Today is April 1st and not only is it April Fools’ day it’s also day one of my brother Patrick’s birthday month. My brother was my best friend growing up. We spent hours playing soccer, wrestling, arguing, and alternating between blaming or taking the fall for each other.
He could goad me into doing just about anything. He once dared me to climb up the highest coconut tree in our yard; it towered above our two-story house. I made it to the top but my father had to climb up and carry me down. I told my parents that it was my idea so that he wouldn’t get punished. But in return, and in payment for my generosity, I made him follow two steps behind me holding a large leaf from that same tree, and I walked around our yard pretending to be the Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile, while he, my humble servant, fanned me. This lasted until my parents got wind of what was going on and punished us both.
Patrick and I now live three thousand miles away from each other, and a million miles away from our childhood, but every April I am brought back to those times when all that mattered was who could run the fastest, kick the farthest, jump the highest, and in some cases punch the hardest. But also because every April 1st my brother somehow manages to prank me even though we’ve not lived in the same city, or at times in the same country or time zone, for at least the past ten years. Last year he sent me beautifully packaged soaps that would not lather (one of the main reason why I have since switched to shower gel) and the year before that was a jack in the box. Juvenile? Yes. Effective? Yes.
He was my playmate, my most aggressive competitor, my staunchest defender and my first role model. Due to my brother’s influence, I can play the staring game for as long as it takes without blinking, I can throw spitballs, I developed an immunity to being called “chicken”, I can play marbles, I can hold my own in really long amazingly illogical arguments and I totally get a ten year old boy's humor. My brother also taught me to love fiercely, to be loyal at all cost, generous to a fault, and to never say uncle especially if you're the underdog. He’s still my best friend. And today I miss him.
And I drink and wait.
blood orange margarita
- 4 basil leaves
- 8 ounces blood orange juice
- 2 ounces lime juice
- 4 ounces Anejo tequila
- 2 ounces sweet vermouth
- A splash of seltzer
Muddle basil in blood orange juice.
Add in remaining ingredients stir and strain into a glass filled with ice.
Top with a splash of seltzer.
Garnish with a sprig of basil and a slice of blood orange.