Celebrating the Equinox

Well, the autumnal equinox has come and gone, but I still wanted to show how Elostirion (i.e., my home) commemorates such turnings of the year.  The evenings grow chill, the leaves are changing, and Persephone is gone from her mother’s side once more.  How shall we recognize it?  How shall we stay warm?

Well, first I mixed up The Last Word:

3/4 oz gin
3/4 oz Chartreuse
3/4 oz lime juice
3/4 oz Maraschino liqueur

Chartreuse is a liqueur made by Carthusian monks in the Grande Chartreuse monastery, in (shockingly) the Chartreuse mountains.  The recipe is a closely-guarded secret, but it entails a base spirit aged with 130 herbal extracts.  Chlorophyll gives it its characteristic color, which was named for the liqueur.
Maraschino liqueur is a clear, bittersweet liquid made from Marasca cherries, whose pits lend it an almond-like flavor.  Once upon a time, whole cherries would be preserved in the liqueur, hence maraschino cherries.  Then along came Prohibition and stole the liqueur from the equation, leaving us cherries which were first bleached, then colored an alarming shade of red, then put into a sugary, non-alcoholic brine for the masses to ruin garnish their drinks.
But I digress.  The Last Word is a careful exercise in balance between pungency, sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and mystery.

Then there was the Autumnal Equinox itself:

2 oz port
1 oz Grand Marnier
1/2 oz Amaretto

Other recipes of the same name exist online, typically grasping for spirits found far north and far south of the Equator to emphasize how on such days, neither hemisphere is closer to the sun; these struck me as odd combinations, hence my following The Webtender’s recipe (though I’m not sure where the Webtender found it).  The ingredients would normally be stirred with ice in a rocks glass, but I tend to favor chalices in autumn.  Somehow their heaviness bespeaks the coming need for warmth, for blankets, for hot drinks, for fires, for books.

Thalia had a friend over, who suggested taking pictures of the drinks by said books:

Lewis might not have been much of a cocktail-drinker; nevertheless I hope he would approve.


5 thoughts on “Celebrating the Equinox

  1. Okay, when you make your inevitable (and much anticipated) visit, you will have to share your mixology know-how with us. (Also, can you get degrees in mixology, I wonder?) I’m rather jealous of your proper fall weather, because the Texas heat down here still continues to be an affront against all decency and goodness. See, I am turning into the equivalent of those kids who would complain about the Michigan cold in March. But as a Midwesterner myself, I’d rather the cold, please. Also, you’d be proud of me because I spent half an hour yesterday looking for an out of print Lewis book, “The Allegory of Love.” It is generally expensive and in poor condition, but I finally found one to buy. 🙂

  2. Hahaha…my dear, this *is* my sharing of mixology-know-how. But you’re quite right. I’ll see what I can take to TX without the TSA running off with it.

    My brother has a certificate much like this one: http://www.flickr.com/photos/splat/2893466462/. But for those who go through less official channels, http://tinyurl.com/6kyaoxa is a pretty good article on the difference between “bartenders” and “mixologists.”

    Muaha, I knew y’all would envy us our autumn. Much more reasonable, methinks, than whinging about Michigan cold ^_^

    SO pleased about The Allegory of Love! Gosh, I can’t wait to see it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s