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  • Brian Maxwell

Day 68: Save the Last Dance


Every time I finish out my last shift at a bar, it's bitter-sweet. I usually know I'm moving forward towards something exciting, but there's that fear of the unknown. In addition to that, you start seeing everything through those "graduation goggles," meaning you romanticize a period of time, whether it was good or not. You love that time, because it was yours, and nobody can take that away from you.


Hello, and welcome back, my thirsty readers. Since the first day of the shutdown, we've all been thinking about the day we could go back to "normal," whatever that looks like. Now that so many states are reopening, my time with you might be coming to and end as well. After all, duty calls. I know things are getting close to the end. I would be a fool not to realize that, but I'd certainly like to keep moving forward with drinks and a little story here and there, until I can't anymore.


On that last night behind the bar, though it's a bit cliche, I always play the song "Save the Last Dance for Me," at least once. I'm not sure why, but there's something about that song that just gets to me. First recorded in 1960 by The Drifters, it tells the story of two lovers. The narrator tells his beloved to feel free to mingle and dance with whoever she wants, but to make sure she save a dance for him at the end of the night.


Doc Pomus, one of the writers of the iconic song, said it was written on his wedding day. Being in a wheelchair, due to polio, Pomus said the song was from his perspective watching his bride, Broadway star Wili Burke, dance and have fun with all the wedding guests. In the song, he tells her to have all the fun dancing and celebrating she wants, "but don't forget who's taking you home, and in who's arms you're gonna be."


I guess, in a way, it's my way of saying "I might be moving on to another bar, another city, or who knows where, but don't forget about me. Don't forget about the times we had, because they meant the world to me." Even after this pandemic subsides, thirsty readers, I'll still be around. There might not be time for a daily drink story soon, but the cocktails will keep shaking. We will be here, hoping to put much needed smiles on those faces.


Save the Last Dance

.75oz Aged Jamaicain Rum (I used Appleton 12 year)

.75oz Blanc Agricole Rhum (I really like the extra grassy notes in Rhum J.M. Blanc)

.75oz Campari

.75oz Averna

4 dashes Angostura Bitters


Double Old Fashioned Glass

Torch a cinnamon stick, placing the old fashioned glass over it to capture the smoke.

Stir and strain into that glass over large cut ice.

Garnish with expressed orange peel, and orchid.


"Oh, I know that the music's fine

Like sparklin' wine, go and have your fun

Laugh and sing, but while we're apart

Don't give your heart to anyone..."

We aren't there just yet, but when we can get behind the stick again, don't forget who's shaking your drinks, and in who's bars you're gonna be. Stay thirsty, save the last dance for me, and keep shaking.

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