I get that. Completely. I like complex blends.
This drink sort of steps right into that theme. This drink sees the sherry forward Flor de Jerez, reimagined as a Caribbean style Swizzle, with peanut butter, as one does, allegedly. Yeah, I think that qualifies as a complex blend. I learned about this cocktail from Leandro DiMonriva of The Educated Barfly, but it was actually created by Peter Patrician as an interesting way to incorporate Peanut Butter Whiskey into a cocktail. It’s got some really interesting things going on and I am curious to see how that turns out. Let’s make it.
This is a swizzle, so we are making it in our drinking vessel. Grab a highball glass and pop in 1 1/2 ounces of Amontillado Sherry, I used Bodegas Yuste Aurora; 1 ounce of Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey, 1/4 ounce of Luxardo Apricot Liqueur, 3/4 of an ounce of fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 an ounce of simple syrup and 2 stabs of Angostura Bitters. Turn on “The Peanut Butter Song” by Maddie Jay and add about half a cup of pebble ice. Now the fun starts, take your le bois lélé firmly in hand and force it to the bottom of the cup. That’s right, we are using a traditional swizzle stick to make the drink. You can see it in the bottom right of the picture. It’s like a little star on the end of a stick and it is perfect for mixing tropical drinks. If you just have to know more, just check out my post on the Kaieteur Swizzle for an exhaustive report. Hold it between your palms and slowly roll it back and forth, while simultaneously moving the entire stick up and down. It takes a little practice, but you’ll get it down and be swizzling like a pro in no time. When it is well mixed, go ahead and top off with ice before swirling just a little more as you carefully withdraw your swizzle stick from the glass. Garnish with some freshly slapped mint and toss in a reusable glass straw from Surfside Sips before serving.
Oooh, that is interesting. It works. You can taste the original drink in there, but this variation adds some really interesting elements. That peanut butter whiskey leans into the nutty almond thing from the amontillado, reinforcing it. Obviously, the sherry leads the dance in those one, which is hard to do with peanut butter in the mix. Your sherry choice is going to make a huge difference in how this one turns out. It’s a clever twist, it’s got a good beat and I can dance to it. I like it.
I’m looking forward to enjoying Jimmy’s classic blend of sensitive trashiness. I am looking forward to the excellent people watching opportunity that his shows always afford. I am looking forward to seeing friends. I am not looking forward to traffic or parking, but that is the price you pay for large scale modern live entertainment. I have been really spoiled over this last year, watching live streams of shows in our underwear on the sofa, at a volume we choose, craft cocktails in hand. I’m also not sure how I feel about actually going to a concert. It’s an outdoor venue and we are fully vaccinated, but I’m still not sure how I feel about being in that large of a crowd. I mean, I am doing it and I’m sure I will be fine when I get there, but I’ve got pre-show jitters. Ironic, huh? Especially for a guy who thrives on large crowds, but it is somehow easier when you are on stage looking out.
It’s ok, I do this when flying too. I have flown hundreds of thousands of miles in my life. My father is a pilot and I have been at the controls plenty. I understand how it all works and have a reasonable amount of faith in the system. Still, before I get on a plane, I get a little nervous. Every single time. Once the seat belt is on, I calm down and settle right in for a nap, but at the gate, I always have that moment when I realize I can decide to not get onboard. In that time when the future is still fluid, waiting on me to choose my own adventure, I waver, the responsibility of the impending choice hanging there. Once the decision is made, I don’t worry about it again, I just turn to page 134 and continue my story. (Flips pages) Well, I’d love to stay and chat some more, but, apparently, I’ve got a concert to get to. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.