Maritime Love Affair

Music Pairing: Massenet, Meditation from Thais (Music of You)


Whenever we travel to Europe, we take the Queen Mary II. Yes, I (Aaron) do not fly. The journey is truly a majestic experience that not only invokes the history of transatlantic ocean crossings but also brings one to an evolved sense of our planet and the preeminence of water and our place within it. While our lives are filled with wonder and spontaneity, we often find ourselves returning to routines no matter where we find ourselves and the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is no exception. Typically, every evening of the 7-day journey, we settle in to the Deck 10 Commodore Club, quietly looking out over the bow of the boat, to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail. For Afa, this has often been a challenge since she despises any sweet-tasting drinks and does not tend to favor vodka (despite her Russian birth:).  She generally does not like the taste of gin or mixed drinks, as a whole. One day I was committed to try to find a new beverage that would satisfy her palate and reflect the romance that is embodied in such an ocean crossing. The waiter convinced me that their “Transatlantic Love Affair” cocktail, while containing gin, was truly unique and did not actually taste like gin. His recommendation was phenomenal and I then took their core recipe and modified it, adding certain favorites of Afa’s like the cayenne for spice, decreased the simple sugars (because of her sugar avoidance) bourbon mist and, since romance must always have a flair, finishing with a flamed orange peel. The music pairing is not only one of the romantic pieces in existence but keeps a special place in our hearts as Afa performed it in our violin studio class when we met and I created a poem about our love (Music of You) that I recite with the work. We hope this drink inspires a Maritime Love Affair in you!


  • 1 ½ ounce Liverpool Gin (or your favorite gin)
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • ½ ounce Tio Pepe Sherry or Rum
  • ½ ounce sugar syrup
  • dash of angostura bitters
  • dash of cayenne powder
  • 1 ounce dry champagne
  • Orange peel


  1. Mix and shake gin, lime juice, sherry/rum, sugar syrup, bitters and cayenne with ice; strain into martini glass
  2. Pour a champagne float on top to fill glass
  3. Spray bourbon mist on top (you can take any bourbon and pour into a mister and spray)
  4. Take a slice of orange peel and bend slightly inward. Create a flame with a lighter and holding the orange peel approximately 2 inches away from the flame, squeeze and the oil from the orange peel will eject, ignite and settle on the surface of the drink creating a smoky orange finish

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