Saturday, February 2, 2019

Drink to an early spring on Groundhog Day 2019

Happy Groundhog Day!  According to the animals and most especially their handlers, the northeastern U.S. is going to have an early spring.  I begin with the most famous of the overgrown ground squirrels as CBS News reports Groundhog Day 2019: Punxsutawney Phil makes his weather prediction.

Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog did not see his shadow on Saturday, predicting an early spring this year. Members of Punxsutawney Phil's top hat-wearing inner circle revealed the forecast.
An early spring?  Let's see what New York City's own groundhog, Staten Island Chuck, has to say.

The cold didn’t keep the crowds away from the Staten Island Zoo’s Groundhog Day Ceremony. Watch the events leading up to Chuck's 2019 prediction here!
Staten Island Chuck also predicted an early spring and had a more fun and less formal ceremony as well.

Of course, I live in Metro Detroit, so I have to see what the local groundhog predicts about our weather.  Watch MLive's Woody the Woodchuck declares early spring.

Woody the Woodchuck has been predicting the season of Spring for 20 years. This year, she says it will come early.
It's unanimous!  In this case, it also appears more genuine, as both Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck had their predictions written in advance by their handlers (I think they were looking at the 90-day forecast, which predicts warmer than normal temperatures for the eastern seaboard).  Woody's prediction came after the 30 second wait and there seemed to be no script.

Color me skeptical, as the groundhogs were wrong and I was right about the weather in 2013, when all three predicted an early spring, but it's good news for now.  To celebrate Punxsutawney Phil, Staten Island Chuck, and Woody the Woodchuck all predicting an early spring, I'm serving Groundhog Day Cocktail from How to Drink.*  Follow over the jump.

It's Ground Hog day so I'm talking about the 1993 movie of the same name and making 2 drinks. Rita's favorite and something I call Punxsutawney Phil's Liquid Courage!
It's Groundhog Day this weekend and I know with this polar vortex in effect we're all hoping for an early spring, so let's hope that ol' Punxsutawney Phil doesn't see his shadow. That's right, it's a peculiar regional American tradition some of my viewers might be totally unfamiliar with so here's the gist: On Groundhog Day a a special groundhog (Punxsutawney Phil) in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania is coaxed out of his hole. If he sees his shadow and is thus scared back into his hole, well, that means we've got six more weeks of winter on the way. If he doesn't and just, aimlessly mills about, spring is on the way. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. It's also the setting and plot of the 1993 modern classic Groundhog Day, which sees our hero Phil Connors (as played by Bill Murray) trapped in a time loop, doomed to forever repeat the same exact day again and again as he pursues the love of his television news producer Rita (played by Andie MacDowell).

This film is beloved by so many for so many different reasons. For starters, it's the final film collaboration between director Harold Ramis (who is also an actor, consider Egon from Ghostbusters) and Bill Murray. The two collaborated on six films together some of which are beloved timeless comedies: Ghostbusters, Stripes, Caddy Shack, Groundhog Day... And for another reason it's the most profound and spiritual of their films, and indeed of many films in general. Many people profess a deep kind of spiritual connection to this movie, it's been referred to as "The Perfect Buddhist Film" as we see this utterly self centered weatherman endlessly reincarnated as he endeavors on a quest of self improvement until he's finally redeemed and breaks the time loop.

It's also kinda creepy, since he spends what fans estimate to amount to about 34 years pursuing every conceivable detail about Rita so as to win her over... that's a tad stalkerish. Happy Groundhog Day!

Punxsutawney Phil's Liquid Courage
1.5 oz. -or- 45 ml. Sweet Vermouth
1.5 oz. -or- 45 ml. Laird's Straight Apple Brandy
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Stir over Ice and Pour over Big Cube
Express oil from orange peel
Garnish with an Orange Wedge

Sweet Vermouth on the Rocks with a Twist
3 oz. -or- 90 ml. Sweet Vermouth
Twist of Orange
I'll be crossposting this video and recipe over at Booman Tribune.  In the meantime, may the groundhogs be right, even if there is scant scientific evidence in their favor.  Also, stay tuned for an entry for Super Bowl Sunday.

*Tipsy Bartender doesn't have a Groundhog Day cocktail, so I had to go elsewhere.

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