Friday, March 30, 2007

A Drive-By Update

Hey, all. If you've stopped by lately looking for a new post I'm sorry to have wasted your time. This post sure as hell won't make up for your efforts but I just wanted to let you know that I most definitely haven't abandoned this little project. It's simply been set aside like so many others due to the vagaries of life, work, and procrastination. I've got a few unfinished posts that are sorta almost nearly ready to go. Hopefully I'll get my write on and put the polish to one or two of 'em shortly. If you check back later next week I think you'll find something new.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mixology Monday does shots.

I was a little surprised by the topic for this month's MixMo. I know all too well that shots remain a staple of the bar biz but they simply don't rate very highly in my particular cocktail-snob aesthetic. It's stupid to dismiss a category of drinks out of hand but I'm not sure what I might be forgetting. Pousse-cafés, maybe? I'd rather thwack my forehead with a barspoon than pour booze lightly over the back of it into a tall shot glass or, worse, to drink the sickly sweet result. So, me, I got nothin'. I hope to be pleasantly surprised by what other MixMo bloggers come up with but I won't be holding my breath.

Is my lack of interest in shots due to what some might call "maturity"? I dunno but, honestly, I no longer see the point. Sure, there's the camraderie thing and there's also the "get drunk faster" thing. I'm no teetotaler. I've done far too many shots for both of these ridiculous reasons and it's not remotely my place to lecture you on the evils of over-indulgence. But, ya know what, I can't for the life of me remember why my friends and I used to be in such a big goddam hurry. The liquor sure as hell wasn't going anywhere. Oh, well, youth wasted on the young. If that's "maturity" I guess I have a teeny bit.

Really, though, if the booze isn't worth sipping why should I spend good cash money on it only to toss it back before I can taste it? How about instead we order a nice glass of something and enjoy it? Or, if it's something the bartender has to put together like, say, a Kamikaze* or an Alabama Slammer*, well, why don't we just have a nice cocktail? It's no more work for the bartender except maybe for the little effort required to chill a cocktail glass.

On the other hand, all that being said, when I started this post the weather was terrible. It was very cold here in Chicago and had been for weeks. I was thinking that if there's one half-way respectable reason to get loaded it's cabin fever. Not that drinking to excess is necessarily a good idea when one's stuck indoors but it is one way to pass the time. Of course, now that the time has come to post this it's absolutely gorgeous outside. It was in the 60s yesterday and it's above 70 today. Apparently we'll be closer to normal by the weekend but it's a little hard for me today to think about sitting around with a bottle of booze and a shot glass whiling away the hours and avoiding the frozen outdoors.

However, when that thought was crossing my mind I learned of a holiday that suits the cabin-feverish mind particularly well. It's called Northern Hemisphere Hoodie-Hoo Day and it's held out of doors on February 20th. I don't know exactly where it's commonly held--"northern hemisphere" isn't exactly specific, is it?--but there's no reason not to start your own tradition next February. According to Frank Kelly Rich , founder of the adolescent but generally damn funny Modern Drunkard Magazine, "At high noon everyone yells 'Hoodie-Hoo' to chase away winter and usher in spring." Why not run outside right now and holler out a belated "Hoodie Hoo!"?

Mr. Rich offers up this shot as an additional means of celebrating this day:

Crazy Swede
1 oz ouzo
1 oz vodka
1 tbsp cinnamon schnapps

Shake with ice, strain, shout "Hoodie-Hoo" and shoot.
A little googling didn't turn up anything on the Crazy Swede outside of its inclusion in Mr. Rich's article nor did visits to some of my favorite bookmarked cocktail recipe sites so I'm guessing that the Crazy Swede is Mr. Rich's own concoction. My liquor cabinet is short two of the three items so I can't vouch for it but knock yourself out. If you insist, well, okay, a shot of John Powers Irish goes might nicely with a pint o'Guinness. You'll have to forgive me for nursing it though.


* I realize the linked recipes are for full-size cocktails but I've never come across them in a bar in anything other than shot glass and, to be frank, I wouldn't drink them any other way. To my mind these are not well suited to sipping. If you disagree I hope you'll leave a comment.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Great minds?

Well, slap my ass and call me Shirley. This new post at looks mighty familiar.

I don't think for a second that cocktail evangelist and Museum of the American Cocktail mover & (cocktail) shaker Robert "Drinkboy" Hess reads this blog or even knows of its existence so it's damned unlikely that he's taken to plundering little-known blogs for ideas. Kinda weird coincidence though, ain'a? It's not like The Liberal is the hot "new" drink that's sweeping the nation, the one on every "Martini" menu from coast to coast and in the hand of every supermodel.

Now there's a thought. Can you even imagine a world where the "new Mojito" or "new Cosmopolitan" is a rye whiskey cocktail made with bitters, vermouth and Torani Amer? I think perhaps only children and the mentally ill have the unlimited imagination to dream of such a wonderful world as that....