Posted by: clearspaces60 | June 24, 2016

Shaken, Not Stirred

It’s Friday and 5 O’clock Somewhere

“I want pure clear alcohol”.  I met some friends at a bar after work one Friday. I needed a new drink, Rum and Coke wasn’t going to cut it. My day had been horrible. I had been advised/counseled/threatened that although I was dealing with a painful worker’s comp injury, I had better have a smile on my face, be more feminine-my 80’s pastel suits weren’t enough?? AND I had better compliment our female CEO on her clothing or jewelry to stay in her good graces.  Are you serious? Yes, said my boss, the male CFO.  Are your balls in her purse?  (Turns out they were, they had an affair that ended pretty badly for him, another story for another day.)

I was all of 29 at this point in my life, and the friends were older men of 33 or 34, well versed in pure clear alcohol. They ran through a list of choices, gin, vodka, whiskey, scotch, tequila.  Hmm, my best friend Jayne’s dad served us vodka tonics when we turned 18, heavy on the tonic but still good.  Vodka was chosen, then how did I want it, did I like olives, pearl onions, lemon, lime.  Olives sounded good, a little food with my drink.  The dry martini on the rocks was selected.  Why on the rocks?  I honestly don’t remember.  These were the kind of guys that looked out for me, maybe they thought the more ice the better. It was magnificent, I sipped away and felt like a real adult.  Well the boys were right, it has been my favorite cocktail ever since.

Last week we celebrated a friend’s birthday, two couples having dinner.  We ordered cocktails and the bartender must have been new or confused.  My vodka martini was cloudy, not clear, and tasted of cucumber or something close to it.  We all tasted it to see if it was “me” or the drink.  Looking at the opaque mixture, we all started talking about the different drinks we used to enjoy regularly and in greater volume.  Long Island Ice Tea, Rum and Coke, Sloe Gin, Harvey Wallbangers and on we went.  Looking at the drinks we were ordering now in our 50’s and 60’s, martinis, gimlets, alcohol of your choice on the rocks, it occurred to me that we had moved from sugary, sometimes messy combinations to something more clear and straight forward.  It was pretty obvious if your order was incorrect, yet there was still a little fun in making sure, and there was a clarity and simplification in our consumption.  Maybe we really are grown-ups.

P.S. Do not look up the history of the word “cocktail”, I am still trying to erase it from my brain.



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