Day 40: Younger Than Springtime
It was the summer of 2001, and I was out with my cousin, driving around Pittsburgh. We were both leaving for college soon, and we thought it would be fun to explore parts of the city we never had before. As two eighteen-year-olds, we bored easily, and had no idea what to do with those last days of summer freedom. "These are the best years of your life," was all we heard from our parents, and we would just laugh, thinking there's always something bigger and better out there. It's a bit funny how you take time for granted.
After we exhausted the limited-options available to a couple of teenagers, I suggested trying one of the summer-series musicals downtown. I was really the only theater nerd between us, but he was just being nice, letting me drag him along. It just so happened, the show at the time was South Pacific, but little did I know how much those tropical elements and iconography would play a part in my later life, surrounded by rum and happiness.
Welcome to day 40, my thirsty readers. That number seems hard to believe. I thought I would be back behind a bar, shaking these cocktails for all your smiling faces again, but the world doesn't always work the way we hope. As bad as things are, we've had a rare opportunity to get to know ourselves all over again. I know I've had plenty of time to reflect, feeling younger than I have in a long time. I guess that's because I haven't had this much down time since those long-ago summers, when I didn't have a care in the world.
In the first act of South Pacific, we are introduced to a whole cast of characters, each with their own individuals struggles taking place. Among them, is Lieutenant Cable, who's recently arrived in the South Pacific. He falls in love with a local girl, and as a result, he faces the realities of racism and judgement during a time when acceptance and understanding were a far-off fantasy. During this scene, we're treated to one of the most iconic songs from the Rogers and Hammerstein repertoire, "Younger Than Springtime."
Younger Than Springtime
1oz Bourbon (This cocktail works great with a lot of different Bourbons, but there's a huge nostalgia I have with Wild Turkey Rare Breed, and it's just incredibly good.)
1oz Lillet Rosé
1oz Passion Fruit Syrup
.5oz Lemon Juice
(Overproof Jamaican Rum)
Shake and fine strain into chilled glass.
Spritz overproof rum on top for aroma. (If you don't have an atomizer bottles, a few drops drizzled on top will work just fine.)
Garnish with a flower.
It's so strange sometimes how much we lose track of our younger-selves. How many times did we say "I'll never change. I'll always be just like this." Well guess what; we all changed. Whether for better or worse, change is constant. Try and take a moment and get in touch with that younger self today. Maybe this cocktail can help. Stay safe everyone, and keep shaking.