Friday, November 19, 2010

Laura's November Manhattan


2 oz. Bourbon Whiskey
1 oz. Applejack
1/5 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1/5 oz. Maple Syrup
2 splashes Bitters

Shake all ingredients until shaker is frosted.  Pour straight up into a martini glass.

You know it's bad when you tell your kids, Let's go to the drink store, and your six-year-old says right back, You mean BevMo?

In my defense, Your Honor, I do think the children have accompanied me to the aforementioned emporium on only one other occasion - when I was in search of Blavod's Black Vodka.  This time, I needed Applejack, and while I prefer frequenting neighborhood stores, sometimes the big guy is the only guy who has what I need.


The why is what's important, and in this case, why I needed Applejack is easy:  Jen's having a going away party for Laura and Aric.  Why are Laura and Aric going away?

That's a little more complicated, but not much.  Aric got a job in Nevada City, he proposed to Laura, she's following.

When Laura let us know that the inevitable had occurred - because the proposal thing had seemed foregone for a while - she spilled the beans to some of us electronically.  And if you've never spilled a bean electronically, you've not lived.

Part of Laura's missive, the most charming part, came when she decided on a preemptive strike - came when she decided to answer our questions before we'd asked.  I steal here from Laura's message:

Other answers to questions you might have:

-Washington Square park in New York City, Saturday night, park bench, buskers nearby playing Lady Gaga

-yes, very excited.

-no idea when, probably family only, maybe a party down the line later

-nope. engagement rings aren't my thing

-Nevada City, because Aric just got a job there. He starts end of September and I'll likely join him after my semester is over

-yes, very excited. do you know how close Nevada City is to skiing?

-I'll rent it out.

-I'll finish the last 1-1/2 years of my MBA on the weekends

-I haven't talked to my boss yet, so I have absolutely no idea

Most of those answers are ok, but I had problems with a few.  Jen beat us all to the punch when she wrote, in response to Answer #3, that there will be parties.  That party is tonight, hosted by Jen and Marika, and Jen wondered if I might mix a drink or three.  That's where the Applejack comes into play.
(And to come clean:  my only other issue with Laura's Answers to Unasked Questions was with Answer #4.  I don't think you have to be a girl to be an engagement-ring-kind-of-girl.  Hell, I'm an engagement-ring-kind-of-girl, if you know what I mean.  And since I often blunder in where others fear to tread, I'll just say - Aric, I don't care what Laura said.  Go buy a ring.  Modest, extravagant, doesn't matter.  Just get thee a ring.)
Any others out there who want advice on politics, religion, child-rearing - I'm your guy.
So Jen says, come mix drinks.  But what kind of drink?
Shortly thereafter, Bernie comes by the store.  He and Michael are putting up Christmas decorations.  I know, it ain't Thanksgiving yet.  Again, Your Honor, in my defense - Home Depot was selling Xmas stuff in August.
What's that?  Two stupids don't make a smart?  Noted, Your Honor, noted.
Bernie's there, tinsel in hand, and we're talking booze.  We often talk about the three B's:  books, baseball, and booze.  Bernie tells me he's tippled a little Applejack of late.  Applejack? I say.  Applejack, he says, is a fine apple brandy from Laird & Company.  They swear they gave the stuff to General George Washington and he used it to keep the troops happy.  Sounds yummy, I say, especially on a cold, wet night.
Wait, tonight is cold and wet.  Wait again - Jen wants a drink to serve to Laura and Aric.  Hmm, what if, what if...

What I came up with is Laura's November Manhattan.  Sure, just a Manhattan, but spiced up with Applejack.  The maple syrup?  I thought it might add a Fall note to the festivities.

And that brings up BevMo, because I had everything but the Applejack.  So off we went, up 880 - through the grey, spitting day - to Jack London Square.  The girls didn't mind - an outing is an outing.  After the deed was done, we headed back down 880, greyer now, and more wet, and we passed the condo complex (see Answer #7, above) where Laura lives.


And whenever we pass, Elizabeth will say, Is Laura still there?  And I always respond, Yes, silly.  Of course.

Except today.  Today, when Elizabeth asked if Laura was still there, I had to stop and then let her know that actually, Laura was moving out tomorrow.  And that the reason we went to BevMo was because I needed an ingredient I didn't have for a small party that the Writing Group was having for her.

And Elizabeth just said, Aw, Dad.  Why's Laura moving?  Will I ever see her again?

I dutifully tried to answer these questions as best I could.  And all the questions that my answers prompted.  And the questions after that.  Because Kristina chimed in, too.  She's only three, but she likes to contribute.

Oh, and Laura?  You'd really be helping a brother out if you made sure to visit the girls, because I kind of promised you would.

I'll see you tonight in San Francisco.  I'll be late, but I've got the mixins with me.


  1. The November Manhattans were silky smooth and not as sweet as I would have expected given the maple syrup. Also, a very pretty drink. At some point during the evening, I remember looking around a living room in which about ten people were swirling a glistening, alchemical, auburn-colored liquid in their martini glasses, and I thought, wow, Nick's been hard at work in the kitchen! Making the party even greater than it already is, as only he knows how to do.

    And this story makes for the perfect morning-after reading.

  2. Mr. R - your words are generous and much appreciated. And though it will sound self-serving, I will say it anyway - the combo did make a pretty drink.