I know what you are thinking: how can you possibly celebrate on the day that Brangelina broke up? Well, the show must go on. It just goes to show you the daily rigors of this quest and how you have to keep pushing on despite all the peaks and valleys, just like poor Brad has to do. Today was National Punch Day which was a bit vague. Do I celebrate with a cold glass of Hawaiian Punch (do they still sell that)? Do I celebrate with a nice knuckle sandwich for Lola? However, after some further investigating, I saw that this day is also recognized as National Rum Punch Day, so I decided to go in that direction.
Not to criticize the Board of National Holidays (if there is such a thing), but don’t you think combining Talk Like a Pirate Day with Rum Punch Day would make sense? More sense than Butterscotch Pudding. Regardless, I was out to celebrate, but where? My first vision of rum punch was a Chinese restaurant where you get a fun drink in a festive glass served with a large straw. Mai Tais, Scorpion Bowls, Suffering Bastards – those kind of drinks. Cherie suggested a restaurant in Middletown called Ching Tao where she used to go after her shifts at Carmella’s (back in the day). However, I don’t think I could get Lola to go there as it looks a little homesick from the outside (especially now that their neighbor Rocky’s Hardware is going out of business). I’d have to find something with a bit more atmosphere and a little closer to home.
Punch is pretty loosely defined as a beverage usually made with liquor (although it doesn’t have to be) and a variety of fruit juices. It’s also one of my least favorite alcoholic beverages. They always taste the same to me and the sweetness of the juice is just too much. I wasn’t much looking forward to this. I started looking at the online drink menus at some of the restaurants close to us to see if anyone had a punch. I saw one at the Boat House in Tiverton and thought it might be a nice place to go for the sunset, but the day ended up being super foggy and the view would be lost. Plus, their punch was a little too highbrow for me (made with VSOP rum). I then noticed that Aidan’s Pub in Bristol has a drink called the Bristol Bay which was made with Bacardi White Rum, peachtree, pineapple, orange juice and blue curaçao. Then I saw that they had Trivia on Tuesday nights, so our decision was made.
First, let’s look at that drink. It’s everything a rum punch is to me in all it’s awful sweetness. For the juices, it’s made with pineapple and orange juice which are the juices you’ll find in every punch. Somehow that makes it tropical and, having worked behind a few bars, it also just happens to be the two juices that are easily available for any bartender to pour. The blue curaçao gives it a blue color and maybe a tad more sweetness. While a blue drink is usually pretty to look at, it’s really just a product of boozy food coloring. Finally, by adding in peachtree, you have just pushed the sweetness of this drink over the top. This was as classic a rum punch as there could ever be.
When I tasted it, it was everything I thought it would be. No, it was not my cup of tea, but if I was out to celebrate National Rum Punch Day, it was the best way to celebrate. Lola tasted it and she said it “tasted like a fraternity party.” Exactly. They really nailed the rum punch. Aidan’s is actually a great little place and I’d happily recommend it to anyone. It’s more of an Irish Bar so their forte is really beer and they get that right. It’s a great spot with two floor and an outdoor patio with views of the Bristol waterfront. Aidan’s is actually the first place where Lola worked in a restaurant. She didn’t really work there, but her sister Katie did and apparently, one time they were really short staffed so Katie had Lola come in to help her and run food and bus tables. Not sure what the labor laws are on that one, but that was the auspicious start of Lola’s life in restaurants.
While we were sipping our drinks and munching on some buffalo chicken ravioli, we jumped into the Trivia game. Back in our New Hampshire days, we would sometimes play Trivia at a place called the Holy Grail in Epping. It was a fun bar and always made for a good little date night. We even won some prizes every now and then. It felt good to get back into the Trivia game right here at home. We arrived a little late and missed the first round (there were six rounds of play), but we were able to jump in and finish the game. Not to be Mr. Braggadocio, but we were crushing it. We were able to get four rounds in a row completely right. We make a great team. I got the question about what Keanu Reeves movie gets its title from a B-52s song (My Own Private Idaho) and Lola got the question about how many types of words does and adverbs modify (three). That’s kind of how the night went. Lola knew what I didn’t know and vice versa. We went into the final question tied for second place just nine points off the lead – not too shabby after missing a whole round. The final question was worth up to 15 points and we decided to go all in for the win. The question asked you to put five items into the order in which they were invented (Kevlar, Dialysis Machine, Non-Stick Frying Pan, Traffic Signals and Microchips*). We took our time on this one and had some differing opinions. I wrote down my answers and then Lola wrote down hers, then we submitted our answers from a composite of both our guesses. In the end, we got it wrong although let it be known that my first guess was correct which meant had we gone with my gut, we would have won the game. But that’s how Trivia goes and even though we came in 5th place, we both walked out heads held high feeling like we were the true winners of the night.
That’s how this quest is really making life worth celebrating. While I was not looking forward to Rum Punch, it did get us out of the house on a Tuesday night and we ended up having a lot of fun playing trivia. It pushed us into a whole new experience and a whole new night of fun. That’s why I’m on this quest and I can’t wait to see where it brings me next. Hopefully, Brad Pitt can join me on the journey too.
Next Up: Pecan Cookie Day
*The answer was Traffic Signals, Dialysis Machine, Non-Stick Frying Pan, Microchips and Kevlar.