Day 53: Castle on a Cloud
In his 1862 novel, Les Misérables, Victor Hugo wrote “The future has several names. For the weak, it is impossible; for the fainthearted, it is unknown; but for the valiant, it is ideal.” I've mentioned a lot about the darkness and ignorance surrounding us lately, but I'm ready to escape to my happy place again; a place so ideal, it can only exist in a dream. I'm dreaming of this type of future.
Welcome to day 53, my thirsty readers. Keeping each day a little different than the last has become an increasing challenge, since the pause button for the world seems to be stuck. The beautiful thing about cocktails, is their ability to take us somewhere else, just as music does. Perhaps the greatest fully immersive escape from reality can be musical theater. Most of us, at one time or another, have probably felt something so strong, we can't seem to put those feelings into words. Sometimes we simply have to sing.
The stage musical of Hugo's classic novel first premiered in 1980, in Paris, for a three month engagement. First beginning as a French concept album, Les Misérables was adapted to English a few short years later, before opening in London's West End. Initially, the show was given mixed reviews, but with a long-running Broadway engagement, along with multiple touring productions, it's safe to say these early reviewers have eaten their words many times over at this point.
With strong elements of redemption, love, and fighting for what's right, the tale of Les Misérables can easily be a great story to escape what's happening around you. No scene screams escapism to a dreamer more than the song "Castle on a Cloud." The character Cosette, while attending to her chores, is dreaming of a world, much better than her current life. She dreams of a place where she travels to in her dreams, full of toys, children to play with, and above all, happiness. She sings, "Crying at all is not allowed, not in my castle on a cloud."
I was first introduced to this haunting song in high school, when our choir did a medley from the musical. There was something special about the melody, though I didn't realize it at the time. Dreaming of a happy world, far away from where we are, is the ultimate fantasy and escape, and I'm sure we are all going there in our sleep right now. Whether we are losing our minds from isolation, craving the company of someone far away, or feeling useless without our careers, there's probably our own version of a castle somewhere in our minds.
With so much uncertainty, having a magical fantasy land of our dreams is more important than ever before. Will the world be a happy place, when the dust settles, and the doors reopen. I go there myself, and I think about what life I can create, when the neons begin to buzz above our favorite watering holes again. I think we'd all like a place that tells you "I love you very much."
Castle on a Cloud
.75oz Cognac (Remy Martin 1738 is what I used here, but any high quality producer will work)
.75oz Aged Agricole Rhum (I lightly aged agricole is a good fit. Rhum J.M. E.S.B. Gold works nice)
.5oz 151 Proof Demerara Rum
.5oz Blue Curacao (Combier Le Bleu)
.5oz Lime Juice
.5oz Pineapple Juice
.5oz Coconut Cream
Shake and double strain into chilled glass, crusted with coconut powder.
Express and discard lime peel.
"I know a place where no one's lost
I know a place where no one cries
Crying at all is not allowed
Not in my castle on a cloud."
Cheers to optimism, to a future even brighter than the one we left behind. Afterall, we have no choice but to move forward. Until then, lets escape to that happy place, that Castle on a Cloud. Keep Shaking.