Tuesday, May 11, 2010

If You Could Have a ____ with Anyone, Who Would it Be?

Last night while I neared the end of Anthony Bourdain’s The Nasty Bits I began to ponder what it would be like to meet him. I would be walking down the streets of New York City with no particular destination in mind, and then he would appear—just standing on the sidewalk. “Tony!” I would call out as though we were old friends, running up to him to introduce himself. He would look to me and smile. After becoming enamored by my charming personality he would of course accept my offer to grab a pint at some local dive. I would select something like Guinness—rich, dark and smooth, savoring every sip as we chatted about life, traveling, and food. Because if there’s anyone I’d like to have a beer with, it’s Anthony Bourdain.

So this whole fantasy got me thinking—well, yes, I’d like to sit down and have a beer with Bourdain, but what if it was a cup of tea? a glass of wine? a mug of coffee? a taste of sake? a classic cocktail? And that got my mind and stomach rolling in a whole new direction.
Let’s start with tea. First, I think I need to break this down into two varieties—green and black. Both types of tea evoke different experiences and hence different ideal companions. 
Green tea I associate with Asia and Buddhism, and therefore my childhood. When I was in third grade my teacher had the class select the three people, alive or dead, who we wanted to meet—Buddha was definitely on my list, so let’s leave him there with our beverage of choice as green tea. Or if he’s not available I’ll go with Isabella Stewart Gardener, so long as we drink the tea during one her wacky Japanese tea ceremonies in Boston during the Gilded Age.
For black tea it’s George Orwell all the way. Ever since I read his essay “A Nice Cup of Tea” I’ve always associated Orwell with this drink. We would sit in and English garden and follow his eleven points for making the perfect cup, carrying on a nice chat about whatever someone like Orwell likes to talk about.
Wine is also an easy choice—Ernest Hemingway. Hem and me would sit in the heat of a Spanish summer and quaff red wine from wine skins with abandon. It would be very The Sun Also Rises, sans the whole impotency thing.
F. Scott Fitzgerald should be on this list somewhere, but what would we drink? Probably anything.
My cocktail of choice is a martini made with Bombay Sapphire gin served slightly dry, straight up, and with olives. There’s only one companion for a drink like that—Humphrey Bogart. Well, either Bogie or Blair Waldorf, depending on the topic of conversation and whether or not fictional characters are allowed.

For sake I’d like to be in beautiful Kyoto with Iron Chef Morimoto. We might not be able to communicate much, but we would sip on our Japanese rice wine as he prepared clean and fresh traditional sushi.
Then there’s coffee, but I just can’t seem to decide…There’s no individual who particularly screams coffee for me right now, so I’ll have to keep pondering that one.
We’ve all got those people in the world we’d like to meet, but under what circumstances and over what drinks? The people on the list don’t have to be ones you admire the most or even find particularly interesting—they should just be the people you feel most suited to consume a particular beverage with. So, if you could sit down and have a ____ with anyone, who would it be?

1 comment:

  1. Beer (Guinness) - Benny Hill
    Tea (Black or Orange) - Deborah Kerr
    Coffee (pm) - Stephen King, Clive Barker or Stephen Donaldson
    Coffee (am..wink wink) - Rita Hayworth
    Martini (Vodka) - Sean Connery..(well, of course..!)
    Jamesons (rocks) - Padraig Harrington
    Sake - (I'd drink more Jamesons.....)
    - MJK