Friday, December 16, 2011

The Advil Calendar, DAY 16: YOU'RE A MEAN DRUNK, MR GRINCH

(There was also a cat named Grundoon)

DECEMBER 16
Ok when I was a kid I had this father who was unremittingly, automatically iconoclastic. If there was a grain, he would go against it. If you provided a beat, he would march to something else. When he was in the Air Force, he got around the base via pogo stick. He conflated J.R.R. Tolkein and Herbert Hoover, offering "A Balrog in every woodpile!" Named one cat Eleanor, after Mrs. Roosevelt, because he claimed she was an unattractive cat, and another Virgil, after the poet, for no reason at all. He was incapable of doing something so predictable as reading us a picture book, so he would start with the copyright information in the front and feign outrage when we complained: "You asked me to read the book, I'm reading the book!" I still have that father, but I mostly ignore him nowadays and mostly he only trots that malarkey out for my kids.
The distelfink is the bird one

Which is kind of good, because otherwise they might not believe me when I complain about my youth.

To wit:

Some of my dad's most enduring iconospasms have to do with Christmas. Every year, he insisted that he was going to stuff barbed wire up the chimney so that our house would not be invaded by "that fat housebreaker" on Christmas Eve. He sang "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Ginklefink," I think inspired by the Pennsylvania Dutch distelfink, a hex sign you'll see on barns all through Lancaster County, where we frequently took long, punishingly embarrassing weekend bike rides with the Baltimore Bicycle Club. We rode ten-speed tandems and wore long knit bike shorts - this was the late 70's, when even basketball players wore hotpants - and we were possibly the first family in North America to use protective headgear to ride a bike. They didn't make bicycle helmets small enough for my brother and I, so the two of us wore rock climbing helmets. And homemade rear view mirrors that fastened to our glasses.

Let me tell you something. When the Amish come out of their houses to point at you and murmur to each other behind their hands, you may be certain that you are dressed funny.

So, for Dad, our Friday Night Drink is...

The Grinch
2 ounces of Midori liqueur
1 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce of fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. of simple syrup
Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strained into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
Some people recommend a crushed peppermint stick rim, but that would make me (and my dad) barf.

I think he will be pleased, although he would never tell. He would also never drink this. Midori? No way. He's an amber liquid man (and by the way, not a mean drunk - that title was just too cute to pass up).

There is an alternate version of this drink, developed by one of those people who make gels and foams out of food and then expect people to eat them. It involves calcium lactate and sodium alginate and I have to admit, my science geek side (also inherited from my father) would love to try this. I'm not going to copy the recipe - if you think you might like to put on your lab coat and wield a pipette in the kitchen (not kidding about the pipette), you're gonna have to gas up the Nerdmobile and go there yourself.


Speaking of nerding out: tomorrow is Eggnog Saturday, and I have gone Extra Original Authentic with the research for this one. Take your Lactaid and clear the decks - it's gonna get thick and whipped around here.