Pickle Juice. All the way.
Buc-ees pickled quail eggs if I’ve been on the road.
Pickle Juice. All the way.
Buc-ees pickled quail eggs if I’ve been on the road.
Why God? WHY?!!
Is this just flavored vodka or a flavorless gin? Either way, no thank you.
Even their spokesmodel is confused.
Happy Hawaii Day!
Today we celebrate our 50th state joining the Union, with or without its consent.
Thanks to the overtly racist bullshit that got us here, we can heartily embrace the world of fancy colored drinks with even fancier umbrellas. Hooray for the Tiki movement, or as I like to call it, rum rummy rum rum fun.
One may wonder, though, why so much rum?
Look no further than good ol’ colonialism, trade ports, and a nice tropical climate ideal for sugar cane production.
With the advent of the gold rush on the west coast trade increased with the Hawaiian islands because it was actually cheaper and faster to get goods from over the sea than across the United States. With that, Hawaii started to see an influx of money and was able to industrialize their sugar manufacturing. Ya know with a little increased slave labor to help things out.
When the civil war hit, Hawaii got another boost to its economy and increased sugar cane production. The Union had to halt trade with the slave holding plantations of the south but had no problem still trading with the slave holding plantations of Hawaii. It just ain’t American politics if it doesn’t have a little hypocrisy in the mix.
Combined with the colonial powers and pirates constantly making pit stops on the islands in their treks across the Pacific, and desperately needing to up their rum rations, the foundation of rum rummy rum rum fun was firmly instituted.
But what about this Tiki business?
Well you can thank WWI and Texan Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt aka Don the Beachcomber for co-opting and commercializing an ancient culture that actually had nothing to do with rum rummy rum rum fun but did make some pretty dope ass carvings, notably none in cup form.
The first Tiki bar was actually not even opened in Hawaii, it was Hollywood. After Don’s divorce he wasn’t allowed to open a bar in the US so he scooted on over to Waikiki.
His friend and competitor Victor Jules Bergeron, another haole, also embraced the Tiki movement and helped to kind of ass backwardly create a cocktail movement that represents a culture that actually had little input into its proliferation.
Now, every pasty white tourist can swim up to pool side bars and order some rum rummy rum rum fun thinking they are having a true Hawaiian experience.
This is not to knock the Tiki cocktails themselves. There is a reason the movement was so successful, apart from our obvious love of exoticising cultures. The drinks, when done correctly, not just batched to shit, are friggin yummy. They pair well with Polynesian spices and they look real good being served to you by cabana boys.
My twist on a “Hawaiian Cocktail”
The Haole Aloha:
Throw it in a blender with ice and blend the shit out of it. Put it in some kind of fancy bowl or a cup riddled with cultural misappropriations.
DONT FORGET THE UMBRELLA!
It is the high holy day! The day anyone with a soul and a taste for the finer things in life gets down on their knees, raises a tiny glass, and praises the centuries of mezcaleros for making sweet sweet agave magic.
So lets be respectful of all their hard work and stop drinking shit.
Today I would like us all to make the following promises.
So say we all!
There is constant dispute in the cocktail world about how to properly make drinks. One can have hours of conversation about the classic Martini or the ingredients and ratios in a perfect Manhattan. Though generally, the fundamentals of individual cocktails are still pretty agreed upon. I am not going to call a Negroni anything but Gin, Campari, and Sweet Vermouth.Sure, there can be takes on classics and we can call them new things but the basic bits have been decided.
Not so with The Dillinger.
Now it’s questionable if this even counts as a classic but it does have a history. Somehow in this history how to make the actual drink has been lost or perhaps was never really found. Some say vodka and agave are key elements. Others insist there is cream involved. Others say St. Germaine, because you know everything has to have elderflower in it these days! The recipes run the gamut from wacky and terrifying to kinda bland.
So what seems to be the key element tying any of this together? Dill, something with dill. The drink name evolving more into a pun than actually having anything to do with the ladies’ man and bank robber.
So I say…screw it!
Why not? Historical accuracy and consistency be damned! He played by his own rules and I can too!
The Rise and Fall and Rise of Absinthe,
Today the liquor absinthe is making a comeback. Thought not as popular as gin, vodka, rum, or whiskey, there was a time when absinthe was one of the most popular spirits offered in saloons around Europe and the United States. Absinthe is traditionally an anise flavored liquor distilled from Artemesia absinthium (grand wormwood), green anise, fennel, and other botanicals. Once distilled the remaining spirit usually has a green color. Absinthe also typically has a high alcohol volume, typically 90 to 150 proof.
Like most liquors and liqueurs, absinthe was originally developed as a medicine. Credit typically goes to a physician from Switzerland named Pierre Ordinaire. From there the recipe was passed down until absinthe distilleries sprouted up all over Europe. Absinthe didn’t become popular until the mid 19th century, when it was issued to French troops as a prophylactic against malaria, particularly in French colonies in Africa and Southeast Asia. Soldiers developed a taste for the liquor and spread its popularity all over the world.
The golden age of absinthe occurred from around the late 19th and early 20th century. By then absinthe could be found in every restaurant, bistro, bar, and saloon in Europe and the East Coast of the United States. It was a drink for all classes, from poor to rich, although quality differed from brand to brand. Some famous drinkers of absinthe included Ernest Hemingway, Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, and Aleister Crowley. As absinthe spread across the world many different cocktails were created. One popular cocktail from New Orleans was sazerac, which was a combination of cognac or rye, absinthe, and Peychuad’s bitters. The popular way to drink absinthe was to added 3 or 4 ounces of cold water to an ounce liquor, as well as a sugar cube for sweetness. This method often involved a special ritual involving a unique absinthe glass, sugar spoon, and other mixing devices.
The fall of of absinthe began in the early 20th century, mostly due to two groups; the prohibitionists and the winemakers. The booming absinthe market cut into the business of French winemakers (as well as english gin distillers and various whiskey distillers). This led to a call for restrictions on absinthe to quash competition. Because it was the most popular drink of the day, prohibitionists (those who want to ban alcohol) also put absinthe in their sights. The attack on absinthe centered around a trace chemical in the spirit called thujone. It was believed that thujone in absinthe caused psychedelic effects. Today modern studies have proved this notion false, but the prohibitionist latched onto the idea, touting claims that absinthe caused madness and a breakdown of morals. There were even accounts of men and women murdering their friends and family’s due to “green madness”. As a result, absinthe was branded “the green fairy” and “the green devil”. One critic claimed,
“Absinthe makes you crazy and criminal, provokes epilepsy and tuberculosis, and has killed thousands of French people. It makes a ferocious beast of man, a martyr of woman, and a degenerate of the infant, it disorganizes and ruins the family and menaces the future of the country.”
In Switzerland, an alcoholic named Jean Lanfray drank excessive amounts of beer, wine, brandy and schnapps, followed by a glass of absinthe. He then murdered his entire family. Absinthe took the blame, and the Swiss government banned it in 1905. Shortly afterword, most countries in Europe and North American banned absinthe as well. The last major blow to absinthe was when it was banned in France, the number one consumer of the liquor.
Absinthe remained illegal in most countries throughout the 20th century. It wasn’t until a resurgence in popularity for the drink that governments began to look into the dangers of absinthe. After several scientific studies it was conclusively determined that absinthe has no hallucinogenic properties. In fact the only potent chemical in the liquor was the alcohol itself. Today absinthe is legal in most places in the world, and is slowly gaining popularity.
The original Playboy Bunnies were required to be able to identify 143 brands of liquor and how to make 20 different cocktails as part of their job.
All while wearing something that barely let them breathe. Let’s be honest, even the tightest skinny jeans and suspenders are much easier to maneuver in.
Kick your gin and tonic up a notch, thanks to The Bar Book author Jeffrey Morgenthaler.
Read More: How to Make Quinine Syrup for a Better Gin and Tonic on Food52
4 “easy” steps!
In honor of his birth I would like to address some misconceptions about the late great author and pugilist, Mr. Ernest Hemingway.
Yes, he had a stellar beard. Yes, he got a little punchy. Yes, his representation of women as more “things to possess” than actual humans with real merit makes most feminists give him sideways glances. Yes, he lived a well traveled life and has the kind of legend status that men of a certain age romanticize to a disturbing degree. Yes, the man was far from flowery with his prose. And yes, he was most definitely a drunk. But here is my point of divergence from the common lore of Hemingway.
He wasn’t a big rum drinker!
Sure, the man drank rum but the man drank almost anything. Rum however was not his go to. Trust me, as any part time writer and full time drinker knows, rum is a hell of a hangover. All that sugar hits your system and then leaves you cold and alone the next morning. This is not a head space for judicious writing styles. Rum drinkers are more suited for stream of consciousness prose or just plain word soup.
Writers, especially ones who actually have to get up in the morning and get paid to string words into legible sentences must have a much clearer head.
Rumor has it, his characters imbibed what he was into at the time. Across the board, the most common drink was a whiskey and soda. Like a boss. Because lets be honest, if you drink constantly you need a little soda to settle your tummy.
All that whiskey would explain the more violent tendencies he had. I know I get a little bitey after too much brown sauce.
The second go to drink, a dry Martini. He was a man’s man after all, and there is a lot more performative virility in drinking straight booze, opposed to a minty, muddled, fruity rum drink (mojitos be damned).
So why the classic Hemingway cocktail?
Why rum and fruit juice and Maraschino?
Because he ordered one one time?
The recipe the way I like it:
I like the Hemingway drink a little more than the legend himself but mostly because I have a bizarre respect for my gender.
Happy birthday Papa Bear!
When you ask me to shake a Nigroni
Hello tiny mysterious friend.
I feel like we have so much in common.
We’re not exactly what we say we are, our appearance in some bars can be disconcerting, we can be difficult to locate, nobody knows quite what to do with us, and we come in an adorable tiny package.
Most important, we both deserve to be given a chance.
Here, fortunately is where we diverge on most accounts. You’re complicated, but in a good way (ok I guess I’ve been accused of that). You’re fruity and peppery with a mild sweetness (crap, I guess I feel you on that too). Intensely aromatic (guilty) but not with overwhelming boozy notes (see we are different).
The black tea isn’t an overwhelming punch to your face but nicely sweet and herbal.
So what the heck do you do with something so particular? The distributors claim it’s great just on the rocks but let’s be honest, that’s a little boring. I feel like Tiffin’s deserves to be played with a little more.
My attempt: Queen Maryrita
It’s like tea but more aggressive.
If you’ve had this delight, please feel free to share your concoctions.
This little buddy deserves a little love!
(again, I can relate).
Being a bartender sucks sometimes. People are disrespectful, act like drunken children, boss you around, don’t say thank you, don’t tip and sometimes just to top it all off, puke at you. But all of that is somewhat par for the course no matter your gender. However, being a female bartender has it’s own particular issues and perks that sometimes make me question whether my strong feminist roots are compatible with my career of choice.
Let’s be clear, not all of this is perpetuated purely by the external drunken gaze, some of us ladies bartenders are really not helping our cause (see above).
1. Rarely do you ever have to change a keg
Time and time again my diminutive stature has gotten me out of heaving the beasts in and out of coolers. But be warned, learn some basic physics because sometimes there isn’t a strapping young buck to help you out.
2. You usually just skip right over the bar-back role
Most ladies in the industry can go right into bar-tending. I’ve always found this questionable but hey, if I can get out of the puke mopping job, I will take the gender inequality.
3. The general belief that over tipping will get you laid
This can be used to your advantage in most cases because you are safely barricaded behind the bar. Unfortunately once Drunky McGees realize their tips aren’t getting you anywhere near them, they can act out.
1. Coworkers’ crazy ass girlfriends
You work late nights together and sometimes stay out later trying to wash away the night of work by throwing back a few drinks in camaraderie. But some women feel threatened by late nights with people of the opposite gender and many bar-ladies have more than once been accosted by a coworker’s lady friend, making assumptions that just aren’t founded in truth. Keep in mind, bartenders don’t always attract the most stable mates.
2. Tips for Tits
As noted before, drunk dudes tend to fantasize about the magical drink fairy that serves them. In turn, lady barkeeps are often encouraged to dress a little sexier. Bars like Coyote Ugly epitomize this but even classy ladies such as myself have been known to wear lower cut shirts when working festivals and large shows. It’s not something I’m proud of but if objectification of my gender is going to screw me in many other aspects of my life, at the very least I can make a little extra money off of it. Thank God for fourth wave feminism, am I right?
3. Margaret Thatcher effect
Bar-tending is a dude’s club and because of this, many women feel in order to fit in they must out dude the dudes. Excessive dick jokes, hyper sexualization, aggressive behavior, and even a towel phallus can be common among certain lady bartenders. I contend, it is unnecessary but just like ol’ Maggie, sometimes when you’re the only one without a dick in the room you have to be the biggest dick in the room.
Sadly, even though it is 2014 it is still super dangerous for a lady to close a bar by herself. The ramifications of this are manifold and can lead to lady bar-tenders being passed over for prime closing shifts and even jobs in general. Trust me, I know a lot of tough ladies out there who can hold their own but when 3 am rolls around and you are behind a bar by yourself and that one drunk dude won’t leave, it straight up sucks to be a lady. Unless, of course, you have a tazer. But maybe that’s just me. I find tazers oddly thrilling.
Day 2 of getting all sciency and stuff. Bitters!!!
So far the most resounding success has been a combination of mesquite, peppercorn, dried cherry and coffee.
If you haven’t perused The Flavor Bible it’s a great guide for cooks as well as bartenders.
The tinctures are intense so to really taste them I have been popping them into a little Boomsma Jonge. Which, yes, means I’m getting drunk mid day.
It’s for science, guys! Just think of me as a younger more attractive Bill Nye.
In honor of World Whiskey Day, I have dedicated this post to all the marvelous whiskies you should never drink again.
While I am somewhat inclined to steer you away from the good stuff so that the limited supplies of sweet ambroisia can still make it to my lips for a reasonable price, I have to be honest. Black Maple Hill, Pappy 20 yr, Old Fitzgerald, and more, are goddamn delicious. But that secret is out and now I have to work out clandestine back room trades for the final sips of dwindling batches of golden goodness.
So yeah, I guess, fundamentally I want you to stop drinking my favorite whiskies, but at my core I’m an altruist and really I want people stop taking those mediocre trips to brown town.
People are under the impression that this is a classy drink. Sure it’s Canadian royalty but what does that even mean? In Canada they can do just about anything with booze and still call it whatever they want. Crown Royal claims to be a blend of potentially 30 different whiskies but they are very cagey about their use of caramel flavoring and coloring agents. Why so shady? Because obviously they are full of despicable Canadian lies.
Just because it comes in a fancy purple bag doesn’t mean it’s quality.(Though that bag is great for keeping your dice in.)
It’s overly sweet and sincerely, it’s a bad sign that Crown is mostly mixed with coke to make it palatable. The price point isn’t even worth it.
Evan Williams Black Label
While Heaven Hill makes the delightful Old Fitzgerald Bottled and Bond, they are also responsible for this monstrosity. I still can’t tell if that evens the score.
It’s disconcerting to me that I even have to say this. I would think by now people would realize that spending a couple more dollars on a bottle is well worth the rot gut you can avoid.
Sure, it’s easy to drink, but if you want a lack of flavor in your drink just get a vodka soda. Tagged as “the beginner’s whiskey,” it’s time to grow up.
Yes, I know it’s one of the top selling blended scotch whiskies in the world but that grain whiskey burn doesn’t hide itself on your palate. Often described as mild, sweet and barely smokey. Really? Then you might as well not be drinking Scotch at all. Give me my peat or just give me a bourbon. Enough is enough.
Jameson Irish Whiskey
Yeah, I said it.
Though droves of bearded men in jean vests will now try to slap me in public, I stand my ground. It’s not that good.
A terrible mythos has been constructed among my personal demographic. It is an unspoken social contract that we all just drink shots of Jameson, to the point that many bar managers are forced to adjust the P&L to not piss off the droves of whiskey swillers that just assume, this is cheapest “good shit.”
It’s not. It is excellently branded but it isn’t the god of whiskies. I have inadvertently substituted TW Samuels in drinks that were supposed to have Jameson and no one batted a a sullen, jaded eye.
It’s rough, it’s aggressive and it barely even leaves room for savoring any available flavors.
I guess it does the trick and at the very least, it’s no Famous Grouse but honestly guys, you have nothing to prove. Stop it.
I’ve spent most of my life broke. Not quite homeless selling my body on the street broke but broke enough to eat ramen for a few months straight and figure out that ports and sherrys are cheap, get you drunk, and are usually the last thing your roommates will pilfer from your liquor storage. Sure they are sweet, but when you’re subsisting on mostly sodium, a little sweetness can really balance your palate.
I wouldn’t call myself an aficionado on these fortified wines but lets just say I’ve had my fair share of the cheap and disgusting and I feel like it has refined my tastes for the actual quality. You know, like only hearing Kenny G most of your life and having your mind blown by Ornette Coleman. I know better, because I know the worst.
This little gem is produced in Jerez Spain, The Sherry Triangle. There are rules guys, this isn’t friggin Canada. For something to be called a Sherry it has to be from this triangle of lost inhibitions.
The packaging on this is a little silly, comes with a padlock attached to each. Apparently that’s what Candado translates to “padlock.” But if you have disrespectful drunk roommates who drink all your booze, it’s kind of a bonus.
The nose is raisins. Like seriously raisins. Grapes are dried for 2 weeks so I am not kidding when I say raisins…ITS RAISINY! But not in the “this isn’t candy, this is bullshit” kind of way. The raisin aroma allows for a really nice surprise as it opens up in your mouth. Seriously one of the best PXs I have tried.
It’s thick on the tongue and rich. Dark caramel color and hints of molasses, butter and smoke with a very mild acidity. Drink it cool but not cold, it isn’t Jager.
No you don’t want to drink a lot of this, unless you’re shame drinking. But the price point isn’t quite accommodating to those who are trying to drink away the pain of underemployment.
Well obviously people say you should drink it with desserts. I would lean towards bitter chocolates or maybe even a mildly salt flan.
Honestly, I tried it with some salted cod because I will eat anything if it’s free, and it paired surprisingly well as a little sipper with my fish.
(Fish sipper…it’s a new pretentious term people can now run with)
In general it reminds me of the best moments of being broke, when you have the realization that you have nothing more to lose and the only real joy in your life comes in a bottle but damn it’s sweet and gets you warmer than your shitty wall furnace. And sure, you may have your electricity cut off at any moment but at least for a moment you can sit back and feel like you did that one summer night when you passed out on that rock by the East River because it didn’t matter. Because you were Sherry drunk and nobody was gonna fuck with that.
Let’s be honest, a Sherry drunk isn’t a pretty thing. But I promise you, they feel great.
Tequila, mezcal, sotol…what the heck else do I have to keep up with to make fancy Mexico inspired cocktails? (I currently work at a Mexico City inspired cantina and craft cocktail bar, I’m not just fetishizing. I mean, I could, but that’s a whole other story and questionable legalities are involved).
I digress… my point is, there are increasing amounts of mezcals and tequilas that I plow through in order to find something palatable and priced for people who actually pay their own bills. Now I have to deal with yet another damn spirit, BACANORA.
To be fair it’s not that complicated. 100% agave, named after Bacanora, Sonora up in the mountains of Mexico. There are some pretty strict regulations so when they say 100% bacanora agave, they mean it.
Classically prepared, with burros carrying the wild Silvestre agave hearts down from the mountains. Spring fed water and full copper stills. They are not messing around. And you can taste it. I’m aware it’s pretentious to throw around words like terroir, but you can taste the mountains, the fire, the red soil and even possibly the burro shit. That’s not a bad thing, equine creatures actually have some fairly clean and herbacious poop.
Still have no idea what I am talking about? Fair. It was only allowed importing into the US recently and as far as I can tell, this is the only brand you can get legally in the US.
The nose is spot on for really good weed. Like Northern California kush. If you don’t take part in the healing of the nation, I guess you could describe it as a chocolaty, peanuty, mole-y blend with a little more of an earthy base. But the taste is surprisingly mellow sweet, even grandma candy style, if you will. Slow burn at the end but much more palatable than most of the random mezcals you can find on the market.
Dude, don’t fuck with this flavor. Maybe a little orange slice on the side and some spicy salt to bring out the layers. Sip sip though, don’t shoot it.
Reminds me of this crusty punk dude I dated years ago, complicated, a little aggressive, dirty in all the right ways, and something you really should just enjoy in small savory doses.
One of the perks of being a charming drunk with boobs, is sometimes people will just plop down delicious little treats in front of you to try.
This little gem tastes like an overly sweet, thick ass Negroni all by its lonesome. My friends at salt and time let me have a little nip of this with my ridiculously delicious burger.
Salt and time doesn’t have a full liquor licence so this wine based apertif gets around those pesky tabc laws.
To me, it tastes like amaro nonino, fernet and aperol got forced into a really awkward threesome. With Aperol definitely getting the lions share of the loving.
Just put some friggin soda in it with a lemon twist.
If you insist on getting crazy you can try making a Negroni but I would stick with a super dry gin and ease up on the equal parts ratio.
Reminds me of a drunk art history major. Interesting, sweet, fashionable but maybe with a little too much to say left to their own device.