Every cocktail is an alluring new possibility. You form the words that you may have seen once in a book or heard in a movie – martini, mule, Milano – and as the bartender tumbles mouthfuls of golden intoxication from the little hour-glass cup wedged between his two fingers into your glass, the room lights seem brighter, the shadows by the wall more enticing. With this you might leap on the bar and tap-dance its length, or swivel your stool to the woman two seats away and take her on a night drive; with this tomorrow will be sunny and you a person you had never known before. The bartender completes the drink with a swirl of the stirrer; confidentially the ice cubes clink, whispering of wonders of flavour, and—you drink. Maybe it’s bitter. Maybe the alcohol is stronger than you expected, or maybe it cloys in the back of your throat, diluted with too much liqueur. So what? You simply rise and pay the bill—and then it’s the next bar, the next cocktail, the next shining jewel to take down from the shelf. The streets twinkle with the innumerable lights of bars, and you have as many cocktails to try as your legs will walk straight. In the bottom of a cocktail glass is something far more potent than alcohol. In its uncountable variety, in its glittering enchantment, what we find is hope.