It’s all about patience. Sometimes it has to be. I get excited about things. I really look forward to them. That is pretty much how I get through life. I always have something coming up, some goal I am working toward. That’s been sort of problematic over the last year. Let’s be honest, this has been problematic on so many different levels for most of my life, but this last year has ben harder. Having nothing on the schedule, no concrete goals I am working toward, nothing to look forward to has left me adrift at times. I end up falling back to my perpetual side quests like, reading books I have had sitting on the shelf for too long, making art and building things or waiting for the basil to get big enough to harvest. So, in the interest of being productive while we are killing time won’t you join me now as we stand and make The Waiting Room.
I have had this one on my list for quite some time, but I figured that being patient and leaving it until I could use fresh basil and tomatoes from the garden was probably the best policy. This cocktail was created by Albert Trummer of Bar Freud in Greenwich Village, which has sadly closed its doors in the last year. He described this one as “almost like anesthesia” which is particularly funny since he made his name in the cocktail world putting together pharmaceutical themed bar programs for Apothéke and Sanatorium. So, let’s see if this drink is just what the doctor ordered.
Grab your tins and pop in 5 cherry tomatoes fresh from the garden. Before you do anything else, muddle those suckers to release all the juices. Keep a hand over your tins as you do or you run the chance of having one of those fruity little suckers explode shooting cherry juice and seeds all over the place, as I did. Once they are well broken up and you feel like you have muddled to your utmost, toss in 4-6 fresh basil leaves, 2 ounces of tequila, I chose Kah Añejo; 1/4 ounce of balsamic vinegar, 3/4 of an ounce of agave syrup and 1 ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice. Add some artisanal ice cubes and shake to the beat of “Patience” by Guns & Roses. When your tins are well chilled and the frost begins to form, double strain into a coupe with some of that pretty pink Himalayan salt on the rim and float a basil leaf in there for garnish.
That is just stupid good. Obviously, this is garden forward, that fresh tomato and basil come right to the forefront, closely tailed by the balsamic vinegar. Imagine a caprese salad in a cocktail. It’s that good. Seriously, I want to put a piece of fresh mozzarella on the side of the glass. So fresh and clean, nicely balanced, simply wonderful. I have it on good authority that the original had a bit of habañero shrub in there, and I can see that, but the recipe they share with the world doesn’t mention it. I’m going to try it that way and maybe throw a stab of black pepper tincture in there as well, just for kicks, but there is nothing in the world wrong with this recipe as it stands.
I am glad I waited til I could do this cocktail with fresh from the farm ingredients and I am excited at how well it turned out. I figure I will play with this one a bunch, since my wife always grows way too many cherry tomatoes for us to use. That said, I am also looking forward to trying this with some different varieties, to see what a Purple Cherokee or a Jersey Devil would do in there. I’m gonna play with some mezcal too, because who doesn’t want more smoky goodness in their drink?
They say that good things come to those who wait and that patience is a virtue. They also say that if you want something you should get out there and make it happen because fortune favors the bold. They are famously inconsistent. I say, don’t worry about what they say. Find some things to look forward to, just to get you through the long nights. It doesn’t have to be anything big, it can be as simple as waiting on the apple harvest so you can have a nice glass of cider. Sure, it’s not a huge thing, but doesn’t it sound good? I can see it now, beads of condensation rolling down the side of that glass, kids laughing in the distance and the smell of a bonfire on the wind. On the scale of a lifetime, that cider is just around the corner. So, hold on, for that glass of cider and Wilson Phillips, better days are coming, I promise. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane my friends.