It is part of the cycle of life. The vibrant days of Spring that burst with new life transcend into the warm, glowing days of Summer. Then, slowly, the brightness of each day shortens as the dark side of the world, the Otherworld, slowly creeps into time previously occupied by light. This time of year begins the tenous battle between the light and the dark, the living and the dead. It is All Hallows Eve, it is All Souls Day, it is Samhain, it is also Día de los Muertos.
Tonight in Mexico, the cemeteries will be crowded with people gathering in remembrance of family and friends who have gone to the other side. Candles and crosses will dot the graves and the air will be eerily quiet.
But before that, there will be parades, festivals and parties. Toys will be presented to children, gifts of small skulls made of sugar will be exchanged between friends, and of course brightly wrapped bottles of Tequila will be under everyone's arm ready to be shared. There will be hearty meals with special sweet breads. The the skull mask will be worn by many and costumed dances will take place in many plazas. For those in Mexico who remain on this side, they remember that life goes on and it is to be enjoyed!
But of course, if you're not in Mexico tonight and you want to leave a bottle on the grave of a loved one...it might be very appreciated!
1 shot gin
1 shot Cointreau
1 shot Lillet Blanc
1 shot fresh lemon juice
Dash of absinthe or substitute (I used roughly ¼ teaspoon)
Shake well with ice and strain in to a cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
*The drink is referred to as The Corpse Reviver because the first written account of the drink is found in The Savoy Cocktail Handbook by Harry Craddock in 1930 with the description "four of these taken in straight succession will unrevive the corpse again."
For those in the Stamford, Conn area, I will be sampling these tonight at one of my favorite local haunts Harlan Social. Local Cocktail Craftsman Adam Patrick will be creating them. Worth the trip!
Canción para El Día de los Muertos
Is there anything a man don't stand to lose,
When the devil wants to take it all away?
Cherish well your thoughts, keep a tight grip on your booze
Cause thinkin' and drinkin' are all I have today.
On a more somber note: Tonight, my thoughts and prayers will be with those who recently traveled to the other side as a result of hurricane Sandy, and their friends and family.