Thursday, December 30, 2010


In a short search I couldn't find this cocktail recipe online. I tried the usual suspects and came up with nothing. If I tried harder or searched longer I might find it but that will wait for another day. I can't actually make this drink as Punt e Mes is not available around here. Also, there is no Cremè de Menthe in the house. Here it is:


0.75oz Punt e Mes
0.75oz Fernet-Branca
0.25oz Cremè de Menthe (green)

stir, strain, serve in chilled cocktail glass

As found in Charles Schumann's American Bar and nowhere else apparently.

This post is one in an erratic and unplanned series in my lackadaisical effort to make (or not) most of the drinks (or most of the drinks that pique my interest) in Charles Schumann's American Bar.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

TDN Double Barrel

[UPDATE: June 26 2012]: I have renamed my drink Dagreb's Hat. In deference to the Medicine Hat made by Bar-X.

When first I started reading the booze blogs I was intrigued by something called "Thursday Drink Night." The idea is to extemporise cocktails based on a theme. It's usually a specific theme ingredient but not always. The most recent night was before Xmas and the theme was "Double Barrelled." The cocktails must contain at least two barrel aged ingredients. As it turns out my drink actually has three such ingredients, but that wasn't my aim.

So, how's it work? With bottles near at hand intrepid imbibers log in to the chat room and start mixing! The chatting happens here. The drinks appear here. Amazing!

(Once upon a time the blogging of the drinks after the fact happened here. Like some cocktail blogs it seems to be on hold for some reason....)

UPDATE: Dr Bamboo has a new post!
Anyway, there was a small group. Smaller than any Thursday night I've logged in to before. So small that I was able to contribute! Again, amazing!

Here's the drink:

Medicine Hat

0.75oz Canadian Whisky
0.75oz brandy
0.75oz Fernet-Branca

I drank mine on the rocks. It could just as easily be stirred and strained. You could even go the extra mile and garnish with an orange twist. Just don't go too far!

It was suggested that the cocktail resembled a Toronto. Subtract sugar and Ango add brandy. So the chat turned to Canadian cities. My suggestion of a Toronto suburb didn't get any votes. The subsequent ideas seemed a little silly until.... Medicine Hat! I found it to be very fitting. (Moreso the medicine than the hat. "Fernet is a little medicinal," I thought to myself. "And it's also in the Apothecary."). So the Medicine Hat it was/is!

When first I learned of TDN I found the idea of inventing cocktails a little daunting. This was especially the case when strange liquors I don't have were involved. So how was I able to invent a drink? I changed one ingredient from another drink, that's how! So, here's how:

Several bloggers have sung the praises of the Corpse Reviver #2. Whilst looking through my cocktail books I discovered two things. First: Charles Schumann's #2 recipe is different that what everyone else seems to have. Second: There's a Corpse Reviver #3!!

(Okay so that didn't really require two exclamation marks).

(Charles Schumann's) Corpse Reviver #3

0.75 Fernet-Branca
0.75 brandy
0.75 creme de menthe

stir & strain, garnish with orange twist
This sounded tasty to me. Or to me tasty this drink sounded. Or something. I had no creme de menthe so I made one without it and enjoyed it. Then I commented about it for some reason...

So, double barrelled..... I perused our liquor selection. Anejo Tequila and brandy? No. Whisky and something? Whisky and something...

So I added whisky to the 2/3 reviver and a nameless drink was born! It didn't remain nameless for long. Photo to follow.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Bacardi™®© - Federal Glass Shaker Recipe

Third up is the Bacardi. I actually have Bacardi rum in the house so I won't run in to the trouble that some people have. (Okay so that's some person) Anyway, here is Bacardi:


juice of 1/2 a lime
1/2 tsp sugar
2oz Bacardi
one dash grenadine
shake with fine ice

Once again I did not have fine ice; I shook with regular ice-cubes. There are two questions I have when reading a recipe such as this. Firstly how much juice is in half a lime? Secondly how big is a dash? I was able to get 3/4oz from my 1/2 lime. This is typical. I don't know what would have been typical in the early 1970's when the shaker was new but I can't imagine limes have changed that much. (Correct me if I'm wrong). So 3/4oz it is.

The dash is a little stickier*. We're talking about syrup here. If it was Angostura bitters I'd keep shaking the bottle until I have nearly 1/4oz, but that's just me. (Not just me it turns out. Others too!) If it's Pernod or something a few drops will do. So what to do for my one dash of grenadine? Somewhere I read that a dash equals 1/32oz. I had been using my "dash" measuring spoon which is actually about 1/16 tsp. 1/32oz is roughly 3/16tsp so today I filled the spoon thrice! I may try this with other recipes and see if I prefer it to my past practice of 1/16tsp. Anyway the result was nice and pink. (I drink many pink drinks, how 'bout that?) Nice and pink but the drink itself wasn't really that good*. It makes me regret using all my Havana Club. In light of the next cocktail (Daiquiri) I'm especially disappointed that I have no Havana Club...

Perhaps I can breathe new life in to the Bacardi with vanilla, cloves and such. Perhaps not. I know it's fashionable to put down Bacardi but I truly don't care for it. Oh well, what are you gonna do? At least I was able to drink it and didn't send it down the sink!

Bacardi® Cocktail

*UPDATE 12/24/2010: Even though I didn't care for the taste of this and I did not want a second it did whet my appetite! So, unsuccessful stand alone cocktail but successful aperitif. How 'bout that?

**UPDATE 02/12/2011: So, I guess fractions aren't my thing... The "dash" measure is actually 1/8 tsp. That changes things slightly. It does make it easier to acheive 3/16 though. How's that you ask? 2/16=1/8. (I'm sure I'm correct about that one) Plus one more sixteenth. Also with the "dash" spoon is a "pinch" spoon equal to 1/16tsp. 2+1=3. There you have the 1/32 oz dash!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


I've run out of places in the yard to put the snow I've shovelled. The city is urging people to stop pushing snow in to the streets. Not enough plow drivers to keep up. But it's not a state of emergency....

I was going to take photos but I'm not sure anything on our street is of interest. AM980 is looking for photos though...

Check out these photos from a fellow named Kevin.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Manhattan - Federal Glass Shaker Recipe

The second drink when travelling left to right is the Manhattan. I think there is ample information online about this drink. In fact I think there is ample information about it everywhere. (i.e. bars, people you know, magazines, liquor bottles, even cocktail shakers! How 'bout that?)

Manhattan Shaker

Anyway the recipe is:

1oz sweet vermouth
2oz whisky
dashes of bitters
stir with ice
add cherry

That's it. No fuss, no muss. This is different but also the same as the Manhattan that I usually make. I used to use this recipe:

1.5oz whisky
.75oz sweet vermouth
dashes bitters

And then I wanted to be perfect:

1.5oz whisky
.25oz dry vermouth
.25oz sweet vermouth
bitters, stir, cherry you know the drill

I'm unsure what sort of proportions one usually gets in bars...

I have mentioned my cocktail beginnings with the Manhattan in the
past. (Or rather I have mentioned in the past my cocktail beginnings etc.)I think it needs to make a comeback to my repertoire. To long sidelined by the Gibson and the Sidecar. Behold the triumphant return of the Manhattan!

Anyway, this is a big drink. I had to get out the big glass for it! (No, really. It didn't fit in
this glass.) Don't worry though, I figured out my capacity problem before hand. There wasn't Manhattan all over the counter or anything. So, it's a big drink, it's tasty and the bottles I used are probably the most likely to have been used when the shaker was new: C.C.; Martini & Rossi; Angostura. Maybe not though... For all I know it could have been Stock and Schenley!

I do enjoy these proportions, and really it's the same as I used to make. It's just a bigger drink! So is the bitters proportion off balance as a result? Who can say. I dash my bitters rather than measure them. (If I need a dash of a liquor I measure though... I've got a little spoon labelled "dash". I'm sure you've seen these things.) Is there anything to be gained by exact measuring of the bitters? Only more Manhattans will tell!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sloppy Joe: Update

Yes folks an update! I've discovered the origin of the Sloppy Joe cocktail. This is something I think I should have come across earlier but did not. What are you gonna do?

Anyway, there was a bar in Havana called Sloppy Joe's. Supposedly it was a tourist trap. (There is currently a Sloppy Joe's in Florida). In addition to the cocktail I've mentioned before there is also a Sloppy Joe #2. There's even a book about the bar. How 'bout that. A (very) little research goes a long way. Cheers!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Whisky Sour - Federal Glass Shaker Recipe

We have several cocktail shakers. One of them has recipes on it. As promised I'm blogging my way through the drinks. This is the first one:
Whisky Sour
Whisky Sour

3/4oz lemon juice
1/2tsp sugar
1 1/2oz whisky
shake with fine ice
add slice of orange

I didn't have fine ice; I used regular. The whisky was Wiser's Reserve (currently called Small Batch), mostly. There was only about 1 1/4oz left in the bottle, I made up the difference with C.C. even though I don't usually care for it. Beggars can't be choosers I suppose.

So, how was it? Whisky-y and sour. The orange slice is a nice addition, I had Valencia oranges which likely made for a more fragrant garnish. Maybe it didn't though, what do I know? Nothing too unexpected here, I like the proportions and I expect I'll try this sour recipe with other spirits. Stay tuned...

Whisky Sour

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ting is the Thing

    Okay, I don't like grapefruit. At least that's what I'll tell you. I always liked Wink though. Maybe I didn't realise it was grapefruit? I don't know. I do know I quite enjoyed it when I was younger. I can't recall when I first had it, but I think I can recall when I last had it. Maybe not...
    Sometime in 2004 it disappeared from the grocery stores...then it reappeared as CPlus wink Twist. It was "reformulated" and not as good. Not sure what they changed but it just wasn't the same. These days wink Twist seems to have gone the way of the Dodo. There is an ongoing thread on chowhound about it though...
    In the meantime I had noticed Ting on grocery shelves. It was usually in the aisle with IRN BRU and Peardrax and such. I was suspicious. "Grapefruit, eh? I won't like that." So it stayed on the shelf. I did try Sorrel Fizz once. Kind of like bitters and soda. Come to think of it, I haven't seen it on the shelf since then...Speaking of disappearing acts: Ting was always there not being purchased by us and then one day at Superstore it was on the discount rack. Usually this is a sign of either impending new packaging or a limited release that no longer has a home on the shelf but most often its just a sign of being to close to the sell by date. I got three bottles of Angostura bitters thanks to the discount rack once. Shortly before the "worldwide shortage." But I digress...
    Ting was on discount but I resisited. I still figured I wouldn't like it. Life went on. Then it mysteriously never reappeared on the shelf. I think this was when I really took notice of the lack of Sorrel Fizz and Peardrax. IRN BRU had returned. Returned in a new package no less!
    So, no grapefruit soda. Oh well. I didn't like that anyway. And then. And then? This. Check it out, I'll wait here. While on vacation in Vancouver we had grapefruit for breakfast one day. That's right "we". Not just Cutes, the both of us. I actually enjoyed it. I sometimes couldn't even go near grapefruit in the grocery store because I would find the smell off-putting but these grapefruit at a market smelled good. They tasted good too. Yum.
    We came back home and went back to our regular habits. The fact that I liked Wink but claimed to not like grapefruit was mentioned once or twice but mostly grapefruit were off the radar. Then I started reading cocktail blogs..... (links to various articles mentioning Hemingway to follow at a later date).
    "Grapefruit you say? Hmm, I don't know about that." I said to myself. "Ting and rum? I'd try that, I think." And so the search for Ting began. A protracted search. An intermittent search really. Not at Superstore, I already knew that. Not At Sobeys. Not at Price Chopper. Not at No Frills. Not at Metro. Was it still for sale? Had it befallen the same fate as Wink? Would it require searching through obscure variety stores? The kind of places one finds Mr Brown or Pop Shoppe. I didn't know.
    On a whim I went to Loblaws (actually Loblaw greatfood, but who's counting).Found it! Ting, Pink Ting and Peardrax too! I'm still unsure about the Peardrax. I bought Ting and ginger beer. Ting=delicious. That's right. The grapefruit hater loves Ting. You should try it too. I wonder what it's like with rum, or gin, or...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A New Project

The Coffee 365 finished and the prospect of a weekly tiki drink to photograph being unlikely I have come up with a new project. Not a daily photo, not necessarily even a weekly photo. There will be 7 photos in all.

We have in our bar several shakers. One of the Boston shakers is a Federal Glass with recipes written around it. I plan to make each of these cocktails following the proportions on the shaker. Then I will photograph the cocktail. Presumably I will then drink it, we'll see. This project should give me much more time to plan and set-up my shots when compared to the 365. I could have spent more time on the coffee photos but often I did not.

Stay tuned for photos and for this post to be populated with links. Who knows, it may turn out that I prefer these recipes over my current ones. I'm not so sure about the 2:1 Martini.....


Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Collection Begins?

I bought my first tiki mug. Discovered at Value Village. I need more than one for it to be a collection. My coffee maker collection was haphazard and unplanned and currently there is a moratorium, I think. If mugs continue to be found second hand at second hand prices I think this new collection is sustainable. I still haven't yet cleaned this enough to consider actually drinking out of it. Will I ever actually use it? Time will tell.
Carved Mug-Mom-Fort Lauderdale

In the meantime i need to figure out what I put in some rum punch back in June...

I'll tell you why later.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Long had I forgotten but recently remembered I once had a vinyl toy Menehune. I recall also a Menehune swizzle stick. What I can't recall is if the swizzle stick was part of the collection in a kitchen drawer from when I was a child or if it was somewhat more recent. What I really wonder is: Who went to Trader Vic's?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Booze Blogs

Lately I've been reading several blogs about spirits and cocktails. I mentioned this and included some links in my most recent post. I was thinking about throwing my hat in the ring and blogging about cocktails myself....then I started to realise just how many there are already. I don't think I have much to offer that isn't already being covered. Oh well, I'll just stick to the comments sections I suppose...

I made up a facetious quiz to see if I've got what it takes to booze blog. The post is still sitting in draft. It wasn't as funny as I thought it'd be.

It perhaps needs more time to develop. The main joke comes down to only a few questions on the quiz.

Do you have facial hair?

Yes, mostly out of laziness though. Rarely out of any sort of plan...

Do you wear Hawai'ian shirts?

Doesn't everyone?

Do you live in Pennsylvania?

No, but I do live close to Lake Erie and I am at the mercy of a government run liquor store...:-D

Why Pennsylvania? It seemed appropriate, until I started to realise the breadth of the booze blogs, now it isn't quite so funny. I also had a question about brimmed hats. There is an odd connection in the cocktail world with beards and fedoras. I don't pretend to understand it, I just know about it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Was Gonna

I was going to blog last night. Instead i read other peoples blogs. Let's see:
Pegu Blog; A Mountain Of Crushed Ice; Sloshed; Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Hmm, booze blogging seems like fun...

Of course I ultimately found these blogs because of these blogs. Do I want to be one too? We'll see.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Out Of 100

Reading through the Kaiser Penguin archives I came across this:

Copy this list into your blog, with instructions.
Bold all the drinks you’ve imbibed.
Cross out any items that you won’t touch.

Let's see how I do!

List of Drinks You Must Try Before You Expire

1. Manhattan Cocktail
2. Kopi Luwak (Weasle Coffee)
3. French / Swiss Absinthe
4. Rootbeer
5. Gin Martini
6. Sauternes
7. Whole Milk
8. Tequila (100% Agave)
9. XO Cognac
10. Espresso
11. Spring Water (directly from the spring)*
12. Gin & Tonic
13. Mead
14. Westvleteren 12 (Yellow Cap) Trappist Ale
15. Chateau d’Yquem
16. Budwieser
17. Maraschino Liqueur
18. Mojito
19. Orgeat
20. Grand Marnier
21. Mai Tai (original)
22. Ice Wine (Canadian)
23. Red Bull
24. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
25. Bubble Tea
26. Tokaj
27. Chicory
28. Islay Scotch
29. Pusser’s Navy Rum
30. Fernet Branca
31. Fresh Pressed Apple Cider
32. Bourbon
33. Australian Shiraz
34. Buckley’s Cough Syrup
35. Orange Bitters
36. Margarita (classic recipe)
37. Molasses & Milk
38. Chimay Blue
39. Wine of Pines
40. Green Tea
41. Daiginjo Sake
42. Chai Tea
43. Vodka (chilled, straight)
44. Coca-Cola
45. Zombie (Beachcomber recipe)
46. Barley Wine
47. Brewed Choclate (Xocolatl)
48. Pisco Sour
49. Lemonade
50. Speyside Single Malt
51. Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
52. Champagne (Vintage)
53. Rosé (French)
54. Bellini
55. Caipirinha
56. White Zinfandel (Blush)
57. Coconut Water
58. Cerveza
59. Cafe au Lait
60. Ice Tea
61. Pedro Ximenez Sherry
62. Vintage Port
63. Hot Chocolate
64. German Riesling
65. Pina Colada
66. El Docolate
64. German Rieslingorado 15 Year Rum
67. Chartreuse
68. Greek Wine
69. Negroni
70. Jägermeister
71. Chicha
72. Guiness
73. Rhum Agricole
74. Palm Wine
75. Soju
76. Ceylon Tea (High Grown)
77. Belgian Lambic
78. Mongolian Airag
79. Doogh, Lassi or Ayran
80. Sugarcane Juice**
81. Ramos Gin Fizz
82. Singapore Sling
83. Mint Julep
84. Old Fashioned
85. Perique
86. Jenever (Holland Gin)
87. Chocolate Milkshake
88. Traditional Italian Barolo
89. Pulque
90. Natural Sparkling Water
91. Cuban Rum
92. Asti Spumante
93. Irish Whiskey
94. Château Margaux
95. Two Buck Chuck
96. Screech
97. Akvavit
98. Rye Whisky***
99. German Weissbier
100. Daiquiri (classic)

I got 54. There are some drinks on this list that I intend to have, soonish. There are some I fear I will never have. There is only one I will not touch. In regards to it I agree with Mark Prince and we'll just leave it at that.

Now, on to the asterisks:

* I have drank glacier water while on a glacier. Does that count? ;) I imagine it's a similar experience and a vastly different experience all at once.

** The juice I enjoyed was created by my macerating sugarcane between my molars. I've decided this counts.

*** Not American Rye but Canadian Whisky. I realise this isn't really the same thing. The LCBO simple doesn't stock US Rye. Oh well....

There are some things I think I could add to this list. I won't bother making my own list though. I'll just adjust this one with substititions so that I can acheive 100!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Summer That Wasn't

What's that line from John Lennon? Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans.

So the summer was most definitely summer. It was hot. I won't go on about the heat, you've probably heard enough of that already. What it wasn't was (were?) two things I thought it would be. Or rather two things I thought would happen.

The first thing is related to my flickr project: Coffee 365. I thought when I began the project that there would come a day when i would photograph some iced coffee. Not just any iced coffee mind you. Iced coffee in a plastic cup, on top of an outdoor table, glistening in the sun. This did not happen. In fact I had very little iced coffee this summer. I only just last week had a couple from a coffee shop. All previous ones had been homemade.

The second thing is perhaps more than one thing. It might be three things, we'll see. I thought I would continue slaking my thirst with Sloppy Joe after Sloppy Joe (Only one per sitting though). In fact shortly after I commented on Kaiser Penguins Lurker blog about it I stopped drinking them. Strange. I thought we might make our own spiced rum. This also did not happen. I had resigned myself to the fact that i was not going to make orgeat or falernum and that if I was going to buy some it would be online and would be shipped to me/us from far away. I had a few tiki-ish concoctions made of rum lime juice ouzo (the only anise in the house) brandy curacao and whatnot (I think whatnot is bitters and or nutmeg). So there I was thinking that tiki was just something I could read about...


Keep going.


I came across Orzata on a grocery shelf. Not a local shelf mind you. One in Burlington, at a Fortinos, this past weekend! The orzata was on sale too! Greatly on sale. $1.62! There was another brand available for about 20 cents more but I opted for the Gioia brand. (In retrospect I should have bought both for comparison purposes). So, last night a Mai Ta was had! Finally! The only dark rum in the house being Goslings meant that the Mai Tai tasted almost exactly like a Bermuda rum swizzle. When one compares the recipes it looks like they should be discrete drinks. (For the record the swizzles we've had have been from a mix). Ah, now if only I can find falernum marked down for clearance. ;)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How clean is clean?

We will be away. The cat will be looked in upon and fed by friends. Our friends, not the cats. I am cleaning the house and wondering how clean it really needs to be...

Now I'm wondering if that was a comma splice ....

Monday, August 09, 2010

Take That!, Cancer.

Two fundraising-to-fight-cancer events this week. The drumathon for starters. ( A valiant quest by Steve Gaul. This will go on all week. I write an exam on Saturday and then the week will wrap up on Sunday with the The Rino Invitational. "The Rino" was the nickname of my late father-in-law Ken Rine. Ken's passion in life was golf and a golf tournament was a natural choice.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Sloppy Joe

An excellent thirst quencher. Looks like pink lemonade.

juice of half a lime
dashes triple sec
dash grenadine
3/4 oz dry vermouth
3/4 oz white rum

from American Bar by Charles Schumann

Sloppy Joe

This post is one in an erratic and unplanned series in my lackadaisical effort to make most of the drinks (or most of the drinks that pique my interest) in Charles Schumann's American Bar.

New laptop

I knew the old lappy was slow, but I didn't realise just how slow... The new laptop is great! This is me mini-blogging on blogger.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Kaiser

So, where was I?

I had discovered some cocktail recipes and some tikiwares. I couldn't find orgeat or falernum locally so I decided I would search for recipes. I discovered Kaiser Penguin. Then I forgot what the site was called. So, I searched again for homemade orgeat. I found the Penguin again. I read a few of the posts and realised I didn't have the breadth of bottles in my bar to make these drinks. Oh well...

I followed a few links. I read up on tiki and Don the Beachcomber and Jeff "Beachbum" Berry. I continued looking at mugs and rums and bitters and such that I couldn't afford. One of the links I followed was to Rumdood. Aha! Non brand specific cocktail recipes. Excellent!

Meanwhile... I had been wanting to expand my cocktail horizons. Not a great expansion, just a slight one. The Sloppy Joe peaked my interest while I was skimming through Charles Schumann's American Bar, the Malcolm Lowry also caught my attention. I've made a few, it's basically a margarita on the rocks with the additon of some white rum. The Scorpion caught my attention too. I made one one night. It could have been better. I think fresh orange juice would have helped. Somehow in my tiki reading I had missed the Scorpion. My subsequent research led me to believe that it is a cocktail recommended for a crowd not for one!

Anyway, i made a scorpion again another night, then I had a Sloppy Joe and found it very refreshing. Refreshing like lemonade is refreshing. So, the Sloppy Joe has replaced the Sidecar as my lime-curacao-I'm-thirsty libation. At this rate we'll finally use up the white vermouth! ;)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tiki drinks

(This post has been sitting as draft for awhile. Here goes!)

Once upon a time we didn't drink much rum. The occasional rum & coke like anyone else but that was about it. We didn't even bring rum back from a trip to Cuba! (We brought cigars though). Anyway, things started to change. I'm not sure when but things started to change. A trip (and subsequent trips) to Bermuda by the old folks supplied us with Gosling's Black Seal, Outerbridges Swizzle Mix, and Barrit's Stone Ginger Beer. And so began our love for the Dark and Stormy. The key is the Bermuda Ginger Beer. It's not like Jamaican or English stuff. I can't explain it, it's just different. Around this time we also replaced Bacardi as the "house" light rum with Havana Club. I don't recall how this came about but it was a delicious change. Things continued this way for quite some time.

On occasion I would make a Manhattan or a Margarita (Straight up! Never blended)or a sidecar. Cuba Libres were a rarity, the white rum more likely to go in a Brass Monkey. Lately I've been enjoying an occasional Sloppy Joe. But just how did that come about? Well... Let. Me. See.

I had always known of Tiki. Vaguely I had know. Wood carvings, "fake" Hawai'i etc. I think Tiki Boyd's was the first bar I was aware of in an online capacity. I dug it but I felt like I was an outsider unsure of how to join the club. I would wear a Hawai'ian shirt to work on Friday's and occasionally also a lei but I wasn't in the know about Tiki. This led me to a small search of all things tiki bar. Flimsy looking "wooden" huts for one's backyard. Plastic cups that look like carvings. Kind of kitschy, kind of cheap. And so I returned to Sidecars and Brass Monkeys. (Let's be clear, my alcohol consumption is very low. Most bottles last us several years. I drink a lot more coffee than booze.) And so it went.

One evening (fairly recently) we were watching Anthony Bourdain. He was in Hawai'i. Actually he had probably been in Hawai'i about 18 months earlier and the episode had already aired. Never the less the episode was new to us. There were some interesting restaurants and dishes, typical stuff. And then. And then?

... Donn The Beachcomber. Ahh, the legendary Mai Tai, the supernatural Zombie. Drink mugs that looked like Easter island heads. Oh yes! I wanted to experience some of this myself. A trip to Hawai'i just wasn't feasible. So I again did some surfing...

I discovered a few recipes for both the Mai Tai and the Zombie. I found a place that sells Tiki Mugs. Actual mugs too, not plastic crap.

So there I was. A few recipes with ingredients I didn't have and some kitschy mugs that didn't fit in the budget. I searched for orgeat and falernum. I searched for recipes to make my own. And then I found the penguin. Kaiser Penguin.

Who is the penguin? What about the Sloppy Joe? That's a story for another day.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Manhattan Rocks

When I first started enjoying cocktails a Manhattan was what I had most often. I drank them on the rocks until i had a really good one and then started enjoying them neat or straight up or whatever you want to call it.

When I was a teenager there was a dive club called Manhattan Rocks. I saw several bands play there. Most of the time it was local highschool bands. I did see Malhavoc play Manhattan Rocks and I also saw Monster Voodoo Machine.

I don't know what made me think of all this. I never paid much attention to the name of the club. It has since had many other names (and owners I expect). I realised today that Manhattan Rocks is also a way to order a drink. I wonder if it was meant to be a play on words. If it was I think it was lost on everyone. I can't recall seeing anyone drink anything other than beer at the place.

Oh well. What are you gonna do? Order a Manhattan Neat I suppose...

Friday, April 09, 2010

Take #2

I once read that Steve Miller is a fan of first and second takes. Many musicians are. There's an immediacy and vibrancy that just isn't there on the 26th take. The execution may be closer to perfect by then but the energy just won't be there. There's a story about Hendrix doing umpteen takes of a song only to end up with the first or second on the album.

I think there's a similar thing going on with photos. Today I took several coffee photos. I used the second one. Go figure.
Coffee 204/365

EDIT: musician's replaced by musicians

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Today is Pi Day. So they say. A day of the year arbitrarily assigned abstract symbols which correspond to the symbols assigned to a phenomenon of circles. What a glorious contrivance!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Like A Mac

tonight for the first time ever i ordered a quarter pounder "like a mac" yum why haven't i ever done this before? i don't now. i think i've/we've stumbled upon some secret code or something. the double cheese burger was greasy and awesome and light on ketchup. the junior chicken was light on mayo. it's like they're making something they're going to eat themselves. like a mac is where it's at. oh yeah.

Monday, March 08, 2010


My stomach hurts. That is all I have to report for today.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dreary Monday

Supposedly today is the most depressing day of the year. Not necessarily the most depressing date but day, the third Monday in January. Ugh. It's cold, but not too cold. Cold enough to be unpleasant, mild enough to keep the sun hidden behind cloud. It is cloudy. The clouds are trying to land on the ground. It sort of snowed, but not really. I'm sure it was dark later in the morning and earlier in the evening than it should have been. I think the sun is elsewhere. Oh well, dinner was good...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Everything Can Change (In A Port-Au-Prince Minute)

It's amazing how quickly the eyes of the (western) world can change from the frivolous woes of millionaire celebrities to real human tragedy. When I logged in to twitter last night the most popular topic was Haiti. The day before, and even earlier on the same day (Tuesday), Conan O'Brien, Jay Leno, and Mark McGwire had been high on the list. It is very impressive to me how quickly we can all be informed of an important event. I'm saying all of this very poorly, but I think you know what I mean. Here's a screen shot of twitter sometime this afternoon:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

January Snow

I went out yesterday to buy a roof-rake. The places I went were sold out. Snow remains on the roof, ice-damming may occur. Stay tuned...