Sometimes you get lucky and things just fall in to place. That happened to us last week as we made a quick stop on the road home from Atlanta for lunch and some cocktails to go. We got a great meal, some local ciders to bring home, a drink for later and I scored an ingredient I needed for this drink and a few others. So, in the spirit of things working out, won’t you please join me as we stand and make The Brooklyn.
It was foggy and overcast as I stood on the porch, my breakfast tea in one hand, toasted soda bread the boy had made, slathered with Kerrygold butter in the other. I was reminded of another morning, nearly twenty years ago in County Cork, drinking tea, eating warm brown bread, watching a boat floating in the lough across the lawn. A boat without a passenger, in the middle of the water. I never wondered how it got there, why it was there or what it meant. Funny how that happens. I took a picture and it wasn’t till years later that it occurred to me that a pilotless boat in the middle of a lake is unusual. That image has stuck with me and on mornings when the mist comes in close, I often wonder what happened to that boat and the person who loved it. Just another mystery without an answer or even a proper question. So, in that spirit, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Irish Cocktail.
I haven’t been properly drunk in a while. Which is a shame. I should be drunk or otherwise lubricated to write this missive, but I am not and I am not inclined to fix that. It’s gonna make it hard to really dig into the stream of way too conscious ramblings, but I going to try, for America and other interested parties. Though I make a drink everyday to share, I rarely drink it all. The wife and I split it and go on with our evening. Proper drinking is a thing to be done in crowds, shared with friends, even if you just met them. In this year without contact, I just haven’t had much impetus to drink more than a couple of sips at a time. I need for people to come along, for me to really enjoy the ride. And today is all about the ride, so I need to be out there looking for the edge, but I am doing it sober and it is hard to get there on your own, well, hard to get there on your own without a handful of pills or other chemical assistance. The thing is, I never really liked drugs. Maybe I just did the wrong ones. If I’d have had some sort of shaman or spirit guide to lead me along that particular path of enlightenment, may be I would feel differently. But I didn’t, so I don’t. Sure I experimented with the light stuff, but I never found a really good fit, so, beyond social stuff other people offered, I left them alone and never got to experience the truly mind-altering things. Drinking was different, that one was easy for me. It was accessible and I am open minded. It worked for both of us. But you don’t really get those mind and consciousness expanding revelations from a bottle. You get a penchant for story telling, laughing too loudly and embarrassing your more sedate friends with your antics, but if there are any true and deep lessons to be learned they mostly get lost somewhere between the hangover and that first cup of coffee. So, in the spirt of a certain laissez-faire attitude toward the truth and self aggrandizement, let us gather at the river as we stand and make the Gonzo.
It is about more than giving and getting presents or spending time with the one’s we love. It is about more than street corner Santa’s or the spirit of charity in the air. In many ways, for me, it is about the smallest things. A single lit tree in the yard of the same house I have driven by for the last twenty years. That tree was decorated by someone I have never met, in front of a house I have never visited, but it always makes me smile the first time I drive by and see the lights are there once again. How many of the things we love, those signs of the season that mean it is Christmas, are done each year by strangers? How many of our own decorations or rituals signal that same thing to people we have never met? Like Clarence said, each of us affects so many others, without ever realizing it. It gives one pause. So in that spirit, please join me for the fourth of The 12 Drinks of Christmas. Sing along at home, if you like, because, “For the fourth drink of Christmas, Uncle Monkey made for me, a Peruvian Christmas”.
We walked up a mountain today, and back down again, just for kicks. It wasn’t a huge mountain, but the trip still put about 9 1/2 miles on the boots today and this old chassis is in need of an oil change and some lubrication. So please join me now as we stand, well, lean and make The Last Menta.
Welcome to day two of the Thirteen Drinks of Halloween. Yesterday we explored taking a basic drink, changing an ingredient and giving it a new spooky name. We also frowned upon that, because we are judgmental. Today we are going a different route, taking a drink that has a slightly spooky name and presenting it in the spirit of the season. Please join me now as we stand and make, the classic Blood and Sand.
It’s rainy and yucky and full of ennui today with more of the same in the forecast, but that is no reason to not have a drink. It does make choosing a little more challenging. Part of me wants to go tropical or tiki, part of me wants to do something scotch heavy and autumnal and part of me wants to skip the whole thing and curl up with a good book. However, duty calls, so I am going for a riff on an old friend adapted for a dreary fall day. Won’t you please join me now as we stand and make, The Final Ward.