Rule 37: The Angeramo Doc-tail

Modern Drunkard Magazine’s articleThe 86 Rules of Boozing, by Frank Kelly Rich states:
Rule 37. Try one new drink each week.
The Rule 37 series of posts chronicle my attempts to accomplish this feat every week.
For the recipes of R37s past, click the Htf do I make these drinks? tab.

This week’s Rule 37 is not the happiest of situations.
One of my former coworkers has died.

My previous job was my first “real” full-time job. I was working for a large printing company doing digital photo retouching and color correction for magazines and catalogs. At the time, the production employees were divided into crews, working 12-hour shifts three days a week. A and B Crews were on the daytime schedule, and I was thrown to the wolves on D Crew, a sarcastic bunch who were currently working the 7p-7a shift. There really was something a bit off about this ragtag bunch, as they were all a little bit evil with a carefully cultivated ball-busting banter. If you happened to misspeak, or have a remark that could be even slightly misinterpreted, they’d jump all over you.

I fit right in.

Doc was the crew lead. He was kind of the grumpy old man (in his late 40s) of the crew and was a bit of a pain in the ass when he felt like acting bossy. But in a good mood, he traded insults back and forth with the rest of us with his slow hearty chuckle. He got his nickname as “The Doctor” shortened to “Doc” for being a sort of jack-of-all-trades back in the earlier days of the office. [UPDATE: It may have been a college nickname that stuck at the office. I’m sure someone knows the real story, but I thought it was a work thing.] What was amusing was that it was soley a work nickname… when you’d talk to people who knew him outside of the office, they’d call him Mark, and it would take a second to realize who they meant.

One night, he plugged his iPod into the stereo and started playing some blues/rock tunes. I made some comment about the “old man music” he was playing, which got a laugh, since I was the youngest one on the crew by more than 10 years. He replied with “Whatever, Junior” and annoyingly, it got a bigger laugh, and the name stuck. I was Jr from then on. Word spread until everyone in the office called me Jr, to the point where I suspect some of the sales staff don’t actually know my real name to this day.

One event that clearly sticks out is a day trip the crew all took together. I had been on the crew for about three months, and Doc invited us all out on his boat for a cruise around Boston Harbor and the south shore, as a social event to bond the crew together. This boat, “Doc’s Fun” was like his child. Where other people had a sports car, or liked to travel, Doc had his boat. The day we went out was a perfectly sunny, with snacks and beers as we bombed around the Boston waterfront, and rode back down to Hingham to dock in a cove for some swimming. Plenty of photo opportunities, and a nice day out with coworkers, who eventually became close friends. I like to think our crew was the tightest, due to the way we constantly and mercilessly tore each other apart for sport. I loved it.

Last Thursday night, Doc wasn’t feeling well. He was a big guy, and his doctor had warned him to drop some weight and change his eating habits. I remember him starting a workout program with a trainer, but he hadn’t mentioned it in a long time, so I’m not sure if he kept up with it. From what I’ve heard, last Thursday night he felt odd enough that he decided to drive himself over to the hospital. It’s not known exactly, but it’s suspected that he had a heart attack on the way, which caused him to crash head-on into another car. A witness smashed the window of his Jeep and pulled him out to perform CPR, but he was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead. I’m not sure if it was his heart, or the crash that did it, but it was a very unexpected shock to the close-knit office group.

You took his jibes and grumbles, and threw it right back at him, because underneath, you know he didn’t do it out of malice. We all teased each other so harshly because we all cared for each other so deeply. I currently work at a company that prides itself on being a “family” company, but Doc’s D Crew, and the rest of the office, will always be more of a family than any job I’ll have again.

He was a grumpy pain-in-the-ass, but he was OUR grumpy pain-in-the-ass.

So, the Rule 37 drink this week is something I’ve put together. I’m not big on tequila, but Doc loved Margaritas, and I’ve played with that theme.

The Angeramo Doc-tail

– 3 oz blanco tequila (a nice reposado would also work well here, but I used Familia Camarena blanco)
– 2 oz real grenadine
– 1 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
– 1 oz dry vermouth
– Generous dash of orange bitters

Shake, strain, serve into a Margarita glass with half sea-salted rim. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Close your eyes and sip. Imagine you’re bobbing peacefully on your boat, tied in the middle of the Charles River, on the Fourth of July.

This one is a bit bold with the tequila up front, but due to the syrupy grenadine and some dry vermouth to round it off, it comes together quite well. The orange bitters give it that extra hint of flavor to cut the grenadine sweetness.

Gruff at first, but nothing but sweetness underneath. This is a Doc-tail.

Miss you.

Cheers, Doc.

Leave a Reply

11 thoughts on “Rule 37: The Angeramo Doc-tail

  • K Sully

    Love it man. D Crew days were fantastic. And you’re right about the “family” part. We have some really good people here.. (you were one, well, kinda, 😉 Doc will be dearly missed. Thanks for blogging this. We may have to have a party for him and serve this “DOC-tail” up.

    • squirrelfarts Post author

      I’m like the adopted child no one wanted. I still get to go to family functions, but I have to sit in the corner and be quiet.

      I’ll be making a fresh batch of grenadine this week, so more Doc-tails could be a possibility.

  • Beth Sheehan

    Thank you JR, for a tribute befitting a great man. Doc was one of a kind. It’s hard to believe that he will not come walking through our door with some great story of his weekend, or with plans for one of his 18 weeks of vacation! Boy could that man plan.
    I have no doubt that Doc has moved onto a better place. Somewhere where the seas are calm and turquoise blue, Doc sits among good friends, good food and good music, holding a frosty Margarita, and is at peace.
    For those of us who remain, we can consult the Squirrel Farts Drink Blog to pull us through. (Nice job JR.!) MOM

  • Judy Angeramo

    Hi “Junior” I am Mark’s oldest sister and this was found by one of my friends and forwarded to me. My sisters Patti & Kacie and I have been forever broken by our loss but the wonderful other “families” at Quad and the yacht club who loved Mark have helped us with their support and wonderful stories. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Kacie Silvia

    Thanks Junior!!

    I am Mark’s younger sister and appreciate the on-going tributes from Mark’s family from Quad. Their notes when he passed away are still a comfort to me as I read them over and over. My grumpy brother always teased me about my extensive vacation days from my state job. Now I have the evidence that he had many more days than me!!! I’m glad that he enjoyed them and had all of you to enjoy work with too! He is greatly missed by many but is also living on in our hearts and in our margarita glasses!!

    Kacie Silvia

    • squirrelfarts Post author

      I’ll bet he complained about your vacation time! We always got to complain about HIS time, just because he had been at Quad for awhile and worked up to the point where you actually get a decent number of days off. Every time he went racing in Florida, or out on the boat, we all grumbled while he gloated. We’ll miss him.

  • Patti Albert

    Junior – Better late tan never, I was just forwarded this blog. Mark, your beloved “Doc” was my brother. Your blog about him created such a vivid picture of who he was. My sisters and I have gotten to know so many people since we lost Mark, and it makes us see how many lives he touched in his lifetime. Though a bachelor, he had the biggest family you could imagine. They loved him at work as he loved them. The office actually closed its doors on the day of his funeral. We are heartrboken, but can smile to know that when we were not together, Mark was among family wherever he went. We have always enjoyed “DocTails” at our Capehouse, and waited to see what new Christmas Doctail Mark would make on Christmas Eve. Thank you for the wonderful tribute and the new recipe!! It is typical mark, strong but a little sweet and leaves you feeling great! All our love. The Angeramo sisters.

    • squirrelfarts Post author

      Thanks so much… I appreciate the feedback. He will be greatly missed among the Quad “family.” We partook of many of his DocTails, including his special Bloody Mary concoction during some company parties, and of course, margaritas on the dock and boat in the summer. I know he’d tell me that my version of the DocTail was “just ok” just so he could tease me.

  • Pamela Cooley

    Junior, thanks for posting this absolutely awesome tribute to my beloved second brother, Mark–well done, and Doc would second that!

    In my mind, Mark’s smiling, and pouring drinks, and laughing…always.

    I’m gonna have myself a Doc-tail this weekend…!