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Monday, December 1, 2008

Introduction: gin

It was our last night in the city. Rain had fallen for three days straight, and we were perpetually damp. We had spent our evenings combing the neighborhoods for that quintessentially urban experience. Perhaps a corner bar with exquisite cocktails, appetizers and understated elegance. Or maybe something truly bohemian -- pasty faced, scruffy poets throwing verse at one another.

We hadn't found it. Instead, we drank at an Irish pub, dined at an overpriced, crowded, trendy Italian joint. Not bad, but not transcendent, either.

Why Wendy was drawn to the Liberty Hotel, visible each day as the train rose up to cross the river, I don't know. It was detached from any neighborhood, and attached to a hospital. Its brownish grey facade seemed cold against the steel grey sky. But drawn to it we were. Which is a good thing. The lobby was the inside of a colonial-era jail, and it was truly grand. The bar, called Clink, offered sumptuous couches and an equally sumptuous bartender. We settled in.

A few hours later, we found ourselves in the kitchen of a corporate lawyer, cooking carne asada in various stages of undress and carnality.

Lips. Everywhere.

And it all started with gin. Hendricks, to be precise. Which is funny, because normally I'm a Bombay Sapphire guy (which causes gin afficianados' livers to pucker up and cringe -- the NY Times called it a "neurotic" gin. Pshaw.). The martini was called the Classic Twist, a delightfully cool concoction of Hendricks, muddled cucumber, black pepper and perhaps some vermouth, all shaken quite beautifully by the aforementioned bartender.

I sipped it, and spoke effusively about a talk I had heard that day about the importance of storytellers in every tribe, community, society. I almost cried, in fact -- maybe it was the words, maybe the martini. Wendy gulped French Kisses -- vodka, chambord, champagne. She delighted in asking the waitress, quite seductively, for another french kiss.

I was about to order a second twist. After all, they say a martini is like a woman's breast: One is not enough, three is too many. But before I could call the waitress over, the couple approached our table. He, a sturdy guy, self-conscious scruff, foreign accent; she, long blonde hair, lips shaped like a heart. We chatted. We drank some more. All four of us left together.

I would not need another Classic Twist. And later that night, I would discover that the saying about martinis and breasts is sometimes wrong, on both counts.


Stick around, and perhaps I'll finish the story sometime. In the meantime, I'll be blogging semiregularly here at gin + gelato (I'm of the slow blogging school, I'm afraid). And here's what this blog will include:
  • chronicles of our journey to find the world's best gelato/ice cream;
  • recipes from our attempts to create the same;
  • musings on gin, and cocktail formulas;
  • short fiction (in the hopes that you'll not only read it, but that artists in other media will steal my work and use it in other forms -- like make movies out of it);
  • explorations of the intersection between the rational and the hedonistic;
  • photographs;
  • pointers and commentary on other artists, websites, blogs, etc.
I'm hoping that this will be a place not just for my monologues, but for conversation. Please comment, even if you're ripping me to shreds (I'm used to it, I've been a newspaper/magazine editor for eight years). Send me your recipes, reviews of gelato and gin, and other thoughts. Either with the comment option, or to my email: jonnypeace{at}

And please: enjoy.


Natty-G said...

YAY! I'm the first geek to not only read but to comment on your new blog. See, JT, it pays to be so connected (via facebook and twitter - your new best friends if you really want this to take off)! love that you incorporated "slow blogging" into your first piece - I read that article in the NYT's too. You didn't reference it, though. BEST of LUCK and have fun! I'll subscribe or some such thing, and I'll definitely eat gin and drink some gelato w/ you asap! -Nat ps is that really true what "they" say about gin and breasts? or is "they" really "you"?

camille said...

I've always enjoyed the beauty and creativity in your writing, jonathan. I'll be back too gin + gelato for more