Friday Musings: A Tale of Two Whiskies
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…” This is the line that begins Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities and, unfortunately, it perfectly describes the way many people are feeling as they consider their future after Tuesday’s election. While it remains true that we have very little choice here but to move on and unify as a country, I’m of the mindset that we will all need some time to personally grieve a considerable loss. We’ve spent the last 8 years under the leadership of a man who possessed great vision and who conducted himself with tremendous grace and integrity. Those of us who have been working all along to create homes that are full of tolerance and acceptance, so that our children would grow up without bigotry or prejudice, found an ally and an example in the highest office in the land. We saw the Supreme Court legalize gay marriage and watched the first woman become a presidential candidate, two events that not very long ago were considered highly unlikely, if not impossible. We believed that our hearts and minds were expanding, and we allowed ourselves to consider the idea that we were finally becoming incapable of feeling hatred for a fellow human being. We were moving towards equality, even if we still had a long way to go. We were living under an umbrella of hope. And now, especially in light of what has happened in just the past two days, we are fearful of the possibility that we may move backwards again, that we may lose ground, and that all of our hard work may come undone. We face what could be a considerable fight ahead to maintain the progress we’ve made, to keep ourselves open and accepting, and to never allow hatred to find it’s way back into our words, our actions, or our hearts. So take the time you need to grieve. And then get ready to fight to hold onto the world that you believe in right now, the world that you know we’re capable of creating. Hold it close and hold it tight. Refuse to let it be taken from you.
I’d really like to end this post here because a cocktail recipe seems incredibly trivial after all that, but this is a cocktail blog and that’s what I’m supposed to be writing about. For today’s drink I chose something from a bar/nightclub in New York called EVR that has since closed. The reason why I chose this particular recipe is because it brings in a number of rather different ingredients that work together, but still remain assertive in their own surprising way. Jameson’s Irish whiskey and Laphroaig 10-year-old Scotch form the basis of the drink, with just a bit of Pimm’s No. 1 added in. Lime juice and agave nectar are combined together to make a sour mix and there’s a healthy amount of bitters thrown in as well. The recipe called for aromatic bitters, but I chose to go with DRAM black bitters because they have a darker, more complex flavor that I thought would work particularly well with the Scotch. The name was listed as EVR’s Whiskey Sour, but I thought we could do better than that. Let’s hope that we can all find a peaceful union again just like the different elements in this cocktail, without relinquishing the ideas of love, fairness, and equality we’ve come to embrace and expect over the last 8 years.
A Tale of Two Whiskies (adapted from EVR’s Whiskey Sour)
For the Agave Sour Mix:
2 ounces fresh juice from about 2 limes
1 ounce agave nectar
For the cocktail:
1 1/2 ounces Jameson Irish whiskey
1/2 ounce Laphroaig single malt Scotch
1/4 ounce Pimm’s
1 ounce Agave Sour mix
3 dashes DRAM black bitters or any other aromatic bitters
Garnish: orange twist
Mix the lime juice and the agave nectar together to make the sour mix. Place all the other ingredients (including 1 oz of the sour mix ) in the bottom of a metal shaking tin. Add your 1 large cube and 2 small (or regular ice if you don’t have the larger format cubes) and shake for 15-20 seconds or until cold. Double strain using a Hawthorne strainer and a mesh strainer into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist. Enjoy.
Have a good weekend everyone.