Thursday, March 24, 2011

Paris When it Drizzles - Another Cheerer-Upper for a Dreary Afternoon

The places we love may be most memorably evoked by the experiences we've had there. Then, there is the possibility that something very moving may have happened just when the weather, or some other natural or man-made calamity, may have intervened in our lives in a very inopportune way. Being pelted by rain on the way to an appointment, or trapped indoors by inclement weather, may leave impressions that seem superficially to be as indelible as the sunniest, happiest moments of all. Being in love, in the rain, for instance, is very romantic. There's the scene at the end of the movie version of Breakfast at Tiffany's, or at the conclusion of Four Weddings and a Funeral, in which the ecstatic lovers are drenched in baptismal glory. Or there's Gene Wilder exclaiming (in The Producers), after being "cooled down" by a flung glass of cold water, "Now I'm hysterical...and I'm wet!!"

Not that there necessarily need be any real excuse for a cocktail at the end of a day of work, or especially when one is in love; but drinks, like events in one's life, can be the accompanying detail, as with a song, which captures the spirit of something we'd like to preserve.

As always, the recipe by proportion --

4 parts white rum
1.5 parts Aperol
1 part limoncello
1 part sweet lime

Shaken lightly and served up.

The Aperol (an aperitif) causes the lemon and lime to taste subtly like orange; and, of course, lime always improves rum.

There's a new move afoot to abandon the classic cocktail glass in favor of the new squat variety. It's a plot to offer smaller portions, and to prevent breakage, since these new ones are over-weighted on their bottoms. This trend must be resisted. A good cocktail, like a splendid wine glass, holds the portion up for inspection, and possesses a kind of glamor and vertical dignity which squat glasses don't have. And if you're so drunk or unsteady that you can't accurately convey the glass to your lips without risking spillage or (worse yet) dropping the glass completely, then you probably shouldn't be imbibing at all.

To love, then, love in the rain. Love in the sun. Love on the beach. Love in the apartment. Love in the mountains. Love in the streets. Love on street-cars. Love in the office. Love in the classroom. Love in the trees. Love in a car. Love in the park. Love sky-diving. Love at 30,000 feet. To love!

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