It is good to have folks looking out for you, always. None of us gets through alone, we all need help. Honestly, we need to give help, too. It’s symbiotic, as it should be. So, let’s make a drink in honor of those folks who make a difference in our lives, often without us even knowing it. Please join me now as we stand and make the Guardian Angel.
This drink was created by Erick Castro of Polite Provisions, Boilermaker and Hungry Bartender fame. It’s an odd combination of ingredients that don’t really work on paper, so let’s mix it up and see how things turn out.
Grab your tins and pop in 1 1/2 ounces of Amaro Montenegro, a lovely vanilla, orange, eucalyptus bitter liqueur. To that add 3/4 of an ounce of Wray & Nephew overproof Jamaican rum, 3/4 of an ounce of orgeat, 3/4 ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice, 3-4 drops of rose water and 2-3 slices of cucumber. Muddle the cucumber before adding ice and shaking to the beat of Bonnie Raitt singing Randy Newman’s “Feels Like Home to Me“. Such a good song, we can go into the why after you double strain into a chilled Nick & Nora and garnish with a cucumber wheel.
Wow, it really works. There is a lot going on here but it comes together. The Amaro Montenegro is super complex and the overproof rum opens its flavor. Of course the orgeat brings a lot of sweetness, but it balances. That cucumber sort of comes out of left field but damn it, it just works. Very nice drink and a great introduction to this bitter amaro.
So, back to the music. I have a nearly constant soundtrack going in my life. If I don’t actually have music playing, I have my internal boombox going. When I’m mixing the drinks I am often thinking about what I may write and that, naturally, informs my playlist, internal or otherwise. Tonight, I was contemplating the concept of guardian angels. That had me going all over the place, from the red berets on the subway to the people who have watched over me in my life and the folks who I have stepped in to help quietly over the years. This urge to help others, especially surreptitiously, is one of the most human of traits. It really is one of those things that separates us from the “red in tooth and claw” of the wilder world. The oft called for “better angels of our nature”. Of course, that lead to thoughts of theological and/or mythological angels, depending on your belief system. Now, a lot of folks would count through the choirs of cherubim, seraphim, archangels, etc. Not me, though. I thought of John Travolta and movie soundtracks. I didn’t even have the right movie, I was thinking of “Phenomenon” which is not about an angel at all, but has a truly amazing soundtrack. Seriously, look it up and fight me on this point. I was actually thinking about the movie “Michael” which I sort of vaguely remember as being about an earthbound angel restoring someones faith, though I may be confusing it’s story with Nic Cage in “City of Angels” another forgettable film with a majorly kickass soundtrack. Anyway, Bonnie Raitt sings an amazing song in “Michael” called “Feels Like Home” and it was stuck in my head as I was having all these other thoughts.
Listen to it, marvel about it, and then learn a little. Though it was on that random angel movie soundtrack, that is not where it originates. It was written by the amazingly talented Randy Newman. If you know, then you know. If you don’t, you do, he wrote “You’ve Got a Friend in Me“ from Toy Story. See, I told you so. Anyway, Randy didn’t write it for Michael, he wrote it for his own musical based on someone pretty far from the better angels of our natures, Dr. Faustus. Yep, “Feels Like Home” comes from the concept album “Faust“. Don’t worry, Bonnie Raitt sang it there too. Somebody cue that “more you know” graphic and stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.