Recipe1 ½ oz. Vodka ½ oz. Triple Sec 2 oz. Sangria Mix. Dash of Champagne.
Combine all ingredients expect for Champagne in a shaker with cracked ice. Strain into a very cold martini glass. Top with Champagne. Garnish with frozen red grapes.
The Tale of the Enlightenment Martini
What are we all searching for? Why do some people leave their marriages, change careers, go on sabbatical, or sail around the world? What in God’s name are we all looking for? Why do some people find life really hard, while others find it effortless? Is life really that difficult, or are we conditioned to believe it should be that way?
After years of denial, my girlfriend finally broke down and had her first martini! This was a life transforming event. As much as I adore her, this girlfriend has always been a woman “in control”! I am not sure why we are such good friends, but it is said that opposites attract. For years I have bribed, tempted, and encouraged any form of letting it rip from this woman, only to be shut down by comments such as “I just like to observe instead of dance” or “I am good with one glass of red wine”. Well everything comes around in time, and when I was least expecting it, the out of control phone call came! Be warned when a control freak is breaking down – everything can get shaken up!
I received the phone call from my girlfriend a few days ago, and I immediately invited her over to my house as she was in no state to be seen in public. When she arrived, I welcomed her with a big, warm hug and the offer of a glass of wine. That’s when she looked at me and said “Screw the wine, I think I need a martini!” I tried to conceal my surprise, but it was at this moment that I knew hell had indeed frozen over! Oh my God, she has lost it, was my thought.
When a person needs a martini, I am never one to argue. I just shake, pour, and listen. Since this was her inaugural martini, I wanted to serve her something that is reserved for true martini lovers who are also wine enthusiasts. A martini that is simple, smooth, and blissful. So I decided she needed to taste the Enlightenment Martini, which is the perfect fusion of Vodka, Triple Sec, and lime with just a hint of red wine. As I placed the martini, beautifully garnished with frozen grapes, in front of her, I told her to just sit back, sip, and not speak. I wanted her to be present and savour every flavour.I watched in amazement as my non martini-drinking girlfriend took her first few sips. Moments later, she visibly started to relax and I saw the hint of a smile. Yes! I knew she would like it. Another successful conversion! When I told her that she was drinking the Enlightenment Martini, she just snorted in disgust and commented; “That figures”! In a frustrated voice. She stated that she was sick and tired of searching for the answer to life, so it seemed ironic that she would find enlightenment in a martini, which is something she never drinks. She then took another sip and burst into tears.
This was serious. I had never seen my girlfriend this distraught – I was the one who was usually an emotional mess. Through her tears she preceded to tell me that she had lost her faith. For years she had been to every yoga class, meditation retreat, and spiritual workshop and she had finally found a guru that she believed would help her find herself, and the answers she needed.
She had been on a quest for some kind of enlightenment. Her guru was an Indian man (aren’t all guru’s Indian men with long beards?) that she had been devoted to for the past year. She, along with other followers, had even traveled to India with him on a spiritual trek, all in the hopes that she would finally find what she was searching for. Well instead of finding enlightenment, she had found out that her guru had just been charged with sexual assault. At first she did not believe it, but then he had confessed! What was devastating was that it had occurred with one of his male followers. How could he do this? This was the man she believed could lead her to a life of peace and contentment. How was she ever going to quiet her mind and find stillness? What was she going to do without her guru?
Of course I thought this turn of events was hilarious and ironic, and I commented that “Honey, he may be a guru but he is still a man, and men all have primal needs. Maybe his were just seriously repressed.” Even she could not argue with this statement. As I served her another Enlightenment martini she looked at me with desperation and asked how was she ever going to become enlightened if she had lost her faith? As I sipped my martini I thought of what I could say to restore her faith, but all I came up with was “Well sweetie, you don’t need a guru to find yourself. All you have to do is start drinking martinis.” I at least got her to laugh with that comment! Her retort was; “Marjie, only you believe that a martini is the answer to everything!”
“But, it is!” I replied. “Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you should become a raving alcoholic. I am a firm believer in moderation. But, my point is that if you want something to quiet your mind, then sit in silence for an hour and sip your martini.”
“I call it martini meditation!”
“Look girlie, I have pondered many life questions over a martini and have always found the answers at the bottom. Everything we are looking for is at the bottom of a martini glass, just as everything we are searching for is present inside of us! It has been and always will be about what is on the inside. True faith occurs when you believe that all the answers you need are within you, and in my case, I hear the answers when I sip my martini.”
My girlfriend just sat back and stared at me in stunned silence! Interesting, I thought, that after two martinis she was finally quiet! “Okay” she said, “Go on, I am intrigued by your theory.”
“It is simple. Any ritual you do that allows you to reflect on your life, whether it is meditation, yoga, sipping your morning coffee or evening martini; is all you really need to be at peace in this world. Once your mind is still, you can access your soul to ask questions and then listen for answers. You cannot find what you are looking for through someone else, because their answers will be influenced by their thoughts. The more you fight to be in control of your life, the more you will keep searching for the answers. This is because you spend all your energy trying to be in control instead of listening.”
“We are never in control. All we are is free to choose. Our spirit or soul is always free, but it is our mind that restricts us. Our mind tells us we can’t do it, or that life is painful and hard. Life is no more painful and hard then the martini that we are drinking. It is how we look at our life – the glass half empty/half full concept – that makes a difference. Imagine if you looked at life as the martini glass that is overflowing! Every major religion or spiritual belief system speaks of finding God, Allah, or Buddha within you. The faith that you need to have is not in someone else but in yourself. You have every answer to every question that you will ever ask. Everything you are looking for is inside of you!”
All of a sudden, my girlfriend looked at me as if a light bulb had just gone off in her head. Then she smiled as I had never seen before. She raised her martini glass and proposed a toast, “To Faith in myself, great friends, and the Enlightenment Martini. Cheers!”
True martini drinkers realize that life is very simple, smooth, and always sweet and blissful – just like the Enlightenment Martini. This martini is the perfect answer for the person who loves martinis but also adores wine. When you sip this combination of Vodka, Triple Sec, and red wine, you will be stunned into silence. The secret to this martini is faith, because all your life answers will be found within the glass. Remember, everything you need in life is always on the inside. It is your choice, but martini medication or meditation is always the answer. You should never place your faith in another person, only in your martini.