010220_drink

I cannot believe it is the New Year – 2020! My mother used to tell us kids – as we wished for summer vacation to arrive or lamented how long it was ‘til our birthday or Christmas – that we were wishing our lives away. She went on to tell us that when we got older time would go by way too fast. We laughed of course at the absurdity of her prediction – but it turns out Mom was, in so many ways, right. It’s been quite a while since I did an eager countdown to my birthday, and it seems the months blur together as they speed by.

As we are now two decades into the century it’s interesting to look back at some predictions made about 2020 that did not fare as well as my Mom’s. Glenn Seaborg, in the book “Scientist Speaks Out” (1951), foresaw domestic animals serving as household help and eliminating the need for maids. Alas, in most households I know – including mine – the humans remain subservient to their pets. Many have fantasized about flying cars a la “The Jetsons,” but in 1966 science writer Arthur C. Clarke put forth that houses in the future would fly. Not bound by any foundation the occupants could move their residence at will – anywhere on Earth. This may yet come to pass with the growing popularity of tiny houses, which would seem more easily made flight worthy than McMansions.

In a Popular Mechanics article in the ‘50s, we were confidently told that cooking and in-home meal preparation would be a thing of the past by 2020; instead food would be delivered by robots in the form of frozen bricks. These bricks would provide complete nutrition, but no recognizable ingredients. Don’t tell the folks at The Food Network, and all those celebrity chefs that captivate us with their skills and ingenuity in the kitchen, that they’ve been phased out. My favorite misguided prediction was that nobody would work and everyone would be rich. The current record level of employment would lay waste to the first part of that prognostication – and I can personally vouch that the latter is a falsehood!

I don’t generally make New Year’s resolutions but this year I did optimistically commit to a couple. I resolved to do some weightlifting to develop my rapidly failing biceps. It seems that lifting a few cocktails every afternoon, even remembering to alternate arms, is not sufficient. I also resolved to investigate the newest and most absurdly flavored sprits with an open mind. For instance, I came across a whiskey just before Christmas that is flavored with peanut butter. You read that right – peanut butter! Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey is a real thing. The promotional material touts it for a “late night craving” – when apparently nothing but whiskey and peanut butter will suffice. I will admit to occasionally indulging in both of these on a few late nights, but not simultaneously.

With my resolution in mind I tried Skrewball and was somewhat impressed. It tastes pretty good, but the idea is still ridiculous. Still, if one were to also buy a bottle of Bird Dog Chocolate Whiskey (yes – also a real thing) I can think of a tantalizing combination of the two (Reese’s – not sorry). The Skrewball folks, however, suggest the following.

ISLAND OF MISFITS

1 1/2 oz. Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey

¾ oz. dark rum

½ oz. orange juice

½ oz. pineapple juice

½ oz. cream of coconut

Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with pineapple top leaves. Sprinkle on a little nutmeg.

Not only do I love the name of this concoction, but it is surprisingly tasty. Serve it to some friends and watch their reactions while they try to figure out the mystery taste in your sort-of-like a piña colada.

If you actually do buy the Bird Dog Chocolate you will find it quite delicious on the rocks (to me, chocolate is a more natural match with whiskey than peanut butter – which is a natural match for Ritz crackers). You can create a quite unique cocktail, too.

REVOLVER

1 oz. Bird Dog Chocolate Whiskey

1 oz. vanilla vodka

1 oz. cranberry juice

½ oz. dry vermouth

Shake all ingredients with ice in a shaker. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with a lemon peel spiral.

Notice how both these drinks require shaking. I am working on a theory, tied to resolution No. 1, that the biceps can be developed by industrious use of a cocktail shaker. I am, of course, alternating the shaking arm. I’ll let you know how my muscle-building regimen turns out. Right now I’m late to the bar … er, gym.

In the meantime I am optimistically predicting a Happy New Year for us all!