Tonight, I am thinking of a Christmas gift from long ago. In college, a dear friend gave me a book of poetry inscribed with one of her poems and the most lovely message. I have been carrying it around for nearly thirty years and it is in surprisingly good shape for the miles. Not sure I can say the same for myself. So, in honor of the gift and the impulse that inspires the giver please join me now as we stand and make, the Poet’s Dream.
This is an older drink adapted from a recipe in the 1949, “Esquire’s Handbook for Hosts“ which makes a lot of sense. This has a very postwar, we’re gonna be drinking this in the fifties feel. You’ll see what I’m talking about when we make it, which we might as well do, without further ado, as one does.
Grab a mixing pitcher and toss in 1 ounce of dry gin, I went with St. George’s Dry Rye; 1 ounce of Extra Dry Vermouth, I chose Noilly Prat; 1/2 an ounce of Dom Benedictine and 2-3 stabs of Regan’s Orange Bitters. Add ice and stir to the gentle strains of James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain“ in remembrance of our college selves and the quest for earnest feeling. Stir till things are well blended, about when he first realizes that he thought he’d see her again. Strain into a chilled Nick & Nora and garnish with a ragged, expressed lemon peel just carelessly tossed in the drink.
This is not my thing. It, surprisingly, is not all that booze forward, considering it is all alcohol. Not sure if the Dry Rye was a good call here, it has a peppery thing that is sort of fighting the Benedictine, Gin Mare would have probably worked better. Basically, it’s a martini with Benedictine, which is a lovely addition, but still just an extra wet martini with a twist. Of course, I knew that going in, so it would be silly to complain that things turned out about how I expected.
That happens a lot. You find what you expected to. That’s how college worked for me. I found amazing people who helped me expand my views of the world. I hurt some folks along the way and got hurt and came out the other side a sadder but wiser girl. I’d have never made it through if it weren’t for the friends watching out for me, helping me grow. Those relationships stick with you. We don’t get to see enough of each other these days. To be fair, we don’t get to see enough of anyone these days, but you get the point. Looking around my life, I see their fingerprints everywhere though, especially on my heart. This little well used book of poems is one of those fingerprints, reminding me of a golden time. Before real responsibilities, when everything mattered so much and a diverse group formed a little family and took care of each other for awhile before we moved on to who we would become. Remember the times and the people who helped you find your way to today. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.