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  • Brian Maxwell

Day 6: The Serpent of St. John


Some days this feels like the new normal, and some days we are counting the minutes, hoping this could just be finished and we could go back to our old lives. For me, today is the latter. Welcome back again! It's time for another day and another cocktail. On this sixth day of quarantine, I've been trying to remember happy times involving restaurants, since I miss them so much. I think we all have so many great memories of great meals, whether it's the food itself or perhaps the company we are keeping. One meal in particular stuck out in my mind, because it was, and still is, the best meal of my life.

A few years ago, I was on a holiday in England. The trip was a little bit of work mixed with a little bit of leisure, considering I was also traveling with my former partner's family. We traveled to a few different parts of the countryside, and at the very end, I had cocktail pop-up scheduled in London. We wanted to make the best of this time, so it turned into a bit of a food adventure. We enjoyed pub fare in the smaller villages, seafood on the shore, and we had some fantastic meals in the cities as well. No meal during that trip, or even my lifetime, would be able to compare to that of St. John in London.

I made a reservation for the entire family, and it just so happened, our waiter and I had a mutual friend. A big thank you to the intermingled world of the service industry! We of course had their signature bone marrow, as well as everything else on the menu. It felt as though the courses would never stop. Every single dish would warrant praise in itself, but I can't stop thinking about the smoked eel. I've never tasted anything so buttery and well balanced in my entire life. I actually began laughing out loud because everything tasted so good, I honestly couldn't believe what was happening. I walked away from that dinner with an even further love for what I do, but I also had a memory I would carry with me for the rest of my life from that amazing serpent of St. John.

The Serpent of St. John

1.5oz Pechuga Mezcal (I used Don Mateo de la Sierra)

.75oz Amaro Meletti

.25oz Campari

.5oz Seaweed Syrup

6 drops 10% Saline Solution (or a small pinch of non-iodized salt)

Nick & Nora Glass (or your favorite stemmed cocktail glass)

Stir and strain.

Express and discard lemon peel.

Garnish with single pineapple frond.

Seaweed Syrup

1 quart 1:1 simple syrup

3 sheets of dried seaweed (nori)

Bring the syrup to a boil.

Remove from heat and add nori.

Allow to steep for 15 minutes.

Sometimes, our memories can help us get through the toughest times. I know thinking about this meal really brought a smile to my face today, and I cant tell you how much it was needed. Instead of dwelling on the negativity that's surrounding us right now, I choose to think about happier times. I truly hope those times return to us soon. Have a sip and think about your happy memories, and I'll see you tomorrow. Keep shaking everyone, and pour one out for those of us wishing we could serve you right now.


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