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
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”.
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.
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
“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
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
Tonic water’s history dates back to 1638, when Spanish soldiers seeking a cure for malaria sought out local Inca Indian medicine men for an antidote. The Inca had long used ground bark of the native Quinquina tree, which grew on the slopes of the Andes Mountains, for a number of illnesses. This bark mixed in a “powerful potion” worked well for these soldiers’ ailments. The ground bark, called Quinine, soon made its way around the world. It became a very valuable malaria medicine reaching costs of its weight in gold. Mixed with soda water, another popular cure al, it became the ever-present Tonic.
The miracle cure was hocked at every corner drug store, and traveling salesman’s suitcase. Scientists soon discovered a way to produce a synthetic substitute of quinine and corporations began producing tonic water with this cheaper, artificial quinine. I have discovered a new tonic called Q Tonic, and it is my preferred tonic for this cocktail. Q Tonic uses natural ingredients such as agave as a sweetener instead of Cain or corn sugar, and handpicked Peruvian quinine. It is healthier, better tasting, and Continue reading
Guys love scotch; I think that it’s genetic. Perhaps it’s a rite of passage, a gradual acquisition, or a celebratory conquest, but eventually in their life every man enjoys a glass of scotch. There is a right way and a wrong way to enjoy scotch. We will get into that later, but first let’s look quickly at a variety of scotch and whisky/whiskey (yes there is a difference).
There are numerous types of whisky and whiskey, and are fairly similarly made; using cereal grains and distilled in casks. Whiskey with an “e” is strictly American or Irish made. Americans have a few more separations; there is bourbon typically from Kentucky. Then there is corn, malt and rye whiskies. We may talk more about whiskies and bourbon some other time. What it’s really all about now is scotch.