There is something about back to school that makes even the looming prospect of death by refrigeration seem a small price to pay for the end of summer.
As much as we miss the small nation of teenagers who overran the house from June to August, it is hard not to enjoy the Chipotle-free feeling that settles over the furniture when they have mostly returned to their dorm rooms.
There is no such thing as endless summer, no matter what the posters say. It's just an expression used by surfers and parents to convey completely different sentiments. Like "surf's up" and "cowabunga."
It's uncanny how much overlapping jargon there is between parenting and surfing. I realized this the other day as I came across yet another stockpile of cocktail ingredients while cleaning out the teenager-occupied areas of the house.
"Cowabunga!" I said to myself. "These kids are making an awful lot of artisanal cocktails under their beds."
They're not old enough to be making artisanal cocktails, of course - there was not a single garnish among the supplies I found stuffed into backpacks with their teen-a-palooza ticket stubs - and they know nothing about simple syrup - so I found myself confiscating a lot of artifically flavored rum and vodka and some very questionable beer-type products. Maybe one of them was planning a shrimp boil?
We have some
very strict rules about alcohol in our house - the most obvious being that liquor is consumed by permission only, is not stored under the bed and is never, ever shared with non-family members under the legal drinking age, which I believe is 35.
I have been very busy the past few months, but my sense is that some of these rules may have been broken. Along with many smaller rules governing things like good taste.
From blueberry vodka to cinnamon whisky, my liquor cabinet now bulges with big-flavored contraband. This year's back to school cocktails have a little bit of a Willy Wonka feel to them. Serve with fast-food burritos and anything else you can eat from a bag. Cheers!
Smells like (Blueberry) Teen Spit
1 and 1/2 ounce blueberry vodka found in basement and likely consumed straight from bottle
Pour contraband vodka over ice into highball glass. Add club soda and garnish with lime, because you're not a teenager anymore.
Candy From a Baby
1 ounce Sazerac Fireball cinnamon whisky found under teenager's bed and also likely consumed straight from the bottle
Pour into official university glasswear of your choice and sip slowly while looking at baby pictures.
Photo: Sazerac Fireball cinnamon whisky - which I actually enjoyed. It was like a little mouthful of red hot candy.
From the back to school archives: One Post-it away from a three-ring breakdown