Election Day

Today's the shootout between the Hillaryists and the Obamamamas here, so I'll probably need a stiff drink or two tonight no matter who wins. There was a 55-60-year-old white woman ahead of me who said she was voting for the first time in her life--here where primary turnouts tend to be around 20 percent. Let's hope she likes voting and makes it a habit.

Oh, I forgot to mention: we can't buy liquor until after the polls close here today. I bet you didn't know Indiana thinks it's still 1903, did you? Harold Hill just rang my doorbell peddling boys' bands.

Last night I finished getting caught up on my champagne cocktail recipes, and managed to finish up the bottle of bubbly in the process. The first one from a couple months ago was called a Casanova in my calendar: champagne, apple juice (I used the 100% stuff), and raspberry puree (I bought frozen and schmushed a few around in a bowl). I'm not sure what that combination has to do with old roués or lots of women, except maybe he needed lots of champagne to lubricate his way through them all.

Verdict: champagne by itself is better. The apple juice didn't bring anything to the table, and the raspberry mash just sat in the bottom of the goblet, to bottom off the drink. Now I have a bottle of apple juice in the fridge, not my favorite.

Recipe #2 was an 'Old Cuban'. Sort of like an old roué, but with an accent and revolutionary fervor. Rum (I used the zillion cane version), lime juice, simple syrup, mint leaves, something else maybe (not the secret ingredient, just the forgotten one), champagne.

Do you know how hard it is to find fresh mint in the grocery stores here in the Herbland, uh, Heartland? Nowhere locally. It put a damper on my making Derby-appropriate juleps over the weekend, let me tell you. I have a just planted mint plant in my herb plot, so I tore a few baby leaves off that for this drink. They wouldn't work for a proper julep though.

Verdict on this one: I liked it. The lime doesn't overpower everything, maybe because the sugar syrup helps tone it down, and I got just a whiff of mint. Not a drink I'd make with top quality champagne, but maybe a good substitute for a margarita to go with a South of the Border meal.

As a postscript, in the first of my Other Things You Can Use This Stuff For informational bits: I was making scrambled eggs last night (with shredded cheese, so not proper scrambled eggs), and I threw in a couple dashes of bitters on a whim. The eggs were good. I could get just a hint of the herbalness of the bitters. I recommend it.