Cocktails: Part One — Recipes

18. July 2011 here now 0

I welcome the return of classic cocktail, and I enjoy recreations of the bartending culture we destroyed with Prohibition. But I am not a purist. I see no reason not to improvise, infuse, muddle. It’s not a living art if no one is experimenting.

Memory is in your nose. Escape is in your tongue. Societies throughout time have needed substances to provide numbing agents and release valves. If you are lucky enough to have dodged addiction thus far, then why not pour three or four ounces of reprieve into a chilled glass?

My day started out poorly, with dark thoughts. So, to help me through, I would like to imagine pouring you, dear friend, one of the following:

The Mulholland Drive:
–jacaranda-infused whiskey
–fresh grapefruit slices
–mesquite foam
–candied bacon swizzle

The Silver Lake:
–Pabst blue ribbon
–ginger beer
–a tiny inner-tube carrying a Fresno chile

The Echo Park:
–Pabst blue ribbon
–fresh-squeezed ginger
–a tiny bounce-castle perched on the side of a special edition souvenir glass tagged with “AVENUES.”

The Writer’s Block:
–muddled, bitter grapes
–Death’s Door Gin
La Fée Verte Absinthe
–squid ink
–candied four-leaf clovers

The Louis the XIV:
–Jagermeister
–gold-flecked whip cream
–a silver hummingbird egg, dropped from gossamer threads hanging from the legs of four cabbage butterflies

The Endangered Species:
–extract of giant bamboo
–yellow chartreuse
–Manaus açaï
–original New York City subway tokens frozen in ice cubes

The Real Disco Nap:
–5-hour Energy Drink
–home-made sasparilla syrup and soda water
–epinephrine
–coffee-flavor rock candy

The Rolling Mid-life Crisis:
–single village Del Maguey triple-distilled Pechuga mezcal
–cheap-ass vodka that’s been in the freezer since college
–vanilla bean
–fresh juiced tangerine and buddha’s hand
–a triple-decker two-foot-long crazy straw
–tapioca pearls

We can put our feet in the kiddie pool and look out at the glow of the Scientology sign, in my backyard. I’ll start taking orders after five pm. Because drinking before five is just uncivilized.


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