We all have those moments when we hear that one of our favorite films is being remade. For some of us, it’s absolutely appalling, right? Why try to fix what isn’t broken? For others, it’s an intriguing thought and we can’t wait to see what this new version looks like. And when this new version of the film comes out, those of us who hated the idea won’t go to see it, unless we’re one of those rubbernecker types who can’t pass up a grisly glimpse. The group that is completely excited by the idea might be standing in line on the very night the new version is released. Some remakes absolutely work. I happen to think The Manchurian Candidate with Meryl Streep and Liev Schreiber is outstanding. Others do not, like the multiple Batman films. How many of those are there, exactly? Whether or not a remake works for me often depends on the motivation behind it. Is it being done simply to modernize the film by using the latest special effects technology? Or is it addressing an area that was problematic or lacking in the original that could be solved or enhanced in the new version?
Remakes don’t apply only to films, of course. There are many things that can be updated and redone, often with the same mixed reactions and results. Some people love and embrace change of any kind. Others simply do not, and they will always resist it. What about when we ourselves are what is in need of an update? Can we recognize areas within ourselves that might be problematic or lacking, and will we embrace or resist the idea of changing them? Therapy teaches us that for the most part our behavior falls into patterns, based on experiences that we’ve had at other moments in our lives. If you grew up in a chaotic household where you felt like the only sane one in the bunch, then you may continue to be drawn to chaotic situations as an adult, always hoping to fix them. If your environment was one where there was a stranglehold on emotions, then you may become an adult that has difficulty expressing how you feel. Similarly, if you were raised in a house where emotions were constantly spewing out of control, you yourself may be overly reactive and have difficulty harnessing your own emotions. These are major changes that require intense effort and firm commitments. Some people are willing to make them and others are not. There are more minor indications for change that occur in our lives on a daily basis. One of the most obvious can often be answered by the following question: are you truly happy, or are you just happy enough? What is revealed in your answer to that question can be incredibly eye opening, and can lead to minor adjustments or something that is far more life altering. And it’s never too late; don’t ever let anyone tell you that. So yes, I am an advocate for considering the possibility of the remake, the update, the redo, especially if the reasons for it are valid ones. I believe we’re always capable of reinventing who we are.
When it comes to updating cocktails, I like to consider two things. The first involves new ingredients that we can introduce to a classic cocktail to make it into something that has a modern spin on it, without totally obliterating the original idea for the drink. The second thing for me is whether or not we need to address what might be an issue or problem with the original drink. Was it too sweet, or too boozy, or out of balance? Those things can easily be corrected, and while the cocktail’s basic personality will remain the same, it will be even more enjoyable once these issues are addressed. This weekend I’m participating in an Instagram campaign called Cocktail Redux brought to us by Steve @boxesandboooze with the assistance of Mike @mmydrinks. Both these guys and their Instagram accounts are fabulous, as are all the other cocktail Instagrammers that are participating. You can see everyone’s posts by searching for the hashtag #cocktailredux. My contribution includes a gentle remake of The Blue Hawaiian, that addresses what I consider to be the original’s main problem: too much sweetness. Other than that, I think the cocktail is a fun poolside drink with an almost seafoam green color that makes you think of tropical beaches. For starters, I used Petty’s Island rum from Cooper River Distillers which imparts an earthy quality to the drink because of its unique flavor that is so reminiscent of tequila. I then focused on the pineapple portion of the drink by reducing the pineapple juice to a third of its original measure, and using a pineapple shrub and pineapple coconut water to make up the other two thirds. I also reduced the cream of coconut to a half ounce as opposed to the full ounce portion in many recipes. The end result was a cocktail that kept the fun and tropical personality of the original, but had an earthier element from the rum, a distinct tang from the shrub and the coconut water, and far less thump you over the head sweetness.
The Blue Hawaiian
2 oz Petty’s Island rum from Cooper River Distillers
1 oz Giffard Blue Curaçao
1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
1 oz Element [Shrub] pineapple turmeric shrub
1 oz Coco Libre pineapple coconut water
1/2 oz coconut cream
Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake for 20 seconds or so until very cold. Strain into a hurricane or pilsner glass over crushed ice. Garnish with two fresh pineapple chunks and a maraschino cherry. Dream about the tropics. Cheers and Happy Friday!