Every Swell Man Should Learn…

I read a blog post recently on The Art of Manliness called “What the Young Man Should Know” from Harper’s weekly. It was a great article from the 30s that was a list of skills or tasks that the author believed every young man should learn. It included a few A few items that are still important today, and a few that are no longer necessary (keeping a horse), practical (chopping wood), or advisable (hitch hiking), but it is a great list none the less. I thought for all of you swell readers I would update it for the modern man. I have compiled a list of skills that every swell guy should learn in their lifetime.

I think that this post may spawn a loose series of small posts about how to carry out these tasks; after all I can hardly give you a list without telling you how to accomplish it. So look for some of these items coming up in the category ESMSL, so on that note let’s begin.

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Sazerac

I was discussing all things swell with a friend recently. He began to tell me a story of his quest for the best Sazerac he could find. He chose the right place to look for this historic drink, New Orleans. In his words: I have recently gotten hooked on a new cocktail, I made it my mission to find the best Sazerac in New Orleans. I took my mission so seriously that I do not remember much of the details, but I do know that if you’re looking to lose yourself in the Crescent City, the best way to do so is to start the night with a Sazerac. I highly suggest you pick up a bottle of rye, some Peychaud bitters, and a bottle of Herbsaint. You won’t regret it. Continue reading

The Martini

Shaken, not stirred.

Every man worth his salt knows this line and who to attribute it to. In honor of his upcoming movie I thought we should talk about Bond’s drink of choice, the Martini (as you may already know I have a fascination with all things Bond).

The Martini is traditionally a gin cocktail flavored with vermouth, and occasionally garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. Since its inception, the Martini has become one of the most commonly known mixed beverages. If you prefer cocktail onion instead of an olive in your Martini, you would order a Gibson. Others skip the gin all together and opt for vodka instead, thus creating the Vodka Martini. The Martini has been called”the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet “and “the elixir of quietude”. Winston Churchill was said to whisper the word ‘Vermouth’ to a freshly poured glass of gin. Dorothy Parker expressed her opinion: “I like to have a martini/two at the very most. /Three, I’m under the table. /Four, I’m under my host”.

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Turkish Coffee

It seems that it wont be long and the weather will be getting cooler. it makes me think of one of my favorite drinks. Of course it doesnt have to be cool outside to drink turkish coffee, but it helps.Turkish coffee is a style of serving coffee. This style is found the world over, but has it origins in  in the Middle East, North Africa, the Caucasus, and the Balkans.
 
Turkish coffee is famed for the manner in which it is prepared. It is made using an ibrik, or a small coffee pot. Sugar and cardamom are added during the brewing process, not after, so there is no need for a serving spoon or stir stick. Cream or milk is never added to Turkish coffee, and the amount of sugar is optional. It is always served in a demitasse cup. When I was at a coffee house in Greektown Chicago I had a server offer to read my fortune. Apparently it is told by the pattern of the coffee grinds on the plate after you turn the cup upside down.  All it told me was that I was out of coffee. Continue reading

Tamarindo

So let’s continue on the summer theme, shall we? I am going to introduce you to another tequila derived summer drink. If you have ever visited the islands or other Central American or equatorial destinations, then you may be familiar with this fruit, and this drink.

The Tamarind:

Tamarind (Indian date) is the edible, pod-like fruit of a Fabaceae tree of the same name, indigenous to tropical regions. It is a long-lived, medium-growth, bushy tree, Leaves are evergreen, bright green in color, and at night the leaflets close up. The tamarind does flower with red and yellow elongated flowers. Continue reading

The Decanter

 “No poem was ever written by a drinker of water,” the great Roman poet, Horace wrote. Wine has been a part of daily life for thousands of years. Its history dates back to origins in ancient Mesopotamia, and plenty has been written about wine. Take Psalms and Proverbs of the bible for example:

-Psalm 104:15-And wine that makes the heart of mortal man rejoice, to make the face shine with oil, and bread that sustains the very heart of mortal man.

-Proverbs 31:6-7 -Give beer to the ones about to perish and wine to those who are bitter of soul. Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.

According to Persian mythology, wine was discovered by a woman when she drank the fermented juice from grapes stored in a jar. After partaking she fell asleep, and woke up cured of a headache, rather than suffering from the world’s first hangover as expected. Continue reading

The Margarita

Aaah the smooth cool margarita. Be careful gentlemen, this drink is easily translated to a ladies drink. So the rules here are no blenders, no strawberries or other assorted fruity aberrations. What we are speaking of here is a traditional lime margarita on the rocks whether at a summer shindig or a Tijuana all-nighter, this beverage is sure to satisfy. I am in no way promoting the latter event, just painting a word picture.

The margarita is a  popular mixed drink consisting of tequila,  orange-flavoured liqueur and lime juice, it is usually served in a salt rimmed glass. It is the most common tequila-based cocktail in the US.  The beverage can be served shaken with ice, on the rocks, or blended with ice. There is no identifiable “inventor of the margarita, however like many great things there is some rich lore relating to its inception. The most accepted of all stories is that the Margarita was invented in 1941, at Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, Mexico by Don Carlos Orozco. One slow afternoon, he was experimenting in his bar, mixing new cocktails when a woman named Margarita Henkel came into the bar. She the daughter of a German ambassador, and she lived near by with her husband in the city Rancho Hamilton. Don Carlos concocted a mixture of equal parts tequila, orange liqueur and lime, served over ice in a salt-rimmed glass, he offered the drink to Margarita, and named it after her for being the first person to taste it. Continue reading