Once in a Blue Agave Moon: A Convergence of Many Things, Part V, Chapter Twenty-Two

 

Elliott next produced a large growler of remarkably clear, dark green liquid. He held it aloft for dramatic effect with the flourish of a circus ringmaster.

“Ladies and gentleman…I bring you the famed Dragon Drops. While Absinth may be known as ‘The Green Fairy’ it would be better to regard my Dragon Drops as ‘The Green Monster’.

He revolved slowly as he spoke to make eye contact with everyone in the dining room, just a pleased as a proud father of a newborn child as he continued.

“I began the mash with cattail root and sugar beets to make the mash which was so sweet that it required very little sugar, and brewed it in a two-stage fermentation process using first a champagne yeast, which is highly alcohol resistant, followed by a very bright ale yeast that I fortified with Vegemite, and Barr’s Liquid Amino acids to additionally nourish the yeast cells. Back when you could buy it commercially, they called it ‘Turbo Yeast’. All the brew-related yeasts are very difficult to obtain so I now keep batches of both growing continually, much like a sourdough culture.”

As he continued, he lowered the bottle until it was cradled in his left arm, as one might hold an infant.

“The final pitched wort was almost twenty percent alcohol by weight…not twenty proof, which is only ten percent…but twenty percent equals forty proof; as strong as a fortified wine, ‘like Mad Dog 20/20’.

Elliott clearly loved an audience, especially this one, and he had their total and undivided attention.

“By using a thumper during the distillation process, it is for all intents and purposes double distilled and yields approximately one hundred and fifty proof on the first pass, which represents seventy-five percent alcohol by weight. The second pass yields about ninety-five percent alcohol, or one hundred and ninety proof…almost pure alcohol.”

He stopped for just a moment for effect as Jed whistled and Amy reacted with a “yikes!”.

“Remember Everclear? Just about the same thing, except my version is still alembic, or ‘pot-distilled’, rather than column-distilled, like most commercial vodkas, which strips most of the taste from it” he added.

Rebel, almost dead-pan most of the time, seemed to be enjoying a bit of nostalgia as her normally sloe-eyed expression betrayed a faint smile. Most men never noticed these moments because they were usually too preoccupied with staring at her gigantic tits. This often allowed her to indulge herself to stretch out her few words so slowly that it was like waiting for ketchup to pour.

“My Daddy blew up his still trying to make a batch of ninety proof. I used to beg him not to drink when he was cookin’ but he was one hard-headed som’bitch who thought he already knew more than any woman could ever learn, and saw no reason to heed the words of a thirteen year old girl.”

With that, a dark cloud passed over her face as she said “It cost that dirty bastard his life…as much as I loved him, I can’t say I missed him being drunk all the time and sneaking into my bedroom after Momma fell asleep…the night before he got killed was the last time he ever fucked me….”

Suddenly, the sound of several crickets outside doing their two-legged sonata of the ‘Ode to a Woolen Sweater’ seemed much louder than before.

“Every year on the anniversary of his death, I would go to the grave site and wait ’til no one was around, and piss on his grave…what stage of the grieving process do you think that would that fall under, Doc?”

“Revenge and Reconciliation…that’s one you won’t find in any books, but sometimes it is necessary…and certainly justifiable, if you ask me, my dear Lola.”

The pall that fell over the room was suddenly so dark that it seemed like the temperature in the room had fallen ten degrees. Whether you knew her as Rebel, Rebecca, or Jeanette, any tears shed by her in front of anyone were far more rare than either fossilized chicken teeth or copies of “Self-Defense and Marksmanship for Democrats (and other Dummies).”

As Amy wiped away the solitary tear, Elliott kissed her on the forehead.

“At the risk of sounding insensitive, I believe you were telling us about the Dragon Drops…?” Leigh-Ann was sometimes more passionate than most, but she had an uncanny knack for keeping almost any situation on track.

Elliott continued. “Well, extracting decarboxylated THC requires at least seventy-five percent ethanol to work best, and once I added the other ingredients to help mask the somewhat grassy taste that the marijuana left, I wanted to be sure that the resulting mixture wasn’t excessively diluted.”

“As it is, the orange tincture tastes much like Cointreau, and is usually about one hundred and ten proof, or fifty-five percent alcohol. The lime tincture is made from soaking crushed Key Limes, which grow all over the property in the same one hundred and ten proof alcohol, plus a fair amount of simple sugar syrup (which we also make here) but the alcohol content of the lime tincture is about ninety proof.”

“In short, Dragon Drops enable us to make a perfect top-shelf Margarita that contains enough Tetrahydrocannabinol to equal the effect of smoking about a half-gram of the finest Kush (which we also grow here).”

“I do not recommend more than four, unless you wish to experience something approximating an acid trip. I have considered diluting the Dragon Drops a little, but I rarely drink more than two of these in an evening. It has been many years since I would drink half a liter of tequila shooters in one sitting….”

“Thank God for that! I remember those days…and not especially fondly.”

Leigh-Ann was the first to volunteer an opinion, which was quickly seconded and re-affirmed by everyone except Chiana.

“It sounds like I should be grateful for that.” she said.

“Let me put it this way…” Amy winced slightly as she spoke. “Elliott was never what I would call a ‘mean drunk,’ but he could get to be very reckless to the point of being dangerous, and well….”

“A real asshole…not mean, just stupid.” Rebel interjected. “…No disrespect intended, Doc.”

“And none taken, but OK, we get your point. Even sober I still have fairly shitty judgment, and if I wasn’t one of the luckiest people on the planet, I would have been dead years ago.”  Elliott laughingly conceded.

“So who wants Margaritas?” he asked.

Chazz Vincent

01/13/2018

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