New Menu Anxiety…Conquered!

Today is the first day of the new summer menu and I must say, it is a huge relief. Developing a new menu consumes my brainpower. Sometimes my first thought upon waking is what garnish needs to go on that new drink….or how the current one could be improved. I know I could benefit greatly from scouring the plethora of cocktail blogs on the internets, but the blogs that I tend to read are more about spirituality, lifestyle, and productivity (ha!).  I do enjoy reading recipes, but I just have not gotten sucked into reading about cocktails. Perhaps that is why that the more I think about my own blog, the more I realize that, most of the time, they are not really what I want to write about, either. Cocktails are great and I love experimenting with flavors, but there is only so much I can say about a drink. What impresses me more than the drink itself is the person drinking it. Why are they drinking that particular drink? (“What drives a person to choke down a shot of Fernet…the first time?” I ask myself….) What does that old man mean when he replies “Well, I’m sure I’m going to feel a lot better in a few minutes” when he sits down at the bar and orders a whiskey? What in God’s name has he been through already?

Often I wonder why the person is set on getting a drink in the first place. This woman wants the jalapeno-lemoncello, no cilantro, wants something spicy, but not bitter or herbal, likes this but not that.  She has her reasons for finally ordering a scotch and soda, I guess, which is that her friends are drinking so she may as well, too.

So, the consciousness behind the cocktail is what fascinates me the most: the social inclusion that we all feel while sharing a drink, the medication of raw emotions too painful or complex to examine, the exploration of a new flavor bouquet by some adventurers, the straight and narrow path of only what is familiar to others. It has only been recently that I took several steps back from my own alcohol consumption to see what the driving force behind it is. What exactly has driven me to drink? The answers have been profound and stirring, resulting only from careful observation and self-inquiry.

What about you? What drives you to drink?