Cocktail Chatter - To Everything There is a Cocktail

Since we closed the beach house in late October, 310,692 Americans died of heart disease or coronaries. 9,992 people got murdered. 17,962 people killed themselves – 9,679 used guns, 4,272 chose hanging or other forms of suffocation, 3,810 poisoned themselves (Drano, Clorox, Taco Bell). And 851 left the planet by way of a miscellany of theatrical means ranging from the operatic (stabbing, drowning) to such spectacle-oriented last scenes as hurling themselves off skyscrapers and, my personal favorite – it really makes a bold statement – setting themselves on fire. In short, it was time to open up the house in Fire Island Pines.

Why so morbid? Like much of the country, Dan and I barely survived a truly rough winter in New York City. The temperature was beyond bitter (at least for us) that the city’s indigenous Common Grumpy (grumpus vulgarus) morphed into the mutant Ticking Time Bomb (explosivus imminentus). We all waited for the Post headline: “Massapequa Music Teacher Kills 7 at ‘Addams Family’ Matinee.”

It stopped being funny in February, when two friends died. They were, like me, in their 50s. The first to make his off-cue exit was my high school pal from back home in western Pennsylvania. We’d both wanted to become writers; one did, the other stayed in Natrona Heights. The second was my first serious boyfriend, the endlessly recovering substance user. They each ended up alone on the floors of their apartments. I had to get to the beach fast or I’d go insane.

I made my suitcase-laden way alone in a freezing rain to the Pines. Dan refused to join me, using terms like “crazy” and “self-destructive mourning” to describe my desperate journey of solitude, grief and (I hoped) renewal on such a crummy weekend. The weather was no big deal. I built a fire, made a vast amount of absurdly spicy chili, and developed a new cocktail in beautiful seclusion.

Housemate Frankie, the speed-talking restaurant manager, told me that herbal simple syrups were all the rage among Manhattan bartenders. So I adapted the traditional time-wasting (not-so-) Simple Syrup to my own move-fast, drink-faster pace: the Really Simple Syrup with Lavender. Here’s the result – a cousin of the Aviation. It’s tasteful and refined, something the Gillian Girl would order at an exclusive club in Beverly Hills. In memory of my Valley of the Dolls –loving Michael – it’s called the Anne Welles.
The Anne Welles
1/2 cup of Absolut (with two dead friends you get the Big Gulp)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoon Creme de Violette
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon Really Simple Lavender Syrup – in other words, to taste.*
Chill a martini glass. Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and chill in the freezer for five or 10 minutes. Add a few ice cubes to the shaker, and shake hard. As with the Aviation, strain into the frosty glass and hope that a few shards of ice rise to the top. Admire the color; serve.
*Lavender Syrup: Brew 2/3 cup of strong lavender tea. (OK, you may not find lavender blossoms at Piggly Wiggly. You may have to go to a New Age store. Try not to throw up.) Strain out the blossoms, and pour the tea into a jar; add 2/3-cup sugar. Put the lid on and shake until the sugar dissolves. Store in the refrigerator.

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less