I’m a big fan of consistency. Not the “foolish” consistency that Emerson called “the hobgoblin of little minds”, but deep and considered consistency. That certain quality that lets you know people truly believe what they are saying, that they have taken the time to study and reflect and come to a belief on their own, rather than just accepting the ones they were handed. An appreciation of those beliefs formed in knowledge, the kind that is, so often, tempered by loss. You can tell with people, when you look them in the eye, whether they believe what they are saying, whether their words have the weight of conviction behind them. Not passion, that is easy to summon when the situation warrants, but that slow burning conviction that drives a person even when no one is watching. So with depth of character and integrity in mind, won’t you please join me now as we stand and make the New Dawn.
I was torn about what to make today, even though I had several clever requests. When it comes to the big days, I prefer looking forward into the future rather than reflecting on what was. We have already given too much attention to where we have been and now, more than ever, having our eyes fixed firmly on the prize seems the wiser path. I often get songs stuck in my head. I know I am not special, this happens to you as well. This morning, I kept humming a familiar tune, I knew it was Nina Simone, but could not quite place it. That makes sense, I had the lyrics wrong in my head and the title, but I knew that line “it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day and I am feeling good.” So New Dawn it is. This drink was created by Brittney Olsen originally of LA, but now managing Amara at Paraiso in Miami, just a few blocks north of our former abode. This is one of those drinks where your mouth begins to water while you are reading the ingredients. Let’s make it and see if it lives up to the promise of its parts.
Speaking of parts, we have to do a little assembly before we make this one. We are going to make an easy Jasmine tea simple syrup. Bring equal parts of water and sugar (I do 6 ounces each) to a boil, stir to mix, remove from heat and add a jasmine green tea bag. Let steep five minutes and remove the tea. Let that chill until you are ready to make the drink. Grab your tins and pop in 1 1/2 ounces of gin, I went with my favorite Gin Mare; 3/4 of an ounce of white vermouth, I chose Noilly Prat; 3/4 of an ounce of pineapple juice, 1/2 an ounce of that jasmine tea syrup, 1/4 ounce of fresh squeezed lemon juice and 1 drop each of Bitter Clementine Citrate and Ginger Lemon Tincture from 18-21 Bitters to approximate the Yuzu bitters the recipe calls for. Add ice and give it a good shake to the smooth, soulful sounds of Nina Simone singing “Feeling Good“. Strain into a highball glass over crushed ice, pop in a reusable straw from Surfside Sips and garnish with a couple of Luxardo cherries on a cool tiki head pick with a dehydrated lemon.
That is lovely. This is just exquisitely balanced. The sweet from the pineapple plays against that vermouth and jasmine tea in a way that really lets the botanicals from the gin shine. This drink is everything I had hoped it would be when I read the ingredients. This is one to remember. Not too sweet, not too dry, just a perfect balance of both.
Things work better when there is balance. Going too far one way or the other just exposes the weakness of both. That pendulum tends to swing back and forth from one extreme to the other, but the work gets done in the middle. We need that. I opened up talking about consistency, because that means a lot to me. Having truly held beliefs is better than adopting situational ethics. I have seen a lot of folks saying things today that don’t quite seem to match up with what they were saying fairly recently. If you believed in respect for the office in October, you should still preach that in January. If you believe that we ought to work together and give the fella in that office a chance, it should not matter who that is. To be fair, I also believe that you should be ready to change your beliefs if you learn better. As Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” That is where that “foolish consistency” comes in. If you just keep believing things even when you learn better, well, you aren’t growing, you aren’t going anywhere and you aren’t getting the advantage of the lessons you have learned. Watch out for that hobgoblin, because it wants to keep you in the dark, doing the same old things.
Yeah, I know. I make a big deal about having deeply held beliefs then I say you ought to be ready to change those beliefs. That’s the way it is, life isn’t always easy. The truth is, the good guys rarely wear white hats and the bad guys never wear black. That’s cause, for the most part, there aren’t good guys and bad guys. Sure there are some, we have seen too much of that recently, but, the reason those people are news is because they are outside of the norm. For the most part, there are a lot of folks wearing grey hats, just trying to get through life. We aren’t as far apart as we would like to believe. Most folks want a better world for themselves and their children, if you just expand that to want a better world for other people and their children, as well, we are halfway there. So try to look out for each other there is still no them, only us, and it is more important than ever to act accordingly. The great thing about historic days is that no one cares very much about what one monkey with delusions of grandeur has to say. I am still here shouting into the darkness, but there is a better day coming, if we will let it. Let’s put hate aside, beat those swords into plowshares and get back to the true business of this country, striving toward that more perfect union. There’s a new dawn and a new day, let’s take advantage of this chance to start fresh, united in our love of country and our fellow human, despite our differences. If we have learned nothing else, we can see clearly that love always wins, so do that. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.