Here are two facts about alcohol consumption: 1) When times are good, people drink more. 2) When times are bad, people drink more. And wow, do we have circumstances (no need to spell them out) pushing us to fact #2.
Here’s the “twist” that the pandemic has brought to the “mix.” We all had to work with what we had. So, unless you’re like good friends of ours (you know who you are), and in your basement you have a tavern with stupendous wine cellar, you ended up making do. A “drink ‘em if you got ‘em” mentality swept the nation.
So, what have you been drinking?
In our home at the beginning of lockdown, before we eventually ventured out, it was all about what we had in the house. First, we went through our supply of wine. That didn’t take long, as we’re spending lockdown in a ski condo. See also: Not a lotta room for wine storage. Then, we hit the whiskeys. From there, on to vodka and then tequila. Once they were all gone, we started saying things like, “What’s this weird bottle? Who gave us that? Shit, just pour it.” And then, that was gone too.
Of the two of us, Mr. Parker has been the one venturing out to places like the supermarket and the post office. I mostly left the house for hiking remotely. No stores for me. But where was the first enclosed space I went to? You guessed it: the liquor store. It was like going into a sci-fi Candyland. New possibilities! Exciting! But… So many people! Freaking me out!
Now, I’m a straight-liquor drinker. Neat is neat. So for me, stocking up on the basics isn’t complicated. But I’ve had this thought in my head all through COVID: a drink that was introduced to me at a Bourbon tasting in Kentucky. Thank you, Phifer Pavitt winery. They call the drink a Moxie, and it’s a take on a New York Sour. They make a whiskey sour with their new Date Night Bourbon, then pour it into a hefty rocks glass with one large, square ice cube. Then, they add a wine float using one of their stunning Date Night Cabernet Sauvignons. How much has this beverage been on my mind these days? It was the inspiration for The Joy’s joyful cocktail discovery in Careful-ish, her New York sour.
I’ve yet to play mixologist and attempt to make a Moxie at home. I’m afraid of breaking the spell it has over me. What if my mixology doesn’t live up to the stand-out flavor living inside my head? Is it better to remember fondly than to experience my own inadequate version? So, for now, I’ll let The Joy enjoy. I’ll continue dreaming about someone else’s cocktail while I drink what I have on hand. Neat.
And I ask again, what have you been drinking?
Honey Parker has been writing, writing, writing for decades, decades, decades. In there, she has also been a standup comedian, a Hollywood screenwriter, a director, and a co-author of edgy business books. Careful-ish is her debut novel. It is the first in a trilogy. It is comedy-ish.