Monday, August 30, 2010

BarTab: send a drink thru your iPhone

Tech minds at work. Brilliant! (I'll have a Tanqueray and Tonic, thank you!)

You can send me a drink anytime, iPod buddies!

(from Mobile Ever wanted to buy a friend a drink, but couldn’t because it was 2 in the afternoon and you were at work? Or because they’re half-way across the USA? Or because you’re so slammed you lost your wallet 3 bars ago? Well, now you can Bartab them a drink coupon. Bartab is a new iPhone, Web and Android app that lets you buy friends/girls/randoms-you’ve-never-met a drink.

With Bartab, the first app from Webtab, you pay $1 and send a friend a virtual coupon for a drink. Yes, a real drink with real alcohol. Not a Facebook gift that sits on your profile or a virtual drink you can put on your Twitter background. Hard, cold, liquor.

Drinks can be redeemed at bars around San Francisco, New York City and Los Angeles. The friend merely has to show the virtual coupon to the bartender at any of these bars, and then pay an extra $1 to the bartender. It kind of sucks that the friend has to pay the bartender, but it’s due to regulations by the state governments in CA and NY. Gifted drinks are sent via Facebook wall posts but can also be texted to the individual you send them to.

This is a great idea, but has one critical problem: it’s only REALLY valuable if a large number of venues accept the drinks. Right now, you have to buy pre-specified drinks at a limited number of venues.

If anyone has a chance at cracking the critical mass problem, it’s Bartab. Their service is naturally viral, because in order to use it you must send someone else a drink. That means that it could spread fairly quickly.

Bartab Tip #1: There’s no rule against buying yourself a drink. So if you are going to one of the locations that takes Bartab, send yourself a drink and you can drink for $2!

Bartab Tip #2: You get 6 half-off drinks just for signing up. They aren’t completely free – but you only have to pay $1 instead of $2. Solid deal.

25 Historical Facts about Beer

Get ready for more beer knowledge than you'll ever need! 

(from College Whether you're a casual drinker just out of college or a serious connoisseur, you probably don't think about the incredible history that's behind the brew you're enjoying. But the fact is that there are many interesting tidbits from the history of beer, from stories of the brewers themselves to inventions and laws created just for beer. Here, we'll take a look at 25 of the most fascinating historical facts about beer.

1.) Many brewers were women: Clay tablets from Mesopotamia indicate that the majority of brewing during that time was done by women, and that it was a fairly well-respected occupation.

2.) Beer is on the oldest document known to man: An ancient clay tablet discussing the preparation of beer is the oldest document known to man.

3.) The first consumer protection law was written for beer: In 1516, Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria enacted a purity law limiting beer ingredients to barley, hops, and water. Yeast was not mentioned.

4.) The straw was invented for beer drinking: In 2,400 BC, Sumerians invented the straw so that they could drink beer without ingesting the solids left over from brewing.

5.) Double-walled railcars made Budweiser the first national brand of beer in America: Adolphus Busch pioneered the use of double-walled railcars to transport beer, so Budweiser could be distributed widely.

6.) Beer turned wanderers into farmers: In 5000 BC, Neolithic people left the nomadic life to farm and grow grain for beer brewing.

7.) Only 160 breweries in America survived prohibition: In 1880, there were more than 2,300 breweries in the US, but by 1934, only 160 remained. Today, there are about 1,640.

8.) Beer was part of FDR's Presidential campaign: Franklin Delano Roosevelt promised to end Prohibition in his Presidential campaign. He was elected President in 1932.

Good call, FDR!

9.) Beer was a part of the oldest laws: The oldest code of laws is the Code of Hammurabi, which regulated drinking houses, including the death penalty for watering down beer.

10.)  Spit has its place in beer: The Incas made beer using chewed corn. Modern brewer Dogfish Head makes their Chicha beer in a similar way, chewing the corn used in the brew.

11.) Monks built with beer: In the middle ages, some monks used mortar mixed with ale to build their churches and monasteries.

12.) Brewing has a patron saint: St. Arnold brewed beer and encouraged the locals to drink it for its health benefits, particularly the fact that the bacteria was boiled out of it.

13.) Monasteries popularized brewing as a trade: Monks built breweries so they could provide drink to travelers and pilgrims, and they were among the first groups to brew beer as a trade. Monks also used beer for sustenance during times of fasting.

14.) Beer can be dangerous to more than your liver: In 1814, a vat at a London brewery exploded, sending more than 100,000 gallons of beer into the streets. The liquid destroyed two houses, one pub, and killed 9 people, including one person who died from alcohol poisoning after drinking beer out of the gutters.

15.) IPAs were made to sustain long journeys: As the British developed colonies in India, they discovered that the beer brought along could not make the trip. What resulted was more hops and a higher alcohol content, today called an India Pale Ale, which helped keep beer fresh on the long trip.

16.) Babylonians drowned bad brewers: The ancient Babylonians were so serious about the quality of their beer that they decreed commercial beermakers selling unfit beer should be drowned in their own brew.

17.) George Washington gave his soldiers beer: As one of his first acts while Commander of the Continental Army, George Washington proclaimed a quart of beer in the daily rations for his troops.

George rationed beer for his boys
18.) Louis Pasteur experimented with beer before milk: As he worked to perfect the pasteurization process, Louis Pasteur killed bacteria in beer before milk.

19.) The oldest brewery in America started in 1829: The oldest remaining brewery in the US is DG Yuengling & Son, which survived prohibition by creating de-alcoholized beer and dairy products.

20.) Rule of thumb came from beer: Before thermometers, brewers would dip a thumb into the mix before adding yeast, and this is where we get the "rule of thumb" phrase.

21.) The Mayflower stopped at Plymouth Rock for beer: A diary from a Mayflower passenger indicates that instead of continuing on to Virginia, the pilgrims decided to stop in Plymouth Rock because they were out of beer.

22.) Diamonds can be tested in beer: Sierra Leone jewelers immerse diamonds in beer to study the way they reflect light and prove their authenticity.

23.) The term "wet your whistle" came from beer pubs: Regulars in English pubs had whistles baked into their mugs and cups so they could whistle for a refill.

24.) Beer made the pyramids: Egyptian pyramid slaves, stonecutters, and public officials were paid in beer. This particular beer was called "kash" and is where we get the word "cash" from.

25.) Marijuana and hops are cousins: Recreational plants marijuana and beer are actually first cousins, but we don't recommend trying to smoke hops.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

"Broadway North Beach, Part 1" (VIDEOCAST)

Broadway, in San Francisco's North Beach, was the epicenter of spicy adult entertainment back in the early 60's. The Condor Club, at the corner of Columbus and Broadway, was the birthplace of Topless, and soon after the entire street followed suit. Join me as I walk with former saloon keeper, and author of "Broadway North Beach- the Golden Years", Dick Boyd, as he tells us about the characters and clubs that made this street famous.


To listen, click HERE.  To download .mp3 audio, right click HERE, and "save audio as..."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

1800 Tequila has a new arty look

The recipe for 1800 Frio Limonada is like a Mojito with a Tequila kick. Mmm-mmm, good! (recipe is below the article)

(from Shannon O'Neill, 1800 Tequila is offering a chic, grown-up way to spice up your liquor cabinet: the limited edition Essential Artists Series, a collection of 12 bottles designed by up-and-coming artists from all over the country.

Eleven original, cutting-edge designs were chosen from over 15,000 online submissions. The 12th bottle was designed by a “celebrity artist” from Studio Number One, a group founded by artist Shepard Fairey (you know, the talented guy who was arrested for creating outdoor art in Boston).

The Essential Artists Series bottles are sold at an average price of $24.99. To find out more information about the featured artists and where you can find the Series, visit The website also has a “design your own bottle” feature, and 1800 Tequila plans to hold another contest at the end of the year. One lucky artist took home $10,000 as the grand prize winner.

1800 Frío Limonada

1.5 oz 1800 Silver Tequila
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
1 oz club soda
6 medium-sized mint leaves

Muddle mint with simple syrup in a tall glass.

My Favorite Bartender of All Time is Retiring

Anyone that knows me knows that my Favorite Bar in the World is Gino & Carlo. One of the true Good Guys is about to hang up the bar tools. Frank Rossi has been a part of San Francisco's North Beach scene for decades. He's a good friend and a great person. I wish him all the best in retirement! To hear my my audio podcast with Frank and the Gino and Carlo crew, click HERE.

Frank behind the bar at Gino & Carlo

(from Carl Nolte, SF Chronicle)  As everybody knows by now, there is more than one San Francisco. There may be a dozen or more, with different people, different scenes, shifting all the time, like a kaleidoscope.

So when I want to take a look at an older San Francisco, I head for North Beach, and the single block of Green Street between Columbus Avenue and upper Grant Avenue.

There's a bank on the corner with a handy ATM; Caffe Sport, the Sicilian restaurant; Amante, another good restaurant; the Columbus Cafe; Sotto Mare, a fish place; and Gino and Carlo, which may be the best old-time bar left in the city.

A tourist who walks in is sure to think it looks like some fictional bar they've seen on television. A San Franciscan is sure to see somebody he or she knows. A big difference.

"We treat everybody like family," said Frank Rossi, one of the owners.

Rossi has spent 42 years behind the bar; though he has two other partners, he's the padrone of the place in the Italian sense, the host. He is old school, a husky man with curly gray hair and the gravelly voice of a man who has spent a lifetime in the bar business. He remembers what you are drinking, never forgets an old customer's name and treats a new customer like an old pal.

In a city where there are no real celebrities or famous chefs, bartenders like Rossi, like Michael McCourt at the old Washington Square, Seamus Coyle at Amante, Paddy Nolan at the Dovre Club in its prime, are the stars.

"Frank's the kind of guy that when you come in the bar you are glad to see him," said John Pesenti, who has been coming in to Gino and Carlo for 35 years on and off. "When he's here, people don't want to leave."

The bad news is that Rossi himself is leaving, retiring at the age of 67. He had a stroke a couple of years ago, and had to learn to walk and talk again. He's been back at work a couple of days a week but has slowed up a bit. His last day will be the 30th.

Rossi's leaving is a blow to the habitues of Gino and Carlo, a place that's like the living room of North Beach, with its own customs and rhythms.

It opens at 6 a.m., and on some days there's a line to get in, even at the crack of dawn.

"Early in the morning is when bakers get off, and people who work at night - off-duty cops, garbage men. Happy hour for them is 6 to 8 in the morning," said Tony Dingman, a regular.

There is a lunch crowd - and food on Thursdays - and an afternoon crowd, ducking in about 3. Sometimes there are billiard players, sometimes card players, dealing a hand or two at a table. Sometimes politicians are huddled in the corner, talking with their cronies.

There is a nighttime crowd, of course. North Beach comes really alive only at night.

If you listen, you can hear the accents of the old city: people talking fast, running their words together. San Francisco talk.

"An institution that has never changed," said Warren Hinckle, the writer.

"How can you not love this place?" said Patricia Sing, who usually comes in on Mondays or Tuesdays.

Rossi has been the center of it, especially since his brother, partner and mentor, Donato Rossi, died five years ago.

"Frank's a very kind guy, too," Pesenti said.

Sometimes, a big city bar and its patrons really are a city person's only family. When a few of these people died, alone and broke, Frank Rossi would close the doors and throw a wake - the old kind with free food and drink, and a toast to the departed.

"We take care of our people," he said.

So now it's time to drink a toast to Frank Rossi himself. He is the father of three girls and two boys - two sets of twins.

His son, Frank Jr., "a good kid," Rossi said, will take over his share of the place.

Boozed-up Oregon St. Lineman Nude in Stranger's Home

A booze-fueled, buck-naked, home-invading lineman almost screams for a police Tazing.  Go Beavers!

Representin' Oregon State Football, bro!

An Oregon State University offensive lineman has been dismissed from the team after police say they found him naked and intoxicated in a stranger's home and had to use stun guns to take him into custody.

Corvallis police say they received the call about a naked intruder early Sunday.

Responding officers ordered 19-year-old Tyler Patrick Thomas of Kalispell, Mont., to get on the ground, Lt. Tim Brewer said.

Thomas refused and instead dropped into a three-point stance like a football player and lunged at the officers, Brewer said. At that point, he said, two officers fired their stun guns.

Brewer said Thomas "absolutely was intoxicated" at the time.

Thomas was arrested on suspicion of criminal trespass, criminal mischief and resisting arrest. He was booked into the Benton County jail and later released.

A home phone listing for Thomas couldn't be found.

Oregon State head coach Mike Riley dismissed Thomas from the team Monday, OSU athletics spokesman Steve Fenk said. Thomas redshirted during the Beavers' 2009 season.

Jet-powered Beer…Cooler?

Crazy-ass beer-swillin', techie motorheads... ice chest wouldn't do the trick?
(from Engine Before you get thoughts of a 1000 horsepowered engine chugging beer down your throat at a speed of 100 miles an hour, what we’ve got here is only a beer cooler. But when I say “only”, I’m talking about a decades-old car engine that’s been converted into something to make your lagers feel like it’s been kept in an eskimo’s backyard.

A chap from New Zealand used his 1970 MGB-GT engine and with a little physics know-how, transformed it into a jet engine to, as he said, “burn up fuel very very quickly”.

A jet engine in its simplest form consists of a combuster where fuel is burnt to heat air, a turbine extracting energy from the heated air and a compressor which is turned by the turbine to provide air to the combuster. Using an LPG (liquid petroleum gas) tank to supercool a basin of water, he then dumps in the beer into the basin and turns on his contraption. 5 minutes, 100000 RPM and a racket of 125 dBA later, his beer is chilled to a good 2 degrees Celsius (36 degrees Fahrenheit) .

Now, if only we could as easily cool our cars that way…

Monday, August 23, 2010

Giving the Daiquiri its due (with RECIPE)

Some would dismiss the Daquiri as a "girlie" drink...but Hemingway and JFK might disagree
Giving the daiquiri its due: There’s nothing girlie about this classic cocktail

(by Paul Abercrombie, Creative Loafing) Being a geek about anything means you get The Question: “What’s your favorite (music, manga, fill in your particular passion here)?”

As a guy who writes about all sorts of cocktails, I hate to admit bibulous bias. “Depends,” I’ll lie, followed by some qualifying crap about the season, the occasion, the company I’m with.

But the answer I’m always thinking is this: Daiquiri.

Often incorrectly made (real ones don’t come from Slurpee machines), the Daiquiri has been dismissed as a “girlie drink.” That would be news to fans such as J.F.K and Ernest Hemingway, who had his own excellent take on this classic called the Papa Doble (more on that in a sec).

As with most cocktails, the daiquiri’s origins are much debated. Most cocktail nerds side with the story that a couple of American engineers stationed in a Cuban mining town called (what else) Daiquiri in the late 19th century invented the drink when they ran out of gin. Living in the land of rum, they reached for a bottle of the lighter variety, combined it with lime, sugar and ice, shook it up — and the rest is history.

Still, it’s hard to imagine the sublime simplicity of this tartly refreshing trio of ingredients hadn’t occurred to anyone earlier.

Done right, the daiquiri is cocktail perfection.

Luckily, making one is criminally simple, though you may need to play around with exact amounts of each ingredient to suit your own taste. Ciro’s Speakeasy & Supper Club in South Tampa makes a very fine daiquiri.

Here’s my perfect Daiquiri:

2 ounces white rum (I prefer moderately priced Bacardi Superior or, better yet, Matusulem Platino)
1 ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, dissolved).

Preparation: Combine ingredients in shaker. Add a generous amount of ice cubes and shake vigorously. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Some folks like to garnish with a thin wedge or wheel of lime. I don’t think this brings much if anything to the drink.

The Bacardi Cocktail (aka, Santiago or Pink Daiquiri) is a nifty take on the classic daiquiri that swaps simple syrup for grenadine (equal parts pomegranate juice and sugar, dissolved), which adds some tangy depth and gives the drink a lovely pink hue.

Another fine riff on the classic daiquiri comes from rum-loving writer Hemingway. As with most cocktails, this one’s origins are as hazy as the memories of most of its fans. The more accepted origin stories credit the bartender at El Floradita bar in Havana where Hemingway was a regular. Apparently, Hemingway wasn’t too crazy about sugar in his drinks, so he asked for a daiquiri tweaked so that the amount of rum was doubled, simple syrup was replaced with maraschino liqueur and a splash of grapefruit juice was added. Whatever the truth, the result – aptly known as the Papa Doble – is one refreshing tipple. Something about the bittersweet cherry and citrus notes of the maraschino liqueur and grapefruit give this drink a neat combination of brightness and depth.

Some versions have this as a blender drink, but I think it’s easier (and tastier) served shaken and up (that is, without ice, in a cocktail glass).

Here’s a version of the Papa Doble I like:

2 1/2 ounces white rum
1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur (Luxardo makes a great one)

Preparation: Combine everything in a shaker and add plenty of ice. Shake thoroughly and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. To make sweeter, I think it works better to add a little simple syrup than maraschino liqueur.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Beer Cocktails to Try Before Summer Ends

One of my friends from my old 'hood (which happens to be San Francisco's Excelsior District) Tim Murphy suggests making a Bloody Mary with Guinness in it.  Not sure about that one, but I know the Michelada is a tasty beer treat.  Here's a few recipes for you, just to switch up your beer drinking habits* 

Making a Michelada
Beer Cocktails to Try Before Summer Ends

(from Fox 9 News) - Before throwing back another cold one to commemorate the end of summer, try one of these beer cocktails and you might be pleasantly surprised – even if you are a purist.

Michelada. The next time you are out for Mexican food, instead of ordering a margarita or a traditional Mexican Beer like a Corona, try this beer cocktail which is prepared differently depending on where you dine, the New York Post reported. However, most start with a hot sauce and clam juice mixed into a base called sangrita, which is added to a dark beer like Negra Modelo.

Black Velvet. If you want to class up your beer, then try the black velvet which Esquire magazine calls "A classic. The most elegant and delicious of beer drinks." The black velvet is served in a champagne flute filled halfway with a cold stout, such as Guinness, and then topped off with a good champagne. The magazine also suggests using Brooklyn Black Ops, if you can find it, to bring the cocktail to a whole other level.

The Cure. Drink your economic worries away with this beer cocktail created by bartender Gina Chersevani as a "cure" for the recession, according to . It is made with a light beer like Miller High Life, plus ginger liqueur and a splash of juice.

The Saint. If you're looking for a beer cocktail with an intricate array of ingredients, look no further. The Washington Post described it as a black beer that is poured on top of a mixture of Old Tom gin, St-Germain elderflower liqueur and vermouth infused Earl Grey tea.

Groundskeeper. What to do with the Budweiser that you have sitting in your fridge? Esquire suggests pairing it with a Scotch. It raises the grade of the beer and soothes the strength of the Scotch. Simply combine 1 oz. of a smoky single-malt Scotch, such as Ardbeg or Laphroaig, with 12 oz. of a beer like Budweiser, or something similar, into a pint glass.

*(DC NOTE) Or, hell, just have a damned beer. 

Captain Morgan Rum Cake (RECIPE)

After yesterday's Hootenholler Whiskey Quick Bread recipe (click HERE), I was asked for a different one, but using Rum. Here's a great, easy cake made with Captain Morgan's:

Boozy, tasty goodness!

Captain Morgan's Rum Cake 

Ingredients1 package yellow cake mix
1 package vanilla instant pudding mix
4 eggs
½ cup cold water
½ cup Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
½ cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 10-inch tube pan. Mix cake mix, pudding, eggs, water, rum and oil until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 1 hour. Cool in pan 25 minutes. Invert onto serving plate. Prick top. Spoon and brush Rum Glaze evenly over cake allowning the cake to absorb the glaze. When cake is cooled, drizzle with Chocolate Glaze Topping; sprinkle with nuts.

Rum Glaze
¼ pound butter
¼ cup water
1 cup sugar

Melt butter in sauce pan. Stir in water and sugar. Boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in ½ cup rum.

Chocolate Glaze Topping
4 ounce semi-sweet chocolate
1 teaspoon butter

Melt chocolate and butter over very low heat in heavy sauce pan.

Arrgggh.  This is a fine tasty delight, Mateys!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hootenholler Whiskey Quick Bread (RECIPE)

The late Peg Bracken was almost the anti-Julia Child.  Her "I Hate to Cook Book" was a big hit back in 1960.  “Some women, it is said, like to cook,” she wrote in the foreward. “This book is not for them." 

This is her recipe for "Skid Row Stroganoff" started with:   "Start cooking those noodles, first dropping a bouillon cube into the noodle water. Brown the garlic, onion and crumbled beef in the oil. Add the flour, salt, paprika and mushrooms, stir, and let it cook five minutes while you light a cigarette and stare sullenly at the sink." Thomas Keller she most definitely was not!

Here is her recipe for an amazing whiskey-infused cake-bread, called "Hootenholler". Don't skip on that bourbon....

(from Peg Bracken's "The I Hate to Cook Book")
Hootenholler Whiskey Quick Bread

1/4 cup bourbon, plus more for you
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
1 cup flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1. First, take the bourbon out of the cupboard and have a small snort for medicinal purposes. Now, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Butter and flour an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the beaten eggs, a little at a time.

2. Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg, and add to the batter. Then beat in the milk. Combine the molasses and baking soda and mix into the batter. To help prevent the raisins and pecans from sinking, dust them with flour, shaking off excess. Mix them, along with the bourbon, into the batter until combined. Transfer to the loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes up clean, 1 3/4 to 2 hours.

YIELD: Makes 1 loaf

NOTE: Whiskey cake keeps practically forever, wrapped in aluminum foil, in your refrigerator. It gets better and better too, if you buck it up once in a while by using an eyedropper to add a little more whiskey.

What To Do And Say If You’re Stopped For A DUI in California

My friend, Nafise' Nina Hodjat, is a defense attorney in Southern California. Of course, no one is condoning drinking and driving.  Designate a damn driver!  But s**t DOES happen.  So, if you are involved, here's some wise advice:

(from If you’re stopped and the police believe that you have been drinking, the police will only be doing their job if they try to determine whether or not you’re intoxicated. There are two problems: (1) The tests the officers use are flawed and (2) You can be charged with a DUI if your BAC is below .08.

1- How You Can Be Charged With A DUI Even If Your BAC Is UNDER .08!
That’s right, even though the legal limit for DUI in California is .08 BAC, you can still be convicted of a DUI if you’re under that limit! Why, you might ask? Well because there’s a little law in California that says so…California Vehicle Code 23152(a) provides: “it is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage…to drive a vehicle.” Therefore, if you’ve have had one drink, say a .05 BAC, you may have violated the law! To top it off, the science behind the way the BAC is calculated is questionable, leading to errors that may lead to the conclusion that you were over the legal limit when in fact you were not! So if you're ever stopped and have had even one drink, remember these might even want to keep a copy of this article in your car to refer to.

2- Remain Calm And Only Provide Required Documentation
By law you are required to show proof of insurance, a valid driver’s license and valid registration. You want to stay calm when you’re reaching for your glove box and wallet…the officer will be building a case against you and being nervous and clumsy can be indicators of intoxication in the officer’s eyes. Any such information or so-called indicators of intoxication will be noted in the Police Report. So just say “Hello Officer, I will now provide you with my license, insurance and registration.”

3- Do Not Answer The Officer’s Questions
Remember, anything you say or do can be used against you. From the time that the officer pulls you over, they will pay attention to everything in order to build a case against you. The only time you should answer any questions is if you have information that would aid in your defense such as a medical condition that would cause your eyes to twitch, etc. Keep in mind that the police assume that you will not be truthful about how much you have had to drink, so if you think it wont be harmful to say something like “I’ve just had a beer” think again...they take that to mean “I’ve just had 5 beers.” It’s not that they necessarily think you’re lying; it’s just that they believe that if you’re intoxicated, your memory will not be clear about how much you have actually had to drink. To be on the safe side, just repeatedly say: “Under the advice of my lawyer, I respectfully decline to answer that question.”

4- Never Do Any “Test” That The Police Ask You To Do
The police will ask you to follow their finger or pen to see how your pupils move…if your pupils move in a way that the officer determines is wrong, it will be taken as evidence of intoxication. Similarly, the officer will ask you to do field sobriety tests such as walking on a real or imaginary line, balancing on one foot or touching your finger to your nose. Do NOT do any of these tests! These tests are NOT objective indicators of intoxication and are hard to perform even if you’re relaxed and in great athletic shape, let alone tired and intimidated while you have an officer shining a flashlight in your face on the side of the street! Again say “I respectfully decline your request.”

Unless you’re under 21 years old, decline doing any type of breath test. The breath testing devices are extremely flawed and there will be no evidence to retest after you’re arrested, so don’t take them! When asked to do any type of breath test say “I respectfully decline to submit to a breath test – I will consent to a blood test.”

You've got to submit either to a breath test OR a blood test...If you refuse both a breath test and a blood test, you’re going to be violating another law and will automatically lose your driver’s license. Since the breath testing devices are extremely flawed, make sure you request a blood test. The officers will try to scare you into taking a breath test…they will say that you’re going to spend the night in jail and that a breath test is so much faster and easier. Don’t be fooled, it is easier – for them to arrest you more quickly. They’re planning on arresting you anyway, so you’re going to be spending the night in jail regardless! Again say “I respectfully decline to submit to a breath test – I will only consent to a blood test.”

7- Its Easier Said Than Done, But Don't Be Intimdated!
I realize that all of this sounds easy, and if you’re pulled over you may get nervous and the officers will probably try to intimate you into answering their questions and doing their tests. Remember that at the same time the officers are doing their job, you also have rights that you are entitled to. Just try to remain respectful towards the officer while keeping in mind that you’re entitled to respect of your rights as well. There’s a lot at stake…a DUI conviction can have very serious consequences that can harm your career and family. Remember the few sentences in quotes above, be respectful to the officer, and you will be in much better shape than 99% of anyone else stopped for a DUI.

1921 Tequila Cream marries cream, coffee, and tequila in one bottle

Has anyone tried this?  I'm thinking if you're a fan of Bailey's and a fan of Tequila, you might be a fan of this liquor...
1921 Tequila Creme

Unique and rich, 1921 Tequila Cream marries cream, coffee, and tequila in one bottle

(by Ryan Kelley, Most cocktail fans are familiar with Bailey's Irish Cream liqueur (and the many knock-offs), but how about a cream liqueur that bottles the flavor of Mexico? 1921 Tequila Cream is a unique product, a liqueur that combines Mexican coffee and cream with the wonderful flavors of 100% blue agave tequila.

Little information about the manufacturing methods is in the press notes, but a key thing to note is that the base of this liqueur is the flavorful 1921 Tequila Blanco.

Light beige in color, the thick cream solidly adheres to the side of the glass. It has the scent of a creamy latte with added butterscotch, roasted nuts, and a very light sprinkling of cocoa. Explore the nose further and the coffee smell intensifies, with a hint of sweet agave. Upon entry, it is thick and oily, and the palate is covered with the rich flavor of a creamy cafe latte with just a dash of cocoa powder and a sprinkle of cinnamon. A nutty flavor takes hold as the cream hits the back of the palate, and there is a smooth, floral agave finish with a wonderful tequila, coffee, and milk chocolate aftertaste.

(From 1921 Tequila): 1921 Tequila celebrates the Mexican Revolution. Each of the hand-labeled bottles bears tribute to a Mexican hero. Every expression is made entirely from the finest blue agave, the most prized of all agave plants. It takes nine years for the blue agave to reach full maturity and be ready for harvest. After baking and fermentation, the agave syrup is carefully distilled two times in pot stills following the finest traditions.

"1921 is the original Tequila Cream. Using 1921 Tequila Blanco as its base, Tequila Cream combines the soft taste of cream with a touch of Mexican coffee. Its delicate flavor and subtle aroma is the perfect end to a wonderful meal."

1921 Tequila Cream won the 2009 Spirits of Mexico "Best of Category" Award in addition to a Gold Medal. It is available in 750ml (suggested retail $29) and 50ml bottles and is 15% alcohol by volume (30 proof).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jack Daniels Whiskey Bus headed to Capitol Hill

Hey, I'd vote for a "Jack Daniels Day" if I could score one of these sweet freebies! (I'd be a pretty cheap politico, wouldn't I?)

It's all just tschotskes without that glorious bottle of Tennessee sippin' whiskey
(from Patrick Galvin,

If you see some tipsy journalists walking around town this month, it's not simply because it's a lazy August. Jack Daniel's, producer of the famous Tennessee sour mash, has been sending out bottles of the eponymous spirit (along with a fancy press kit) in order to boost awareness of the company's latest idea: to make Jack Daniel's Day a national holiday.

By way of full disclosure, we were one of the publications that received one of the "Back Jack" goody packs (others included Roll Call and The Weekly Standard, just to name a few). The bottle, of course, has remained sealed. But let's take a look at the strategy.

"These kits were shipped to political media as an introduction to our Back Jack efforts in D.C. (only media received the kits), and we look forward to introducing several additional aspects of the campaign throughout August and September," wrote Stacey Wilson, a DVL publicist who's involved with promoting the campaign, in an e-mail.

The folks at Jack Daniel's know what they're doing (i.e., deploying the tried-and-true move of sending journalists free booze to get attention and earn affection). Indeed, the black box sent to reporters proclaims, "Everything you need for the campaign trail ... including whiskey." Inside, the bottle is accompanied by a "Back Jack" baseball cap and T-shirt.

But that's just the beginning. A representative for the campaign tells POLITICO that the "Back Jack" campaign — which hopes to make Jack's 160th birthday in September a national holiday — will go into overdrive this Friday with a Facebook page. And a media site will launch on Sept. 1. Add to that an online petition, "viral videos," a commemorative bottle, a text message initiative and a tour bus, and the whole thing has all the markings of an actual political campaign.

Tennessee Rep. Lincoln Davis had some kind words for the whiskey maker. “I thank Mr. Jack for spreading the spirit of our great state throughout the world and providing jobs for many years to rural Tennesseans," he tells POLITICO.

Beer Pong: Could Booze, Babes, and Balls Yield Yet Another Sport?

If they can televise billiards, ping-pong or that stupidest of stupid Olympics events, Curling, why not beer pong? Andrew Robeson of Bleacher makes a very strong case.

The 2010 National Beer Pong Team in action
For the last few decades, a trendy game has gone from being played in hole-in-the-wall college bars to mainstream America.

Beer pong has gripped the nation, and it is showing no signs of going away. If anything, its popularity is off the charts.

Whereas the game originated on college campuses, it is now everywhere.

Family reunions? You betcha.

Weddings? Wouldn't surprise me.

After Christmas dinner? OK, it may sound unbelievable, but the person SWEARS it happened.

Beer pong is a game generally played with two teams of two. The sides each try to make all of the other teams cups first, generally six or ten cups.

Rules will vary, but ultimately the team to make all of the other teams cups first generally wins, barring a rule called redemption—this allows the team that failed to make the cups first a last opportunity to make all the remaining cups.

So when can you expect to turn on ESPN and watch the World Series of Beer Pong?

Well, if ESPN, or any other sports network for that matter, knows what the American public likes, then it should be on cable soon.

Beer pong involves three things that Americans loves.

1. Beer—there is no denying America loves its alcohol, and of course watching drunk people. Take it from a founding father.

I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.—Abraham Lincoln

2. Babes—OK, so this one may not be apparent when one thinks of beer pong. But from casual observance, there always seems to be an abundance of babes when beer pong is being played. Some of the best players I've observed have been absolute babes (maybe it's just that the opponent is so distracted). In a TV format, babes could be even more integrated by making them referees or something of the sort. Kind of like their role in UFC.

3. Balls—football, baseball, basketball, etc. all have one thing in common: balls. As Americans, we love sports that center around a ball. Ping pong is boring. Beer pong spices it up just enough to make it interesting.

If the World Series of Poker can be aired for a week straight, then why can't there be time for the World Series of Beer Pong?

The people over at have been trying to legitimize the game for years, and have begun to host an annual World Series tournament at the beginning of January every year.

There is even a $50,000 prize, and a rule book that can be read here

Beer pong is no less a sport than poker, or bowling, and its time for it to make it to cable.

The motto for a new breed of athelete

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

German Cities consider ban on "Rolling Keg Parties"

Okay.  I thought the iPad Beer Keg Monitor was cool.  But it pales in comparison to this amazing German ride.  C'mon now, Dusselfdorf! Don't ban the Beer Bikes! (and, BTW, you wouldn't catch me on a Segway unless I was completely sh*tfaced....)

Step aside, Henry Ford!  This is the greatest vehicle I have ever seen! I want one!

Vehicles for city tours such as multi-person bikes offering free-flowing beer and electric Segway scooters are increasingly sparking the ire of both motorists and pedestrians in Germany, leading some cities to consider banning them.

Pedestrians feel threatened by the two-wheeled Segways, while the wide, multi-seat conference bikes, often converted to “beer bikes” with a keg in the middle, create traffic jams on narrow streets, according to Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel.

The beer bikes, which allow for passengers to imbibe while a sober driver guides them on their tour, are particularly controversial, the paper said.

The rolling keg parties have been visible on Berlin streets for some time, but were allowed to hit the southern city of Stuttgart’s streets just this summer following approval by the Baden-Württemberg state parliament.

Meanwhile the Rhineland city of Düsseldorf is concerned about the “indiscriminate peeing” and noise that accompanies the beer bike tours. The municipal public order office there tried to have the vehicles banned last year with a successful case in the city’s administrative court, but failed to convince an appeals court.

The state’s top administrative court in Münster will now address the case in October, and the nearby city of Cologne plans to model their regulations accordingly, the paper said.

Officials in the German capital have also decided to wait for that ruling.

“Then we’ll discuss it,” Mathias Gille, spokesperson for the Berlin city government’s traffic control office, told the paper. “There are no motions to ban them. The beer bikes and rickshaws are not to be overlooked, though.”

But deputy leader of the Berlin Free Democrats, Klaus-Peter von Lüdeke, told Der Tagesspiegel that he wants the vehicles banned.

“These rolling beer bars take up the width of a car and are real traffic impediments,” he said.

Beer bike drivers are required to remain sober while they guide the tours, but Lüdeke said they still could not be trusted to negotiate traffic.

But Green party state parliamentarian and member of the committee for traffic and development Claudia Hämmerling rejected a ban on the vehicles.

“There’s also a danger from regular bike riders,” she told the paper.

New Technology meets the old Beer Bust Tradition

Techies like beer, too. So this invention isn't any big surprise.

Genius, I say! Pure Genius!
KegMate iPad powered Beer Monitor

(from Slippery Every party should measure the beer flow so that they don’t run out and have to make an unexpected beer run. Now, it’s easy, with the new KegMate iPad application developed by the team over at

KegMate can monitor who is drinking from certain kegs via RFID tags, how much they have drunk and even allow them to rate the beer on screen. Sounds like fun, but people will likely be too drunk to operate it, or they will get beer all over your iPad.

Most Popular Brand of Vodka (by far...)

It's not Grey Goose. It's not Kettle One.  It's not Stoli, or Skye, or Absolute, or Belvedere.  The winner (and tatse test winner as well) is....Smirnoff!

(Duane Stanford, Business Week) The fact that it's colorless, odorless, and flavorless has kept vodka the liquor of choice among U.S. consumers. Store sales of vodka—which can be made from nearly anything but is most often distilled from grain—topped $1 billion in the past year, beating whiskey, rum, and tequila. "Vodka is perceived as low-cholesterol, has no breath effects, is mixable, and is part of that whole Sex and the City, women-with-fancy-drinks phenomenon," says Thomas Russo, portfolio manager at investment firm Gardner Russo & Gardner in Lancaster, Pa.

The top brand in the category is the bottom-bar-shelf staple Smirnoff, which is produced by London's Diageo (WMT) or sales at restaurants and bars). Smirnoff sales jumped 5 percent in the year ended June 13, helped by a 2.5 percent price cut per case. The closest challenger, Pernod Ricard's Absolut, sells less than half as much.

Diageo revamped the Smirnoff brand in 2003 with a more shapely bottle, a stylish label, and marketing designed to tell young people this is no longer their father's vodka. Then, in 2005, The New York Times threw Smirnoff into a taste test of higher-priced vodkas—and it won, giving the brand bragging rights as a quality, yet affordable spirit. "It caused people to look down two or three shelves," says David Tapscott, Smirnoff's brand director. Smirnoff also benefits from its introduction around a decade ago of Smirnoff Ice, a flavored malt liquor that's like a wine cooler. Although not made with vodka, the citrusy drink ingratiated the brand with new consumers, including beer drinkers. Smirnoff shouldn't get too comfortable, however. According to David Ozgo, chief economist for the U.S. Distilled Spirits Council, "There's been a resurgence in general interest in whiskey."

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sean Snelling's Whiskey Peach (RECIPE)

Damn, this looks tasty!  Not sure who carries the peach puree (BevMo? Spec's?) but you should be able to find Rye Whiskey at any major liqour outlet.  Hell, I'll bet this tastes great made with Bourbon!

The Whiskey Peach
(from Behind the Bar Blog, Phoenix New Times)

Yesterday we met Sean Snelling, the Aussie who tends and manages the bar at Primebar in the Scottsdale Quarter. Today he shares the recipe for the Whiskey Peach.

"We have 16 cocktails on our menu, and most are made with rum or vodka," Snelling says. "This one's made with bourbon with a high rye content, which adds a nice spice note. It's not our biggest seller, but it's my favorite."

The sweet, fruity peach and spicy rye blend together so well it makes you wonder why no one else had thought of it.

The ingredients:
1 ¾ oz. Bulleit bourbon (or other rye whiskey)
1 oz. Monin peach puree
½ oz. peach liqueur
¼ oz. simple syrup
Squeeze fresh lime
Orange wheel

How to make it:
Pour all the liquids into a shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into a rocks-filled lowball glass. Top with orange wheel. Marvel at the sweet harmony of peach and bourbon.

A beer competition to "die" for

So, you love them bar games, do ya?  You love that beer pong? Well, here's a twist outta Beantown: Ye Olde Beer Die.

(Graphic by Larry Seil,

(Mike DelRosso, Boston  When Shane C. and Mike H. mounted the shuttle from the Cellar Tavern to Brownie’s Beer Die Open (or BBDO, as it is known) in Abington yesterday, they knew they would not be driving back.

The BBDO, an annual bracket-style tournament in a back yard off Route 139, showcases the game of beer die, a drinking sport involving the toss of a six-sided die onto a banquet table. Players must drink beer whenever they miss the table on a throw or drop an incoming die. With a field of 100 players competing this year - the largest field ever in its eight-year history - the BBDO does not want anyone driving home drunk.

“As long as responsible adults (of legal drinking age) have plans for alternate transportation, they can knock themselves out,” Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) spokesman David DeIuliis had said in a phone interview, in reference to games like beer die. “We’re not an anti-alcohol organization. Our concern is more when these types of (drinking) games are marketed to minors.”

Precautions such as a shuttle are necessary for an event that has exploded in popularity in the South Shore. BBDO competitors play a standup version of beer die, originally an indoors and sitting-down game. Spilling the sport onto South Shore lawns, BBDO players exhibit a high degree of athleticism while sipping suds.

“We may not have invented standup beer die, but we’ve perfected it,” said Jay Brown, who spearheads the BBDO, which grew from a Wiffle Ball tournament about a decade ago.

Shane C. and Mike H., both 25, who randomly drew each other as partners in the preceding Selection Sunday, have seven BBDO awards apiece and perhaps the best chance to take home Lord Brownie’s Cup.

“I go for the cup,” Shane said, in reference to the Solo cups of beer situated at table corners.

“Not me, just hit the table all day,” Mike said.

For someone who’s received three “Plunkster” awards - a “plunk” occurs when the thrower sinks a die into the cup - Shane aims to win games quickly, he said.

Mike complements Shane’s aggressive style with a more conservative game plan. “I think it’s hand-eye coordination,” Mike said.

This talented tandem will need to win six games in a row en route the championship to avoid inebriation. If they lose early, the path to victory will be longer and plagued with potential heavy-drinking games, Mike said.

As the 12:30 p.m. start approaches, official BBDO announcer Tristan Marhette rallies the crowd: “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 2010 Brownie’s Beer Die Tournament.  Let’s get ready to rumble!”

Pour that Bubbly like Beer

(photos courtesy of
French scientists have discovered the secret to keeping the fizz in a glass of Champagne: pour it like a beer.

A new study reports the best way to pour Champagne is in a 'beer-like way' with the glass held at an angle.

It reveals the sparkling wine remains bubbly longer when poured in this way rather than pouring straight into the glass and waiting for the mousse to settle before topping up.

However, Tom Stevenson, chairman of the Decanter World Wine Awards' Champagne panel, said: 'Pouring Champagne like a lager is a seen as a really naff way to serve it. You would not see a sommelier doing it in a million years.'

'Pouring it like the sommeliers do, does you a favour by letting the free CO2 escape from the glass so the bubbles don't get up your nose,' he added.

The research also discovered that Champagne served at lower temperatures retains its fizz. At higher temperatures, carbon dioxide is lost more quickly.

'The beer-like way of serving champagne has much less of impact on its dissolved CO2 concentration than the champagne-like way of serving, especially at low champagne temperatures (4 and 12 °C). The beer-like way of serving champagne is much softer than the champagne-like one,' the study said.

The report published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry was led by Gerard Liger-Belair, a professor at the University of Reims and author of Uncorked: the Science of Champagne.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

You want that job? Skip the cocktail, "idiot"!

Um, ya think? I thought it was common sense, but the Ross Business School at U of Michigan suggests you avoid the "Imbibing Idiot Bias" by skipping that cocktail offer at a prospective job luncheon.

Or, hell, just get Sh*tfaced and show 'em who's boss. "Imbibing Idiot Bias"?! Hey, in the words of Fredo Corleone in Godfather 2: "I'm smart! Not like everybody says... like dumb... I'm smart and I want respect!"

Is Laughing Girl blowing this lunch interview by having a glass of Chardonnay?  Happy Boy is sticking with juice.
It's smart to refrain from ordering a drink during an interview, says new research from U of M.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Most people don't drink alcohol while working, so it's probably not smart to order a drink during a job interview over lunch or dinner — even if the boss orders a glass of wine or beer, a new study suggests.

"Alcohol consumption plays a prominent role in many professional interactions, including job interviews, negotiations and informal meetings," says Scott Rick, assistant professor of marketing at Ross. "By introducing alcohol, managers can create a relaxed atmosphere that facilitates information exchange and relationship development.

"But merely holding an alcoholic beverage may reduce the perceived intelligence of the person holding it, in the absence of any actual reduction in cognitive performance -- a mistake we term the 'imbibing idiot bias.'"

Rick and colleague Maurice Schweitzer of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School conducted a series of six experiments with more than 1,700 people to measure how consuming or merely holding an alcoholic beverage influences the perceived intelligence of the person drinking the glass of wine or beer.

They found that job candidates who ordered alcohol in simulated interviews were perceived as less intelligent and less hireable -- though no less likeable, honest or genuine -- than those who did not, regardless of whether the boss ordered an alcoholic beverage first.

Moreover, even if the boss ordered the drink for the job candidate (i.e., the candidate did not choose to drink), the result was the same. This suggests that the imbibing idiot bias does not reflect a belief that less intelligent people are more likely to consume alcohol, but rather an implicit association between alcohol and cognitive impairment.

"A job candidate may choose to order an alcoholic beverage because the prospective boss ordered one first," Rick said. "Although conformity is an ingratiation tactic that is commonly effective, the imbibing idiot bias suggests that following the boss' lead may backfire when alcohol is involved."

But Rick and Schweitzer say that people often fail to anticipate the imbibing idiot bias. In one of their experiments, they found that 26 percent of participants ordered an alcoholic beverage even when the boss' drink choice was unknown, while 72 percent ordered a glass of wine or beer if the boss ordered one first.

"Prescriptively, our results suggest that people attempting to manage impressions of intelligence should exercise caution when deciding whether or not to consume alcohol," Rick said. "Though we focused on job candidates, our results suggest that many individuals seeking to manage impressions (e.g., sales representatives, potential business partners, aspiring politicians) may make mistakes when choosing whether or not to consume alcohol."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

City Council Drinking Game Arrest

You heard of the drinking games where you watch a movie or TV show, and everytime someone on-screen says or does a particular thing, you take a sip of your beverage, usually beer. Here's an example from the website "":

James Bond Drinking Game

You put on a James Bond Film. Any generation... Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, or the most recent!

Every time someone says "James" drink twice.
Every time someone says "Bond" drink twice.
Every time someone says "James Bond" drink half a beer.

Can be quite amusing, especially when our hero says "My name is Bond, James Bond"

I definitely wouldn't try this one with martinis, shaken OR stirred. Stick to beer, or you'll

But in New Hampshire, two audience members at a City Council meeting took the drinking game to a new, stupid level. Here's the story:

Two audience members were arrested for allegedly playing a drinking game during a city council meeting in Keene, N.H., the local paper reports. The meeting was to discuss loosening up the city's law against open containers of alcohol in public. The men, who reportedly had containers labeled "Not A Beer," would sip whenever there was a unanimous vote or someone stood up.

Were they making a political point, exercising their right to protest, or are they just idiots? You make the call...

How to drink Tequila like a local- Cancun's Tequila Museum

It's nice too be validated by an expert!  Check out my AA Hour video on making Sangrita (which is, as the author says, the way the locals chase a shot of Tequila) click HERE

La Destileria, home to the Tequila Museum in CanCun
Lessons from the tequila museum: How to drink tequila like a local

By Jayne Clark, USA TODAY:  Given the drink-dance-and-shout sensibilities of party-hearty Cancun, cultural institutions don't get a lot of foot traffic in this mega Mexican resort city.

But a new museum in the heart of the Hotel Zone plays perfectly to the sun-soaked, boozy mentality of the place. Its subject: Tequila!

But first, a lesson on how to properly drink the spirit, courtesy of the Tequila Museum's charming guide, Laura Elek.

"People think tequila is a drink for partying and getting drunk," she says. "But they don't know the process."

(They also obviously haven't checked out prices for premium labels like Don Patron Platinum, which goes for about $500 a bottle.)

Here's a fundamental mistake many American tequila tipplers make when approaching this blue agave-based spirit: downing it with a salt and lime chaser.

"That's really bad," says Elek. "The lime kills all the flavor and it's bad for your stomach. And the salt? That has nothing to do with anything."

Instead, if you want to drink a shot of tequila like a local, she says, chase it with an orange slice sprinkled with cinnamon or sip it straight with a side of sangrita (a mix of orange, lime, pomegranate and/or tomato juice, with chile powder).

The Tequila Museum didn't have a sign out front when I visited last month. Nor does it appear to have a dedicated website, but here's a fun video showing what the museum experience is like. It's above an upscale food and liquor emporium called Europea in a new, big-windowed building that looks more like an auto dealership than a liquor store.

A sign inside directs you upstairs, where 50 pesos (about $4) gets you inside the museum and a bit more ($5) buys a basic tasting, and $12 gets you samples of the really good stuff. The museum is run by Herradura, one of Mexico's oldest (since 1870) tequila distilleries, but owned since 2007 by Brown-Foreman, an American company that also owns Finlandia Vodka, Jack Daniels Whiskey and Fetzer wine.

So not surprisingly, the message is all about the Herradura brand. But the museum is nicely done and utilizes some nifty effects -- videos, smells and samples of cooked agave, the spiky plant from which tequila is made. (It tastes a little like pineapple.) Exhibits take visitors through the distillation process, with a tutorial on what distinguishes a basic white tequila (best for mixing), from the aged sipping tequilas (designated, respectively, as reposados, añejo and extra añejo).

Five Mexican states have the government's blessing to call their 100% blue agave-based drink tequila (in the same way sparkling wine must come from France's Champagne region to be designated Champagne)

Pickle Back

(sung to the tune of "Sexy Back")

"I'm drinking Pickle Back
I down a few, I don't know how to act
This drink is special, please dont talk no smack
One and you're hooked, it is like liquid crack

Take 'em to the bar...."

(from  Pickle juice makes a natural substitute for olive juice in a dirty martini and a pleasingly sour addition to a Bloody Mary. The folks at artisanal pickle company McClure Pickles recently launched a Bloody Mary Mix that gets its spicy kick from the company's own cayenne and habanero pepper-laced brine.

The Pickle Back - a shot of whiskey followed immediately by a shot of pickle brine - is another drink that has gained favor at hipster-friendly bars. Downing one (or three) is an "only the strong survive" kind of experience, but devotees swear that brine makes the perfect neutralizer for whiskey's burn. Luckily, according to Linda Ziedrich's "The Joy of Pickling" (2009), pickle juice doubles as its own hangover cure: "(In Poland, hangover sufferers) fill a glass with equal parts chilled pickle brine and ice-cold club soda, and drink the mixture down at once."

Monday, August 9, 2010

Booze Popsicles All the Rage

I'm waiting for an Absinthe-laced Sno-Cone, or a Malibu Rum Eskimo Pie, but until then...

Frozen things with liquor suddenly hot in Dallas

(from DALLAS — It being summer, and summer being hot, bars and restaurants are making cold items and publications are writing about them.

Among the "ways to cool off" roundups circulating this week emerge three unusual items that combine frozen ingredients with liquor. They call them "adult" versions. Because "adults" like booze.

1. Booze popsicles. As noted by D, The Quarter Bar has devised booze pops, available on the rooftop bar Friday and Saturday nights, with varying kinds of liquor.

2. Liquor-laced shaved ice. Twisted Root did alcohol-infused shaved ice first, but as noted by Christopher Wynn, the latest place to combine liquor and shaved ice is LaGrange. Their most popular flavors are 1. "Doctor Pepper," with root beer syrup and Jameson Irish Whiskey, and 3. "Cherry Bomb," with cherry syrup, Rose's lime juice, and Absolut Citron vodka.

3. Booze ice cream. FD Luxe has an item on the liquored-up ice cream at Charlie Palmer at the Joule. Flavors include Bailey's chocolate chip and Guinness dark chocolate peanut butter.

"Last Call: the Rise and Fall of Prohibiton" by Daniel Okrent.

I just finished reading "Last Call: the Rise and Fall of Prohibition", an amazing book by author Daniel Okrent.

The book is an entertaining, enlightening, often shocking look at the history behind the 18th Amendment, which basically outlawed anything and everything related to alcohol sales and consumption. Strange bedfellows as diverse as the Women's Suffrage League, the Baptist Church and the Ku Klux Klan banded together in a hugely failed attempt to eliminate booze comsumption in the U.S.  Prohibition brought about the start of Gangster culture as we know it, as criminals and legit businessmen became rich providing Americans with the banned booze.

Okrent's book is and extremely enjoyable read.  He knows how to tell a story, and the characters (from Carry Nation, to Joe Kennedy, to Meyer Lansky) come to life. I highly recommend it!

It's Tiki Drink Time- the Mai Tai, the Zombie, and the Rum Runner

Summer Time is Tiki Drink Time! Get your drink on (then find a hangover remedy!)

(from Richard Goldsmith, Fox News) Tiki drinks are the badly behaved uncle of the cocktail world. They are a party in a glass - at least they think they are.

Just like your dad's brother who refuses to settle down and grow up, traveling the world with a woman in every port of call and no job to speak of, Tiki drinks are a party in a glass – at least, they think they are. Many even come bearing gifts like that prodigal family member - served as they so often are in souvenir mugs.

Tiki culture got its start in the U.S. with the opening of Don the Beachcomber, a Polynesian-themed restaurant that opened in Hollywood in the early 1930s. Known for strong fruit flavors, heavy use of rum, and insanely complex recipes, Tiki drinks are every bit as classic as Manhattans, Martinis and Old-Fashioneds despite so many of the recipes being up for debate.

The confusion over the proper mix of ingredients stems from the rich and heated competition between Tiki bars and bartenders during the original Tiki craze and its resurgence in the 90s and early part of the new millenium. Starting with the feud between Trader Vic's and Don the Beachcomber's over which place created the original Mai Tai, Tiki drinks have long been controversial. Everyone has a secret formula, their own take on a classic, whether it's a Zombie, Scorpion or Rum Runner.

No matter the recipe, Tiki drinks generally have far more liquor than expected. Sweet and fruity as a general rule, they're ideal party drinks and set the stage for all sorts of nights to remember, or forget, depending on how many you have. Below are FoxBYO's take on some of the classics, all of which would fit match perfectly with anything from a pig roast to a barbecue or rooftop get together.

The Mai Tai
The quintessential Tiki Drink, the Mai Tai is more hotly debated than virtually any cocktail other than the martini. Created by either Trader Vic or Donn Beach, the owner of Don the Beachcomber's, the Mai Tai is without a doubt one of the most delicious drinks known to mankind. Even if you aren't such a fan of the flavor, you'll forget about that once you down a few, thanks to the fairly strong liquors that make up most of the ingredients.

According to one story, Trader Vic first mixed the Mai Tai for a group of friends visiting from Tahiti, who shouted the Tahitian word for “very good” when they tasted it. That word sounded a whole lot like “Mai Tai,” and the name stuck. The cocktail served at Don the Beachcomber's is significantly different, but the current “standard” recipe is similar to the one first mixed at Trader Vic's. The cocktail includes rum, orgeat syrup, orange curacao, simple syrup and lime and is tangy, sweet, and masks the massive dose of booze all too well.

1 oz. rum (an aged rum like Cockspur 12 tones down some of the sweetness in the cocktail and makes it a bit more sophisticated, even though it's not the traditional Jamaican rum)

½ oz. Orgeat

½ oz. Orange Curacao

¼ oz. Simple Syrup (equal parts sugar and water heated and stirred until combined)

Juice of one lime

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake gently. Pour into a highball glass full of ice and garnish with some fruit. Or maybe a nice paper umbrella. If you must, you can add pineapple juice to top it off but know that, if you do, Trader Vic will be rolling in his grave.

The Zombie

Celebrate the undead by raising a glass of the cocktail that supposedly contains enough alcohol to add any man or woman to the ranks of the walking dead, or at least the severely hung over. Made famous by Don the Beachcomber's, the Zombie is complicated, with a variety of fruit juices and a hefty slug of no less than seven different types of booze. Not a drink for the faint of heart, but with the different fruits playing a counterpoint to the bite and spice of the liquor, it's a great, albeit complicated cocktail for anyone looking for an amazing way to kick off a great and somewhat blurry evening.

3/4 oz. Lime Juice

1/2 oz. Grapefruit Juice

1/2 oz. Falernum (Fee Brothers makes an excellent version of this sweet tropical syrup)

1/2 oz. Simple Syrup

1 ¼ oz. aged rum (Believe it or not, Captain Morgan Private Stock works really well here)

1 oz. Demerara 151 (a high proof rum – Lemonhart is the traditional brand in the Zombie)

1 oz. dark rum (Gosling's Black Seal is far from traditional here, but it brings a great richness to the cocktail and some real tropical feel)

1 oz. spiced rum – (Kilo Kai is a perfect fit, and brings some great anise, vanilla and banana flavors to the party)

1 oz. oak aged rum (Pyrat has the caramel and molasses flavors to look for, especially if you splurge and go with Pyrat Cask 1623)

2 dashes Angostura bitters

1 dash Absinthe

3 dashes Grenadine

3/4 oz. Maraschino Liquor

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker full of ice and shake briskly. Pour into a tall glass filled halfway with ice and decorate with whatever fruit you feel appropriate. This is the drink to go over the top with, so if plastic monkeys, half a banana, an orange wedge and a bowl of maraschino cherries find their way into the drink, more power to you.

The Rum Runner

A latecomer to the party, the Rum Runner was developed in the early ‘70s the mad genius bartender John Ebert at the Holiday Isle Resort in the Florida Keys. High-proof enough to easily light on fire, it's still well-balanced and tasty enough to quaff far more quickly than any drink with four types of booze in the mix should be, especially when one of those liquors is 151 proof rum. It's slightly sour with a complex molasses and toasted banana flavor that combines nicely to ease the cloying sweetness of more than a half ounce of grenadine. Even better, it's a slushy - designed to be blended with crushed ice. One couldn't ask for a better summer drink, especially within stumbling distance of home.

½ oz. black rum (Bacardi Select or Goslings Black Seal would work equally well here, depending on how sweet you want your cocktail)

½ oz. 151 proof rum (Lemonhart ups the sophistication of the Rum Runner, but Bacardi 151 works fine in a pinch)

1 oz. blackberry brandy

1 oz. banana liqueur

5/8 oz. grenadine

1 oz. lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a blender with crushed ice, pour into a tall glass and enjoy a slush better than any to be found at 7/11.

Friday, August 6, 2010

"The Showdown" (VIDEOCAST)

San Marcos, Texas, is a college town about 30 miles south of Austin. Come with me as we explore an odd old defunct water park, and hang at a downtown dive called The Showdown where they make one of the best Bloody Marys I've ever tasted.

To listen, click HERE.  To download .mp3 audio, right click HERE and "save target as..."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Call 9-1-1! It's a "Love Emergency!"

Some wize advice: when drunk dialing for that late-night booty call, it is best to get the digits right. 

"If loving you is wrong, I don't wanna be right. HIC!"

Police: Drunk woman called 911 for a date

NORWOOD, Ohio, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Police in Ohio said they arrested a woman accused of drunkenly dialing 911 and telling dispatchers she was looking for a date.

Norwood police said Bernadette Music, 43, called 911 four or five times July 26 to ask dispatchers to go out with her, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Monday.

Music faced disorderly conduct charges

So what alcohol goes perfectly with pot?

Evidently, White Lightnin', y'all.

Old back alley moonshine still

Moonshine stills discovered amongst marijuana crop

New backwoods pot farm

NEWPORT, Tenn. (AP) - A Tennessee Highway Patrol helicopter pilot looking for marijuana found 50 plants in Cocke County.

When the ground crew he was guiding got there, officers also found seven moonshine whiskey stills - each capable of making 500-gallon batches. There were 200 gallons of finished whiskey. The Knoxville News Sentinel reported 6 of the stills were full of mash to make more.

THP Lt. Terry Botts spotted the plants near a house and barn off Highway 160 and Highway 321 Tuesday morning.

No charges were immediately filed and the state Alcoholic Beverage Commission is investigating.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Man calls 911 for ride to liquor store

You just can't put a price on stupidity....

"I need a...I need a...a ride."

ST. JOHNS CO., Fla. (CNN) - Authorities in Florida arrested a 57-year-old man after he called 911 in hopes of hitching a ride to the liquor store.

Police say George McMurrain actually called officers twice Saturday night to ask for a ride to buy alcohol.

Here is a transcription of his call:

Dispatcher: "This is 911."
Suspect: "I need a, I need a -- a ride."

Dispatcher: "You need a ride?"
Suspect: "Yes, to the liquor store."

Dispatcher: "Um."
Suspect: "Sheriff said she'd give me a ride."

Dispatcher: "OK, you're going to have to call somebody else, sir. You called 911. We can't come give you a ride."
Suspect: "Even the sheriff said she'd give me a ride."

Dispatcher: "The sheriff said they'd give you a ride to the liquor store?"
Suspect: "That's correct."

Dispatcher: "Wrong."

Officers picked up McMurrain at a local hotel and carted him off to jail. He's charged with misusing 911.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pennsyvania tries Vino Vending Machines

Decisions, decisions. This old broad can't decide between a Chateau Margaux 1787 or a bottle of 2 Buck Chuck.
Pa. tries vino vending machines

A new twist on wine sales.  Pennsylvania is testing wine vending machines that require an ID and a breathalyzer test, making the state the first in the nation to try the vino kiosks.

The wine vending machines, which can hold more than 700 bottles, were introduced at grocery stores in Harrisburg and Mechanicsburg in late June.  Pennsylvania liquor laws allow individuals to buy wine and liquor for home use only at state-owned stores.

You can find the rest of the story HERE (at  But the Keystone State ain't got nothing on our auto-dispensing brothers in the Far East.  Check out  these beer vending machines from the streets of Japan.  I had the pleasure of getting some brew out of one in Nagano back in 1998.  Very convenient!

Nice selection of Kirin, Ashahi, and Sapporo. And I think there's an Old English 800, just for the flavor. 

In my opinion, no Liquor House is "mini" when they're so damned convenient!