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  • Brian Maxwell

Day 85: A Study in Scarlet


"So why are you talking to me," Watson asked. "Mrs. Hudson took my skull," replied Holmes. I think that's one of my favorite scenes in "A Study in Pink," which was the first episode of the BBC series Sherlock. I'm so glad someone I cared about introduced me to that show. My life-long love affair with Sherlock Holmes was reignited. Suddenly, the game was afoot once again.


Hello, my thirsty readers, and welcome to Day 85. I'm feeling a bit dizzy, just thinking about how far we've come. After nearly three months, I'm still writing cocktails, and each day is a new adventure. I had to dig into the archives for this one.


I spent a lot of time alone when I was younger. As an only-child, books were the best escape. I especially loved the classics, Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island, Great Expectations, and I could go on forever. You kinda get the point. I loved getting lost in the story, and the more adventure, the more I was hooked.


Something about Sherlock Holmes caught my attention early. I think it was this character, who wasn't like everyone else. His intellect, and deductive skills, made him a bit of a loner, until he met Dr. Watson. I imagine a real-life Holmes feeling a bit of contempt for those around him. They didn't accept him, even though he was smarter than all of them. People hate what they don't understand.


In the first appearance of Holmes, A Study in Scarlet, he is introduced to his future roommate and crime-solving partner, Dr. Watson. He reluctantly takes on a case, helping the local police, where a body has been found in an abandoned house. With his last dying breath, the dead man tried to leave a message, written in his own blood.


Looking back, this part hit me in a different way than intended. It's hard not to think about spilled blood at a time like this. It also takes me back to a time when I bled for being an outsider, thinking about how Holmes never seemed to belong.


I was a senior in high school, and I was walking downtown with a friend of mine after school one day. We were minding our own business, when a group of young men started following us, yelling homophobic slurs. Now I was pretty good at brushing this kind of thing off, when I was younger, trying to just hope it would go away. Unfortunately, this time, it didn't go away.


They circled around me, and started pushing me. I was about to fight them away, but eventually, one of them caught a hold of my eye, gouging it until there was blood. I was so thankful when they finally went away. This didn't even seem like a big deal to me at the time. This was just a normal part of my life back then. This also wasn't the first time I was attacked for my sexuality, and it certainly wouldn't be the last, but it served as a memory.


I think back to those early teenage years sometimes. I had to bleed back then, otherwise being who I am wouldn't mean as much. This also showed me how terrible the world could be to anyone who was different. We learn so much from pain. This was my study in scarlet.


A Study in Scarlet

2oz Hibiscus London Dry Gin

.5oz Banana Liqueur

.25oz Maraschino Liqueur

.25oz Vanilla Syrup

.5oz Lemon Juice

.5oz Coconut Cream

2 dashes Absinthe

2 dashes Angostura Bitters


Pearl Diver Glass

Whip shake and pour unstrained.

Top with crushed ice.

Garnish with mint sprigs, dragon fruit, flower, and freshly grated nutmeg.


Hibiscus Gin

750ml London Dry Gin

.5 cups Dried Hibiscus Tea

Allow to steep 15-20 minutes and strain.

I'm not saying I'm as brilliant as Sherlock Holmes, and that's why people disliked me. School was very easy to me though, and work pretty much became the same later in life. Being an adult, keeping my life together, not feeling out of place, and fitting in, those were what I struggled with. Thank you all for joining this misfit along the way. It's been quite a journey so far, and we still have farther to go. As a wise fictional detective once said, "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." Stay thirsty my friends, and keep shaking.

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