Sunday, February 13, 2005

Cocktail Society

So I'm sitting here on a Sunday afternoon thinking that on some things our parents had it right. No, let me rephrase that.....they had it perfect.

One of those things was the cocktail. I remember every weekend afternoon my folks would sit down and have a nice plate of cheese, crackers and sausage and good drink. Sadly, their cheese tended toward the spreadable, processed kind but in their time this was a symbol of American enginuity. "Why they've made a cheese that spreads! What will they think of next?".

Today if I had a nickel for every person I met that proudly prclaimed that they "don't like to drink", well I'd be a very rich man. What is wrong with these people? Of course drinking has its time and its place, but when the time is right, nothing beats a well made cocktail. Listen people, it worked for Frank, Sammy, Dean and the pack - ok, maybe a little too much for Dean - and it can work for us too.

My Dad's drink was the Manhattan. A sweet, hardy mix of whiskey, sweet vermouth, bitters and a Maraschino Cherry. Dad always put an extra cherry in his and Mom's drink for my sister and I to enjoy too. We'd get together before dinner, in the fall on Sundays we'd watch the 3p.m. NFL game which in my memory always seemed to be a Cowboys v. Redskins game, and have a family snack. The key as a kid was to wait to ask for your cherry. Ask too soon and the cherry would taste like a cherry; good, but a kind of pedestrain experience. Wait, and your patience was rewarded. The Manhattan would soak into the cherry and for a brief moment, we would get a small sample of the adult world in the taste of that cherry. I always enjoyed those moments for the promise of adulthood that they held.

So here I am today. Plate of cheese - French, sorry O'Reilly - some sausage, Italian, and the two greatest contributions that America has ever made to the Cocktail Society: the Triscut, and my Dad's good old Manhattan. Instead of football I'm blogging while my family is concocting some sort of pre-Valentines Day surprise in the kitchen.

Life is good, baby, life is good.

Papa Pursuit's Manhattan:

Into a cocktail shaker filled with ice pour 3 shots of BLENDED whiskey, to 1 shot of sweet vermouth. Mix and let the drink sit for approximately five minutes. Papa Pursuit insisted that Manhattans were better if they were given time to "rest".

After 5, shake the drink and strain into a hi-ball filled with ice. Add 1 cherry, plus one for each of your kids, and add 1 teaspoon of cherry juice. Add three shakes of bitters and mix.

Enjoy with some spreadable cheese while listening to Frank.

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