My Lubricated Education
It is the seemingly small acts of personal pleasure and quirky pursuits that keep us from dismissing the day as a grind and nothing more. Yes, there are those of us lucky enough to love our work and our career. I don't need any attempts at persuasion to convince me that working in wine public relations and marketing is a treat. But even when you can look a readership in the monitor and guarantee them you are pleased as punch to hold a particular position, there's no getting around the fact that some days—many days—putting aside the pleasure of work and moving on to the personal pursuit of pleasure and distraction is exactly what the doctor ordered.
I am more and more made calm and keenly distracted by the cocktail.
Over the past couple of years I've been drawn to the art of making a drink.
I've been fascinated by walking into an unfamiliar, well appointed and highly recommended joint where I can watch the mixologist give me his take on a Sazerac, Old Fashioned, Manhattan or some other potion.
And of late, I've found my day perfectly topped off and the grind made smoother by standing at my bar letting new whiskeys, obscure renditions of pastis and startlingly complex bitters role gently around my tongue until I recognize their essence.
I love the ongoing debate over whether or not fruit ought to be muddled to make an Old Fashioned. I go back and forth over whether or not a real Manhattan should be dry, perfect or wet. By now I can happily tell you the number of cubes that are in my mixing glass by the particular tone that comes out of that mixing vessel as I stir and drink. I'm finding the identical kind of joy I once felt in discovering new wines when I discover and concoct a new cocktail.
What I've really come to appreciate about the cocktail that I really can't experience with wine is the simple fact that I can produce a drink of really stunning perfection and absolute balance, then consume what I made and move on. I've never had this pleasure with wine. And frankly, the more I mix and stir and shake and rock n roll and blend, the more I imagine that the idea of making even a small batch of wine, which will take many, many days to consume (no matter how good), is many, many days too long because I'm liking the idea of moving on to the next new mix that cocktail production allows.
Every now and then I think to myself that I'd like to set aside the books and manuals and try to devise a drink on my own; something that is all mine; an original. But then I realize that there remains a seemingly endless platter of drinks that have been concocted and devised and invented that I've never even attempted to make and even try at the hand of a professional. This personal pursuit of the cocktail that I've been on for a couple years now remains one of discovery, then crafting, then consuming. I'm nowhere near the part of the journey that leads me to trying my hand at invention.
Along the way I've wondered if I might incorporate this new love of mixology into my day job. I think I'd like too. I've never pursued a spirits or liqueur account via Wark Communications. But I'm positive that the skill and talent I possess where marketing and promotion and writing are concerned would make me and my little firm a spectacular hire for a producer that sought a true believer to implement a communications campaign of authenticity and effect. I'll work on this.
In the mean time, I'm going to soften the daily grind by continuing to amuse myself with cocktails, their history, the discovery of their constituent parts and my own pursuit of making them well then testing and perfecting their balance.
It's all too much fun.