Thursday, July 1, 2010

Humpback sighting

The first sign of a pod of whales  is generally spouts of water, shooting from the sea. Expelled forcefully, they punctuate the landscape, one here, another there, maybe three, or four, a tell-tale count of the number of whales swimming below the surface. If you are close enough you can hear them, a breathy, expectant whoosh.

 If you watch closely, you may see the rounded back and smooth fin turning over in the water, a dark tale, or fluke, as the whale dives down again. They are playful acrobats, light in the water, diving, slapping their tail, or fluke, repeatedly and even breaching, or throwing their entire body above the water and back in again.

It is possible to watch them for hours at a time, waiting for one to show himself again, scanning the landscape to see where they may pop up next. Their flukes are like fingerprints; each whale's is different, be it white markings, the shaping of the pectoral fins, or gauges made by the bangs and bonks which are unavoidable if you are a migrating 79,000 pound whale.

The sea creatures in Alaska were quite obliging with entertainment for most meals -- otters floating by on their backs, cracking clams in their paws and looking to see what we were eating, porpoises dancing across the bow after lunch, daring us to go faster, whales cavorting at anchorage, just when we were enjoying a new cocktail. And so we named it in their honor.

The Humpback

Simple syrup
1/2 part citrus juice (lemon and/or lime)
1/2 part water
1 part sugar
3 inch knob of ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced

For each drink:
1 shot simple syrup
1/2 shot Drambuie
3 shot Mount Gay rum
1 shot lime juice
mint for garnish
ground ginger
sea salt

For the simple syrup: mix ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes; off the heat and let cool. Puree in a blender then strain through cheesecloth; cool until use.

For the drink: Put ice in a cocktail shaker and pour liquid ingredients in. Take a tumbler and wet the rim with a slice of lime. Mix ground ginger and salt in a saucer, dip tumbler in to rim with the salt and ginger. Pour drink over ice and garnish with mint.


No comments:

Post a Comment