It was Saturday night and I was searching for something to write about for this week’s libations.
I thought about touring Aspen’s seedy scene and searching for the cheapest cocktail with the most booze, mostly because a part of me was feeling nostalgic for the sticky, neon-lit bars on every corner in the old Irish mining town in Montana I was born in.
But I knew Aspen’s bars would never stoop low enough to meet “Butte Tough” standards and I didn’t really have the time to find out, so I settled for the establishment right next to the office: Aspen Public House.
At the bar, I searched the drink list for something column-worthy. The bartender said mules had been popular this offseason, a tempting choice, and I almost went for a White Claw mostly because the menu read in bold print “Yes, we have White Claw,” $7.
I almost went with a handful of different options, until I came across one that fit the situation all too well: a $12 cocktail titled “Writer’s Block.”
Of course, it came with one of those giant ice cubes you couldn’t possibly fit in your mouth without breaking teeth and a fancy orange peel slice, all dusted in cinnamon.
Yet the vintage-looking glass brought the whole drink down to Earth and after one sip I was in heaven.
The fresh grapefruit juice was the first flavor to hit the taste buds, then the spicy sweet cinnamon (or spiced rum) just as the rest of the liquid trickled down my throat.
It tasted like sour apple pie. I probably said it was “so good” six times over the 20 minutes I was sitting there. And it felt more like home than I ever thought it could with the kind people and copper-topped bar.
The rest is history. At first I was wordless, then a Writer’s Block later I was flowing with inspiration. Now that I think about it a few days later, though, I wonder if the drink was created to cure writer’s block or to cause it. I guess I’ll need a few more to find out.