Embrace Your Summer Feelings With the Warday’s Cocktail

Embrace Your Summer Feelings With the Warday’s Cocktail
Photo: Devojka

There’s a line from an Eileen Myles poem that I keep turning over in my head: “Every season has cracks through which winter or fall might leak through.” And while Eileen goes on to declare June “the most perfect flavour,” for me, the month of September is undoubtedly the time with the most eclectic fractures.

I suppose September makes me contemplative as fuck. There’s something about this time where everything hits at once. As I’ve been traversing NYC’s offerings of hotels and friend’s couches, so has my mind through memory and experience. It’s often hard to tell which precedes the other. Over text, I entreat a friend to tell me something good and true. They write back: “In September, sunlight changes the angle and everything seems softer and kinder.” I repeat this to myself in the days that follow.

When I meet my beautiful friend Britt in Midtown for drinks and commiseration, we share a record-scratch moment when we discover, to our mutual astoundment, that we both comfort ourselves with the notion of parallel universes; that there are infinite possibilities of lives we are no doubt living somehow, somewhere, untethered by space or time or current realities. A love that faded instead endures, a home is owned in Palm Springs, a family is started. Different cities are lived in, different jobs worked, different choices made. Unstuck in time we are existing in Somewhere, Elsewhere with all our desires realised.

I think about this as I spend my last couple of days here in Harlem, in a tall and noble brownstone that is all wood and mystery. (It is extremely my shit.) Some years back, I had a dream that I lived with my parents in New York in a brownstone much like this one (in reality, my parents were long divorced and both had a strong dislike for the east coast.) In the dream, I knew it was September because the day still felt like summer and I was hot and itching in my new back-to-school sweater, my arms full with textbooks. There was a fire escape next to my room that I would sit out on to smoke and read. I had an orange tabby cat too (in real life, my dad is allergic). It was so familiar, I felt exactly in place. Just like the cracks in seasons that let the others seep through, I think too that there are moments where we meet a glimmer of one of our parallel lives, a peek behind the sliding door.

Today, in Harlem, writing at an antique desk, my host’s orange tabby cat lounges on the rug, I catch a glimpse of my(other)self. Clouds have rolled in — a moment of winter seeping through. The maple tree outside is showing its first faint cast of yellow, I am itchy but content in my short-sleeved sweater.

The Warday’s cocktail is one I adore very much but don’t see out in the wild very often, which is a shame. Calvados beckons Autumn, gin lightens the mood, green chartreuse heightens the impact, and sweet vermouth mellows it all over into a hypnagogic and potent beverage. It’s the first cocktail that came to mind for nursing my contemplative mood, for invoking the season, for adapting to transition, for the end of hard days when one needs things to seem softer and kinder.

How to make the Warday’s cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 30 ml Calvados (You can use applejack, but I recommend calvados; it’s delightful for sipping neat)
  • 30 ml Gin
  • 25 ml oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 10 ml oz Green Chartreuse
  • Garnish with Lemon Twist

This is a stirred, up cocktail, so do take care that your mixing glass and coupe are nicely chilled and frosty. Put all the ingredients (except garnish) into the mixing glass and fill with cracked ice–larger pieces first and smaller shards last. Stir carefully, keeping the back of your bar spoon against the glass and adding ice if needed. The wetter the ice, the less time you have to work with, so keep that in mind. Generally, you want to stir until the mixing glass has re-frosted, about 30 seconds. Once sufficiently stirred, remove your coup from the freezer (not a moment sooner) and strain into the glass. Express the lemon peel over the glass and garnish.

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