The Twelve Drinks of Christmas: Volume 2, Drink 12
It is funny how we think of things in the past. It seems like our pictures of folks in history usually paints them as serious people, dealing with the serious business of just being alive in times less, ummm, civilized than our own. Maybe it is because our forebears tend to look so grave in those early portraits, maybe it is because we lack the imagination to see them as humans, just like ourselves finding their way through their own unprecedented times. I do love how that view sometimes gets turned on its head. For example, later in his life, Sir Isaac Newton, having discovered calculus, sorted gravity and retired from teaching, was appointed Master of the Royal Mint, a mostly ceremonial position. However, frustrated by counterfeiters, he took to disguising himself and hanging around taverns in order to catch and convict these treasonous fellows. Yeah, Sir Isaac Newton, in his later years, would dress up and go drinking in disguise in order to capture hardened criminals, for fun. So, keep your minds open and remember that folks then were much as folks are now as we stand and make Charles Dickens Punch.
The Twelve Drinks of Christmas: Volume 2, Drink 11
I have had hot chocolate out of these glasses a hundred times. They used to sit at the back of Grandma’s cupboard just waiting for one of the kids to slip them out for a treat. I had no idea what they were for, or why they had those guys in top hats on them instead of Tom the cat and his rodent nemesis, Jerry. What can I say, we did not grow up in the Midwest where the drink and these glass were everywhere, allegedly. So, let’s take a moment and try to learn a bit as we stand and make the classic Tom & Jerry.
Though I usually eschew them, I am sticking with a theme this week. Either that or I am stuck in a rut, it is often hard to tell the difference. I guess it’s all going to come down to the marketing, so a bubble filled theme it is as we continue with yet another sparkling wine classic. Not just a classic, but perhaps the classic, as in the original bubbly concoction that inspired this entire class of drinks, putting them on the gustatorial map, so to speak. So, without further ado, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the classic Champagne Cocktail.
I’ve never really felt tied to a theme here. I pick out drinks I want to try, for whatever reason, and I make them. Then, I tell you a little something about the history of the drink, how to make it and what I thought of it, usually in way too many words. Outside of that, I just sort of riff on whatever is on my mind. Somedays it is inspired, on others, well it’s just random shouts into the darkness by a fairly boring ape with delusions of grandeur. My personal comments tend to deal with how we ought to be more decent to each other, my frustrations with the world when that is not happening, or long-winded nostalgic trips down memory lane. Looking back over this corpus there is no denying that I have been writing during a pandemic. So, in honor of these unprecedented times, which feel more precedented with every passing day, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Bonnie Prince Charles.
I took a couple of days off with the family to wander around the mountains of North Georgia, do some hiking, pan for some gold, just get away from home and see something new. It had been over a year since we had spent the night in a hotel, which is the first time that has happened, probably in forever. The wife and I are fully vaccinated, as are most of the rest of the family, but we are still taking precautions to keep ourselves and other folks safe. It ws a little strange to be back out in the world, but good to get away from home and spend some time together playing and exploring, safely. On the way home, we made a swing through Atlanta to grab lunch to go from Fred’s Meat & Three in Krog Street Market, which meant we had to walk right past one of my favorite cocktail spots, which inspired me to try one of their signature drinks. Since I happened to have a new julep cup at home just itching for a drink, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Ticonderoga Cup.
One of the greatest difficulties we face today is a growing gap in cultural literacy. In addition to basic history, which we hope against hope will be covered in the kids curriculum, there are also thousands of fandoms, movies and music that a person needs to have at least a working knowledge of, in order to be a clever productive-ish member of society. Nobody told me that helping to educate the next generation would be so daunting. Just today I found myself explaining concepts I barely understand myself as the lad asked “What is a hollaback girl?” That shit was bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s. So, in the spirit of seeming clever by staying one step ahead of the class, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Bananarac.
Sometimes you know things aren’t going to work out. Not to be a pessimist, but I have concerns about tonight’s drink. It won’t be the drink’s fault, I am just not feeling it. I realized halfway through that I had chosen a drink from my big list of possibilities that I wasn’t particularly excited about. It is almost like I instinctively knew to not waste any effort on making something I was looking forward to. Without considering things, I chose a drink that I was less likely to enjoy thereby setting up the conditions to make my prophecy self-fulfilling. It happens. So, in the spirt of unconscious self-sabotage, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Ce Soir.
It is cold enough out there today for this child of more temperate climes. They are calling for a proper ice and snow storm tonight or tomorrow or the next day or some other indeterminate time in the future. The important thing to remember is that during the challenging times to come, no matter what, you must not be caught without ample supplies of milk and bread. To avoid this fate we ventured out today for supplies. It was 26° with freezing fog and since we were already cold, we decided to hike a couple of miles in a local park and climb the highest hill we could find. Needless to say, we need something to warm us up this evening, so, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Chartreuse Toddy.
Yesterday I quoted the inimitable Maya Angelou who said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Just to show I am not just writing stuff to hear myself type and to prove that on some level I buy into my own bullshit, I have to rectify an error, really more of an omission, that I made, or in the case of the omission, did not make. I was doing my best, but I did not know any better. Now, I have learned better, so I am going to try to do better. So, in that spirit won’t you join me now as we stand and make the classic Stinger.
I took a few days off to celebrate the New Year. Did some hiking and exploring with the family, drank a beer and ate a burger in a gloriously empty outdoor biergarten, practiced a little chainsawing and tractoring around the farm, even played some video games and read some books. I did not go to the office, or pay attention to political shenanigans going on or make any cocktails that I felt compelled to write about, though I did make some at the request of my bride. Alas, all good things must come to an end, and the bad ones as well. So I was back in the office today, doing some work, catching up on the news and now I am back behind the bottles making a little something to share with you, gentle readers. The sun comes up and the world still spins, as they say. Or at least that is what I said fourish years ago at the beginning of this chapter and it is still true here at the end. Watching folks make some odd decisions I was reminded of an old fable and a drink. So, won’t you please join me now as we stand and make the classic Scorpion.