What I Learned This Week: #90

Monday, February 11 – Sunday, February 17

The Week in Cocktails #1: At brunch on Saturday, the bartender told me he had been watching a lot of Muppets shows with his daughter and it has impacted his Bloody Mary making in the most Gonzo way.

Gonzo for Blopdy Marys

The Week in Cocktails #2: I mostly drink Bourbon, but I’m not adverse to the other dark liquors. In the winter in particular, I like a nice expensive Scotch. It is the warmest of the spirits. If sipped slowly, it at first feels like something that almost needs to be chewed but it almost instantly practically disappears into my throat, only to reappear as a burning ember in my belly. While Scotch is associated with rich, peaty, smoky flavors, there is another profile in some brands that many people, like myself, associate with the flavor of a band-aid. On the menu you’ll see that noted as iodine or seaweed because….marketing.

This weekend I treated myself to a 2 oz $22 pour of Laphroaig 10, which hits my tongue as “iodine” but finishes with smoky richness. By the way, the entire 750 ml bottle of Laphroaig 10 costs $50, so the bar made some money off my desire to lick a bandaid.

I was with a friend who didn’t believe bandaid scotch was real, so it was good to prove my point. Plus, I got to wax poetic about how much water or ice to add to the snifter to “open up” the flavor. I’m not expert so I may have been muddling my way through the process.

The Week in Classic Literature #1: My book club met this week. We decided to read the classic A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith. We liked and respected this book as an honest portrayal of Mid-century, poor, urban American life, and of a girl/woman’s place in it. The book has vivid characters and life lessons that still ring true. I had actually read this book a few years ago and, while agree with the book club’s assessment, I had zero interest in re-reading it for this week’s discussion. Once was enough.

Truly a classic book…but once was enough

The Week in Classic Literature #2: Discussing A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I thought about another coming of age classic I read for the first time as an adult, Little Women. I read this a few years ago as well and I remember telling my book club I was glad to finally get to read the book in full and cross it off my list. A couple book club members, upon my announcement of reading the book, almost said in unison “Beth dies.” At that time I may have been 1/2 way through the book and though I knew Beth was going to die (I’d seen the movies), I couldn’t help but respond, “Not soon enough.” Books read differently when you are a cynical adult, 100 plus years removed from the novel’s first appearance.

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