Ah, today is Friday! Drink day! At least, for those of us who are in this part of the globe, it’s Friday and for those of us who can’t drink much because of having too much avoirdupois, it’s that magical time once a week–you probably have your own–when we can indulge in getting just a little pie-eyed for the sake of posterity.
“For the sake of posterity?” you say. “Pshaw, and nonsense! How does posterity benefit from your drinking habit?” Please do not call it a habit. I can take it up or take it alone–I mean leave it alone, what am I saying? But really, if I am to continue doing what I do and publishing what I hope is at least one well-considered post a day, I need a break. And what better to share it with than my favorite tipple? Are you all agog? Do you want to know what it is? Well, you may not be agog exactly, but for the sake of completeness and what some of you may come to decide is after all a good recipe, I’m going to share this. Stop reading if you’re not interested, and pick up tomorrow, when I hope to have another purely literary post for you.
The first thing that is absolutely essential to this drink is that you really, really like the taste of cranberry juice, because the overall taste is one of cranberry juice that got into trouble with the law and never recovered its sanctity. A year or few ago, a friend found out that I liked the taste of cranberry juice mixed with Campari (which also tastes of cranberry), and gave me the general recipe for a Negroni, which is a gin-based drink featuring Campari. I don’t have that exact recipe ready to hand, but I do have a variation, which is what I’m using today. Don’t worry if you basically hate gin; so do I, but I like it fine when it occurs this way: 1 part dry gin, 1 part Campari, 1 part vermouth Rosso (sweet vermouth). It’s even better if you increase each part to 2 parts, because then you get more of what you like (cranberry heaven a bit askew). Pour over lots of ice in a tall glass, stir, and enjoy!
I do realize that people are much more conscious these days of what drinking does that’s not beneficial, and I admit that this problem exists, but “Moderation in all things” is a good rule of thumb. And if you’re just the average casual drinker who likes only the occasional drink, and are being reproached by teetotalling friends, you can always quote Sir Richard Burton, who is reported to have said, “I have to think hard to name an interesting man who does not drink.” Granted, he was highly prejudiced (as well as highly soused sometimes, according to some reports), but even though you can be interested by watching an ant push a crumb across a table when you’re tipsy (whether you’re an entomologist or not), there’s much to be said for the subsequent release of tension (assuming that you’re a peaceable drinker. If you’re not, forget this whole post!). So to those of you who are trying my recipe and those of you who are doing your own thing, I say “Cheers!” And to you abstainers, I still say “Cheers!” I’m in a rosy mood, and there’s room for us all.