Thursday, July 14, 2011

Maraschino, from Marasca, pronounced with a 'k'

Thanks to Aaron Gans there are home-made Maraschino cherries in this Manhattan variation; this Manhattan variation employing Redemption Rye, Dolin's, and a dash of Maraschino liqueur in place of the bitters, and tasting very good indeed, but also making me sweat on a warm summer evening with no air conditioning.

Unfortunately, not my flowers

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I have a limited, ugly prose, which seems to suit itself best to certain contexts, like sarcastic emails, or text messaging, or in-browser chatting, for example, where the rhythm of language doesn’t depend on an economy of text, but can be as easily accomplished through quick typing. Correspondence is also basically written in the vernacular, which allows me to be descriptive without having to be poetic—poetic writing being something I generally don’t do very well. Of course, I’m not very good at poetic writing because I have had very little practice doing it, and have had little practice doing it because most of my writing is sending sarcastic emails, or text messages.

Summer is for spiritual and artistic growth, in the same way that the year proper is reserved for academic and vocational growth and nothing else. I’m thinking of maybe experimenting with some sorts of experimental project-like things, is what I’m trying to put out here right now. Perhaps involving any combination of life blogging, cocktail blogging, cocktail crafting, fiction writing, photography, illustration, digital art, or water coloring. There remains about a month and a half of uncorrupted, malleable life before return to the vocational school. Photos, drinks, and blogs mix well, and are an obvious start. Though prior to that the more important first step, I would think, would be to find an audience, or a support crew, that would serve to inspire and motivate. Otherwise, I would just be writing at my Mac while it blankly reflected my words back at me, which is un-ambitious and fated to early death.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


What I have been drinking lately:

The Dubonnet Cocktail

1:1 Gin and Dubonnet Rouge
A dash orange bitters
Preserved cherry for garnish

It was The Queen Mother's drink of choice; this being a woman who knew her shit.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Nine Months Later

And now I am living in Washington, DC, attending a vocationally-oriented graduate program, and setting upon the rigorous path to having a title appended to my name:

e.g. The Drink Well, esquire.

DC is a lovely city. Excellent eateries and drinkeries abound. The limiting factor for tasty libations here is not availability but cash-money-dollars (as in: shallow pockets) and, of course, one’s tolerance for meeting people who see you as little more than an additional branch on their LinkedIn network (I jest! I have met so many wonderful people).

Coming up (!): Discussion of interesting bars! To start: I have already been twice to a place by the name of Passenger, DC. This is an absolutely phenomenal cocktail-specialist-establishment founded by Derek Brown, who made a name for himself by designing the cocktail program at the Gibson (his resume cites many additional reasons to revere him). Unlike the Gibson, drinks are a (more) reasonable $9, reservations are not required, and the atmosphere is a casual, detached hipster cool. Mr. Derek himself can be seen regularly strutting past, his tail-feathers fully fanned.

The cocktails I have had at Passenger have all been superb. On my first visit I asked for something with All-Spice Dram and received the Lion’s Mane (rye whiskey, ASD, lime, bitters), a drink that tastes of liquid Christmas. I have had the Last Word there a few times, and am delighted with their regular ability to make excellent things despite being inundated with customers.

Also coming up (!): Bitters! I want to make my own bitters sometime soon. I have already ordered the quassia wood.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


I like the idea of continuing to post on this blog. But the focus of my activities is always shifting, perambulating, and I don't always have something clever to say about alcohol.

But I have a few things I want to say about Avatar, a movie which I didn't think I'd like, but then I liked very much. Despite my love for the movie, though, it's still undeniably a hodgepodge of every movie epic to be released over the last thirty years, with little new in terms of plot (it's breakthroughs are in art, design, wonder-fabrication, and Cameron's knack for strong female leads).

In that vein, here's a less-than-comprehensive list of Avatar influences:

The Last Samurai: A white man is sent by the attacking white-man army to subdue the natives, finds himself captured, and then ultimately leads the natives in a war against the white conquerors, having learned the beauty and purity of their ways. Two very similar scenes: the samurai first encounter Tom Cruise defending himself with a spear against a half-dozen of them, and they spare his life because of the extent of his bravery and pluckiness. Avatar's space marine does exactly this, down to the waving of a stick 360 degrees about him. That, and the final scene where the samurai on horse-back are charging at the soldiers, who mow them down with rifles... again, this is in Avatar.

Pocohontas: The blue alien girl is Pocohontas, the space marine is John Smith, and if you keep your eyes closed and retro-fit the dialogue, it's the same movie.

Aliens: Also directed by James Cameron. Aliens climaxes with a dramatic battle between the giant, vicious Alien and a pissed-off Sigourney Weaver in a large mechanized robot, while in Avatar, an American space marine cimaxes in a sexy blue alien. Another similarity lies in the final battle between a large, reptilian alien and a mechanized robot, but that comes second (and that's another play-on-words, my friends).

Star Wars: Every great epic fantasy film since Star Wars owes everything to Star Wars. An awe-inspiring parallel universe with its own cast of interesting species, languages, fauna, customs, mysticism; a male protagonist who starts the movie with little understanding of the world around him, so that the viewer can be slowly eased into the world as the hero is gradually shown to be the only person with the cojones/magical aptitude to save it.

The Matrix: Jacking into another world with bodies that allow you to do things never dreamed possible... On a separate note, how interesting is it that Pandora's native humanoid race has fiberoptic cables growing out of the back of their heads?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Nose He Knows

My curious passion for whisky and other drinks has, as its consequence, curious to-do lists. Consider the following:

1. Smell the sap of a tree

2. Eat a honeydew melon

3. Smell the sugary crust of a crème brulee

4. Find out what the hell a blackcurrant is

Never before have my interests necessitated an olfactory education… which is a shame, because now I’m already in my 20s and I have an amateur nose. I cooked dinner the other day—an act I’m proud of—and as I was sifting through unmarked containers of corn starch and measuring out exact portions of Thai sweet chili sauce, I had the idea of, or at least finally got around to executing a dormant plan to… smell my spice cabinet.

Which went something like, “oh—rosemary, so that’s rosemary,” and maybe once or twice I gave out a ”hot damn!” in excitement. And anyway there was much ardent sniffing that took place.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


As the cornerstone of its quarterly financial results, Amazon boasted that the Kindle has grown into the company's highest selling product, both in numbers moved and dollars acquired. At first, this seems logical: whenever I visit the Amazon website, I read about the Kindle, and even unaffiliated periodicals seem to be constantly spotlighting the Kindle. It's a hot topic, sure, and that seems like it would logically correlate with record-topping sales.

But then it occurs to me that I've never actually seen anyone reading from a Kindle. Hell, I can't say I've ever seen a Kindle at all... Who's to say Jeff Bezos isn't buying all those Kindles himself and building forts out of them and sleeping inside them as he fantasizes over the death of paper literature?

But then, post-entry: I've given this a little more thought, and realized that I rarely see people in Miami reading anything at all, so maybe this is a moot topic. It most certainly has nothing to do with alcohol, anyway.