Welcome to Savannah! I’m at Smoke and Mirrors with native Savannahian Lucie Marcotte, and when I say native, I mean born the year the city became the colonial capital of Georgia. 1751. Shh, it’s a secret, and you’re not telling, right? Good. No, she’s not a vampire so she’s not after your blood. She’d rather have some… Hmm, let’s find out what.
I’m greeted warmly by a lovely woman in black pumps and pencil skirt, and a sleeveless pink blouse that makes it obvious she skipped the bra.
Dita: Looking good, Miss M! So I take it Mac is on his way.
Lucie: Nah, I just thought I’d mess with Bruno. Payback for the fun he has at the expense of the poor innocent tourists.
Bruno: Me? (A mock-insulted voice sounds from behind.) I aim to please.
Lucie: You aim to tease and that’s all there is to it.
Bruno: (raises his hands in surrender) So ladies. What’s your pleasure? (He leans well into my personal space.) How about a Screaming Orgasm?
Dita: Maybe later. What I’d really like…(I look him up and down)…is a Full Monty.
Bruno: I’m fresh out of ginseng root. Will root ginger do?
Dita: Nicely, thank you.
Bruno: (straightens, clucking his tongue at Lucie) You warned her, didn’t you?
Lucie: Oh yes.
Bruno: Spoilsport. SoCo and lime, honey?
Lucie: Oh that’s just mean. Sex on the beach, please.
Bruno: You know I’d love to, but Mac has made it quite clear it’s not in the cards, so—
Bruno: (winks) Coming right up.
Lucie: Told you. Totally incorrigible. He once asked Mac if he’d be interested in a Ménage à Trois. It took Mac a total of five seconds to realize what Bruno meant. For the first three, Mac looked ready to pull Bruno on the counter and start sweeping. The first time I walked in here, he told me I looked like I needed a Long Slow Comfortable Screw Against the Wall. Which wasn’t that off the mark, but I didn’t know it was only a joke and a drink until he laughed at my expression and mixed me one.
Dita: What was that SoCo and lime business?
Lucie: Oh God. I really enjoyed that Screw despite the gin because I love Southern Comfort. So Bruno started fixing me all kinds of SoCo-based drinks. Found out my favorite was a simple shot. SoCo and lime, that’s all. Then I went and ruined it for all eternity.
Dita: And in your case that’s forever.
Lucie: Afraid so. I have MacCale to blame for that, but that’s another story for some other time.
Dita: Do you remember the first drink you ever had?
Lucie: (long pause) Some watered-down wine in my early teens? I remember my father brought whole casks over from Europe and that some survived the trip better than others. But the first all-American drink I ever had is a Southern staple, the mint julep, and let me tell you, the 19th century stuff was just…yuck. The gin-based ones tasted like bad medicine. *shivers* I still can’t stomach anything with jenever. Then I tasted one made with bourbon and that just made all the difference. At least for me.
Dita: I hear Boyd Ferguson is the master of Savannahian mint juleps.
Lucie: Dearest Boyd is the master of just about everything. He says the secret is in the cup. Don’t use a glass, use a chilled silver cup. Make sure the mint is fresh, the bourbon the good stuff, don’t let the ice turn to slush and for heaven’s sake don’t nurse that drink, it ruins the frosting. Have you ever witnessed a Japanese tea ceremony? That’s Boyd Ferguson preparing a mint julep for you. It’s a beautiful thing. And so tasty! But a word of warning. If you ever get invited to one of Boyd’s famous parties, beware the punch. More often than not, it’s Chatham Artillery. That’s like the Long Island Iced Tea of punches, like asking would you like some whisky with your bourbon. If you’re looking for a drink, opt for the mint juleps. If you’re looking to get drunk, you can’t go wrong with the Chatham Artillery punch.
Dita: OK, I’ll keep that in mind. So where’s Bruno? All this talk about drinking is making me thirsty!
Lucie: (cranes her neck) Oh you gotta be kidding me.
Dita: What? (turns to the bar where Bruno is horsing around and openly flirting with two young women)
Lucie: Don’t worry, that’s just water. (shakes her head) Is it just him or do they teach that stuff in bartending schools?
Dita: He’s just…personable.
Lucie: And then some. (shakes her head again) You’re not in a hurry, are you?
Dita: Not at all.
Lucie: Great. When the after-work crowd clears, that’s when the party starts.
Dita: Should we call MacCale in case we need a shoulder to lean on on the way home? What’s his favorite drink, by the way?
Lucie: Between the Sheets? (bursts out laughing) He’s not much of a drinker, but I’ve seen him down a Boilermaker on occasion. Smoke and Mirrors has some seriously fine whisky brands and hand brewed beer in stock and Bruno sure knows how to pair them.
Dita: He’s something else.
Lucie: Mac or Bruno?
Lucie: (sighs) One of a kind.
Dita: I’ll drink to that.
Lucie Marcotte is the heroine of my upcoming paranormal erotic romance Perpetual Pleasure (Ellora’s Cave Publishing). For the latest on release dates, excerpts and other tidbits, click my name on the banner, follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook. For the drink recipes, visit Dita’s Den.