The Unexpected Guest

The Unexpected Guest is a gin martini, garnished with olives and sundried tomatoes.

A friend told a very moving story about how a chicken came to stay with her…

The chicken was attacked, seemingly by a hawk or eagle, and was in bad shape. My friend, who works in the field of sustainability and is very in touch with the natural world, was called on to care for the hen and try to nurse it back to health.

She took the chicken in, not knowing if she would live or die, or how long she’d be staying. Quite literally because the truth is, it was always touch-and-go with the chicken; the wounds and trauma were severe. But if anyone could have helped, it’s Stephanie. She told how she held the chicken, tended her wounds, and protected her at night.

After our phone call, I made this cocktail and looked out the window while thinking of this poor chicken, and the responsibility that Stephanie had taken on, in trying to bring her back from the brink.

This story spoke to something in me about things we’ve all done during this pandemic in order to care for ourselves and others, and also about taking care of our immediate neighborhood, our greater environment, our planet. It was like a little symbol of a bigger theme that we’ve all been acting out for months now.

I checked in with Stephanie from time to time and we were encouraged by a seeming improvement here or there. It’s really hard to overstate how much I was rooting for this chicken! Unfortunately, though, she took a turn for the worse within a week or so, and Stephanie brought her to a farm to be euthanized.

I actually shed a tear when I heard about this; the hen was a very powerful, even shamanic, presence for me during this time. She certainly made a mark in asking us to pause, even if briefly, and think about something outside of ourselves.


  • 3 oz. Gin

  • 2 oz. Olive Brine

  • Red Chili flakes – a pinch

  • Salt – the smallest of pinches

  • Garnish
  • Olives

  • Sundried Tomatoes


  • Shake the gin and brine with red pepper flakes and salt, in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Strain out the flakes.
  • Garnish and contemplate…everything, while sending love for the chicken.
Enjoyed on September 1

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