I recently had the task of bartending a fund-raising gala for a local non-profit and they had, among other things, a martini bar which I was tagged to work because of my experience in the field.
I've been asked over the years what the key to a good cocktail is and I always have to admit, it's rarely the bartender, and always the ingredients. If the bartender can add one special ingredient to the equation, it's what should be a fairly simple one: Don't do too much, but give give a damn about what you are doing.
Frankly, I could say the same about much of life. Who are the best of parents? The ones that do everything, buy everything and promise the world? Not in this old boy's opinion. It's the ones that are stable, conscientious, that value the right things and demand as much of their children as they do of themselves. They say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done. The most important thing is to make yourself available, to listen, to contemplate before acting, and then to act appropriately.
Politics is much the same. The best politicians aren't ones that come up with the outlandish, grandiose and controversial plans for creating Utopia. No sir, the best ones listen to their voters, weigh the issues, consider the resources and proceed with cautious, measured steps that empower their constituency to solve their own issues.
How about the Pastor? Shall we have one that wears skinny jeans, learns the latest hipster fashion, fires up the smoke machine and dances to the amplified praise band? Or are simple verses of Scripture, carefully considered and prayed over, and lived out to fruition the best measure of flock management?
Anyway, what was I saying before I got side tracked? Oh yes, cocktails!
So at the martini bar, I was blending a few concoctions and couldn't help but notice more than a few guests were eyeballing me and as I handed over their finished libations, a few commented that I was "treating it like an art" or that I was a "master craftsman". Well, I'm here to tell you that even after twenty five years in the trade, that's nonsense. The only thing I was doing was keeping it simple, letting the ingredients do the work, carefully considering my actions and giving a damn!
Perhaps in this day and age, that's something unique after all.
Here is a recipe for a delightfully refreshing, citrusy warm weather friend. You can make them yourselves, just don't cut corners and give a damn too!
The Lemon Drop Martini
2 oz. Tito's Vodka
.5 oz. of Simple Syrup
Juice of 1 lemon
3-4 dashes of Fee Brothers Lemon Bitters
Combine all ingredients in a Boston Shaker with a healthy handful of ice and shake vigorously for 15 seconds until impossibly cold, well combined and populated with those tiny ice flakes that make it so revitalizing. Strain into a well-chilled martini-style glass.
Repeat as necessary, but not too many times!