The Stanley Cocktail

This is gonna be one of those babbling brook o'consciousness posts I write from time to time, lending special credence to the word "babbling."

Sean and I made this cocktail a couple weeks ago -- before my Moms swooped into town for a week-long six-day (she'll correct me in an e-mail if I don't do it now) stay. Why don't I cocktail *more* when hosting family? God knows I need it badly-er during such times. Oh, right. I'm up the spout. Good thing that I don't forget that too often.

Anyway, my home office is also our guest room, so when we've got folks staying here I basically don't write, don't work, don't check e-mails, and generally grow more and more discomboobulated and unmoored from real life. Which is probably why I sound the way I sound right now. Me no typie so good when brain cloudy with word farts what is thesaurus?

So, the Stanley! Why did we make the Stanley? We made the Stanley because we had lemon juice about to turn in our fridge and because after many sadistic false starts, Mother Nature has finally gotten her big, compostable ass into gear up here and delivered a proper Montreal spring. (I am the last person who should be making fun of other women's fat asses at this point in my life/pregnancy, but she is not a real person so she can suck it.) The Stanley, rather audaciously, combines gin and rum, two liquors that a) you rarely see mixed, yet b) speak to the same joyous thermometer creep that ought to be celebrated with a proper cocktail, preferably including them. Grenadine and lemon juice take away from that audacity, make it more like the Banality of Cherry Coke than the Audacity of Hope (the Audacity of Hooch?) but we decided to give the Stanley a go all the same.

We got the Stanley from our trusty-dusty Old Mr. Boston Official Bartenders Guide. Sometimes this book -- as much as I insist upon treating it with reverence, for it is really old and its starchy pages smell wonderfully like pickled dust -- is like a big clusterwuh? Like when it gives you a girly-ass drink called the Stanley. Who invented this shit, or at least named it that? It is very pretty, though. In fact, I bet if I just keep looking at those pics above my head fog will lift before long...

Every time I say "the Stanley" in my head, I picture two things in quick succession. One, Mrs. Roper. Two, Pretzel Day.

I like Pretzel Day...

The Stanley Cocktail

(as per the Old Mr. Boston Official Bartenders Guide)

1 ounce Bombay Dry Gin

1 ounce Bacardi

1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 ounce grenadine

Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into chilled cocktail or coupe glass.

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The Apparent Cocktail

Let me see if I can explain to you what I've done so far today. I woke up at what I consider an ungodly hour, cooked breakfast for others and then didn't bother to cook any for myself. I took the subway downtown -- I much prefer using the Bixi bikes, but the people who were my ward today don't ride bikes. Then I felt like I was dragged around walked around various (underground) malls looking at  various gewgaws and having near-arguments; in one memorable instance, I had to insist to one of my charges that yes, this is the hat you had on when you left the house this morning.

At 10:50 a.m. (also an ungodly hour, I barely believe in showing my face in public for any reason at that time of day) these annoying twits wanted lunch. By 12:40 p.m., they decided it was snack time. We came back to my place at 2:30 p.m. to take naps. Their naps didn't last as long as I wanted mine to, which means mine didn't last as long as I wanted mine to. Since then, I've been showing people how to use the phone or admonishing them not to touch this or that.

Why even think about having kids someday? Just babysit your in-from-out-of-town septuagenarian parents all day long!

I. NEED. A. DRINK. What's funny about today's drink being the Apparent Cocktail is... well, there are a few things, and my brain's too running-on-fumes to sort them out in a writerly fashion, so please bear with the following list of bullet points:

* It is more than Apparent that I need a drink.

* The recipe for this cocktail comes from my Old Mr. Boston Official Bartenders Guide,which, like my dad, has been in existence since 1935.

* The Apparent Cocktail reads like a desperation potion, something you slosh together into a McDonald's keepsake cup, should that be all you have on hand. Which I would totally do this afternoon if that's what it came to. However, in actuality the drink is sort of curiously elegant, light-bodied but flavorful start to finish. It tastes to me like what I imagine a pre-war digestif might taste like.

* Please have one for me today.

* Also, note to self: I have to investigate some of these Apparent (get it?) cocktail names from Mr. Boston. Some of them are quite weird, like this one Apparently is.

The Apparent Cocktail

(Adapted from the Old Mr. Boston Official Bartenders Guide)

1 1/4 ounces Bombay Dry gin

1 1/4 ounces creme de cacao (white)

Splash of Arak

2 roasted coffee beans, to garnish

Combine liquid ingredients in an ice-filled mixing glass. Mix briskly and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Drop in the coffee beans (they'll float).

Tasting Notes

The Old Mr. Boston book basically describes this drink as equal parts gin and white creme de cacao; I just decided on 1 1/4 because that's a jigger measurement I most prefer.

The recipe actually calls for a splash of absinthe; to my surprise when I made this drink over the weekend, we didn't have any in the house, so we figured something in the ouzo/arak/anise-flavored family would suffice and I did quite like it as we made it. Sambuca could even work in a pinch, though then I'd recommend shaking the drink since Sambuca's more viscous than these other liquids.

Now my mom's complaining that it's 5:20 p.m. and dinner isn't ready. I have to go.

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