I was driving home this evening from my grandmother’s house where I’ve spent the day with family preparing for my grandfather’s funeral tomorrow, and I’m pretty sure the universe was hurling metaphors in my face.
The first thing I saw was a massive cloud of black smoke dramatically scarring the otherwise serene sunset. If I had to guess the cause, I’d say house fire… and I thought to myself “Wow. That’s what my soul feels like right now.” Admittedly a harsh thing to think when someone’s home is potentially burning down, but I’m finding grief does funny things to my sense of decorum. Somehow it just felt fitting.
Immediately after that, “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa came on the radio. While I fully recognize this was meant as a final tribute to actor Paul Walker, I hadn’t heard it until right at that moment… and damn. Paul Walker or no Paul Walker, if the radio gods were trying to cater to my heartache, they nailed it. I mean, look at these lyrics (or listen to it here):
How could we not talk about family when family’s all that we got?
Everything I went through you were standing there by my side
And now you gonna be with me for the last ride
So let the light guide your way, yeah
Hold every memory as you go
And every road you take will always lead you home, home
It’s been a long day without you, my friend
And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
We’ve come a long way from where we began
Oh, I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
When I see you again
All this really accomplishes is instigating a complete and salty-flavored breakdown while driving home alone. The sun is going down and the sky is the same color orange as the tie my grandfather wore to my wedding. Rain is on its way. It’s cold, and I am empty.
What does this have to do with cocktails? Honestly, mostly nothing, but it feels better to write it out. My grandpa himself, on the other hand, has a lot to do with cocktails. I credit him with cultivating my love of gin and the camaraderie that comes with it, which is why this week’s cocktail is my grandfather’s cocktail. One last gin & tonic for Jim.
I’m not including a recipe, because it’s pretty self-explanatory and I honestly can’t say I measured anything properly when I poured it. He never did either, so it would have felt wrong. My grandpa taught me many things, but most importantly in the realm of cocktails: “If you can’t taste the booze, what good is your drink?!”
Cheers Grandpa, I miss you and will love you always.