Hanover's not Irish -- well, as far as he knows -- but he does enjoy a nip of Irish spirits and since it's not St. Paddy's Day quite yet, I didn't have to worry about getting pinched.
"Wait for me!" I said. "It's my whiskey after all."
"Well, pour yourself a shot and catch up. It's been a helluva day."
I took a wine glass down from the rack. "I'm drinking mine in this."
Hanover raised his eyebrows. "You must have had some day too!"
"You goof! You know I prefer mine with a little bubbly. It cuts the burn." As whiskey burns go, 2 Gingers is not too hot, but still, on a warm day, it's a bit much for me to drink straight these days.
I poured about a shot and a half in the glass. I always just eye it, so don't go by my measurements. Go by your taste. You can always add more if you want some more kick. I filled Hanover's glass a second time.
I took a can of ginger ale and a tray of ice from the small fridge I keep in the wet bar. I put the ice in first and then filled the glass with ginger ale. It bubbled up just right. I could smell that citrus-ginger goodness. Mmmmm tasty.
I raised my glass to Hanover's. Our glasses touched. He sipped his this time and I sipped mine. The bubbles tickled my nose. I sipped again. This time I felt the burn.
I reached for a stir stick to stir it up better. Usually adding the ginger ale last does the trick, but every now and then, a drink can benefit from a good stir.
I poured Hanover another while I was at it.
"What kind of stir stick is that?" Hanover asked. "It looks..."
"So it's pink," I said. "I happen to like pink."
"You're such a girl." Hanover rolled his eyes.
"You are, but that's not what I meant. I meant what's on the end of the swizzler. It looks like a...."
I dropped the swizzler and eyed its ornament. "Monkey!" I gasped. "What the hell is a damn monkey doing on my swizzle stick?"
Hanover eyed it closely. "That's no ordinary monkey."
"I know it's no ordinary monkey. Look how it's staring at me." I put down the glass. "Get rid of it, Hanover. I don't want to touch it."
"Well it's too bad you ruined your whiskey with all that ginger ale and ice or I'd drink it. The monkey doesn't bother me."
"Well, it bothers me. And no you can't have my drink. Just throw the swizzler away. And check the bag. If they're all like that, throw them away."
Hanover plucked the swizzle stick out of my glass and threw it in the trash. He's such a gentleman when he wants to be. He checked the bag of swizzle sticks behind the bar. "They're all just pink," he said. "I ought to throw them out just for that."
"Well, how do you think the monkey one got inside a perfectly good bag of pink swizzle sticks?"
Hanover shrugged and poured himself another shot.
"That's 80 proof, you know."
Hanover took a slow sip. "I'm sure you won't mind me staying on the sofa. I can keep you safe from any monkeys.
I poured another dollop into my drink and settled down beside him. "Why not. You know I'm always up for an adventure."