I find that a nice stroll before dinner is just the thing to get the blood pumping and stimulate the appetite. That sounds like something out of a Dickens novel, said in an offhand way by a fellow in a waistcoat, as he lights his pipe. I have a waistcoat and a pipe but I don’t have Charley writing my lines, so I just go for a walk most evenings. To be fair, in Summer I usually walk a couple of miles before work to avoid the heat, but this time of year I go for my stroll in the dark, flashlight handy in case of traffic. I love the way things look after the sun sets, the stars in the sky and the way the moon turns everything a pale silver. In honor of that subtle magical change, won’t you join me as we stand and make the Moonlight Cocktail.
They say that the best place to start is at the beginning, so I am going to make an effort to take us all the way back to where it all began, allegedly. They also say that today is National Margarita Day, a holiday clearly needed by the masses and the “frozen or rocks” lobby. The answer is rocks, by the way. They don’t tell you that, they just roll their eyes and laugh at you as they walk away if you get it wrong. I hope to answer the bigger question of how did we get here, but that may be a little too ambitious? For now, let’s just delve a little deeper and look for prime causes as we stand and make the Brandy Daisy.
Today is generally set aside in our culture to hang out with friends eating finger foods and sort of casually watching a game that most of us don’t really care who wins one way or the other. That’s just the way it is, no team in the league has a majority share of the fans. Of course, this year, most of us aren’t watching the game with friends, at least not in person, we’ve still got the finger foods though and we will, almost certainly, have a thirst. So, won’t you please join me as we stand and make the Chanticleer.
Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit; or so they say. A bunch of you nod knowingly, and the rest are all “what’s he on about this time?” It is the first day of a new month so we honor it with this odd tradition of saying rabbit three times, to ensure good luck for the rest of the month. Since this the first day of February and St. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, I am going to shoehorn in something sweet and elegant. So, in the spirit of mysterious and unexpected treats, won’t you please join me now as we stand and make the Chocolate Orange Martini.
This morning I was looking through some old photographs of our time in Havana. That sounds romantic, doesn’t it? Way better than “I was scrolling through pictures on my phone looking for something else, when I was distracted by some old vacation pictures.” It’s all in how you set the scene sometimes, how you spin it. Still, it is true and it made me think about this drink. So, won’t you please join me now as we stand and make the classic, La Florida.
It’s been a relatively austere day, so I’m feeling a bit of a craving for something smooth and sweet. I’m all for moderation, in moderation, but sometimes you need a little something special for yourself. So, please join me now as we stand and make the Pignoli Alexander.
We turn to Shakespeare for the text of todays’s lesson. Please turn in your hymnals to Much Ado About Nothing, Act 5, Scene 1, where we find Antonio attempting to comfort Leonato, who is having none of it. And he spake, “I pray thee peace, I will be flesh and blood; For there was never yet philosopher that could endure the toothache patiently.” I get it, Leonato was upset and why not, they had just accused his daughter of “knowing the heat of a luxurious bed”. Shocking, I know. The point is, he was angry and when cautioned to not indulge his self pity and fury he told Antonio to step off and let a man have his space. I get that too. That toothache thing always stuck with me, the simple wisdom of it. It is true, no matter how many high platitudes we speak and how detached and above the fray we want to be, when something as simple as a toothache makes things personal, our true colors show. Whether sharp or dull, a toothache can just sort of linger there, a reminder that all is not well. Reminding you that you don’t control much in life, even your own body. So, please join me now and explore the bitter and the sweet, as we stand and make the Lucien Gaudin.
It is all anyone can think about today. When will we know who won the election for president? Naturally, I am as curious as the next person. I have a keen interest in politics and people and this season has certainly provided any number of distractions. But, I am not sweating it tonight. As I told a friend earlier, this die has been cast, we just haven’t looked under the cup yet. In time, we will know the outcome of Schrödinger’s vote, who got the most in the places where it matters to get those votes. They may monkey with them and argue afterwards, but before too long, we will know what the votes said. Till then, you might as well kick back, enjoy a drink and do your best Alfred E. Neuman. In the interest of keeping things topical, won’t you please join me now, as we stand and make the El Presidente.
I was going to take the evening off, not make a drink at all, not write about it, not even take any pictures of that drink I was not going to make. My wife and I are celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary, so I figured no one would mind if we took the night off. We enjoyed a lovely bottle of mead I picked up a couple of years ago that we never got around to opening. I was ready to curl up on the sofa with some soft music and a book to wait out the child falling asleep, but she had other plans. Soon I was back in the kitchen, using some new tools to fill some new glasses, cause that’s my job. So, please join me now, as we stand and make the Tiki Peat.
Some days things just come together and it all works out, through no fault of your own. The right ingredients, meet the right glass and with a little inspiration, magic happens. A lot of folks would say that the time you spent learning made it possible, but I know the truth, magic happens. Things work out in spite of anything you may have done. My dad would say “it’s better to be lucky than smart, cause you aren’t always gonna be smart enough, but you can be lucky enough.” He’s right, you just have to learn to not count on the luck, you can hope for it, but when it becomes a central part of your plans, you get to meet Lord Hubris and his partner Lady Karma. So, with a modicum of preparation and a great deal of luck, I ask you to join me now as we stand and make, the Cable Car.