Monday, February 16, 2009
Mixology Monday- Hard Drinks for Hard Times- Beer and a Shot
This month's Mixology Monday is hosted by Matthew Rowley , who chose the theme of "Hard Drinks for Hard Times". I couldn't imagine that the American economy would tank like it has, or that we would roll back 30 years of progress in the name of "stimulus", but thanks to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid I think we might be screwed. We're nationalizing banking, there is talk of new WPA programs, and welfare reform, well, thats dead and gone. Being a capitalist with strong libertarian leanings, you could say that its dark days right now for me. If anyone needs a drink, its me every time I hear Chris Dodd open his mouth or watch the Republicans crumble and give up their core beliefs. Am I the only person that believes that government, the same people who brought you the department of motor vehicles and the IRS, is not our savior? Am I the only free market capitalist left? The old adage that "Everyone is a capitalist on the way up and a socialist on the way down" seems to be ringing true. I need a drink.
Timothy Leary talked about "set and setting" being important in his experiments with LSD. For this month's Mixology Monday, I think set and setting are vitally important to exploring this theme fully. As it is, you can readily gauge my state of mind, or "set", about the state of our nation from some of my comments above. Next, "setting" becomes important. Beers and shots hardly have the connotation of hard times if, for instance, you are knocking them down at Le Bernardin. In fact, for this exercise, only one type of watering hole is appropriate, a blues bar.
My favorite blues bar in the world is a little hole in the wall in Sacramento, California. Known from "Maine to Spain", the world famous Torch Club is a Sacramento institution. A hangout for politicians, boxers, ne'er do wells, musicians and bikers, the Torch is the kind of place that you go after a hard day to get a shot of whiskey served in a dirty glass and a beer back. I've spent many nights in the old Torch, one of my old mentors, Moose Morante was a legendary bartender there. You can always count on two things at the Torch, a good stiff drink and a great band. There is no better place in the world to be when you are down on your luck and times are tough.
Unfortunately, I don't live within driving distance of the Torch, so I had to make do. I had a tall boy of Miller High Life in the fridge, in better times it would be referred to as "cooking beer" in our house. The champagne of beers rarely makes it down my throat, but for this evening, I thought it was appropriate. Next up, unfortunately without the dirty glass, is a shot of vanilla infused Jack Daniel's. Why JD? Well, its the best selling spirit in the State of Oregon, and I got it for free. Why vanilla infused? Because I got a deal on vanilla beans from a spice shop that just closed down in this economy and I was looking to smooth the JD out a bit. The vanilla actually really works well with the whiskey, just rounding it out and providing a bit of vanilla on the back of the palate. It matches nicely with the cold High Life, enough so that for at least a few minutes, I'm not completely depressed about the state of our nation.
It might not solve my problems, but for a few minutes at least, a beer and a shot is exactly what I need during hard times.