There are more than just bananas in there...

Tag: gin (Page 1 of 8)

Hard Sell

Chicago is a fine town. I love the place, but I don’t always agree with the citizenry on matters of taste. I enjoy a good Portillo’s Chicago style hot dog or a breaded steak sandwich from Ricobene’s, and I have had some truly incredible dining and drinking experiences in that toddling town, but they get some things wrong. Most of these mistakes are minor, like making a float with Green River or calling that awesome deep dish casserole a pizza. However, there are other transgressions that are far more serious and even dangerous. Chief among these is a staple of the Chicago bar scene, Jeppson’s Malort. If you know, you know. If you don’t, I am not sure I want to encourage you to learn. Some folks swear by the stuff, most folks swear at the stuff, I mostly try to avoid it, but I heard it can be lovely when paired with the right ingredients. I am dubious, but willing to take a chance, so won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Hard Sell.

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Umami Martini

There is something to be said for simplicity. Of course, there is also something to be said for complexity, so I am not sure how to balance those two extremes. There are usually at least two sides to every story and often so many more. So let’s take a look at things from both sides now as we stand and make the Umami Martini.

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Follow That Black Rabbit

I am not a huge fan of orthodoxy, at least not according to Webster. The idea of “authorized or generally accepted theory, doctrine, or practice” seems alright on paper, but in practice it feels a lot more like stagnation and acceptance for acceptance sake. Still, I had a wonderful drink in my back pocket left unused after the Easter holiday, so why not embrace orthodoxy and celebrate Orthodox Easter a week later, which kind of flies in the face of accepted theory, doctrine or practice. Life can be funny that way, so won’t you join me now as we subversively stand and make the surprisingly unorthodox Follow That Black Rabbit.

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Juliet & Romeo

A teenage boy sees a thirteen year old girl at a party and develops a crush. I apologize, I meant to say, falls instantly and deeply in love. His crush, I mean love, is requited and three days later six people are dead, including our titular underage lovers. Ah, but then, the course of true love, never did run smooth, did it? So, with a nod toward bad romance, deeply passionate speeches and epic miscommunication, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the modern classic, Juliet & Romeo.

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Dark Hedges

The Twelve Drinks of Christmas: Volume 2, Drink 7

I used to know a guy who seemed unable to escape the fact that he was born during, “the darkest days of the year,” as he put it. I suppose that was his particular demon to face. I guess we all have our own. I have never really thought of the Winter Solstice as the darkest day of the year, but rather, as a new beginning. From here forward, every day has a little more light, so it is the dawn of a brighter time. A chance to start over, to get things right this time, or perhaps, more right. So, with an eye on those better days to come won’t you join me now as we stand and make Dark Hedges.

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Mull Again

I said I was gone for the holidays, but clearly, I lied. It happens. I don’t mean to but I get things wrong from time to time. I mean it may not even be a lie, maybe I was just mistaken? I figured I’d be super busy today and not have time to do anything before we headed over the river and through the woods to visit the in-laws for Thanksgiving, but then time to kill happened. Which is how we find ourselves here again, gathered virtually for a drink and the requisite words. So, in the spirit of unexpected moments of leisure and the occasional need for a do over, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the excellent Mull Again.

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Bitter Heart

Some things stick with you, inexplicably. I have always been curious about that. How I can clearly remember staring at the clouds through the branches of a tree on my great aunt’s farm when I was 6 or 7, but I can’t remember what I had for breakfast yesterday. Or how I can remember the smell of the Shogun Warriors mask I wore for Halloween in 1978, but I forget my blood type. I don’t know why some things stick and others fade away. I do know why this drink made my spooky drinks list, when it is not scary in any way. It starts with a poem, an epigraph in a book that kept me awake all night many moons ago. Terrified, I kept turning the pages, pushing through the story, hoping that knowing the end would let me sleep. So, with a nod toward night terrors and carrying on because you can’t go back, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Bitter Heart.

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Breakfast Martini

A perfectly blue, clear sky. That’s what I remember and what I found today when I woke. Funny how so many things have changed over the last two decades, but that perfectly blue sky is the same. Today, I walked outside to look up at those clear skies, blissfully unaware, in those early morning moments, of the date. Twenty years ago, it was a phone call letting me know about a terrible accident that started my day. Seventeen minutes later it was clear that the truth was much more terrifying as our world was changed forever. A sea change that would alter the course of lives around the world, with repercussions we still feel ringing down through the years. I was about to walk back inside, when a plane flew over far above. That’s not unusual, but seeing those contrails in stark contrast, I remembered that day, when there were no airplanes in the sky and I remembered how we felt; then I went inside to make breakfast. So, with a look back, before going on with your day, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Breakfast Martini.

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Corpse Reviver #2

Old habits die hard. They just keep coming back, no matter how hard you try to leave them in the past. It’s not like I don’t know better. I have been there before, done that, got the t-shirt and other scars to prove it. I know the score, but like Pacino says, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!” To be fair, I am at least partly to blame. I was feeling tired, kinda down, so when I piled up on the sofa and hit Netflix, I was already in a less than ideal state. I guess that is why , when I saw the “new episodes” tag, I clicked on it and, in spite of knowing better, and began watching the most recent season of The Walking Dead. So, with a nod to giving in to guilty pleasures, even when you know better, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Corpse Reviver #2.

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Summer Negroni

I stepped out on the porch this sultry morning to a cacophonous chorus of cicadas announcing their much vaunted, but overdue, arrival this Summer. Their grating cries were welcome in their own way, since I had casually planned on mowing the lawn this afternoon. It has been exceptionally humid this week, but the moisture has stayed in the air so the ground is dry and the grass doesn’t really need the trim I had planned. No matter, our lately molted insect white noise generators tend to make mowing impractical if not impossible. They home in on any competing monotonous drone with a ferocity and fearlessness seldom seen in these parts. Yard work, postponed, I will have to find something else to pass the time in the oppressive heat. So, with a nod toward avoiding work on a lazy afternoon won’t you join me as we stand and make, something cool and refreshing the Summer Negroni.

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