About three years ago, I was working at The Rehoboth Summer Children’s Theatre in Rehoboth Beach, DE. It was a fantastic summer. It was the first time I was living in a situation where my parents weren’t supporting me. I got a place to stay and a pretty decent stipend for arcade games, pizza and booze. I lived in a tiny little condo in Lewes Beach that overlooked the harbor and there was a bar called Irish Eyes that was stumbling distance from my residence. I want to be clear; I don't mean walking distance. I mean stumbling distance. Close enough where if I had passed out from too much to drink, the bartender probably could have carried me outside the bar and hurled my to my front door. My roommate and costar Annie and I frequented this establishment after our long days of character voices, costume changes, and making faces. Heather made frequent trips down and every time she did, it was like a little beach vacation.
There was a place we went to a few times that I thought was rather unique. It was a brewery on Rehoboth Avenue (the main drag in Rehoboth that leads to the beach) called Dogfish Head. If you’re fairly beer savvy, you’ve probably seen Dogfish Head beer available at certain bars. They make a pretty popular 60 minute and 90 minute IPA. But what I didn’t know was that they distill their own liquor—on premises. I’ve been to a lot of microbreweries, but not a lot of distilleries. On the menu, they have not only a beer sampler but a liquor sampler where you can try a few of their specialties. The one that we liked the most was the brown honey rum. It was really fantastic. It’s kind of like Captain Morgan but a little bit sweeter and slightly higher alcohol content. The finish is smoother and cleaner without losing any of its sweetness or spice. It created an all around pleasant experience. It was so good that while Heather was in the bathroom, I had the waiter add a bottle to our check. We enjoyed a lot of brown honey rum that summer.
Before my employment ended that summer, I bought a couple more bottles and took them back to PA with me. The bottles are pretty cool they have the Dogfish Head logo on them and the name of the liquor in a sparkly festive font and on the side of the bottle there’s a spot where the distillers initial each bottle, write the date it was distilled, and indicate which batch it comes from. It makes the rum feel unique. And the fact that you can’t easily get it anywhere else ensures that we drink it very carefully and choose our moments wisely.
By the following summer—2007 for those of you keeping track—we had long run out. I got very bored one day and decided to take a solo road trip back to Rehoboth Beach, DE. I didn’t tell anyone about it because I was afraid someone would talk me out of it. In defense of this hypothetical person, it is a really long way to drive for booze. I drove two and a half hours down with a hundred bucks in my pocket, picked up four bottles of brown honey rum, and drove two and a half hours back. I killed the better part of a day getting this stuff. When I got back and met Heather that evening, I pulled out a bottle like it was a magic trick. She was incredibly puzzled and refused to believe that I had gone through all that effort so we could enjoy this rum we both like. I am kind of a nut job sometimes.
We are currently down to our last quarter of a bottle. I love it but I'm so scared to finish it. I don't know when I'm going to get a chance to get down there again. I’m still looking for an excuse (and the funds) to take another trip down to Rehoboth to get some more rum. Suffice it to say living in New York and not having a car are obstacles that I didn’t have two years ago. Plus I don’t know the next time I’ll have a hundred dollars that isn’t already spent. In the end, I suppose there's always room in the budget for handcrafted quality and spirits that lift the spirit.