Day 64: Sea Cat Cooler
American writer Harriet Jackson Brown Jr. once wrote "Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There's plenty of movement, but you never know if it's going to be forward, backwards, or sideways." This truly strike's a chord with me, and if you've never read Life's Little Instruction book, I highly recommend you try it out. Thinking about flailing tentacles is a good way to see misdirected talent. No matter how good you are, there needs to be a focus, especially with creativity. Then my attention span dissolves, and I just keep thinking about the octopus.
Welcome back, my most thirsty readers, and let's get going with another cocktail paired with useless information. While thinking about wild octopus tentacles in relation to wasted talent, my mind went to so many different examples. I myself was once a huge waste of talent, letting my ego, pride, and addiction issues get in the way of what I was capable of achieving. In this way, I like to use the octopus as a representation of talent, focus, and direction. Just as the pineapple stands tall for hospitality, perhaps the octopus could represent this journey.
On the island of Jamaica, that place I've mentioned once or twice, fishermen make a concoction using octopus, which most of us would probably cringe at just the thought of consuming. It's called Sea Cat Punch. They make a "milk" by boiling the octopus, then add other elements like sugar, cream, nuts, and finish it off with rum. Throw that in the blender with some ice, and it's said to bring out the drinker's "power," in a very biblical sense, if you know what I mean.
While producing cocktail videos in Jamaica one time, I noticed this. The whole island seems to be a tad obsessed with the idea that what you're drinking has a direct connection to your virility. I suppose there are much worse things to be superstitious about after all. That being said, it can be fascinating to think about where some of these "remedies" began. Who was the first person to try making octopus milk? It sure makes soy and almond milk seem a lot less strange by comparison.
Now back to that talent octopus, and his wiry-ways. In my opinion, there's nothing worse than wasted talent, but how does one nurture that talent and make it grow? I feel like the best way to get better at something, is to keep doing. Don't let anyone get into your head and tell you that you can't. When doubt creeps into my life, I try and think of the words of Bruce Lee, "I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine."
Sea Cat Cooler
1.5oz Overproof Jamaican Rum (This is one of those drinks, where the bigger the flavor the better, so I'd recommend some of that big and bold Hampden stuff)
.75oz Passion Fruit Syrup
.75oz Coconut Cream
.5 Whole Banana
.25oz Angostura Bitters
1oz Ginger Beer
Coconuts if ya' got 'em!
Combine all ingredients, except ginger beer in a blender with 2 cups of crushed ice.
Blend until fully incorporated, then mix in the ginger beer.
Garnish with pineapple fronds, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Do you have a talent, which you haven't fed in awhile? Maybe today is the time to let it grow, and maybe you'll find it was more than you realized. Or you could spend the rest of your years wondering "what if?" To quote the great Bruce Lee again, "The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering." Get out there and live that life my friends, and direct those tentacles towards something that brings you joy. It doesn't need to be today, or even tomorrow, but until we figure out this thing called life, stay positive and keep shaking.