Two beers for every 45 days you're at sea: that's the rule for American sailors and the Marines who deploy with them. The warm canned beers are handed to you at the same time, tops popped, so no enterprising seaman can sell them later or hoard them in his locker. (Things are looser in the British Navy, which has always spread the gospel of rum and bitters.)
The last time my Marine husband enjoyed two warm beers, it was on his way home from Iraq in 2003.
My husband has no more balmy brews on the horizon; he's retiring this summer after a brilliant military career. We're marking the day at the World War II museum, under a canopy of warplanes. The ceremony will be precise, emotional, musical and, after, there is the promise of a good drink.
We asked Lauren Holton and Ryan Iriarte, the dynamic team behind the bar at High Hat Café, to craft something just for the occasion. All we asked is that it be based on rum, the ultimate seagoing spirit.
They began with the elements of a sour —a whipped egg white and juicy citrus that's nearly matched by honeyed simple syrup. Mellow, caramel rum and a top note of vanilla blunt the tartness, and a splash of club soda makes it a fizz.
Like all good fizzes, Ryan and Lauren's concoction feels refreshing, frothy, summery, joyful—exactly what I'll want to drink as I picture a summer with my husband home, a season to include a blowout time celebrating the 10th anniversary of Tales of the Cocktail.
And while we're talking milestones: the cocktail's "Ayda" refers to Ryan's first child, a daughter born just days ahead of this drink, and as my husband charts a new course.
Written by Ryan Iriarte and Lauren Holton, courtesy of High Hat Café
• 0.5 ounce lemon juice
• 0.5 ounce grapefruit juice
• 0.75 ounces honey simple syrup
• 2 dashes orange bitters
• 1 dash vanilla bitters
• 0.75 ounces egg white (about 1½ tablespoons)
• 2 ounces Old New Orleans Amber Rum
• Club soda
• Rosemary and lemon peel as garnish
Whip together juices, simple syrup, both bitters and egg white. Shake with rum and ice, double-strain into martini glass. Top with club soda, and garnish with rosemary and lemon peel.
High Hat Café • 4500 Freret St. • 504.754.1336 • HighHatCafe.com