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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rum Runner

Hello, everyone.  This is Connie taking up the mantle to write the Sunday evening cocktail post.  With no particular idea in mind or recipe in hand, I grabbed The Cocktail Hour by Ben Reed, from Ryland Peters and Small, 2002.  Nice little book with great photographs.  It features mostly standard recipes with only a modicum of exotic ingredients.  I opened it, turned a couple of pages and settled on the Rum Runner.  Easy recipe and, as it turned out, fairly delicious.  Great balance of fruit flavor and not an alcohol bomb. 

But that's not the story for today.  The story is how we came about having one of the particular ingredients.  Kate has told you about the annual holiday party that we have hosted for the past eight years.  We invited 1,600 people last year (full well knowing that most people will never come) and we average, depending on the weather, around 160.  Last year it was closer to 180, but as I said, it depends on the weather.  And they never are all there at once.  People come, eat, have a drink or two and leave.  It's a great way to thank all your friends for their friendship and to celebrate making it to a new year. 

Year 6.  The party is in full swing and I am standing in the garage with our friends Mark and Chris.  The bar is set up in the garage and our bartender, Marti, mans (womans?) the bar for us.  As the three of us are talking, a couple comes in and asks for some wine. 

A little background here.  I am terrible with faces and names.  So bad in fact, that I have been known to forget people's names in meetings when they reported to me when I was in banking.  I'd look at someone whose annual review I'd be writing, and draw a blank.  I'd remember later of course, but wow!  So bad in fact, that I rarely got my children's names correct on the first attempt.  I'd yell David!, Gregory!, Matthew! When I was looking squarely at Matt.  In my family, we called that the Nana's.  My grandmother did the same thing.  I have no idea how many times I heard Stephen!, Eddie!, Connie! My uncles' names finally followed my me, the only other person in the room.   

Anyway, when the couple went up to Marti and asked for wine, I turned to Mark and said, “I don't know those people, I don't think they were invited.”  The couple were three feet from us and when they got their wine, they turned to us and said hi.  Mark is quick.  He immediately took up from what I said and returned the greeting and said, “Are you a friend of Kate's?”  “No.”  “Then you must know Connie.”  Here I am, playing Mickey the dunce, saying nothing.  “No.”  “Well how did you end up here?”  “We live just down the street, we saw all the cars, so I asked Megan if she wanted to stop.  She said no, but I stopped anyway.  She wouldn't come in, but I did.  I took a look around and it seemed like a nice, friendly party, so I went back outside and told her it would be okay.  Then we came back in.” 

Party crashers!  Bless us and save us!  Mark pressed on.  “So, what about the hosts, are you going to say something to them?”  “Well, I'd love to, but I don't know who they are.”  I told you Mark was quick.  “Here's one of them right here”, pointing to me. 

Now, I have been known as straight forward, maybe even blunt.  It's an east coast thing.  Lots of folks from other parts of the country tend to be more round about.  Not Bostonians.  We find it best, generally, to set the rules so everyone knows what coming.  Darren, Megan and I introduced ourselves.  I then set about making the rules.  “Darren, do you know how many people are here tonight?”  “No.”  “About 150.”  “Do you know how many people it takes to have the cops come?”  “No.”  “One!  Now are you that guy?  If you are that guy I want you to leave right now.  If you are not, one more person in this house will make no difference.  We have plenty of food and drink, and you are welcome.  So, are you that guy?”  “No, I am not.”  “Then fine, go get something to eat.” 

They went off into the house.  To be fair, I didn't leave the affair there.  I told three or four friends what was going on and had my posse tailing them.  I also let Kate know.  Later, when I had determined Darren had had enough to drink, I politely, but firmly, asked him to leave. In doing so, however, I also told him he had behaved well and if he would provide me his e-mail address, I would invite him the next year.   

So Darren and Megan showed up in year 7 with a lovely bottle of ice wine.  He told me that he never thought that I would actually send him an invitation, but I did.  I may be blunt, but I mean what I say.  This past year he showed up with a bottle of rum, The Kraken.  This was totally uncalled for because: 1) we ask for no gifts (people don't listen), 2) we serve no liquor, only beer and wine, and 3) this was a little more expensive than most hostess gifts (certainly more expensive than the well-meaning couple who showed up with a bottle of Charles Shaw (3 buck Chuck?  Are you kidding me?  They should have left it in the car, sparing me the embarrassment of actually having to thank them.). 

So there's the story.  The dark rum tonight in the Rum Runner was none other than Darren's The Kraken.  Which, only to add a little irony to the tale, is my daughter-in-law's name for my grandson.  She writes regularly on Facebook about him and while I am doing my best to prepare him to terrorize the world, he really doesn't seem to need my help. 

Rum Runner

(for one.  Normally we show drinks for two, but since this is a larger than normal drink, it doesn't fit into the cocktail shaker when made for two.  A little patience is involved.) 

1 oz white rum (we use Bacardi's)
1 oz dark rum (we use The Kraken)
juice of 1 lime
a dash of sugar syrup (we use 2:1)
6 oz of pineapple juice 

shake all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker for 30 seconds 

Strain into a highball glass filled with crushed ice. 

Toast the one you love, and enjoy!



1 comment:

Debra Eliotseats said...

Hello, Dennis.

I really need to get to work but I had to read this whole story. What a tale! Love it! Some people have kahunas, right? I love that you addressed the issue right then. It's great that it worked out and they now come every year (invited) and bring you such a nice gift.