Thursday, January 17, 2008

fête de l'amour pour saint basilic et après

January 1st. Feast day for Saint Basil the Great. 'Twas but a blur in the land of Le Mixeur. The holy souls of 84th Street were spared "guele de bois" (hangover) by the restrained pace with which we drank and the sage-like advice of a man with a mustache, who wrote the epic tome "Drink All You Want and Live Longer." Yet the day was a blissful blur of feasting, as in honor of the feast day for a saint who served the poor and the hungry, we indulged in extravagant drinks and mounds of shellfish. T. Mixeur was in "le zone" of drinkmaking wizardry. None of these drinks were quantified, measured, recorded, patented, or memorialized. They whisped into this mortal coil and back out without any trace of their existence here, spare for the wistful glimmer in the eyes of T. Mixeur, Fallen Star, and Le Nick, which remains to this day I'm certain and will one day enrapture our children as they lay in our laps, in that sacred state between consciousness and sleep, when the lights of the universe are at their most apparent. The drinks of that feast day will be known from this moment onward collectively as Peonies, in honor of the immortal Mary Oliver:

"Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?
Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,
with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?"

In the coming days, T. Mixeur and Fallen Star and C. Mixeur had wonderful experiences at Vessel and Zig Zag (where Murray took several moments to size up and contextualize the entrance of fallen star into the Zig Zag lexicon, before making her a life altering drink with some Mayan honey liqueur he had, followed by the sublime Corn and Oil ). We topped off that particular evening at my favorite neighborhood bar, Oliver's Twist. Here we had a spirited discussion with Robert, and assisted him in diagnosing the final adjustments needed to perfect his cocktail invention featuring gin, Creme de Peche, and other ingredients that will one day be revealed to any fortunate soul patronizing the little bar that could (few realize that Oliver's Twist was established at the foot of Phinney Ridge, but through sheer force of will and determination and familiar mantra, made it all the way to the top).

Fallen Star and I returned home and realized the opportunity for in-depth discussion of sorrows, hopes, dreams, and other sentiments was upon us. Capturing the last gasps of Saint Basilic before he gracefully shuttered out of our plane for the duration of this year, I improvised a drink to sip during this talk. With the Peonies nothing forever, I preserved this concoction to memory, and titled it simply, "Heart to Heart."

2 oz rosemary gin
1 oz pisco
1/2 falernum
1/4 oz triple sec
1/4 oz lime
shake and strain into cocktail glass

This drink was imbued with honeyed heaviness and lush trembling. We went to sleep that evening cherishing our humble and silky lives. Merci, Saint Basilic, pour le fête de l'amour.

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