Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Now I ask you

-- is there anything more perfect than a midafternoon in high summer? Pick any day when the heat, sun, clouds, trees, wind, and water are all at their best. It's like a recipe. The very end of July or early August will do. Add the birds, particularly that cedar waxwing you think you have seen for the first time, and the buzzing insects. Savor.

I suppose you'll want a cocktail. Let us allow American Bar to fall open where it will: and what should appear on page 111 -- I am not making this up -- but "Green Leaves." Mix fresh mint leaves with 3/4 ounce (half a jigger) peppermint syrup in the bottom of a highball glass, and press with a barspoon. Then add a scoop of crushed ice and fill the glass with tonic water.

Note how it's non-alcoholic, or "n/a" as we say in the trade. I'm not sure but what it might taste a bit like fizzy toothpaste. Shall we cross over to page 110 and try a "Grasshopper"? It's simpler, has booze in it, and will taste of cream, chocolate, and mint:

Shake well over ice cubes in a shaker:
1and 1/2 ounces (a jigger) cream
3/4 ounce (half a jigger) white crème de cacao
1/4 ounce (1 and 1/2 tsp.) green crème de menthe
Strain into a sour glass. Savor, again.

And, though it is not my own photograph, this is a cedar waxwing. From a distance they are easily mistaken for female cardinals, but I do believe, even at a distance, I was not mistaken.

Image from Enchanted Oak.

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