“I have this theory of convergence, that good things always happen with bad things.” -Diane Court
In honor of Diane Court, and we have applied the idea that good things always happen with bad things to our cocktail this week, because drinking is seldom only good and seldom only bad.
When Joey and I first starting thinking about our specialty cocktail for this drink, our minds went first to Vehlere’s graduation party, in which Diane Court wears a sparkling white dress that would surely get spilled on, and something called a Purple Passion pours out of a fountain. After a bit of research, I found that in the mid-1980s, Purple Passion was one of those mysterious “doesn’t taste like alcohol, don’t know what’s in it” drinks concocted in bathtubs and trash cans all over college campuses. Then, Everclear — the liquor not the band — decided to bottle and brand it; a precursor to Zima or Mike’s Hard. If you’re in the mood for some wacky 80s nostalgia, check out the Purple Passion website.
After learning that Purple Passion is an actual thing, I shifted my thoughts back to a few ideas: the messy, Solo-cup keg parties of my youth, cheap beer, and my first experiences drinking. I tell the story of my first drink as one wild night when I was trying to get Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince at the midnight release, and the nice clerk at Borders handed me a ticket and told me to come back at 2:00 a.m. Sorely defeated, three months after my 21st birthday, torn between wanting the book and needing to go to sleep, I decided to uncharacteristically meet my friends at the bar. They asked me what I wanted to drink, I had no idea, so I said the first thing that came to my mind: “Gin and juice, I guess.” An hour later, I said that I couldn’t feel my lips and everyone laughed. The rest is history!
But the real first time I tried alcohol, I was a freshman or so in high school, hanging out with some seniors from the neighboring private school. Growing up in a predominately Catholic community, I think a lot of families sent their kids to private elementary school, where they would receive their First Communion and Confirmation, then transition to public school for the rest of grade school. That’s how we ended up there: one crossover kid who knew everyone.
Of the experience, I remember this: myself and one other girl, also probably 14, with two guys, probably 17, at one of their houses, deep in the woods of Auburn, Maine. We had a bottle of Peach Scnapps, and we drank it straight. I guess they figured this was one bottle in their parent’s bar they wouldn’t notice? I remember not liking the taste, but feeling giddy and laughing a lot, and nearly agreeing to streak, naked, to the end of the well-lit gravel driveway; something I wouldn’t in a million years have done sober. Instead, we laughed and talked. Later, I decided that I didn’t like the feeling of not being in control, and it was seven years until I had a taste of alcohol again. It was sort of a theory of convergence moment: maybe my truest, deepest desire was to get naked with one of these boys, and I’d finally freed myself of the insecurity and doubt that plagued my adolescence. But maybe, I nearly missed being the beginning of a very sad story.
So for our viewing of Say Anything, I was thinking about underage drinking, Peach Schnapps, how dreadful beer tastes the first time, and how to take this idea and make something delicious out of it. The first time I’d heard of a beer cocktail was the Lewiston (Maine) Mimosa: High Life and orange juice. Then again with those giant margaritas with little Coronitas sticking out. But the best beer cocktail I’ve had is at Backstage, the karaoke/dive bar that Joey and I are obsessed with. We often drink Racer 5 IPA “Backstage Style” meaning, with a splash of grapefruit juice. Then I found this recipe at my favorite food blog, From Away, and adapted accordingly.
Theory of Convergence Cocktail
- 1 oz peach schnapps
- 2 oz grapefruit juice
- 12 oz hefeweizen (we used Allagash White because #Maine)
Pour all ingredients in a chilled pint glass, garnish with citrus wedge of choice, if you’re feeling fancy.
Listen to the Say Anything episode here.