A warm summer afternoon. A kitchen.
Two men in early middle age make cocktails while their wives consort in the living room.
One man, Brian, consults a bartender guide.
A recipe awaits.
AMBROSIA FOR TWO
3 oz. brandy (Pierre Ferrand cognac)
3 oz. apple brandy (St. George California Reserve)
Several drops of raspberry syrup (DIY)
Champagne (Martini & Rossi Asti)
Combine the brandies and the syrup with ice; shake. Strain into two pre-chilled wine glasses. Fill each glass with champagne and stir.
Another man, Eric, lurches forward.
Eric: You just put 34 drops of red raspberry syrup in. The recipe says “several drops of raspberry syrup.” Now this is a recipe for 2, so 17 and a half drops per person. I would say that is several, wouldn’t you?
Brian: I would say that is several.
Eric: At what point does “several”— (loses interest) ahh, never mind, it’s pointless…
Brian: Let’s say your definition of several is 5. Are 5 drops of raspberry syrup going to make a dent in the 6 ounces of brandy that are in there?
Eric: If it’s pretty strong raspberry syrup. Is it pretty strong raspberry syrup?
Brian: Would you like to taste it?
Eric: I would.
Eric tastes Brian’s homemade raspberry syrup and approves. Laughter from the living room. Both men turn sharply.
Brian: This is a big drink to start the day off with.
Eric: It is almost 4:00. Cheers.
They clink glasses.
Eric: Man, you look tired.
Brian: This is dangerous. The champagne kills all the alcohol taste that is in there.
Eric: The champagne is a cloaking device. I also note that the raspberry syrup is still invisible, in spite of your 35 drops.
Brian: I’m trying to drink this but it’s so weird.
Eric: You think the syrup is a color thing? This drink does have a beautiful color; it looks like a nice lambic or something. I don’t know a thing about lambics, however. Okay then, it looks like a nice beer. But the problem with this drink is not the raspberry syrup, it’s the champagne. Champagne drinks are problematic for me.
Brian: Yeah, I’m not a huge champagne guy either. Still, I think this needs more of it.
Eric: Of course it does.
Brian finishes off the Ambrosia, smacking his lips ambigiously.
Brian: I like it. I would give it a 5.
Eric: As you know, I tend to roll more negative. I give it a 4 and a half. I don’t hate it; I just think it lacks ambition. What does it need?
Brian: This drink needs to be superchilled. It needs to be cold. (points) That warms up, you’re dead.
Eric: You know what, this is a drink that would be good for a summer afternoon—oh, sorry, that that is what we say about everything!
Brian: Maybe you put dry ice in, so that you keep it cold but you don’t add any water to it.
Eric: Because then it looks like the Munsters.
Brian: Well yes, there is that whole thing that happens.
Eric: What if you put a cinnamon stick in it?
Brian: I think it’s a bad idea.
Eric: What about 3/4 of an apple?
SCORES: Brian 5, Eric 4.5