March 13, 2009

Friday Fête: Two Drinks

Just two on this lucky day–but two good ones (well, one good drink and one good post). And it’s lucky because A: it’s Friday the 13th (I tend to want to turn around bad luck omens on their heads, so I think of this day as lucky for anyone not camping near a lake. But if you’re silly enough to do that on a day like today, then, well, maybe it’s best you are camping near that lake), and B: yesterday was pal and rapidly-shaking Seattle bartender Andrew Bohrer’s birthday. In honor of said luck, here are two links from his blog, CaskStrength. A blog that’s been a little lonely lately, but only because he just opened a new bar, Naga (which I mentioned more in-depthly here), and is working ferociously to ensure you (yep, you) get the best drinks possible. Which means, if you want to be really, truly lucky, you’ll head out to restaurant Chantanee where bar Naga is (doubly lucky, by the way, cause the food in the restaurant is just amazingly tasty: have the crispy spicy tofu before you dodder on into the afterworld or call your life incomplete), and have him mix you up a drink. Then buy him one for his birthday. And then have him mix you up one. And so on, into the sunset.


  • Penelope’s Pit Stop: This is way deep in a longer post about elfin-magic-potion Chartreuse, but any drink that combines tequila and the just-mentioned Chartreuse and lemon juice and a muddle pear for gawd’s sake demands to be tried. Or at least be talked about. Or, if not that, be thought about for the rest of this day (a Friday, after all) until you can’t take it any more and rush home to make yourself one. That’s my take on it.
  • How to Carve an Ice Ball: Okay, this isn’t a drink at all, but whiskey is a drink, and one that I (and most I know) have all by its lonesome on occasion, over a bit of ice usually, and this post from Andrew is about carving an ice ball to serve your whisky over, so as to maximize the ratio of ice to booze. It’s pretty darn cool. And Andrew has ice balls at Naga (and if anyone doesn’t have a childish, 12-yr-old boy laugh at the phrase “Andrew has ice balls at Naga” then they need to go soak their head), and is a bit obsessed with ice balls (I saw him carving one on the bus once), so it’s a worthy post to read.
March 6, 2009

Friday Fête: Three Drinks

It’s not only March (a month which lends itself to trying new drinks—wait, every month lends itself to trying new drinks), but also my pal Nicole’s birthday (yay!), which means you should not only try a new drink (from the list below), but also give her a toast when drinking it. And then give yourself a toast on the next sip. And then give me a toast on the third sip. And then how about a toast for Dr. Strange on the next sip. And by then you shouldn’t need toasting reasons for sipping anymore.


  • Matatlan Oax: Learn a lot about mescal (a good idea on birthdays) at A Mountain of Crushed Ice (which, I have to say again, is a fantasticalicious name for a blog), and then try a couple drinks made with it, including the Oax, which uses the aforementioned mescal and a bunch of fruit flavors to travel the road to deliciousness.
  • Moral Suasion: Bringing a little history and art into the mix, as is a good idea on birthdays, this elegant little number comes from The Art of Drink via the 1873 Daily Picayune (out of New Orleans), or the other way around. That doesn’t matter as much as remembering that cheerfulness and drinking have gone on so well together for so long. What a beautiful world.
  • Maime Taylor: Ah, a favorite for springtime’s approach (and fitting well into this post’s month-of-March-M-drinks), Maime is given a gracious going-over at the Underhill Lounge (a lounge that’s always worth a visit). Its refreshing nature is sure to bring a smile, even if it’s freaking freezing outside (like it is here in Seattle). Luckily, the large dollop of scotch is sure to warm ya.



February 6, 2009

Friday Fête: Three Drinks

It’s Friday again (heck yeah!), and while I may be a little older this week (or, at least, have passed another birthday milestone) that doesn’t mean I’m any less bubbly at the thought of sipping the following three drinks from sweet sites that reside within what I like the call the Drinker’s Blogosphere. If you like to drink (and I know you do) then I suggest you spend some time with the following cocktails. And if you like to read (and I hope you do), I suggest checking out Alcohology’s A Lesson in Absinthe while you sip the first drink. It’s filled with good info, much of which is from the awesome absinthe afternoon the WSBG put on recently.


  • Jasper’s Jamaican: This recipe is actually on the Serious Eats site, but is written up by Cocktail Chronicler Paul Clarke himself, and can take you away tropically from all the unfriendly weather lurking outside your window (well, it’s lurking outside mine at least).
  • Maple Leaf Rum Variation: Be reminded that it’s good to drink local when at all possible, and be reminder also that it’s good to read everything the Ladies of LUPEC Boston write about, because you’ll always find tasty recipes like this one when you do (and, of course, also find good and fun facts and frolicking).
  • St. Croix Crusta: In an informative and tasty entry (which is a bit older, but so worthy of your time) the Small Hand Bartender not only teaches you how to make your own Orchard Syrup (an older ingredient somewhat sadly lost to history) but also the St. Croix Crusta, which uses said syrup deliciously.
January 16, 2009

Friday Fête: Three Drinks

Are you ready for some weekend? Well, if you aren’t, you stink. No, no, I’m kidding, maybe you’re someone who actually adores the M-through-F-at-5-pm much more than the F-at-5-pm-through-Sun-night. Maybe (and maybe you’re a corporate suck up, too. No, no, I kid. You’re the tops. At least in my view. Which is, honestly, what matters at this moment). Either way, make your weekend a better place to be with one of these mighty fine mixes.

  • Garden Party Punch: Why wouldn’t you have a few friends over and fill up the punch bowl with a garden during January? Show that ol’ winter who the boss is. I know that Cheryl Charming at Charming Cocktails will (and she’ll teach you how to make an amazing ice punch bowl at the same time).
  • The Cocktail with No Name: Why not attempt to utilize tawny port in a drink that’s related to the Manhattan and seems sure to cure what ails you, and cure the chill that’s still evident in most spots? Go over to A Dash of Bitters and learn all about it, and maybe even drop a naming suggestion (they sure seem awfully friendly and might just be receptive).
  • Pax Sax Sarax: Why you’d think of skipping Burns supper (or, if avoiding like I the haggis, skipping a Burns night cocktail), or skip getting poetic with this scotch-y bitters-y magical affair is beyond me–so why? Instead, fly your broom over to SpiritsandCocktails and bring out the inner witch or warlock or sorcerer or thaumaturge or (gasp) poet while sipping a strengthening concoction (and enjoying every minute of it).
December 19, 2008

Friday Fête: Three Drinks

As the holidays are almost here (yay!) and as it’s snowing like the Dickens (what does that mean, by the way? I mean, Charlie D wasn’t known for his weather-creation abilities was he? And did I really just call Mr. Dickens “Charlie D?” His ghost is gonna kick my ass), who knows how many posts will find their way up on this blog in the next few weeks. But don’t fret pals, the following drinks from the blogosphere will get you through the lean times in high fashion.


  • Hot Buttered Rum: The rollicking ladies of LUPEC Boston are talking toddies, which only seems appropriate this time of chilly year. And, they’re also providing a really right on recipe (in that fine LUPEC style) for hot buttered rum, as well as a recipe for making holiday compound butter, which makes that very rum drink very much above the average. So, why not warm up?
  •  Rutherglen’s Border Cocktail: It shouldn’t just be “oh it’s cold out” and “give me a hot drink” this time of year. Which is why I suggest heading over to SpiritsandCocktails for the festive Rutherglen’s Border Cocktail, which uses Cognac and Muscat (a dessert wine that mixes well in mixes) and pear and bitters (oh my). Not only will the post give you the recipe for this cocktail that’s a right fit for any swank seasonal soirée or meal’s end, but wow, the picture of it is dreamy, too.
November 26, 2008

What I’m Drinking Right Now: Steaming Spiked Cider

It’s almost become a cliché, how much I like the booze-fueled hot apple cider within the colder months (in that it’s utterly expected that when one walks into my house they’ll smell the cinnamon, apple, and rum on the air during holiday-season gatherings). But you know what? I think being a cliché is just fine (in this one instance that is. Don’t be calling me cliché any other time. Unless my love of genius British television character Dean Learner becomes a cliché. Which would be awesome, cause the world would be a better place if everyone, when asked what they loved, said “Dean Learner.” But I digress), when the word revolves around this cider recipe, which is from the GS. It’ll warm you and your guests (and works darn well as a pre-Thanksgiving-meal sipper, too. Especially in chilly KS, Jen, if you were wondering).


4 quarts fresh apple cider

20 ounces cinnamon schnapps

16 ounces white rum

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

10 cinnamon sticks

10 apple slice for garnish


1. Add the cider to a large nonreactive saucepan. Heat over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes


2. Add the cinnamon schnapps, rum, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon sticks.  Simmer for 15 minutes, but don’t let the mixture boil.


3. Once thoroughly warm, ladle the mixture into heatproof mugs, making sure that each mug gets a cinnamon stick. Garnish each with an apple slice.


A Note: Here are three things to remember: 1. Be careful with the cloves when scaling (meaning, too many cloves can take over the flavor). 2. Use apple cider (which is good and cloudy) not apple juice. 3. Boiling boils off some of the alcohol. If getting mistakenly to a boil, or leaving the cider on the stove for an extended period, add more rum as needed.


A Second Note: This may be too much cinnamon for some. I see no problem, for balance, in upping the rum.

November 21, 2008

Friday Fête: Two Drinks

Just two to make it through the weekend with (well, two plus the gazillion others you can get to via the links on the right and the electric byways of the web), but two fantastic mixes (and, by the way, let me officially blame my day job for only having two).

  • Jasper’s Jamaican Cocktail: There’s actually a recipe for the Lion’s Tale in this post from the mysterious and awfully artful Dr. Bamboo, as well as the jumping Jasper’s Jamaican Cocktail, so it’s really bringing the Friday total up to three. Both of these tasty tastes utilize St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, which I’ve been enjoying lots–you should, too.
  • Greenbriar Cocktail: From the Underhill Lounge, where you’ll find one of the most dedicated bar-writing-and-sipping ideas of all time: going through the Savoy Cocktail Book one drink at a time. That’s just out-of-sight amazing. Sort of like this drink, which uses sherry, dry vermouth, mint, and peach bitters. Really.
November 12, 2008

Talking Cocktails at Cookthink

Okay, I’m a little behind on posting about this (it’s funny to say “I’m a little behind” though, since I do have a fair amount of junk in the trunk. It’s like Bruce Banner saying, “I get a little angry” or something), but a couple weeks ago I had an awesome experience carrying on a cocktail conversation via email at Cookthink (if you haven’t been visiting the Cookthink and you like eating and drinking, you, pal, are missing out). And if a cocktail conversation at a good site wasn’t enough to make me smile like a bartender on payday, the fact that the two people I was conversing with were Greg Boehm, the publisher of and the bubbly Mud Puddle Books, and Rob Chirico, the author of The Field Guide to Cocktails and writer of Cookthink’s Hair of the Dog column, made me sort-of giddy. We talked about drinks, cocktails, books, modern trends, the word “mixologist,” and a whole bar-load of other subjects any imbiber would be interested in reading more about. So, quit dallying–head on over and dive in to the Cocktails Rising.

Rathbun on Film