Cut a grapefruit in half, drizzle with cough syrup, and voila! Campari.
The Boulevardier, named for a Parisian magazine, and I wonder if it rather tastes like one too. I kid.
But in all seriousness, flavor is a curious thing. I like sweet vermouth. I love bourbon. But the addition of Campari sours the whole drink.
Bitterness has that power. Apparently our taste receptors are most sensitive to the taste of bitterness. There is evolutionary reason for this, because toxic substances are frequently bitter. I am tempted to say that my distaste for Campari is evidence of evolutionary superiority, but I won’t go there.
But this reality gives context for my experience with the Boulevardier. I am clearly very sensitive to bitterness. It does not surprise me that we call the feeling of all-consuming frustration “bitterness,” because this too is toxic. Our hearts are sensitive, the smallest seed of anger can sour an attitude, a day, even a friendship.
Human sensitivities are not without purpose, and they almost always tell a story. Bitterness has roots in self-preservation. It overpowers other flavors because my life may depend on detecting the bitter substance over everything else.
What fascinating creatures we are.
We possess a sensitivity that will preserve our natural life. And we also have a sensitivity toward that which tastes of eternal life.
Jesus taught, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.” The smallest morsel of yeast is powerful to rise immense quantities of bread dough. It spreads until there is not an ounce unleavened.
Our hearts, once permeated with the love of God, cannot help but be consumed with longing to live in a world where there are no tears, or sickness, or death, and God’s good will is enacted. The yeast is the Word of God, and my heart is the dough. And let me tell you, it is only by the grace of God that I look more like the Pillsbury dough boy with each passing year.
While I cannot say that I enjoyed my Boulevardier, I am grateful for taste buds that keep me alive. Better yet, praise God for giving us a taste for life eternal.
2 oz bourbon
1 oz Campari
1 oz sweet vermouth
Orange twist for garnish
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass, stir with ice. Strain into a chilled coupe glass, and garnish with an orange twist.
P.S. HUGE shout out to these kind friends who support me, and are enduring the learning curve.