Look ma, no hands: Bartending by proxy

Those of you who know me are already aware that I’m probably the world’s worst snowboarder. But for those of us who have never met, here’s the short version: during my very first snowboarding lesson two years ago, I made it down the bunny hill exactly one and a half times before falling and breaking my wrists. Yes, both of them.

This was a big bummer in more ways than one. I make most of my living as a freelance writer and clothing designer, so having both hands in casts for several months was inconvenient to say the least. Still, I found a lot of workarounds that allowed me to do most of the stuff I wanted to do. Dragon NaturallySpeaking became my best friend. I learned to open doors using my elbows. I drank beer through a straw.

Eventually I healed and life went mostly back to normal, but the injury left me with fat titanium plates in both wrists. By this spring, they were bothering me enough that I scheduled surgery to have them removed–so I’ve been enjoying Life with Casts, Round 2 for the past month. It’s amazing how fast that elbow dexterity comes back to you.

But there aren’t workarounds for everything. One thing you absolutely cannot do while in a cast, I’ve discovered, is bartend. Casts can’t get wet–and the fiberglass shell over my hands wouldn’t allow me to hold a shaker properly anyways. So what’s a girl to do?

My answer: outsource. Dan and I make regular visits to neighborhood favorite Serpentine, and bartender Drew has always made sure we’re well taken care of. Sometimes on slow nights, we’ll ditch the drink list and build new cocktails around whatever spirit I’m currently obsessed with. Recently, that spirit has been Sutton Cellars Brown Label Vermouth (which we’ll be showcasing at our upcoming Wine vs. Beer dinner on 5/21). The vermouth has an intensely spicy nose to it–tons of cinnamon, some allspice, and a bit of orange–but then delivers a completely dry finish.

Since I can’t make my own cocktails for another couple of weeks, Drew has been kind enough to indulge my crazy drink-mixing requests. The stuff we come up with isn’t always a home run, but one cocktail we came up with this week is too awesome not to share. And Serpentine agreed–they actually put this one on the menu! Enjoy.

Horseless Carriage
1 ounce St. George Single Malt Whiskey (Serpentine is making it using St. George brandy, but I like it with whiskey)
1 ounce Sutton Cellars Brown Label Vermouth
1 ounce ginger liqueur (we used King’s, but Domaine de Canton would work too)
1/2 ounce lemon juice

Stir and serve up.

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