Keeping with this week’s, apparent, theme of lessons taught and learned, tonight we will look into opinions and one very key, and often overlooked, feature of them. Of course, we could delve into the whole “everyone has one” thing and all of the rhetorical possibilities that lie down that path, but that would be counter to my message. So, I will simply point out that you don’t have to have an opinion on anything that you don’t want to. It is ok to just let things go by without comment. So in that spirit, won’t you please join me now as we stand and make the Praying Mantis.

This riff on the classic Grasshopper comes to us from Sean Enright of Spork in Pittsburgh, by way of Punch. I have been converted into a fan of the much maligned Grasshopper and I am loving these more adult versions like the Grasshopper 2.0 that add some complexity to this relatively simple base drink. I am also on a bit of a bitter kick, so this one was perfect for tonight. Let’s cut the chitchat and make the drink. I can always jaw about it afterwards.

Grab your tins and pop in 1 1/2 ounces of that wonderfully herbaceous and bitter Branca Menta, 3/4 of an ounce of Rumchata and 1/2 an ounce each of creme de cacao and creme de menthe. Add ice and shake to the beat of “It’s Not Easy Being Green” till your tins are well chilled. Double strain into some sort of pretty stemware and garnish with some freshly slapped mint from the front garden.

This one works for me. That Branca Menta adds a depth and herbal finish that I just love and the rumchata brings a creamy mouthfeel that sort of mimics the ice cream in the original recipe. This one might be more fun with a little more body, but the flavor is wonderful. You are going to want to drink this one ice cold though. You might even want to serve it over crushed ice. I let the last sip of mine sit too long and while the flavor was still nice, it developed a sort of mint yoo-hoo thing, which just did not do it for me. Of course, your mileage may vary.

You may not like this one, Laura didn’t, and that is ok. Differing viewpoints and opinions are what makes the world go round, or something like that. More importantly, you can decide that this drink doesn’t really affect your quality of life and just let it pass into history without expending any effort at all to care about it. Apathy, is just fine. There are a lot of things in this world and no one has time to try care about them all. Hell, even if we did, no one has time to become educated on every subject they will have the opportunity to opine about. That’s ok. In fact, if you don’t know about something, not only is it ok to not have an opinion, but not speaking up is the responsible thing to do. It took me a long time to learn that not caring is just fine and that when it isn’t there is not a thing in the world wrong with simply saying, “I don’t know enough about the subject to really be able to add anything.” As I told the boy today, if you are talking, you aren’t listening and if you aren’t listening, you aren’t learning anything. I don’t have it all figured out yet, but I am pretty sure that continuing to learn is a big part of why we are here. Well, that and being good to each other. So, be good to each other and keep your ears open. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.