If 2020 has taught us anything, it is to roll with the punches and appreciate the things you have. I had planned a different drink for this evening, a complicated punch from the 18th century that is honestly too troublesome to attempt, but I wanted to go over the top. Things fell through and rather than being upset, I just went with an alternate and that is just fine. It’s kind of like this year, things turned out differently than I had hoped, but it’s gonna be alright, eventually. So in that spirit, please join me for this ninth of The 12 Drinks of Christmas. Sing along at home, if you like, because, “For the ninth drink of Christmas, Uncle Monkey made for me, a Holiday Margarita”.
We are properly into the holiday season now, with people from many faiths and no faith at all celebrating this special time of year. We move together through this unusual season, which doesn’t look like anything we have seen before. Visiting with family and friends virtually instead of in person, ordering gifts for delivery, it is a strange time indeed. While we may not be in the same room, we can be joined in spirit, celebrating those ties that bind, helping us make it through these unprecedented times, knowing that some day soon we will be together again. So in that spirit, please join me for The 12 Drinks of Christmas. Sing along at home, if you like, because, “For the first drink of Christmas, Uncle Monkey made for me, Clyde Common Egg Nog.”
We haven’t done a brunch drink in a while. To be fair, we haven’t done brunch in a while, but I felt like a bit of pre lunch day drinking, so here we are. I love the whole concept of brunch. You get to sleep in and then enjoy an extra decadent meal complete with drinks. Well, drinks from the approved list. You can’t have a martini or an old-fashioned without raising eyebrows, but a Mimosa or Gordon’s Breakfast Cup or Bellini or French 75? You can have five of those and no one will care. So, let’s add one to our approved brunch drink list as we stand and make the Mexican Breakfast Stout.
Trick or treating in the 70′ and 80’s we were always warned about the dangers of razor blades in apples. I am not sure why, even if there were razor blades in them, who was going to eat an apple on Halloween anyway? Apples got tossed into the pile with those weird homemade popcorn balls and that house was put on the “skip it” list. Now, razors in Reese’s, that would have been a thing. We would have had to eat around the razors, cause no one is tossing a Reese’s. Speaking of those delectable cups of chocolate enrobed salty peanut butter, who the hell is Reese? I only ask because that apostrophe “s” on the end, looks a lot like one of those possession implying ones. I just hope they don’t come looking for their cups. While we ponder that, let’s explore a different type of troublesome fruit, as we stand and make The Poisoned Apple.
“The first thing you need to understand” he said, “is that no one really understands how inspiration works.” Those were the words he used, but what did he really think? He looked at the drink, saw the name, saw the adult Icee consistency, saw that bottle of Underberg and he knew what had inspired him to make this drink. He knew that he had just lied to them and he knew he was going to get caught. He had to come clean, but how? Eyes downcast, he took a deep breath, “I have something I have to tell you…” his voice trailed off. There was an awkward pause, before he carried on with renewed vigor, “but, first won’t you join me as we stand and make the Ice-Berg.”
It is Saturday again, which means yet another farmer’s market inspired cocktail. It seems like a good day for everyone to just step back, maybe take a breather and prepare to reap any whirlwinds you choose to sow during “these unprecedented times”. So crank up your diffusers and pop some essential oils behind your ears as we stand and make the Eau de Lavender.
The world used to be a bigger place. There were lots of corners to hide in. Remember the days of regional delicacies? Stuff you could only get if you went to a particular area or place. Hatch Green Chiles in New Mexico, cheese curds in Wisconsin, scrapple in Pennsylvania or Jersey’s Taylor Ham. You could live a couple of hours away and have never heard of a loose burger, fry bread or chislic. I kind of miss those days of culinary exploration, even when it wasn’t remotely fancy. Twenty years ago, we always stopped at Culver’s when we were in Wisconsin, Five Guys when near DC or Jack in the Box in L.A. Today, we can visit any of those within a mile of each other in Franklin, Tennessee. We have more choices, but as these local flavors expand across the country, even in these standardized ways, we are getting a bit more homogenized, a bit more boring. So, in honor of a shrinking world, please join me now as we stand and make my version of a Texas classic, Smoke on the Ranch Water
It’s Saturday, so we’ve been to the farmers market and we have new goodies. I never know what I am going to make but Saturday’s make it easy, we are drinking whatever the fresh ingredients dictate. Today, we stocked up on purple Cherokee tomatoes to have in bacon sandwiches with fresh sourdough bread and some corn to make elote, which you will see in a drink soon. We also found some wonderful cucumbers for today’s drink. Won’t you join me now as we stand and make Horn of the Bulls.
Orwell said, “Who controls the past, controls the future, who controls the present controls the past.” With that in mind, I would like to remind you that Big Monkey is love and we have always been at war with Eurasia. Here at the Ministry of Truth we work hard everyday to make sure that you know only the best history, fresh off the press. Some of you may recall that we made this drink last week. This is simply not true. Any reference to this occurrence was malquoted. A quick search of the historical record will reveal that you have misremembered the facts. So, please join me now as we stand and make, for the first time ever, the Switchblade.
It’s always good to take a moment to look around and appreciate how good things are, even when they are not so great. I try to be mindful of that, especially when a day is frustrating or I’m feeling down and missing friends during these “unprecedented times”. Truth is, it’s not always easy, but it helps. So let’s have a drink and dig into our reflections. Won’t you join me now as we stand and make a Tequila Gimlet.