I wrote an essay prompted by Mary Anne Erickson’s painting, "What's Your Flavor?"
Here they are together:
Blueberry Lemontini Magic
by Lisa Cottrell
I once had this idea about matching drinks with the stages of a divorce. But then—what are the stages? I think I originally thought there would be 5, like the stages of grief, but that wasn’t enough, and thank God there were some stages after the grief. I ended up with a “12-course Martini Menu”—I liked keeping a common theme. This course would begin with the Straight Martini and progress through the bitter, dirty, sour, and sweet varieties. The culminating drink, the martini to be sipped as one looks forward to a new, sunny future—the Blueberry Lemontini.
It was early dusk in late June as I was sipping mine, admiring my new backyard, rocking a bit in my comfy new chair at the head of my new table. As I relished the fresh blueberry and thought of the sweet possibilities in my future, I tasted the electrical lemon finish. At that moment, I saw something yellow flicker and flutter in my peripheral vision. Hope? Thinking I had imagined this in my Blueberry Lemontini bliss, I took another delicious drink. Then I watched a bright yellow flower open up right in front of me, stop-motion animation style, something straight out of a Dr. Seuss book, like magic. I pushed the drink away, not needing vodka to feel intoxicated, noticing then that many of these flowers were in various stages of opening. I was amazed.
Later, I called my mom, who explained that it was a plant called “Evening Primrose” and would continue to do that at dusk for weeks, for as long as it was in bloom. Knowing that the drink itself, nor even the flowers were magical, that moment still was. The flowers remind me of that every summer, especially when I sip a Blueberry Lemontini.