I am a proud fan of the Washington Nationals baseball team. Having been in the stands in the early days when they were truly awful, I'm thrilled whenever the Nationals make the playoffs. It means the team has talent, experience, and Natitude.
Do the Nationals have the potential to win the World Series? Absolutely. Will they? I have no idea. This is why I have faith, which I define as belief without proof. My friend and fellow Nats fan Laura once asked an incisive question: “Why don’t you create a cocktail for the Nationals?” Here is my original creation:
2 ounces rye
1 ounce unsweetened cherry juice
.5 ounces Cointreau
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Combine in a shaker with ice, stir with the deliberate precision of a Nationals pitcher throwing a curveball while facing a full count, and strain into a chilled glass. Luxardo or amarena cherry garnish optional.
So what is the symbolism of the National’s ingredients? Rye is a quintessentially American spirit just as baseball is a quintessentially American sport. (Note to Anglophiles – yes, I know baseball is vaguely related to cricket. I don’t care.) In addition, George Washington distilled rye at Mount Vernon, so there is the strong link between rye and our first President. For the cherry juice, red is the dominant color of the Nationals, and as my wife astutely noted, Washington is known for its Cherry Blossom Festival. Also, there is the fable about George Washington and the cherry tree. I recommend you use unsweetened cherry juice, which you can get at grocery stores, instead of sweetened juice. Cointreau, although not American (it is French), helps the National become the cocktail equivalent of crisply executed 6-4-3 double play – elegant and effective.
Show your Natitude and drink a National!