As the story goes, a wealthy man walks into a bar in Manhattan that’s known for its world-class cocktails, and he asks the bartender for the world’s best martini.
The bartender tells him that he can do that, but it will take a lot of time and money. The man lets him know that money is no object, especially when it comes to perfection.
So, the bartender takes him into the back room, opens a safe, and removes bottles containing the world’s rarest gin and vermouth. The man reaches for the bottles, when the bartender says, “Patience! Now we must go to Italy.”
They fly to Italy and drive to a remote Tuscan hillside to find the world’s most prized olive tree. “Now we’ll wait until the olives are perfectly ripe.” And they sit and wait for days, when the bartender finally picks two perfect olives and vacuum seals them in a jar.
“When do I get that martini?” the man asks.
“Patience, sir. For the final step, we must go to San Francisco”, says the bartender.
So, they fly to San Francisco and take a limo to a hotel in the Mission District, where they get a penthouse suite with a kitchen, so that the bartender can finally make this most amazing martini.
The bartender then says, “Almost done sir. We have the perfect gin, the perfect vermouth, and the perfect olives. But, the real secret is in how the ingredients are blended. So now … we wait.”
The man replies, impatiently, “Wait? Wait for what!?”
Funny, but quite exhausting. The second he sought perfection, it was doomed. The expectations of perfection are never met. But, during his time and travels seeking it out, many people had a perfectly good experience, sipping world-class martini’s back in Manhattan.
It’s how we experience the moment, that matters. A perfect drink and moment is largely dependent upon the one having the experience. Our perception of reality in real time.
I’m a bourbon guy and it’s an indulgence, so when I do, I make sure I’m there, taking it all in: the quality ingredients, present company, atmosphere, and the glass. Blanton’s in a nice rocks glass with one or two close friends (or alone), outside on a chilly, quiet, night. It doesn’t get more perfect than that.
But, a decent bourbon on the rocks in a tin cup ain’t bad either. It’s a different kind of perfect.
Perfection is all around us. The universe itself is perfectly imperfect. That’s the only way it works.
It’s neither for us, nor against us. It just is. And if we can just be, well … that would make for a perfect cocktail.
Photo by Aditya Saxena on Unsplash.