Drink Like A Fish

Yes, we’re about to merge Golden Witch and Goatwaters at their common point of contact. Water. Not just any water. Aqua vitae. Water of Life.

This is what happens when the governments of the world unite to put a damper on business. Business slows down. I wind up with time to breathe, which has been unusually rare for the past few years, and that breathing time has led me to chasing several rabbits down several rabbit holes. One rabbit, we’ll call her my craft muse, went scampering off in a loop that brought me back to some guides I had designed, but not made. As I wrote in the new “About GW” ramble, we’re now actively engaged in getting these guides made. The tools are on order. Drake & I are working on the shop space, setting up task-dedicated benches. Within months we will have some new guide frames in production. Within the year we’ll have an entire new line of guides under way.

Lovely. But all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. After hours here at GW – which often means something like 9 or 10 PM, when both my wife & I are done with our workaday routines, I play at being a bartender. I’ve dabbled for several years, chasing another rabbit down an entirely different rabbit hole. Dabbling, for me, means reading everything I can get my hands on, then experimenting. With drinking, experimenting can be enjoyable, or dangerous if taken too far. We’re workaholics not alcoholics, so the experimenting has been slow. It’s taken years to work up a list of drinks worth serving at a shindig.

Now, with Corona afflicting the world, I’ve been making one drink in particular, the Particularly Dark & Stormy. This is not the drink I started to write about on Goatwaters, but it is related. I needed something that was fast, dirty, and delicious. Something easily repeatable for older family members and guests. Something that could be cloned in a non-alcoholic version for the youngsters and teetotalers. Great. Did that. I’ll share the recipe once I have the write-up finished.

The problem is, I ran out of a critical ingredient. When I went to purchase this ingredient on-line (what else can you do when the world is locked down?), I found that the manufacturer had established a new wholesale program. If I jumped through some hoops, moderate hoops since I already own an on-line business licensed by the state of Pennsylvania, I could get the not quite secret sauce in bulk. Oh Lordy, you can tell where this went, can’t you? I bought cases of the secret sauce, but I made a few promises to get where I got. I promised I’d resell the stuff. And I promised I’d write an article that hinges on my variant of the Dark & Stormy – and that I’d get that piece published somewhere other than on my own website and blog.

The cases of spicy nectar have arrived. Now I just have to write the words – my “Toast” to the place I love – and get that to the editor. Yes, there’s an editor involved, Aldrich. He runs a newspaper in a far off land. My favorite far off land. Curacao. He might think I’ve forgotten my promise to write for him. I haven’t. I’ve been biding my time (and dealing with some fall-out from this damn virus). Now the time is ripe. As soon as I’ve completed my writing task and sent him the words, I’ll add more to this page. Once he publishes the Toast, I’ll link it here. [Yes, the Toast was finally completed and almost immediately published. Thanks Aldrich! Now I’m posting it on Goatwaters, too…a back-up copy since it won’t remain on the front page of the Curacao Chronicle website forever.] Believe me, at three thousand words, it’s not a puff piece written for the sake of promoting nectar, the nectar just makes building the drink a straightforward, reliable endeavor. For you rodmakers, think of bottled nectar as akin to pre-made ferrules or stripping guides…you could make your own, but buying them ready-made allows you to craft rods with a bit more ease and very little loss of face (since nearly all amateur and pro makers utilize pre-fab ferrules and guides, i.e., the world we inhabit generally shares this same boat; I only make my own guides because I make guides for a living – and I always use ferrules made by other hands). Yes, I can make a product comparable to the nectar. I’ve done it. It’s good. This stuff is great, every time. It’s consistent, the way you want ingredients to be. And it’s so darn easy compared to whipping up a batch from scratch.

Before long I’ll have product photos, text, and a drink to share with you all. At the bottom of that drink page, I’ll have the secret sauce for sale. Because I promised that I would. And I will.

And, by the happenstance of opening this drink related wholesale account, I stumbled into a new world of suppliers. Eight thousand micro-niche businesses producing over ten thousand products, many of them related to the bartender’s craft. If the secret sauce sells, we’ll add another product, and another. In a year, I may have to turn out a batch of the muddlers I have sketched. There’s also this fabulous little parrot I discovered – a vintage, cast iron, hand painted bottle opener which was made by a local foundry ages ago. Wouldn’t it be really cool to re-invent this tool, resurrect the parrot? He’s not dead yet! Just shagged out after a prolonged squawk.

More soon…