I don’t feel like doing this tonight. I’m as positive as the next guy, assuming the next guy is a dyed in the wool pragmatist who covers his bases before looking home, but I’m not feeling good about things. My faith in humanity is wearing a little thin, so I suppose a drink is in order. Something that rips off the veneer of civilized society and shows is for what we are. Please join me now as we climb up from the muck and make the Sophisticated Savage.
I like to think we are better than we often appear to be, but that may be wishful thinking. Perhaps I should give up and stop looking for the better angels of our nature. Quit believing that this is just a stage we are going through as a society and face the fact that a lot of folks truly do have a deep seated hatred in their hearts. Hatred for the other. Hatred for people who don’t look or believe like they do. They say that when someone shows you who they are you should believe them, but I have trouble accepting the fact that so many people who I know to be decent have such hatred for their fellow humans. Which I just don’t understand, there is no “them”, there is only us. Sure, we look different, we worship differently, we love differently but isn’t difference where we get our strength? Wasn’t America built on the idea of the great melting pot, a place where anyone can get a shot at the dream? Isn’t that the whole point of freedom? That it is for everyone? Don’t bother, it’s rhetorical. I know the answer and so do you. Let’s just make the damned drink and move on with our lives.
Grab your tins and pop in 2 ounces of Tuaca liqueur, it’s an Italian liqueur but don’t be afraid, it’s ok; add 1 ounce of Cachaça that wonderful sugar cane spirit from Brazil; 1/2 an ounce of fresh squeezed lime juice from California limes, 2-3 drops of 18-21 Prohibition Bitters from Georgia and 1/2 an ounce of egg white from a local hen of dubious origin. Add ice and shake hard to the beat of Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name”. Shake the hell out of it cause we aren’t gonna bother with a dry shake. Double strain into a rocks glass over one big beautiful rock. Garnish with a lime coin and call it a day.
Of course, the drink is lovely. Soft mouthfeel from the egg white, brightness from the citrus, sweet vanilla undertones of the Tuaca riding with that sort of harsh edge Cachaça always brings. It is well balanced, those disparate ingredients working in harmony to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts. As it should be. Yeah, that’s a fucking metaphor.
Balance. That is what makes this drink work. That is what makes good relationships work. That is what makes our fragile democracy work. Each part working in opposition, balanced against each other to create harmony out of what should be chaos. Checks and balances, keeping each branch honest by holding them accountable to themselves and each other. When you break the balance or tip the scales too far, you break the system and it is oh so fragile. Ben Franklin was proud of what the founding fathers created at the constitutional convention, a democratic republic, in place of the monarchy. A great experiment in a new form of government a “republic, if you can keep it” as he said. For the first time in my life, I worry that a great many summer patriots have lost sight of the goal and in that they would trade winning for our republic. I hope I’m wrong and that Lincoln was right when he said, “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.