The Solo Martini

vodka martini

Recipe

1 oz. Bombay Sapphine Gin • 1 oz. Cointeau • 2 oz. Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc • 1/2 oz. Lime juice • 1 oz. Fresca

Combine all ingredients, except Fresca with crushed ice. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with Fresca and garnish with a lime wedge.

The Tale of the Solo Martini

Are you comfortable being completely on your own, and if so, for how long? Could you be alone for an hour, a day, or a month? When is the last time you truly hung out by yourself? Why is being solo so scary? We do everything in our power to distract ourselves from being alone by constantly surrounding ourselves with different people and immersing ourselves in various activities. We party, drink, and party some more; we exercise, over exercise, and become workaholics; and we engage in sex and meaningless relationships simply to avoid being alone. Why are we so conditioned to feel we must always be partnered with another? Can being single or solo actually be one of the greatest times of your life?

Once upon a time, a very social girl ended up on a deserted beach all by herself. She had no friends to play with, no boy to romance her and no drama to get wrapped up in. All she had was herself, her martini, and a piece of paper and pen. Little did she know that sunsets with a Solo Martini were going to bring her more insight, romance, and contentment then she had ever imagined possible, and with this would come the realization that the simple life was all she would ever need.

The Solo Martini is a celebration martini. Why? Because anything that comes out of a blender is festive!  I am not a big tooty fruity, blended drink kinda girl, especially when it comes to martinis, and blending a martini is normally sacrilegious. But sometimes a girl has gotta do what a girl has gotta do. So, when you are hot and sweaty and nothing will quench your thirst, try sipping some blended ice and booze for the ultimate in satisfaction. However, I do have standards, so the blending must be top shelf. This is the concept behind the Solo Martini. Take a lot of ice and blend it with Bombay Sapphire Gin, Cointreau, Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, and a lot of lime! Present the mixture in a chilled martini glass and top with (I can’t believe I am saying this) Fresca.   Et voila! The Solo! A refreshing pilgrimage into the world of totally being on your own!

It is very interesting to note what happens to a busy, Type A, ‘always got something on the go’ kind of person when they begin spending time alone. It can be very scary to watch this type of person decompress, observing them as they go through the motions of keeping busy by exercising, reading, eating and sleeping. When they become bored, restless, and a bit homesick, most Type A’s crack and either find people to play with, or go home. There are others, like me, who force themselves to stick it out. Why? Because this is the stage where the mindless chatter begins to quiet and you really get into the greatness of being on your own. Luckily, I have taken solo time in the past, so I am aware of the emotions and patterns that go along with the decompression. And, in the end, all the discomfort is worth it, as it produces a calm, clear, and contented mind. After this last trip, I also gained a whole new respect for drinking solo.

“Whoever said that drinking alone is a sign of alcoholism was so very wrong!”

Many people will not believe this, but for whatever reason, when I am on my own I don’t drink. Craziness, I know, but I have recognized that my alcohol consumption is directly related to the friends I hang out with. I came to this conclusion after I noted that a week spent with my surfer girlfriend included copious martinis and a case of wine. This was followed by a week with my artist girlfriend that included only two bottles of wine. So, it was on this particular solo trip that I got over the fear of turning into a raging alcoholic, and on my fifth night I decided to take myself out for a martini.

As I settled in unaccompanied at a lovely open air bar,  I realized that I was feeling a bit shy and insecure (this is what happens when the only person you talk to for five days is yourself). It was at this point that I was engaged by a handsome, bald bartender named Steve who was totally into creating a thirst quenching martini for me. He didn’t even raise an eyebrow when I asked him to break out the blender. Ah, the joy of a tropical climate, where bartenders and blenders work in unison. After much discussion and a few samples, Steve and I came up with my new best friend – the Solo Martini (I call it my best friend because Kim Crawford wine is one of the girls and she always comes to the party! I also had no other friends at the moment). Of course, this new concoction created a bit of a stir and the next thing I knew, the bar stools were full of random people sampling the Solo while discussing how great it was to be on their own.

The group at the bar was an interesting collection of unaccompanied vacationers. It consisted of a recently separated mother of two on her first ever solo holiday; an older gentleman who travelled solo all the time; and a forty-something  man  spending a few months in the tropics trying to discover the reason for his being. A happily married woman rounded out the group. She admitted to taking a yearly holiday away from her husband. I was amazed at what came out of this group, as everyone had great reasons for celebrating being solo or for simply being single.  These motives included;

  1. The Spread Eagle: Having the bed all to you! Yes, it is fabulous!
  2. The Sleep-a-thon: Sleeping all day and night simply because you want to, or because you stayed out too late, drank too much, and had nobody waiting for you.  The added bonus: Not having to look after your partner when they are drunk and/or hung over.
  3. The Get Your Flirt On: Being free to check out hot women/men without an ounce of guilt. Flirting if you choose to, or having the option of hanging out with members of the opposite sex without any weirdness/paranoia from the significant other.
  4. The Feel Good: Getting into (and staying in) fantastic shape, eating well, and generally feeling hot!
  5. The All About Me: The joy of not having to answer to anyone, or be responsible for anyone, but yourself. The ability to do exactly what you want at any given moment in time.  I could go on and on with this one, but you get the idea!
  6. The Glory Days: Having no schedule or “to do” list. Having the time to decide what you want to do, what you want to achieve, and where you want to travel, all without consulting another party.
  7. The No Talky: The joy of spending an entire day without having to speak to another individual.
  8. The Solo Dance Party:  Getting your groove on all by yourself. When is the last time you busted a move solo? This is definitely good for the soul.
  9. The Hang Out: Just hanging out by yourself to the point where your mind is clear and calm. Brilliant!
  10. The Freedom Zone: Kinda like the George Michael song – freedom from trying to find a partner, freedom to just play, and freedom to have fun and simply be you.

Upon pointing out all the fabulous reasons to be solo and single, I could not help but wonder, if being alone was so great, then why is society consumed with being entertained and busy? And why are so many single people obsessed with finding a partner? Is being solo the best kept secret in the world, in light of the fact that people are deathly afraid of being alone?

After my night out with the Solo Martini and my new found friends, I decided that I really enjoyed being on my own.  I had also found a new companion for happy hour – the Solo Martini. So, for the next ten nights, my martini and I enjoyed the sunsets. We sat together in harmony, letting the restlessness pass. My mind became calm and clear and it seemed that everything took on a new sheen.  The water glistened, the trees were greener, and my insight and creativity flowed easily. I discovered that sunsets with the Solo Martini were more romantic and memorable than any other night spent with a partner. I was amazed; who knew life could be so simple, yet so rewarding.

As I stood in LAX on my way home, I watched in astonishment at the frantic pace with which everyone was moving. I witnessed a haggard mother screaming at her three kids while trying to get on a flight, a man yelling obscenities at a desk agent, and a stressed out tour operator trying to organize thirty Japanese tourists. I concluded that we all needed to take a break and have some serious solo time. Why? Because true alone time is the ultimate reminder that the person we need to look after the most is ourselves. Only by nurturing ourselves do we learn how easy it is to nurture others. To look after you is not selfish, it is necessary for survival in this life. I also realized that in a very short while I would once again be emulating these frantic people. Constantly rushing somewhere while talking on my cell phone, with my mind racing to remember the next thing on my “to do” list. But, the difference would be that, from now on I would have my Solo Martini to come home to. It would always be there for me when I needed to take a hiatus from my life and have some Marjie solo time.

My Conclusion

Spending time on your own and the Solo Martini are two of the best kept secrets on the planet. But, as with any hidden treasure or secret, you must be open to exploring the possibilities. As a society, we resist examining ourselves, we resist the blender, we would never consider combining gin and white wine, and we resist getting to know exactly who we are by spending time on our own.  We are afraid to find out who we really are. We have put ourselves and our martinis in a box, and we have become dependent on defining ourselves by the opinions of others and our interactions with them.  To indulge in the Solo Martini is to first consider the tasty offerings of a blended martini with gin, white wine, and Fresca.  It is virtually the same as being open and indulgent to spending quality solo time with you and yourself.  When embarking on a quest for the great solo secret, you may often encounter road blocks along the way. However, upon navigating these bumps in the road, you will always be rewarded with the treasure of discovering how amazingly simple and smooth your martini, and your life, is at the end of the journey.

Intuitive thoughts by Marjie Martini