As you all know, I have a new granddaughter who is just one-month-old as of yesterday, and she has brought such a particular sense of joy into my life. It continues to amaze me that there is a new little person in the world who is connected to me in such a profound way. That joy doubles for me because I have a son and daughter-in-law who have shared her with me so willingly, right from the experience of her birth, and I already feel as though we have something special going on between us. Everyone said being grandmother would change me in a very deep and meaningful way, and they were absolutely correct. We all have days that are frustrating or momentarily sad, and I am certainly no exception, but holding this baby in my arms makes everything immediately better. The added bonus is getting to watch two of my very favorite people in the world become parents, and quite wonderful ones at that.
All that being said, Nora is not exactly what you’d call a peaceful child. She has her moments, but there just aren’t very many of them. Thankfully, a good number of those moments occur between 12 and 6 am, so at least everyone has the chance to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to face the new day. She also loves her bath, which I get to give her everyday, and we have long wonderful moments of serious eye contact. Well, that’s not quite true. She has developed a bit of an obsession with a pink shower poof that hangs off to her right. They have long moments of serious eye contact. Their relationship is so intense that we’ve named him Pinky and I’m quite certain that he is her first real friend. Once she’s out of that bath, however, the complaining begins. Her arms get going like angry little windmills, her feet start kicking and pushing, and before long the wailing starts. I can’t even say that it starts gradually, because it really doesn’t. There are a few little whimpers, but then before you know it, your ears are being subject to a spectacular full-volume assault. I bounce her, I sing to her (that might be part of the problem), and I talk to her softly. “Tell grandmom what’s wrong,” I say. “Tell me all about the terrible awfuls that have happened to you today.” And she tells me, as loudly and emphatically as she possibly can. There comes that moment when I have to leave and I’m ready to hand her over, and this is where the real joy happens for me. You see, I had a baby like Nora once, who gave us not a moment’s rest, even at night when I’d often enlist my mom’s help with walking him and bouncing him at 2 or 3 am because we couldn’t take another minute of it. I admit that I might have wished ever so slightly that said baby of mine would get just a glimpse of what life with him was like. And so I hand her over and I smile.
Today’s cocktail had to be something dark and spicy with a real kick to it. This gave me the perfect opportunity to use Cooper River Distiller’s rye whiskey as my base spirit, and to complement its sweet spiciness with the bitter herbaceousness of Suze, the heat of Ancho Reyes chili liqueur, and the tang of Element [Shrub] pineapple turmeric. These flavors combined together perfectly to give me just the cocktail I was looking for: something warm and complex, and just a little bit sweet.
Kicking and Screaming
Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until very cold. Strain into an old-fashioned glass over 1 large cube. Garnish with a sprig of your favorite herb. I used lemon verbena. Enjoy!