I grew up in a pre-internet world. I remember those first shuddering steps online, back when internet CB was a thing and Netscape was the height of modernity and we weren’t even on the cutting edge. Liam and I had a long talk today about how things were in those BI (before internet) days. Back when you had to go to libraries to look things up, or amass your own library. It was fun to watch the lights come on as he figured out why we have thousands of books at home, when we could just look things up on our phone. Not that all of those volumes are BI relics, I still have a love for the tactile and old books, well, there is just something special about them. One of the great things about this free exchange of easily accessible information is how distracted you can get looking up something simple, which we will delve into deeper as we stand and make the tiki inspired Lake at Night.
So, it is Friday the 13th and immediately thought of Jason Voorhees, Camp Crystal Lake and how that stuff used to seem so frightening. I even cranked up Alice Cooper’s “Man Behind the Mask” to get in the spirit of things. I loved that song, the whole album actually, but watching that video was just painful. Some things are best left in the past and I am pretty sure that “Jason Lives” is one of them. Anyway, that got me going down the path of superstitions, black cats and what not, Which lead me in a circle back to last night when Liam and I had a long conversation about why people knock on wood, why they don’t walk under ladders, why we don’t rock empty rocking chairs or store the broom behind the door. You know, the important stuff in life. He’s still not quite sure about my contrarian side that makes 13 my lucky number and my love of black cats, but we are working toward a better understanding of each other. What does this have to do with with the internet and going down holes, presumably owned by footless rabbits? Well, I decided to look up the word for the fear of Friday the 13th, friggatriskaidekaphobia. I knew how to say it, but wanted to confirm the spelling. Imagine my surprise to find there is a second term for the same ultra-specific fear, paraskevidekatriaphobia, and two camps who argue over the proper usage, allegedly. I decided to not follow this path to madness, besides I got distracted by some old Yngwie Malmsteen videos on YouTube, as one so often does. I will try to stay focused as we make a lovely drink sort of inspired by my original thought of what would Jason be drinking tonight as he relaxed in his retirement.
This one comes to us from Shannon Mustipher’s wonderful “Tiki: Modern Tiki Cocktails” and has been on my radar for a while because it has an interesting infusion. Grab your Lapsang Souchong Black Tea add a teaspoon into two ounces of vodka and let it steep for 10-15 minutes or one viewing of “Icarus Dream Suite, Opus 4” try to ignore the fact that the song is just Albinoni’s Adagio for electric guitar as you strain the tea from your now infused vodka. Grab your tins and pop in 2 ounces of the Lapsang Souchong infused vodka, 1/4 ounce of blue curaçao, 1/2 an ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/4 ounce of honey simple syrup and 2 stabs of Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters. Add some ice and shake to the beat of Europe’s “Superstition”. I know they aren’t as flashy as Yngwie, but they have the big hair and if they keep walking that road, I will follow. C’mon, just go with it, you know you love it. Double strain into something pretty and elegant, perfect for breaking and stabbing a sacrificial character in the face. Seriously, Jason Voorhees will kill you with anything, whiskey bottle, machete, lighting rod, spork; you name it and he’ll do the murdering with it. Seriously, he has no standards. We do, however, so garnish this one with an expressed orange peel carved into an appropriate effigy.
Well, this is nicer than I had hoped. Not terribly complex, but that smoky tea infused vodka really shines. Obviously, there is something lacking in this drink otherwise they would not have used blue curaçao, if you follow my theory that the blue stuff tastes like the regular, so it is only used to be flashy. I guess it does give this one an interesting hue reminiscent of Crystal Lake and it is an excuse to use up that bottle of beautifully blue orange flavored liqueur. It’s nice, I can see Jason kicking back on the stone beach of Crystal Lake, taking off his mask and having one of these to relax as he waited for the sun to set and the teenagers to get up to their R-rated highjinks.
It’s not much, but it is what it is. I guess I could fold this into a lesson about using the internet and the unprecedented access to information to encourage you to look things up and educate yourself instead of accepting the things you are told by idols as fact. I could do that, but y’all are adults and know that already. Besides the ones who need this lesson the most would cite the sketchiest sources on the planet if it confirmed their bias or fulfilled the needs of their narrative. I get that, I want to believe lots of crazy things as well. I want to believe that there is a drink out there somewhere that was crafted using blue curaçao for a reason not directly related to having the drink scream “Look at Me!” I want to believe that Campari is good and I just don’t get it. I mean, a lot of people are saying that it is great, even folks I look up to. Should I believe them or my own experience? Why does life have to be so hard? Why do I still have a headache? Maybe someday, we will have some answers. They might even be hiding in those leather bound volumes sitting on the shelf in the library. I think I will take my drink in there, grab a good book, put up my feet and not murder anyone at all, no matter what day it is. Y’all try to do the same and stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.