This is not a feel-good cocktail. It's not smooth and delicious with that hint of sweetness. Rather, it's bitter, intense, spicy, and surprisingly potent, like drinking hot sauce straight from the bottle. It's the liquid embodiment of that long dark night of the soul. And if you make it through two of these, you will feel 87.3% less existential, guaranteed! I'm not even sure if it should be drunk by itself because it's too much. Perhaps as the perfect accompaniment to a nice plate of nachos, as you try to dash those nagging thoughts of mortality.
What follows is an excerpt (amended) from my memoir, TALES OF INSOMNIA DESPAIR & THE PERFECT COCKTAIL, where this recipe first appeared...
It’s inexplicable, that what I thought I had lost for good, my creative self, returned to me not through writing or art or music but through mixology. Who can figure out the Muse? And making cocktails has become my metaphor. METAPHOR: A thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, especially something abstract. And what is death but the Grand Abstraction? ABSTRACT: considered apart from concrete existence. Difficult to understand, insufficiently factual, impersonal, detached. Death. And the thing is, we live surrounded by it. There are seven billion people in the world, each one of them trying to make their way through this thing called Life, and a lot of them die every day in spite of all their efforts. This is the Universal Experience and in it we should draw comfort, yet we don’t because it’s abstract. It always seems to happen to someone else, someone not here who we don’t know, because as far as we’re concerned, we’re immortal until proven otherwise. And we’ll take our place on the assembly line as it takes us through our lives, to that culmination, that fulfillment of the dream. For Michelle and me, it was modest, simple: to love each other, to grow old together. So what happens if you fall off the line and watch what was your life disappear? The answer for me is to drink. Perhaps it’s not a metaphor after all.
THERE’S A MISTER DEATH AT THE DOOR
1 part Tres Agaves Blanco Tequila
1 part Sauza Conmemorativo Blue Agave Tequila
1 part Absolut Peppar Vodka
½ part light Crème de Cacao
½ part fresh-squeezed Lime juice
½ Jalapeño Pepper (muddled)
Shake enthusiastically over ice, then fine strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a seeded slice of Jalapeño pepper.