Music and Cocktails: A Totally Amazing Mind
We all have songs that play in our minds like some sort of a soundtrack for our lives. We’ve included them on so many of our playlists that people actually begin to roll their eyes when they hear them. “This one again?” they ask, but we don’t care, we keep playing it for them anyway. I’d venture a guess that if you ask any one of my kids about some of the top songs on my life’s soundtrack, they’d tell you “Dreams” by The Cranberries was one of them for sure. Originally released in 1992, and then re-released in 1994, “Dreams” is an incredibly hopeful song about finding the kind of love that you’d never thought you’d find. It was second single from the Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? album, written by Dolores O’Riordan and Noel Hogan when they were just 20 years old. O’Riordan, whose voice was lost to us forever this past January, was very clear on what the song lyrics meant to her, describing it as being “about feeling really in love for the first time.” I can’t give you the exact statistics for the amount of airplay the song got in my house, but I can tell you that commercially it was only a modest success. Yet many people recognize it immediately, and think of it as a song they remember hearing constantly. There’s a reason for that. It was part of a number of movie soundtracks in the 1990s that included Boys on the Side, You’ve Got Mail, and The Baby-Sitters Club, and it also made an appearance on the highly acclaimed TV show My So-Called Life, starring Claire Danes. Because it did tell the story of first real love, it would later provide meaningful backdrop music on additional coming-of-age shows like Beverly Hills 90210, Gossip Girl, and Smallville. Hmmm. It raises the question then as to why a thirty-something mom like me attached so much meaning to this particular song two decades ago, and why its importance has never wavered for me in all this time.
WELL. As you all know, love is one of the things that I write about the most on this blog, and so it’s no wonder that the combination of the steady heartbeat-like sound of “Dreams” and O’Riordan’s gorgeously ethereal voice singing lines like “And now I tell you openly / You have my heart so don’t hurt me / You’re what I couldn’t find / A totally amazing mind / So understanding and so kind / You’re everything to me” would send this hopeless romantic right over the edge. Yet it really doesn’t matter how old we are, love is an emotion that will always speak to our 16-year-old selves. That’s why O’Riordan’s lyrics are so universal. Love is both exhilarating and terrifying, especially if it’s the kind that we’ve never experienced before, and that remains a fact no matter when it happens to us. And the beautiful vulnerability in telling someone “you have my heart, so please don’t hurt me,” is pretty breathtaking, right? I mean, who advises us to do that? We’re all told to play hard to get and not to say “I love you” first, and here’s O’Riordan pouring the exact opposite words right out of her soul and directly into ours. My favorite part of all is that she’s singing about having found a person whose mind is amazing, and who is understanding and kind. Angela Chase may have thought she was the only one looking for those things in Jordan Catalano, but we know better. That’s a quest we’ve all found ourselves on at one point or another, or always. And when the day comes that we realize that we’ve finally found our person and they have those qualities, what better background music could we possibly ask for?
For today’s cocktail, I wanted to create something that was both simple and elegant, with an ethereal look to it. When I think in terms of ingredients that possess those qualities, my mind immediately goes to St. Germain elderflower liqueur and saké. I decided to use Jotu Yuzu saké in this drink because its blend of Meyer lemons, Key limes, and Mandarin oranges would eliminate the need for any additional citrus. The St. Germain is sweet enough to also stand on its own, so there were no simple syrups that would be necessary either. Using Claremont vodka (locally distilled in Fairfield NJ) as my base would keep both flavor profiles intact and would add a creamy texture to the cocktail. In terms of symbolism, citrus fruits often represent the bitterness and disappointment that we find along the path to love, and according to goddesstree.com, “just as the Elder flowers of spring depart as ripe, purple berries in the fall, the significance of what you put into [your dreams] reveals what you might expect [from them].” Indeed… most especially when it comes to dreams about love. Cheers everyone. Happy Wednesday! I’ve included two links to the song at the bottom of this post. Don’t miss the acoustic version from the album Something Else!
A Totally Amazing Mind
1½ oz Claremont vodka
¾ oz Joto Juzu saké
¾ oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur
Add all the ingredients the cocktail drink with ice and shake until very cold. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. This a small drink. Adjust the sizes accordingly if you have larger glass. Enjoy!