Inside the Mind of the Monkey

There are more than just bananas in there...

Page 2 of 46


I’ve been building this week. It’s kind of a strange throwback to a former life, but I am enjoying it. The kid has been working by my side and I have loved that. Teaching him how to use various tools, solve construction problems on paper before we start using up lumber, why we use different techniques, fasteners and materials, you know, the basics. In addition to getting to work with the boy, I have really enjoyed the pure simplicity of construction. Sure, there are issues to work out and problems to solve, but they are fairly straightforward. If I make a mistake here, no one gets sued or gets sick or loses their job, we just fix it. So, with an eye toward the joys of a simpler existence and a job well done, won’t you join me now as we stand and make, the classic Caipirinha.

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Hotel Nacional Special

I have had Havana on my mind lately. Riding around in those amazing vintage American cars, often with Russian engines. Hanging out with the artists at El Ojo del Ciclón. Just walking the streets listening to music or having a drink in one of the legendary bars the city offers. Lots of great memories there, I guess that’s why it has been on my mind so much lately. I’ve also been craving a daiquiri and this seems like a great opportunity to kill a couple of birds with one stone, or at least scare them anyway. So, in the spirit of indulging small desires, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Hotel Nacional Special.

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Restraint. There is a lot to be said for it. It’s not necessarily one of my strong suits, but I am trying. This is one of the very few areas where I am getting better with age. The older you get that easier it is to let things slide. To be fair, I am way more likely to pull hard on the reins now, when I take them in hand. Of course, that’s just the other side of the same coin, someone has to hold them after all. So, grab some leather and hold on as we stand and make the Menthattan.

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Flor de Jerez

In an unlikely move, I am getting ahead of the game. Laying the groundwork for things to come. I don’t always do that. You see, I never really had a plan here. I just started making drinks and writing words. If this were some great endeavor, carefully organized from the beginning, we would not have this trouble. I would have begun with the early cocktails and worked my way down through time, showing how one cocktail builds upon another in a great evolutionary tree of drink. That is what I would have done, if I had a plan. So, in recognition of our collective nearly perfect hindsight, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Flor de Jerez.

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The Flying Nutsman

I’ve made a ton of bad decisions in my life, that’s how you get experience, which they say leads to wisdom, but I’m not sure that is guaranteed. I’d love to believe it, but I know too many folks who messed up at nearly every step and never learned a damned thing along the way. I guess that’s the way it goes sometimes. It’s hard to learn from a mistake if you don’t own it and that’s a shame. I figure the only half decent reason for there to be pain in the world is to help us learn to not inflict any more of it than we can help, but what do I know? So, in the spirit of learning from our mistakes, won’t you join me now as we stand and make The Flying Nutsman.

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Everyone has secrets, this is known, Khaleesi. We all keep things buried inside that we do not share with the world, sometimes we do not even share them with ourselves. I try to be pretty open with everyone about most things. I like to say I have no secrets, but that is a lie. My mind is filled with little bits I choose not to share about myself, but more often the thoughts remain secret because they are not mine to share. As much as I try to be open about myself, I will straight lie to your face in order to protect someone else’s secret. Is that right? I don’t know. I did not make the rules. Hell, I wasn’t even here when the game started, but I play my hand the way I was taught. So, in honor of the secrets kept and those spilled along the way, won’t you please join me now as we stand and make the Clandestine.

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Eloté Cocktail

I am all about side quests. Seriously, I always have several low level goals running in the background. Whether it’s getting the chance to drive a train, seeking out a vintage Corgi Jr. Batmobile or playing pool with a person of note, I have this whole list of stuff that is on my radar, just not a priority. Well, not a priority unless good fortune suddenly opens a door and moves something to the top of the list. One of those perpetual side quests is the never ending search for new ingredients. Whether for our home kitchen, the test kitchen at work or our cocktail bar, I have a whole list of stuff that I am quietly searching for and I recently received a bottle I have been chasing for quite some time. So, in the spirit of those goals that keep us chasing the horizon, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Eloté Cocktail.

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Morning Man

They say that if you remain open, life provides. I don’t know if that is true on a large scale, but that’s how things have gone for me, generally. You know how it goes, all hope is lost and suddenly, the thing you need drops in your lap all deus ex machina-y. Or you are sitting thinking about things, all lost in your head when the phone rings and it’s the person you need to hear from, even if you did not know it. Some folks call it kismet, I call it a slingblade. No, that’s wrong. I call it life providing. Anyway, the thing is, it worked out for me today, so please join me now as we stand and make the Morning Man.

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I’ve come to the bitter side of the cocktail world slowly. I started out with a preference for sweeter or booze forward mixtures, but the more I experiment, the more I appreciate the other side of the coin. I tried lots of things, but the first of these more herbal bitter spirits that really connected for me was Branca Menta, Fernet-Branca’s lighter, sweeter, mintier cousin. It was my launching point and is still a favorite. I often enjoy tossing half an ounce in my morning latte. So, when I saw this tropical Branca drink, I knew I had to try it. So, with a nod to Kevin Smith and appreciating the bitter and the sweet, won’t you join me now as we stand and make, the Brancolada.

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Death By Morning

If you don’t start anything, you’ll never have to finish it. That sounds a bit pithy and wise, does it not? I could probably drop a dash after that and make up a name and folks would think I was educated for quoting someone clever. Sadly, that’s not the case, they are just some words I wrote down while trying to figure out how to start writing. Some days it is harder than others. Like most of my life it is feast or famine. Either I have million things to say and I am having to edit ideas out to keep things on track or I live in an inspirational wasteland. It’s not quite that bad, but I do want things to be good and somedays, well, you can just tell that the good stuff is going to hang there like Aesop’s grapes, just out of reach. So, in the spirit of doing the work, even when you don’t feel like you have it in you, won’t you join me now as we stand and make Death By Morning.

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