Sunday night with the vicar, or how to cope with teatotaling guests
Now I know what you’re thinking, but I do not have a problem. Not since I met Dr.
Feelgood Feldman anyway. In point of fact, I do entertain the occasional dry guest, someone who for religious, personal or legal reasons has chosen the path of abstemious virtue, God love ’em all. I respect that, though I cannot fathom it, since it would require me to eliminate caffeine (what goes up…) and leave me with no excuse for sleeping later than 7 am (OK, 9), and since I’m rapidly running out of vices, I feel the need to hold on to the few that remain. What’s more, a considerable chunk of my family history revolves around excessive consumption of light beer, box wine and bootleg gin, so drinking, for me, carries strong sentimental associations. Besides, it’s the only thing that makes my family interesting or my in-laws bearable.
So anyways, here it is, my list of un-potent potables, all of which taste much better when you, the host, down at least two dry martinis before your guests arrive.
Sparkling Lorina Blood Orange soda: A tarted up, frenchified version of Orange Crush. Not as sweet, more adult. Begging for a shot of vodka.
Seltzer and cranberry with mint. A virgin diva without the kick. Smells heavenly though.
Sparkling cider: Not exactly original, but it’ll do in a pinch. And if your glass just happens to contain a little Magner’s, no one will be any the wiser.
Iced raspberry tea: In summer, this is a nice treat. You can add orange juice to it, or mint sprigs, or mix it with a little ginger ale. Of course, a suspicion of limoncello for the host would not be amiss.
Manhattan Special Espresso Coffee Soda: Probably not available outside the five boroughs, but if you’re in the city, you can get pretty amped up on this stuff. With a good glug of half & half, it’s like dessert, or as my friends Downeast call it, fat-ass-in-a-glass. (Thank you, Baxter.)