What is the bird that stays up all night? It's louder than the other birds, but maybe that's because it's the only insomniac species in Benton Park. While the sparrows and finches are nestled with their young ones, dreaming dreams of worm goo and white poo, this bird is belting out a happy-go-lucky, cockamamie song -- loud, proud and boisterous -- almost like she's drunk. It carries through the breezeways and alleys, bounces off the brick buildings. This bird has annoyed many a south-side insomniac with its weirdo warble.
By day the bird is quiet, sleeping perhaps, or bathing in the Mississippi. While the bird's occupied, Frazer Cameron is busy working out the details of his drink menu over at his joint, Frazer's Traveling Brown Bag. But when the moon is high and the breeze is low, there she is, floating her sing-song theories to a world of human dreamers. It's four a.m., for Pete's sake! Keep it down! And who's she singing to, anyway? And what exactly is she saying?
Is it a war chant? A drunken apology? Or is it a love song?
"Frazertini!" she sings. "Frazertini!"
And then, in the distance, a faint response from over by the brewery: "Frazertini? Frazertini-tini-tini!"
Birds -- or, as our favorite cynic calls them, flying shit machines -- don't drink much alcohol, mainly because the whole wing thing makes it difficult to work the shaker. But that doesn't mean a lady can't dream. A good flavor, even if it's beyond the reach of much of the kingdom, transcends species, nails that warm place in all of God's creatures where joy resides -- where the cat purrs, where the snoot snorts, where vast schools of fish dance curlicue patterns in the currents.
The Frazertini is Cameron's contribution to the world of drink, a new composition that bartender and all-around great guy Tim Nuell, veteran of the St. Louis restaurant scene, replicates with graceful precision. The drink consists of Grey Goose Citron vodka, Grand Marnier, crème de cassis and, the secret weapon, Key lime juice -- the same juice that Frazer's uses for its mythical Key lime pie. The resulting drink is soft purple and has a tangy depth. When the Citron merges with the Key lime and the black currant, a subtle, sour explosion occurs. Grand Marnier orange liqueur adds yet another infusion of citrus, but its sweetness gently nudges the tang back into the middle. Nuell then wraps the rim with orange sugar, and bingo, you've got one hell of a martini.
The Frazertini's presence in Benton Park has caused such a ruckus in the thriving neighborhood that not only are the humans singing its praises, but so too are the little creatures who can't sleep for all the excitement.