Day 100: The Time Has Come
"All good things must come to and end." We first read this phrase in the Geoffrey Chaucer poem, Troilus and Criseyde. Originally written in Middle English, the phrase appears in a very different form than we're used to seeing today, but the sentiment remains. Usually referring to a negative end to something good, we also say this often at the end of a vacation, or even a great meal. Sometimes, we say it when it's time to say goodbye to something special, even when it's led us through the darkest of times.
Hello once again, my most beloved and thirsty readers. This is the part where things get a bit teary-eyed for me. For 100 days now, you've joined me on your phones and computers. You've made the cocktails I've created and shared. In the process, I feel we've grown together and learned together. You've learned a lot about me, and I'll been privileged enough to learn a little about you. Dozens of you have reached out to me, and I've done my best to respond in a timely manner. When I began this, I assumed only a few people would read and shake these daily drinks, not hundreds. For these reasons I'm eternally thankful and beyond humbled.
So where does that leave us? Where does it leave your friendly, neighborhood shaker of spirits? As I mentioned before, I'm once again back behind the stick, shaking those libations you've come to love so much. That should be reason enough to end things, but there's so much more. Our priorities need to be somewhat shifted, to make way for what's to come.
Over these past 100 days though, I've begun to feel like a different person. I've regained my health and fitness, something which I've overlooked for several years now. I've developed healthy romantic relationships, which hasn't been a skill of mine, pretty much ever. Who says there's no love in the time of COVID?
I've come to appreciate my profession in a way I never had before. I've preached it for many years, but I never fully meant these words, which I've told bartenders for so long, as much as I do now. "It's not about you. The party is not for you." The party, my thirsty readers, is for all of you, our devoted guests. There's something beautiful and noble about truly taking joy in serving others. When we serve another human-being, whether it's food and beverage, or any other type of product or service, we create a connection, no matter how brief. That connection becomes the first ripple in the pond.
Seeing those ripples increase over the past few months, has been majestic to behold. We are here educating one another about personal responsibility. We've been forced to look oppression and social justice in the face, and it had nowhere to hide anymore. We've come together as a society, and we've brought that lingering hate out into plain view, as ugly as it may be. Hate has nowhere to hide anymore. It's been seen, and it's not a good look.
All I can hope, is that these things will continue to move forward. I hope we can continue to lift each other up, ushering in a new time in our society. With a global pandemic still taking place, it's kind of like our lives depend on us continuing what we've started.
I began this, on Day 1, with a cocktail inspired by "The Walrus and the Carpenter." On that day, I wasn't feeling so optimistic. I felt like we would never get out of this mess. I feared that the food and beverage industry I loved so dearly, was taking it's final breaths. Luckily, for so many of us, a lot of people are coming back, ready for their second act. Many more, unfortunately, are not coming back. If you wish you see those places you love survive, now is the time to show them how much you care.
It only feels fitting to end this fantastic adventure, the same way it began. I've been craving oysters since the day things shut down. There's probably no flavor on the planet, which brings me so much comfort. In the future, a plate of oyster is always going to be a reminder of this time, since it's one of the few foods we aren't allowed to serve as take-out. Shall we sign off with more of those fantastic words from Lewis Carrol?
"'The time has come,' the Walrus said,
'To talk of many things:
Of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax,
Of cabbages, and kings,
And why the sea is boiling hot,
And whether pigs have wings.'
'But wait a bit,' the Oysters cried,
'Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!'
'No hurry!' said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that."
The Time Has Come
1oz Rye Whiskey
1.5oz Manzanilla Sherry
.75oz Amaro Montenegro
.25oz Fernet Branca
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
3 dashes Peychaud's Bitters
Small pinch of sea salt
Stir and strain into chilled glass.
Express and discard lemon peel.
Garnish with single flower petal.
*In case you're curious, this cocktail was created with the intention to enjoy with oysters.*
The time has come, my thirsty readers, to say goodbye for now. I can't begin to list all of the ways this journey has made me appreciate you, our guests, more than ever before. In Eternia, they don't say "goodbye." They say "good journey," so I say to you today "good journey, my friends." Stay safe, stay strong, be good to each other, may the force be with you, save the last dance for me, and now more than ever, today and forever, keep shaking.