Writer’s block is real, y’all. Somedays the words just won’t come. You won’t even have an idea of where to go with the narrative or even what to make. I find that when this happens, you can best get past it by staring at the blank screen for awhile, quietly bearing the subtle taunt of the flashing cursor, till inspiration strikes. This can take some time. Once upon a time, I’d go outside, have a cigarette and stare off into the distance. That often works. You can almost always have a good idea about a third of the way through the smoke. This gives you enough time to forget that inspiration while you finish and return to your desk. So you find yourself back at the beginning, armed with the knowledge that you actually have ideas, you just can’t access them. Sometimes I just write a starter sentence, something like “Writer’s Block is real.” Then I add a “y’all” to make it feel more personal. A couple more lines describing the difficulty figuring out how to begin writing, maybe a longing look back at a former life and suddenly you are off to the part were you can legitimately say something about the drink you are going to make and get into the more formulaic portion of the text. So in the spirit of telling them exactly what you are doing, while you do it and getting away with it, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Rum Walnut Alexander.

This riff on the classic Brandy Alexander comes to us from Jon Howard at Nashville’s own, Henley. I have driven by, but I have not been inside to try things, yet. However, their menu looks amazing and I cannot wait till we get back to actually going in restaurants and when we do, it is on my list. This one swaps the brandy and chocolate flavors of the original for aged rum and walnut, which should be amazing. Properly, I should share a Brandy Alexander recipe with you first, but I stumbled across a bottle of Nocino Walnut Liqueur yesterday and I am dying to try it out, so we are doing things out of order. Please lodge any objections with management and I will bring it up during my performance review.

Grab your tins and pop in 2 ounces of aged rum, I went with El Dorado 5 year; 1 ounce of Nocino, I used Cardinal’s Walnut Nocino out of Indiana; 1 ounce of heavy cream and 1/2 an ounce of Demerara simple syrup. Add ice and shake to the beat of “Who Owns This Place” by Don Henley, naturally. When well mixed, double strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with some freshly grated nutmeg, maybe in a half moon. 

That is lovely. I think I am going to like Nocino. I read about it earlier in the summer and I was intrigued. I even thought about making some since we have a few walnut trees on the property, but like many of my impulses, that one faded away before taking root. Maybe next year, or maybe not, since I can hand folks money to do it for me and they do it so well. Anyway, this drink really works. Naturally it is creamy and sweet, but not overly. It is a dessert drink, but with depth. El Dorado 5 is always a solid choice, but this one might be fun to experiment with, I wonder what a Smith + Cross might do here or even one of the Rhum Agricoles from Clement. Either way, that walnut really shines, bringing a nice complexity, with some herbal note, some bittering and even a cola thing. Very nice indeed.

Now I have the Henley menu stuck in my head making me salivate and that Henley tune making me nostalgic for a life that once was. Not sure if it is the right song for this drink, but it’s got a good shaking beat and how can you not smile when you hear that opening guitar trill. Besides it was in Color of Money, one of my favorite guilty pleasures and reminder of a life long gone, where stepping out for a smoke was also a great opportunity to dash when a place was tapped out. So remember, always play with a house cue, try not to get “too” lucky and stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.