"I’ll play it first and tell you what it is later.” — Miles
I like to listen to Miles Davis. I don’t claim to really “get it” like some people seem to, but I do like the way it seems like a somewhat disorganized, slightly misanthropic sound assault until my ears get used to it. I have to stop listening for “music” and start sampling the individual voices contributing to the noise and, lo and behold, there is a strangely seductive sort of sense to it all. The key, I think, is to listen like you would for someone telling a good story instead of anticipating the familiarity of pattern — repetition, chord progression, verse-chorus structure.
Once I tune my ears for “narrative” over “music,” then it all reflects quite naturally against the lines of the room, like the ambient murmur of mirthfully punctuated chatter warms a good booth in a good bar with a sense of civility and belonging.
Wanting to mirror this sentiment in a glass, I settled upon this concoction last night. To be honest, it’s a little rough around the edges, a few cents out of tune, but the eccentricities of its ingredients do come together in a harmonious and stimulating way. Modify to your own taste, of course — there is no classical tradition to uphold here.
Into a shaker, deposit:
2 oz Rye or Bourbon
1/2 Lime, gently squeezed (~1/2 oz juice + hull)
3/4 oz honey syrup (to taste)
Small pinch of salt (just a smidge!)
Dry shake it (shake without ice, that is), and strain into an iced old-fashioned glass. Top it up with soda, just an ounce or so to dilute the strong flavors and make it effervesce a little.
I realize not everyone has a dasher-bottle of absinthe sitting around. While I do advocate correcting this, a dash of something interesting is really what’s needed here. Fernet Branca would work. I bet even a dash of your favorite bitters would suffice, or Smith & Cross. Hell, shake it with a couple jalapeño slices if you want to — it’s your drink, so make it yours. The idea is just to take it to a place that’s a little bit special, eccentric, unexpected. Like a narrative rather than a pattern. Ah.
We’ll call this drink… Blue In Green. Pair it with an appropriately stimulating environment.