“I’ll have a glass of ambrosia,” the stranger requested.

“Yeah? What kind?” asked the bartender.

“The original recipe.”

“Do you know how many drinks have that name?”

The original recipe. Do I need to spell it out for you?”


“Fine.” The stranger sighed, then: “First, you need mirror honey. Do you have any?”

“Mirror honey?”


“I don’t know what that is.”

“I guess it’s time for my Promethean moment, then.” He stretched his back with three loud popping sounds, then continued. “If you place a single honeybee inside of a mirrored chamber, it can form a hive with its own reflections. They don’t need a queen to do their jobs, since they’re all of the same mind anyway. With nobody to impress, they’re free to make whatever kind of honey they want. The result is crystal clear, unlike the golden stuff that they make for their royalty. That’s the most important ingredient.”

“Yeah?” The bartender raised an eyebrow. “And what do you do with it?”

“You mix it with bourbon and lemon juice.”

A moment of silence followed, then: “That’s all? You had me going for a minute there, but I find that last part rather underwhelming. In fact, I know a drink just like it.”

“Well, it is what it is, and it’s how we stay immortal. Fried phoenix eggs by morning, ambrosia by night. It works without fail.”

“Hmm. Now that part's more interesting. I can't say that I've ever thought about the possibility of gods having a morning routine.”

“I’m not surprised. Mortals don’t do a lot of thinking about gods these days. But yeah, we wake up, shit, shower, and these days, some of us even shave.”

“You wake up? So I guess that means you need to sleep, too?”

“Technically, yes. But we sleep sideways in time, so nobody notices when we’re out cold.”

“Huh. But why?” He found that hard to swallow (on top of everything else). “If you really were a god, you’d have the power to do whatever you please. Surely there’d be a god of sanitation, or a god of breakfast, or hell, even a god of bartenders who could make all that effortless.”

“Well, that part’s actually rather interesting.” The god apparent offered a wry grin. “While all of the gods you mentioned exist, it just so happens that there is not, and never can be, a god of the routine. Ritual itself is a force higher than divinity. It’s not that ambrosia makes us immortal; rather, the repetition of making and drinking it does.”

"If doing the same things over and over is more powerful than godhood, then in some ways, wouldn't a bartender like me be more powerful than you?"

"Why do you think I asked you to make it for me?"