I’ve been thinking a lot about love this week. Who hasn’t been? This past Tuesday was Valentine’s Day after all. Whenever I think about love and marriage, I am always reminded of a scene in the movie Shall We Dance? where Susan Sarandon’s character gives a definition of marriage that has always been a game changer for me. She believes that people enter into long term relationships because they need a witness to their lives. When you marry someone you’re saying to them “your life will not go unnoticed, because I will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness.” It’s a beautiful thought, right, and one that is not constrained by any outside conventions. Love is love. And despite the fact that I think it works perfectly as a way to describe marriage, I also think it can pertain to our other relationships as well. For example, we are asked to be a witness for our children, to observe and remember their lives from the first moment they draw breath. We are asked to be a witness for our parents, from when we knew them as young and invincible, up until that moment when we usher them from this life into whatever we believe is next for them. We’re asked to be a witness for our siblings, to say that we’ve shared the experience of growing up together in this house, on this street, with these parents. And we are asked to be a witness for our friends, to say I remember you when, I’ll keep your secrets, I’ll celebrate your joys, I’ll stay in this with you no matter what, without condition, without judgment, without fear. Even in the relationships that go through some sort of transition, like the marriage that dissolves into something different, the friendship that is lost despite your best efforts to hold onto it, the estrangement that can sometimes occur between siblings, or the ultimate loss that we feel when someone dies… even then, what we’ve shared together remains ours to keep. We’ll always be able to say I was your witness, I noticed your life, I knew you, and you knew me… and that is what love is all about.
I was afraid it would be a challenge to come up with a cocktail that relates to all of this, but I had a moment of inspiration. I’d been wanting to use the last of the products that Fabrizia Spirits had sent to me. It was a limoncello cream liqueur and I had the idea of pairing it with Rujero Singani, the spirit that is like a cross between a pisco and a tequila. I wanted to do a variation of a Pisco Sour which is usually made with pisco, lemon or lime juice, simple syrup, and an egg white. I substituted the Rujero, the limoncello cream, a tiny bit less simple syrup, and some half and half. The result was like some glorious match made in heaven. It had all the elements of a Pisco Sour, but was softer and mellower; I didn’t want to stop drinking it, and that’s where I made the connection to today’s post. The original Sour is like a relationship when it’s new: bright and tart and full of promise. Today’s cocktail is like that same relationship after time has passed: it’s warm and it’s comfortable, and we want to hold onto it forever, standing strongly as its witness.
Can I Get a Witness?
2 oz Rujero Singani
¾ oz Fabrizio Limoncello Cream liqueur
½ oz simple syrup
½ oz half and half
Combine all the ingredients in the bottom half of a shaker tin and add your ice. Shake for 20 seconds or until cold. Double strain into a Nick & Nora glass and garnish with 3 blueberries skewered on a cocktail pick. Enjoy!