Search
  • Brian Maxwell

Day 43: La Vie En-Roa Ae


Musicians always seem to have a way to put life in perspective. Their words and music carry us through the best and worst of times. Country singer, Willie Nelson said “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” There doesn't seem to be any benefit to constantly spewing negativity, for everyone around you to hear. I find my stress to be, well, less stressful, when I look at life though rose colored glasses.


Hello again thirsty readers! Thank you so much, for joining me, your humble shaker of spirits, once again on this journey. We seem to be bombarded with more and more negativity everyday. I thought perhaps, on day 43, I could focus on seeing the good and the positive, which still exists in the world. I know I could use a reminder to keep looking at all of the beauty and not the ugly. Who better to take us there than the musicians of the past?


Originally written in 1945, and then recorded two years later, "La Vie En Rose" is arguably one of the most iconic songs of the twentieth century. The song became, writer and performer, Edith Piaf's signature piece, though her peers at the time considered it to be weaker and less-than her usual songs. It's generally accepted, this criticism is one of the main reasons it took her two years to release a recording of the song, changing lyrics and even the title several times.


All criticism aside, "La Vie En Rose" went on to be covered by artists the world over. Among famous covers where those by Donna Summer, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Grace Jones, and even Lady Gaga. I have to say though, the Louis Armstrong version, which is my personal favorite, is absolutely haunting. It sounds as if the song was born to be heard on the trumpet, and who better to bring that to life than the great "Satchmo" himself.


An absolutely romantic song, there have probably been more "wedding first-dances" to "La Vie En Rose," than perhaps any other song. There's something about it that makes you see the good in life, and you can't help but fall in love every time.



Around the same time Piaf was penning her immortal anthem, another iconic masterpiece was finding life. In 1944, Victor Bergeron was creating something of a signature creation himself. The Oakland restaurateur, and owner of Trader Vic's, had two friends visiting from Tahiti, and he wanted to try out a new cocktail he'd been mixing-up, on his guests' awaiting taste-buds.


As the story goes, upon trying the first sip of this rum-laced concoction, his friend jumped out of her seat, shouting "Mai tai-roa ae!" Loosely translated, this meant "out of the world - the best," in Tahitian. Thus, the Mai Tai, one of the most revered and replicated cocktails of the golden age of tropical drinks, was born. I have to say, we are all living in a much better place with something as beautiful as the Mai Tai in the world.


True love, iconic notes, and a drink to stand the test of time. It's a pretty beautiful world we live in after all. Now, with all of the home-bartending taking place (thanks Corona), I know it can be easy to get a little carried away with the sauce. The nice thing about this drink, is you don't have to be afraid of the potent spirit content most tropicals tend to carry. I've replaced the rum base with wine, and I think'll fall in love too!


La Vie En-Roa Ae

1.5oz Rosé Wine (I found a nice, dry, Tempranillo-based one, which was absolutely perfect for this application.)

.5oz Aperol

.5oz Pamplemousse Liqueur

1oz Orgeat

1oz Lime Juice

(Rose Water)


Mai Tai, or Double Old Fashioned Glass

Whip shake and pour unstrained.

Top with crushed ice.

Garnish with mint sprigs, spent lime hull, and a single rose petal.

Spray rose water mist on top. (If you don't have a small spray bottle to use for rose water, a few drops on top of the garnish will work just fine.)


If you're anything like me, your face is probably resembling a "heart emoji" at this point. It's just too easy to dwell on the negativity surrounding us right now. I'd rather just see the beauty, the "life in pink." We finally have time to slow down, open our eyes, and just take a look around. I sure hope this drink can make "everyday words turn into love songs" for you. Until tomorrow everyone, keep shaking.

277 views