The literature: emilystjohnmandel's STATION ELEVEN
The libation: After the collapse of civilization, what drink would you miss most? Surely you can scavenge plenty of wine and whiskey that’s kept perfect well (and even aged nicely) in basements and pantries - you could even make yourself a hot toddy with it, warmed over the fire.
But just think - you’ll never drink an ice-cold beer again. Want some citrus to mix with the last of your vodka? Unless you’re in Florida or California, you’re SOL. After the ants get to the granulated sugar, you can’t even make simple syrup. Bloody Mary? Sure, if you’ve got the tomatoes, but where are you gonna find Worcestershire sauce?
Of course, it’s not all bad - there’s fresh fruit when you can get it, and preserves, once you’ve figured out how to can produce without giving everyone lead poisoning. You can set up a still, teach yourself to make beer and wine and liquor. But those tiny luxuries - bitters, liqueurs, ice in the middle of summer? They’ve gone for good.
So raise one final glass to our opulent age, before the flu comes. Pour an old-fashioned, while you still have a choice in whether or not to be. Moisten a sugar cube (it comes in cubes!) with 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters (they still make that!) in the bottom of a glass. Stir till the sugar’s dissolved, and add 2oz good spicy rye and a laughably huge ice cube (ready whenever you are). Garnish with orange peel, imported just for you from the farthest corners of the country. Stir, inhale, enjoy.
Survival, as they say, is insufficient.
Photo © Punch