Another snow day, but this time with real snow! Overnight, we got 4-6 additional inches of snow over the top of our existing way too much ice. The upshot is, we could actually play in the snow today. We made a snowman, fought with snowballs, made snow cream, sort of sledded in the kayaks, all the things we could think of. We took midday break to come inside, dry out a bit and watch NASA hit another homerun with the successful landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars. So, in honor of the folks who not only do the impossible, but do it with an audience, won’t you please join me as we stand and make the interplanetary tiki classic, Saturn.
This drink was created by J. Popo Galsini who won the International Bartender’s Association World Championship with it in 1967. It is a bit unusual in the tiki world with its gin base, but it is wonderfully balanced and unexpected, plus it capitalized on the space craze with its title and signature garnish. This seemed like a natural choice on this day when we got to watch Perseverance make a successful landing delivering the first interplanetary Geocaching game piece to the surface of the red planet.
Grab your tins and pop in 1 1/4 ounces of gin, I chose New Amsterdam; 1/4 of an ounce of Velvet Falernum, 1/4 ounce of orgeat, 3/4 of an ounce of fresh squeezed lemon juice and 1/2 an ounce of passionfruit syrup. Be careful to not overdo the passionfruit, it can take over a drink quickly. Add some artisanal ice cubes and give it a good shake to Bowie’s “Life on Mars“. Traditionally, this one is served without ice in a chilled coupe and that would be totally appropriate, but I decided to take advantage of current conditions and pack fresh snow into a footed pilsner for a snow cone themed take on this classic. This particular glass belonged to my great Uncle Doc, who was a bit of a family legend. After he passed away in 1946, these glasses languished unfilled for 75 years, before grandma let me use them for drinks. He was in the Army Air Corps, so I always like to use these for things like the Jet Pilot or this spaceflight inspired cocktail. Once you have your ice well packed, strain the drink over the top and garnish with a Luxardo cherry on a pick, surrounded by lemon and lime rings.
Unsurprisingly, this drink is lovely and perfectly balanced. I made one in a coupe and one in the snow cone and they are both excellent, I cannot even say I prefer one to the other. This is one of those drinks where the ingredients sort of lose their individual identities to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Kinda like the folks from NASA and JPL who had such a great success today.
I was amazed, yet again, at how the US space program does everything in front of an audience. Their successes are played out on the word stage, as are our failures. If Perseverance had cratered into the Martian landscape, it would have done so in front of millions, with the crew from NASA and JPL carefully describing each step and being open about what worked and what went wrong. That is how science is supposed to work. We don’t fly secret missions only announcing them to the public when they are a success, carefully hiding our failures as many have done in the past. In the spirit of exploration and openness, they not only broadcast their attempts, but they take great pains to show how it was done, to share with the world what worked, what didn’t and what could be done better. They help to create the tide that raises all ships. That is noble work. There is something to be said, that not only were they able to land a robot on another planet, but they saved room to include a game piece for us. Science, exploration and a bit of fun, I can get behind that. So, raise a Saturn to the home team, for their success today on Mars and for the missions to come as we continue to explore our solar system. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.