Blithe Spirit: 7.26.16
From the Spirit Distiller’s Notebook
Blithe is the most difficult spirit to distill, but it’s the most coveted. The ingredients are difficult to catch and are chaotic and unstable. A good batch of blithe spirit must be pressed within an hour after collection. A batch gone sour will render the drinker moody, pensive, and prone to remembering childhood slights with sudden vividness.
All of these are acceptable components and are open to interpretation. Daggers indicate relative strength:
the sudden, bright burble of laughter from a toddler ††
the sensation of warm tea in the belly †
the giddy rebellion of running naked in a thunderstorm †††
the shocked relief of finding one’s keys in an unexpected location †
the release from a well-placed thumb pressed into tense shoulder muscles ††
the comfort in the chest of the man who walks into the home and smells soup †
the sensation of immortality within teenage girls jumping on a trampoline ††
the fearlnessness of a young woman driving away in a packed car †††
Similarly to benevolent spirit, blithe components must be gathered while the sensation is fresh. Memories of the experience result in a weaker infusion and may cause headache and nostalgia.
The spirit is best served immediately, but may be stored in amber glass for up to a year if the bottle is left in a sun-lit window during summer, or by a warm hearth in winter. Being stored in proximity to children playing has been said to increase shelf-life by as much as three years.
Flavor variations may be explored with seasonal additions, such as the spicy aftertaste from pride in a completed wood pile; the refreshing tang from the exultation of a child’s first successful dive; and the rich, dark notes that accompany the heart-swell during a well-tuned cello solo.
Blithe spirit is best served in small portions. The correct serving size will briefly numb the mind to general pain and injustice, bring waves of euphoria, and frequently results in solitary dancing or loud group singing. Dependency often occurs at higher quantities, leaving the drinker bereft and full of longing until more can be distilled.