Monday, May 18, 2009
Sample Jamboree and Traveling In Your Own Mind
Blimps over Bangkok
1 oz. Mekhong
1 oz. London dry gin
.5 oz. Aperol
.5 oz. Cynar
.5 oz. simple syrup
1-2 dashes Fee’s mint bitters
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Float a very thin lime wheel on surface of drink.
I don’t travel much. But I do have a healthy wanderlust, and I satisfy it vicariously through TV shows, books, magazine articles, and travelogues on the Web. Cocktails also will do the trick, in their own way.
Sometimes a cocktail will be the catalyst for a journey that takes place entirely within your own mind. Aided by the smell, taste and appearance of a well-crafted drink, your imagination can take you down roads and rivers even though your body remains at rest. You needn’t leave your recliner or barstool- The trick is simply to have the right beverage.
I was recently experimenting with a bottle of Mekhong, and ended up making a drink that kick-started one of these mental journeys. The combination of flavors, aromas and colors had my mind drifting along the currents of a 19th-century adventure epic…a sepia-toned, steampunk saga replete with bold travelers questing for knowledge, experience, and perhaps a little treasure. Peering through goggles at faded maps, explorers clawed their way through dripping jungles and glided above crumbling temples in rickety, patchwork airships.
No doubt they needed the ropes, machetes, compasses, and rifles they packed at the outset. The one-of-a-kind book of ancient symbols purchased at the bazaar might be handy. And that shiny little talisman the old man in the hut gave them certainly couldn’t hurt. Everyone can use a little magic now and then.
Who knows exactly what they encountered? Were they imperiled by creatures only thought to exist in myth? Had their resolve been tested by treading upon forbidden pathways? Did they commune with a lost race of people, receiving a glimpse into unseen realms?
Regardless, I’m sure the travelers used their wits and whatever other resources they commanded to make their way home again. There were likely a few scars and certainly some good stories. Maybe even a strange, ancient object to hang on the wall of the club…a tangible reminder to be pondered while sipping a well-made and well-deserved cocktail.
Have a drink. Take a trip.