Moonlight and magnolia, starlight in your hair… or something like that. It has turned cold and it is dark on the drive home, but the moon was shining and it is time for a drink. So, please, won’t you join me as we stand and make, Stars Fell on Alabama.
Here we are, howling into day three of The Thirteen Drinks of Halloween and the next step into our exploration of the spirits of the season. So far, we have made a pretty drink that doesn’t work till you make it ugly and an already macabre classic cocktail. Today we are going to go a little deeper with a drink that appears to be one thing and turns out to be quite another. So, won’t you please join me now as we stand and make, the Wolf’s Bite.
We made it to October and it is time for a little magic. I mean all the way around. I want some falling leaves, the smell of a campfire, cardigans, pumpkin spice mocha, puffy vests, girls in Uggs, the whole basic autumn package. I want full moons, black cats, random ghosts and a departure from the ghoulish behavior we have seen too much of this year. I want people to celebrate the equinox, I want Reese’s Pumpkin shaped Peanut Butter Cups, because those are the ultimate form of the peanut butter cup. This is not up for discussion. So, I am going to call on one of the old gods and do a little alchemy today, there will even be fire, you’re gonna love it. So, grab your best incarnating frock and join me now as we stand and make, Neptune’s Wrath.
As Moss would say, “Did you see that ludicrous display last night?” I figure we could all use a drink after that. Something tasty, maybe a bit exotic, well, not actually exotic, but something with a faux nostalgic feeling for a bygone era when travel was an adventure and you could still actually do it. When a trip to Europe passed from New York through Newfoundland to the Azores and on to Lisbon, landing in the water in one of those amazing planes of yesteryear, with crystal in the dining room and sleeper berths. So, join me now as we stand and make the Pan American Clipper.
Magic is wonderful. It can make us believe in possibilities, in a world that we have only glimpsed. A lot of the time, we know it is only a trick, that we are being fooled, but there is a certain pleasure in a little lighthearted deception. Oscar Wilde said that “The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived” and magic, when it is done well, fits that bill. It is a funny thing, just how much we enjoy having the wool pulled over our eyes, so to speak. All entertainment relies on the willing suspension of disbelief. That wonderful ability to set your rational mind to the side for a bit and believe that heroes can fly or that we could create harmony on a planetary level before heading out into the stars to boldly go where no one has gone before. Magic takes another deeper level of disbelief. We know someone is trying to fool us and we are watching carefully to see how they are going to trick us, how they are going to appear to do that which we know is impossible and they usually succeed. Through years of practice and the careful application of science they are able to fool us, often using very simple tools. So let’s take a look at deception and a couple of the original tools of the trade. Won’t you join me now as we stand and make, Smoke and Mirrors.
Like it or not, we are all products of our environment. A big part of that comes from family. As I sip this drink from my mom’s China, I am reminded of all the things handed down from previous generations. The good and the bad, our strengths and our weaknesses all start at home. We carry them with us and, if we are not careful, we pass them along to the next generation. So with an eye to the future, please join me now as we stand and make, the Mad Hatter.
You know how things are fun, how you look forward to them, but one day those same things just become daunting and you dread having to actually do them? No? Huh? Just me, then. Ok. Well, I am glad you aren’t afflicted with this crippling fear, but I hope you can expand your imagination enough to relate. You ever have one of those days where you start a conversation, you can’t even finish it? I mean, you’re talking a lot, but you’re not even saying anything. This is one of those days for me. I am tense and nervous and I can’t relax because it is my buddy Jenn’s birthday. That means I need to find a drink that encapsulates what she means to me and then write nice-ish things about her. I have done it for other folks, and it feels like a thing I do now. It just sort of happened organically the first couple times, but now that it is a thing, I get worried about it. Weird, huh? So, it is only natural, that I should extend this courtesy to Jenn, it is the polite thing to do and I hate people when they are not polite. So join me now, as we stand and make a drink that just screams Jenn, the Psycho Killer.
There is not a lot of process here. Sure there is a format, but mostly it is off the cuff and I don’t really have any idea where we are going with these drinks and commentary. Hell, I am often as surprised as you are when we take one of these hard turns halfway through. That’s a big part of the fun for me, to do some research, make a cocktail and then just riff for awhile. My intent is to do a bit of a “behind the scenes” thing today, but I often start with good intentions, we will just have to see where we end up. So, join me now as we stand and make, the To Hell With Spain.
I wanted to experiment today, so I’m trying a refreshing “new to me” tiki drink. It’s been on my list for a while, but I keep going with things I like rather than exploring new territory, but not today. Today we chase the horizon, so join me as we stand and make, the classic Dr. Funk.
A couple of week’s ago we made a lovely tiki drink called the Cobra’s Fang which I served in a huge ceramic rattlesnake mug. In honor of this most excellent mug I told a couple of stories of my rattlesnake encounters across the country. This was really just a bit of misdirection, since I did not have any Cobra stories that don’t involve Carroll Shelby in some way. I am not unhappy about that, sure I have seen Cobras at zoos, and that is close enough for me. I mean, I want to travel to places where Cobras are more of an issue, but I don’t want to meet any up close. It’s nothing personal against the cobras, I am generally snake averse. The drinking world, however, is not. There are lots of drinks named for snakes and I figure that as long as I am at home and making drinks, I will work a few of them in from time to time. So, join me as we stand and make, the Rattlesnake.