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Many of you will not need the recipes for the drinks I’m writing at the end of this. Today, the post isn’t about the cocktail. It’s about cocktails that allow me to drink to remember.

On the day that I graduated from high school, I did not and could not view it as the accomplishment that many believe that day to be. Even now, I don’t know if I could articulate why. At the time I viewed it as a day to merely get through, like finals and AP exams, instead of a day to reflect on a four year academic pursuit. When graduation was over, I was one of the first people out the door of the auditorium. I did not look for my friends or my family. I looked for solitude.

My friend Tracy and I had made plans for later in the evening after I found time for myself. I went to Little Caesars and grabbed a pizza and then Dillons for a movie. She had a bottle of wine and together on the night of my graduation, I entered adulthood. After watching Spiderman, we finished the wine, slowly chatting as her dog ran around the backyard. Six and a half years later, I have no idea what we talked about or which red wine we drank. Because of spring sunset, I know red wine and pizza always go together. It brings me back to an afternoon where alcohol symbolized a club I had been honorably initiated into, instead of a right that I had been granted by an age.

Today, I share this memory today, because I’m thinking about an organization I’m literally initiated into: my fraternity, Delta Lambda Phi. As many of you know, one of my fraternity brothers committed suicide about fifteen months ago. Yesterday, my house mom’s son also committed suicide.  I woke up this morning to that email, and my heart goes out to her and her family. I lost a brother; I cannot imagine the depth of pain that she must be feeling after losing a son.

My chapter has two shots: a straight Tuaca shot and the Royal Fuck, otherwise known as a Crown Royal and Peach Shot. After induction and initiation when I was colonizing and now for events and 21 birthdays, these are the shots we buy. While many find champagne appropriate to celebrate, with my fraternity brothers, these two drinks are what one of the many adult beverages we always drink to celebrate or to commiserate.

When Jason committed suicide last year, Dusty produced a bottle of Tuaca where we all toasted him:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
The rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

We did not drink Crown and Peach the night Jason died. However, that is the other drink of equal importance in my chapter. My big brother Randy brought the shot to Beta Mu (DLP K-State Chapter) from LA. It, and Tuaca, was had on the night the chapter initiated.  Since then, it has been had on graduation, 21 birthdays, and breakups.

These cocktails are ones I will always remember because it is built about years of shared experience in times of celebration and loss. They become more than the cocktail. Drinking it and sharing it invokes the past and present and the future; the here and now and the forever and eternity.

Tuaca

Not that you need the instructions, but . . .

1 oz of cold Tuaca

  • Pour Tuaca into a glass
  • Toast
  • Drink

Royal Fuck aka Crown & Peach

Not that you need the instructions, but . . .

1 oz. Crown Royal

1 oz. Peach Liqueur

  • Combine the Crown Royal and Peach Liqueur into a martini shaker.
  • As always, shake dramatically.
  • Toast
  • Drink

Evaluation:

I cannot evaluate these two cocktails. The drinks are based on shared experiences on memory. While I think the taste of Tuaca leaves something to be desired and I love the taste of a Royal Fuck, that is not what these cocktails are about. It is about finding drinks to have shared memories. It is about having the liquor be more than a means to drunken tom-foolery.

Cost:

Tuaca:

750 mL bottle of Tuaca: $30

Royal Fuck:

750 mL bottle of Crown Royal: $25

750 mL bottle of Peach liqueur: $10

Total: $35

But really, who can put a price on tradition, shared experiences, and memories of someone or a time you loved?

As always, happy and safe drinking!

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