So I am going to visit two of my great aunts tomorrow; they live in Quebec (like most of my family) and are coming out to visit their sister, my Nana. One of my favourite memories of my great-Aunt Corrine dates back to when I was nineteen years old and she came out to visit. I was so proud that I could drink back then, I offered to mix her favourite drink: the Caesar. I mixed it up exactly the way I had learned, and delivered it with panache. She took one sip, then turned and said, "Oh no. Let me show you how to make this." And then poured the vodka RIGHT INTO THE GLASS. Eyeballing it to about 1/4 full. Then adding about five times as much Worcestershire sauce as I had, then gently floating a little Clamato on top. "THAT," she said, "is how you make a Caesar." I have never forgotten.
When the duties were being given out for dinner tomorrow - who was bringing what - I was told to make up some kind of delicious beverage for everyone to try. I am, for those of you who don't know, enamoured with the art of the cocktail. Not in a "let's get everyone drunk before dinner" way, but in a nostalgic kind of way. I like the idea of having a party where I as the host can say, "What would everyone like to drink?" and being bombarded with a half-dozen different suggestions: a Rob Roy, a Gibsons, two Martinis, an Americano, and so on. My Nana sometimes tells me about the parties she would host, and the alcohol seemed to flow like water, and sure, some people would get sauced, but others just had their favourite drinks. I like the idea of any guest of mine being able to have "the regular," whether that be iced tea, a gin & tonic, or a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster, and am trying to do my best to keep that weird tradition alive.
So my mother suggested I come up with something interesting, involving rum, as it is one of my great-Aunts' favourites. And after about five minutes, I came up with the following:
1/2 oz. Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey
1/2 oz. vodka (Absolut is what I have on hand)
1/2 oz. spiced rum
1/2 oz. lime juice
2 drops Angostura bitters
Shake whiskey, rum, vodka, lime juice, and bitters together with ice. Pour into an old-fashioned glass with ice, and top with the cola.
I call it the Cuban Missile Crisis. I tried a couple of versions tonight before settling on this version, and I rather enjoy it. Hopefully a couple of people like it, too.