There are things that New Englanders are very specific about, and New York not being in New England is amongst them. They’d be correct. New England was first defined by John Smith in 1616, but I think he meant New England as in, “Everything I can see from here is New England.” And before you tell me I was wrong, neither of us were there, so…
I have always felt New York should be invited into New England. It isn’t like we didn’t carry our weight in taxes. I have also always felt that West Point should be in the Ivy League. As I approach the subject yet again, I offer New Englanders this: the best Madras maker on the planet lives in New York.
I speak not of Prasan Shah. Who makes the best madras on the planet, but you can’t drink it. (PS – I have to talk to Prasan but it looks like he is opening something online – in which case I am going to flip out, he is the best guy, and is SO into his work, and their madras is like… you remember the first time you ever saw someone doing exactly what they were supposed to do? Oprah calls it flow. Which I am very sure she borrowed. That’s Prasan’s madras. Flow.) I mean, his madras is, yes, handmade by families and sold by his family and yes he knows every single weaver and so does his grandfather and yes he is near religious about it, but MY madras tastes better.
So New England would have you call this a Cape Codder.
I had my first glass of wine at a Truck Stop in LeMars, IA, so I know a little bit about drinking without home field advantage. Everywhere else, that is as Cranberry & Vodka.
New Englanders, however, got lazy in confusing everywhere in the world with the Screwdriver. Because, everywhere in the world, the Screwdriver is called a Screwdriver. It is vodka and orange juice. But I did hear of a drink called a Vodka Sunrise, which is vodka, orange juice and grenadine, but you make a pitcher of Screwdrivers and you add the grenadine into each glass.
I have an unfortunate story about vodka and orange juice. It has something to do with a bar, and a contest amongst recent college grads (myself included) about who could leave the bar with the person they picked first. We all had to pick a person, and then it was go time, no rules other than they had to leave the bar with you for half an hour, the idea being that you couldn’t just step outside to smoke. I used vodka as a supplement. Vodka and orange juice, to be exact, and it proved to be a Performance Enhancing Drug to a younger, thinner, wittier John Burton. I escorted my person out first, but we had to kill half an hour so we did, in the woods, you know, talking. We returned, and more vodka flew. I got her number, and as the Screwdrivers went back I grew quite fond of her. The next day I called (chivalry and she really was very funny) and it turns out the number she gave me was her job at a department store, and she was not working. One could interpret that to mean that I was a little more into her than she was into me. Assuming the attraction was equal before our half hour outside, one’s self-confidence could take a real hit. In fact, mine did. I called the next day, got the runaround again. On the third day (it is always that third day) I simply went there. I saw her back, walked up behind her, called her name. She turned around. COVERED in welts and puss and blisters. I am not, nor have ever been, allergic to poison ivy. So I forget that it’s a thing. She reminded me. It’s a thing.
Anyway, this is a Vodka Sunrise:
All of the above is in the batter’s circle of citrus and vodka drinks. At bat is the Madras. Orange Juice, Cranberry Juice, Vodka. This is not Sex On The Beach. Or anywhere else, in light of the paragraph above. Sex On The Beach has peach schnapps (which is a great word but I have no idea what schnapps is) in it. This is the Madras.
If you Google how to make a madras, you will run into the counting of ounces. This, friends, is nonsense. One does not count ounces when making a Madras. One counts, in the spirit of Southern Ivy, Mississippis.
Do not use a Highball or a Collins glass. These are designed to trick you, dear reader. These glasses are tall, and their height prohibits the communing of the elements. In this case, the communing of the vodka and the cranberry and the orange. Use a Lowball, or a Rocks Double. Fill it with ice. Trust me. This is so you can have two. Begin with the vodka. Six Mississippis. Then the cranberry. Three Mississippis. Then just a splash of orange. Stir it a little. You do not want uniformity. A glass of wine should change as you drink it. So should a Madras.
Have a nice summer, and don’t make jackass bets at bars like I did.