It is winter. Not the picture postcard, Currier & Ives variety, but the honest to goodness, dark, dreary snow on top of the mud, howling wind and early darkness kind. A time of year that makes you want to stay indoors. A time for quiet reflection by the fire, which often leads to thoughts of mortality. Somehow, that specter seems a little closer when the winds blow outside, icy fingers reaching through the cracks and all. Those of you who live in modern houses may not get that, but in our old farmhouse, you can always feel a bit of a draft when the cold winds blow. So, we are making a hot cocktail to try to warm things up a bit, even if the mood is darker than usual. Won’t you please join me now as we stand and make, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.
Here we are on Christmas Eve with the penultimate drink on our list for this penultimate day of the Christmas season. I am pretty sure that the only reason people ever work through lists like this is for the opportunity to use penultimate correctly and I am contractual obligated to do so. I hope you will forgive the repetitiveness. I have a lot rituals that go with this day, most of which did not quite work out in Covid world. It is kind of hard to do some good for random strangers while actively avoiding contact with people as much as possible, but we were able to do some good and now it is time to relax and reflect a bit. So in that spirit, please join me for this eleventh of The 12 Drinks of Christmas. Sing along at home, if you like, because, “For the eleventh drink of Christmas, Uncle Monkey made for me, the Horwich Hall”.
Like it or not, we are all products of our environment. A big part of that comes from family. As I sip this drink from my mom’s China, I am reminded of all the things handed down from previous generations. The good and the bad, our strengths and our weaknesses all start at home. We carry them with us and, if we are not careful, we pass them along to the next generation. So with an eye to the future, please join me now as we stand and make, the Mad Hatter.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a monkey in possession of a fine teacup must be in want of a drink. Pretty sure Jane Austen said something like that in one of her early drafts. Mommy Dearest suggested I use one of these prewar beauties for another chapter in our saga of teacup cocktails and what could a loving son do but oblige her. So please, join me now as we stand and make the Earl Grey MarTeani.
I told ya’ll that teacup cocktails were going to be thing and here we are again. My mom is into fine china and crystal and dainty things that are easily crushed by huge monkey hands, so I am lucky enough to have access to the spoils of a lifetime of collecting and estate sales. One of the things I have always admired about mom’s approach to life is that things are meant to be used, not just looked at and dusted. Even with her encouragement, I am often more than a little nervous when using a bone china teacup I can nearly see through or, in this case, one encrusted in 24K gold. Still, I have wanted to make a drink in one of these cups for quite a while, and when I watched the folks from Dux Gins & Cocktails Borne make this one, I knew the time had come. So join me as we stand and make, the Earl Grey, Not.
A couple of weeks ago, I shared a drink called the Army & Navy, that I shamelessly stole from my buddy @bitterbotwin on instagram. It is a super lovely drink and I encourage you all to make it. It reminded me of a wonderfully refreshing coconut lemonade with a kick, and I like that. The more I thought about it and the more of them I enjoyed, the more I wanted to experiment with this drink. Laura was super supportive, because she loved the original and every time I made a variation, she got to enjoy a “control” drink. I kept playing around with different ideas and this time it paid off. So join me as we stand and make this cheekily named tribute combining land and sea forces, Her Majesty’s Royal Marine.