It’s hard to believe we have been doing this for nearly a year now. Who would have known that when I made that first drink for my birthday in 2020, that we would still be here making daily drinks in 2021. There’s something to be said for that, foolish consistencies being what they are and whatnot. I’m gonna take a note from those early drinks and go short on the philosophizing and long on the drink making, so please won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Bywater.
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.
A little more snow, a lot more ice, another quiet day at home with hours to fill. I could have been productive and cleaned off the desk in the office or organized the rums or dusted my trophy case, but we skipped all that in favor of blueberry pancakes, introducing the boy to The Munsters, watching YouTube cooking videos, finally finishing Ace Combat, oh and day drinking. So, in the spirit of making the most of forced confinement, won’t you please join me now as we stand and make the classic Pearl Diver.
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.” Do you understand these rights? Probably not. Most of us haven’t made a close study of them. Although the rights protected are enshrined in the Constitution, they were not formalized into the “Miranda Warning” that must be issued when you are taken into custody or interrogated until 1966. Turns out things work better when people are made aware of their rights. Seems like a better focus on civics curriculum and making sure that people actually understand our founding documents and the rights protected by them would be a great place to start. I bet that if more people bothered to read the instructions for our republic, we’d have less call to have to inform them of their rights, but I could be wrong. I often am. So, in the spirit of better understanding the national EULA, won’t you please join me now, as we stand and make the 5th Amendment.
Once upon a time, that’s how you are supposed to begin a tale, right? I am pretty sure so many stories start with that one sentence because just staring at the black page is one of the hardest parts of writing. The getting started is daunting. In some ways it is even worse in the computer age, instead of a patient piece of paper waiting for ink, you have a little cursor winking on and off, sort of tapping its imaginary foot as you try to figure out how to begin. It reminds me of the old side scroller game “Captain Goodnight” whose title character would take out a yo-you and stand there in all his 8-bit glory playing if you weren’t giving input. I want to talk about a terrifying evening in college but it is really more than we should get into tin the intro and I have already taken up a good bit of space talking about how it is hard to start, which means, we have in effect, already started, so I’ll get to the opening catchphrase and pick up the storytelling after the break. That is, if you will please join me as we stand and make, the Red Light.
I’d like to say we made it, but there are still a few hours of 2020 left and if I have learned nothing else this year, it is to take nothing for granted. So, I am not gonna make any assumptions, but do hope that we will all make it till midnight and to see the sun rise on a new day. I have had a lot of thoughts about how to end this year and begin the next. It makes sense to look back on what was and celebrate the wins, mourn the losses, but I am not sure I can even remember who we were when this interminable year began. I am just gonna make a drink and see where that takes us. So, won’t you please join me now as we stand and make an old Uncle Monkey original, the Dumpster Fire.
I grew up during the closing act of the Cold War. A clear idea of who the bad guys were, no doubt that we wore the white hats and had the shining armor. I remember when the Berlin Wall fell. I remember when the Soviet Union split into 15 republics, before those splintered into even more nation states. I recall people celebrating as that world ended, not with the bang we expected, but with a whimper. It wasn’t even clear that it was really over, just one day they weren’t there anymore. I remember my stoic German teacher shaking his head as he reminded me that the world had just gained 15 new nuclear powers, many with a leadership vacuum and that we lived in a much more dangerous and unsure world. That realization hit me. The previous enemy understood the simple risk and complicated peace promised by the balance of mutually assured destruction. Would the new keepers of the keys respect that balance? Do we understand it yet, nearly thirty years on? I don’t know, but it has me thinking today as the snow falls outside, so won’t you please join me as we stand and make the Nuclear Daiquiri.
There has been a large rise in “do-it-yourself” projects during “these unprecedented times.” We are no different from the rest of the country, we have redone the back yard, trimmed trees and bushes, made repairs around our house and grandma’s house and our outbuildings and the barn. We have started making our own pastas and breads, drying fruits and vegetables, making candleholders and coasters from old whiskey barrels. It’s funny how making things helps to fill the time. You could make a pretty convincing argument that this whole “Cocktails From Quarantine” series has been a big DIY project. We can’t go to the bars where we would normally enjoy our drinks, so we took matters into our own hands. The point is, there are a lot of folks out there who are doing what they can to make their corner of the world a better place and they are doing it on their own. That is mostly a good thing, so let’s make a drink today that honors the do-it-yourselfers out there, the folks steady crafting their way through 2020. Won’t you, please, join me now, as we stand and make, The Bitter Clipper.
Ever just wake up in a bad mood? I do all the time. I did it today. No good reason, I slept well with a roof over me in a comfy bed, love of my life beside me and my wee little scrap of a man snoring gently in his room. Still, something about today just hits me wrong. I don’t care for the cut of it’s jib, the way it wears that stupid hat. You know how it is. I’m used to managing my idiosyncrasies, so let’s get to it as we stand and make The Ghosts of Black’s Beach.
Learning new things. That is what it’s all about, isn’t it? Travis McGee said “Every day, no matter how you fight it, you learn a little more about yourself, and all most of it does is teach humility.” That sounds about right. Man, I wish I knew now all the things I knew when I was young. I have had plenty of opportunity to learn humility along the way, some of the lessons took, some didn’t. I am still working on it. It’s not so much the years, but the mileage, as they say. Keeping with our teachable moments theme this week we are going to do a drink tonight with a totally new to me, as yet unexplored, preparation and bar tool. We will see how things go as we stand and make the Kaieteur Swizzle.