At the beginning of the state-wide Stay at Home order here in North Carolina, I began posting a series of pictures, just to amuse and entertain my friends on my personal Facebook page, called “Drankin’ with Dawn.” It was so popular with them, that I decided to share it with the general public, and have been posting them a few times a week during what has become 8 long weeks of staying home in Asheville. It ain’t been easy, but cocktails help! Y’all have asked me some questions about Drankin’ with Dawn, so I thought I’d do a little FAQ type-thing for ya!
I want to apologize to anyone who had to deal with the Trolls and Half-Trolls that popped-up in the comment threads of my Rise ‘n’ Shine posts on Facebook yesterday.
It was interesting to me that they seemed to be from outside of Asheville for the most part, though some claimed to be frequent visitors. One of them seemed like an ordinary, though misguided citizen, while others were rabid assholes, and at least one of them seems like they’ve been vocally assholing in Asheville for years and are well-known for doing so.
Trolls are fascinating creatures. Hideous beyond belief, yet one feels compelled to face them. They speak in circular gibberish, but think they are smarter than everyone else. They delight in “triggering’ others, and are themselves so easy to trigger with a few words and “ha ha” emoji. It’s a trigger-fest when the Trolls show up.
My theory is that they live for the adrenaline rush of confrontation, and are so addicted to it, that they will trash their own lives and destroy their own social standing, by intentionally alienating themselves from friends, family, and even the community they live in, just to get that high. Exactly like a drug addict.
I deleted some of the more hateful and abusive comments from yesterday, and confronted some of the Trolls head-on, as did many of you.
Fighting Trolls is not fun, but it is necessary. Thanks for your help! And again, sorry if they got your blood pressure up.
It’s Drankin’ with Dawn Time!
QUESTION: Who’s Dawn”
ANSWER: Dawn is my GF! We’ve been together a long time, and will never get married. Take THAT conventional world! We met in a bar in Chicago, back when I was booking Stoner Rock bands in a nightclub called The Note.
Q: Wait, I thought you didn’t drink?
A: I don’t! Anymore. I did up until 2011, when I had my last drink after a long stretch of abusing alcohol. So, yeah, I quit drankin’, but Dawn didn’t!
Q: So, one person in your house drinks and the other doesn’t? How’s that work?
A: Works great! I am very fortunate in that I haven’t been tempted to drink since I quit. When I was done, I was done, and that was pretty much that. I know that’s not the norm, and as I said, I feel lucky in that regard. For her part, Dawn does a moderate amount of drinking (note that many of her cocktails are low-alcohol) and I can’t even remember the last time I saw alcohol have a visible or cognitive effect on her. So, it’s not like she’s trashed, and I’m over in the corner praying for god to help me resist the evils of alcohol. I’m all good, she’s all good, it’s all good.
Q: What exactly is “Drankin’ with Dawn,” and how do I participate?
A: It’s just a series of posts on Facebook, and nothing more! I generally post three or four pictures of Dawn’s drink in the evening — though not every night — and declare that “It’s Drankin’ with Dawn Time!” I will describe her drink, do a shout-out to any locally made ingredients, and ask the readers “What are you drinking?” I always end the posts by requesting “Pictures please!” So, you can join Dawn in a drink by simply posting a picture of your cocktail in the comment thread of those Facebook posts. Fun? You bet.
Q: What kind of booze does Dawn like?
A: When I first met Dawn she literally only drank vodka. She actively “hated” other liquors, especially gin, and rum. These days, Dawn is game to try just about anything and her two favorites of the moment are locally made gin and rum! She also loves amaro, bitters, compari, and local mixers. She drinks a lot of “aperitifs” and she does love wine as well. I don’t feature the wine much in Drankin’ with Dawn, because it’s kinda visually boring. She also enjoys some dry hard ciders, but she almost never drinks beer. I’ve seen her drink beer, like, maybe three times in 15 years?
Dawn likes her drinks like she likes her men: Bitter, smoky, and dry.
Q: I own or work for a local bar, shop, or distillery, and would like to bring Dawn some of our (fill in the blank). How can we do that?
A: Dawn is a huge supporter of local businesses, so she is happy to purchase your products, but if you would like to drop off a “care package” or samples, or anything for her to try, you can message me through my Stu Helm Food Fan Facebook page. I will give you directions to our house and instructions for no-contact drop-off. And you better include some dang snacks or weed for me! Just kidding. Not kidding. Of course I’m kidding. Or am I?
Q: Is Dawn a Bartender?
A: Nope. She was when I first met her, but she’s college professor now. (Yeah, I know. Nice career arc!) She still enjoys experimenting with mixology, and she consults books and recipes on occasion. Before all the eat-and-drinkeries closed because of COVID, she enjoyed sitting in cocktail joints, consulting with the person or people behind the bar, taking recommendations and / or and coming up with drinks together with them. She basically started mixing more drinks, and a wider variety of them at home when shut down, thus Drankin’ with Dawn began!
Q: Where does she get her cocktail ice?
A: Dawn uses an old fashioned (ancient!) muffin tin to make perfect, large, slightly tapered hockey puck-shaped pieces of ice that nestle into a typical cocktail glass quite nicely. ! We tried a few different methods, but she discovered this one is the best.
.Q: Is this a permanent feature? Will it continue after the COVID-19 crisis is over.
A: It ain’t over ’til it’s over. So for now, it’s Drankin’ with Dawn Time, Y’all!
If you have any questions that were not addressed above, you can message me through my Stu Helm Food Fan Facebook page.
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Thanks for reading!
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Stu Helm is an artist, writer, and podcaster living in Asheville, NC, and a frequent diner at local restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and the like. His tastes run from hot dogs and mac ‘n’ cheese, to haute cuisine, and his opinions are based on a lifetime of eating out. He began writing about food strictly to amuse his friends on Facebook.