Jesus and a cocktail

Chimayo is a holy place in New Mexico.  It hosts many sites for religious observance from Zen to Christian to Hindu.  It is a place of pilgrimage on Good Friday to a church well-known for cures.


But I like its cocktail.


Served in a frosted glass – its rim dipped into a combination of cinnamon and sugar, the cocktail is favored in Fall by tourists but the rest of us drink it on Sundays.  All of them.


The apple orchard on this farm where I live with Kai-the-dog sports 10 different varieties so that they cascade in their picking, making it possible to eat different varieties from mid-summer to early winter.  We make compote, pies, ciders, sauces…the works.  All apples all thr time once the peach orchards give up the ghost.


Making your own home-made cider is easy…just peel and core some apples, place them in a blender or food-processor, puree and then squeeze the results through a cheese cloth.  Or buy some.


The cocktail is simple…


1.5 oz. tequila

1 oz. unfiltered apple cider

½ oz. lemon juice


Shake in ice and serve with ice in a glass rimmed with cinnamon and sugar. Garnish with an apple dipped into lemon juice.  Serve.  Repeat. Call Uber.  Repeat.


Chimayo is a place for prayers and for pilgrimages. But for me, it is also a place of friendship.  I take my friends there and we make a special effort to have a Chimayo Cocktail with lunch.


Friendship is a sacrament.  It is what makes life so beautiful.  My spiritual director recently reminded me that our friends will disappoint us and even sometimes betray us.  And we they. But not usually.  And no often.  Mostly they make our lives more beautiful.


When I speak about friendship as part of a book tour, people come up to me at the signing and whisper that they simply do not have time for friendship.  They are very busy of course.  Very important. Very financially stable.  And when not busy, they are very tired.


And I have compassion for that.  As a fundraiser, I find that when I get home from such a talkative, social job, I just want to spoon Kai-the-dog in the silence of this remote farm, by the Rio Grande, behind a locked gate.  But then I remember how vital is friendship even with its various vulnerabilities and responsibilities. One makes an effort.


Today I’ll spend most of the day at the farmer’s market selling my pots to passers-by and the afternoon making more pots.  Friends will join me at the pottery studio and together we will make bowls, then dinner – pork chops and spaghetti squash and Chimayo Cocktails. Too wonderful.


To make and maintain friendships we have to make sacrifices and a bit of effort.  Less Facebook. Less surfing the net.  Less television. Less work.  But if there is anything to learn from John’s Gospel it is that Jesus came to be friends with us and to model friendship.  He let his friends abandon him.  He let his friends betray him.  Then he cooked them breakfast on a beach.


What will heaven look like?  Not sure.  But if there is a place or, as is more likely, a state of being which is eternal bliss, then I expect eternal breakfast too.  And a bottomless Chimayo Cocktail.  And my friends. Even the ones who have hurt me or whom I have hurt.  The eternal presence of a cocktail will not heal those relationships.  The presence of Jesus will, however. The cocktails just help. Plus, any good doctor tells us we need an apple a day.

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