I rushed to Starbucks and tried to order 8.4 fl oz of Espresso. The barista, I wish I could remember her name, was a genius. She said, and I believed her, a shot is 1 ounce or so. I ordered 8, but had to promise her I wasn’t going to drink them all at once. She seemed concerned, bless her heart.
Then, I rushed back home and went to the LavAzza website. I wanted to try to make the Espresso Martini that magically appeared on my Facebook feed after I was on Amazon searching LavAzza Coffee.
I had the espresso now, minus the .4.
I had ice.
I had the 1 fl oz Vodka,
I had sugar.
I even had the chocolate I needed to garnish the side of the glass, but, God Damn it, who has Hazelnut Liqueur just sitting around?
So, I made it anyway because, as I said, I was in disarray. After shotgunning it and thinking how good it was I started to feel better. But, like my 89-year-old Nonna use to say, “It’s Always Something” because at that moment the Lavazza Gods stepped in and said:
“There is absolutely no way you can know if it was bad or good because you made it the wrong way. Starbucks Espresso, you might as well have used mud. AND, you left out the Hazelnut Liqueur, THAT is what makes the drink, Dingbat.”
I stood there, jaw-dropped, trying to make some kind of sound, then:
“We almost decided not to talk to you, but your intentions were pure: you went to coffee and booze to pull yourself out of disarray. So, if you want to play big shot and get all designer drinky, you better always have the right ingredients, you never know when they might make things even better.”
For a few seconds, I heard a high pitch shushing sound, then: “We should not even tell you this, but here is the reason why: we know that tomorrow when you are in Trader Joe’s buying your usual cans of Jack Fruit for those disgusting so-called pulled pork sliders, you are going to meet an old flame. You are going to talk and laugh, then exchange numbers. On Friday, you are going to get that call you couldn’t decide if you should make because, like we just said, you are a Dingbat. On Saturday night you are going to have dinner. After dinner, you are going to say, ‘Hey, um, would you like to come back to my place. I make this amazing after-dinner drink called an Espresso Martini.’ ‘Wow, very impressive’, your date will think. And, well, we are not going to spoil the rest.”
For a panicked, split second I thought: where did we go for dinner, what did we order, who can ever decide.
I heard thunder, then: “Ok, you thought it, you are absolutely not going to that seafood brothel, Red Lobster, we know you were going to do. And, you are absolutely not ordering that farm-raised, flopping around in giant water gages all hopped up on steroids and antibiotics eating each other’s feces, Tilapia you always have. We are telling you right now, stop eating that disgusting mess. You will go to Cafe Speranza on the Boulevard. You will order the wild-caught seared salmon with a chilled Pinot Noir, the house is fine. Capisce, got it?
For another split second, I was relieved.
Then, split second panicked again, I started thinking hard: if it MAKES the drink, what brand of Hazelnut Liqueur should I use in my Saturday after-dinner, back at my place, impressive, LavAzza Espresso Martini?
I heard thunder, then: “Your Nonna was right.”
And they were gone.
And there I was, back in disarray, standing in the kitchen thinking: Shit, I should’ve asked them what I wore on my date.
David Calogero Centorbi is a writer living in Detroit, MI. His recently published work can be found in The Daily Drunk, Dreams Walking, Versification, Brown Bag Online, and Crepe & Pen. He can be found on Twitter @DavidCaCentorbi.