Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Et tu, Brute?

I got a late invite to a St Patrick's Day fundraiser with some friends that supported a downtown-east side women's shelter (Link) where we were treated to a wonderful 3-course meal, some fantastic new friends and Irish folks songs sung loudly and out of key by inebriated lads. A great time was had by all and for such a great cause.

The following morning we re-convened half-a-block from the scene of the fundraiser at this fantastic little diner for some biscuits n' gravy and some hash & eggs. And now it was time for me to try my hand for a Canadian morning-after staple.

Bloody Caesar (Formerly Bloody Mary)

There are almost as many suggested recipes as there are origin stories for this Sunday-brunch staple and traditional hongover cure, which may (or may not) have first been concocted by Fernand Petiot, a bartender at Harry's Bar in Paris, in the 1920s, or by entertainer George Jessel in the late 1930s. Add-ins may (or may not) include horseradish, olives, celery, beef boullion, cayenne pepper, and various cold cuts used as garnish. One thing is (almost) certain: The gory cocktail was named after Mary Tudor, the queen of England. Or maybe it was Mary Pickford, the movie star. Or some woman in Chicago. Ahhh, forget it. Just make me one, STAT, so I can get rid of this damned headache. 

"Walking away is a woman's right. And then it's a man's right to watch her do it!"
- Andrew, 64, recruiter

2oz vodka
6oz Clamato juice
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce
Pinch of salt & pepper
1/2oz fresh lemon juice
Green bean

ANOTHER DAMN RIMMED GLASS! Ok so after I juiced my lime into the beverage I used the rind to de-rim the glass just in the off-chance that I'd mistakenly think of trying a mouthful of celery salt. This drink had a bigger kick than I was expecting, but not in the way you might think. This drink was a cold, tomato-y, and shocking like a spicy punch in the groin.

It wasn't altogether pleasant but nor was it the worst thing I've ever drank. I was however very thankful for the tall glass of water and the fact the food came pretty quickly and I had a tasty breakkie to use as a chaser (when required). The food was VERY tasty and we followed it up with a movie to check out Red Riding Hood. Seemed to be one of those days where everything was fine, but not memorable. This drink gets 3 chili's in a Hood. Almost like a man in a boat....

If you'll forgive me I do have a personal note for this week. I learned a few days ago that a friend of mine that I lost touch with passed away last week. Although we hadn't spoken in close to 5 years we had shared some really great times in the years we knew each other and I just wanted to put that out to the universe.

Hope you're catching sweet waves wherever you are Macker - Miss you brah.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Only In My Dreams

Before I get to far into this weeks' drink, I've been meaning to spotlight a video clip that was sent my way of a few mature men of leisure passing the time in their golden years. I didn't feel that it quite went with last weeks recount of drunken-buffoonery however for this week... well it's just par for the course!

Without further ado I present to you:


They do a lot of strange things in San Francisco. One odd practice is putting onions in their martinis, which they've been doing since the late nineteenth century. Named after the man who first ordered it -- Bay Area barfly Walter D.K. Gibson (who believed that eating onions would fend off colds) -- this halitosis-inducing cocktail has long been erroneously associated with the great Life magazine illustrator Charles Dana Gibson, who had nothing to do with its invention (and no theories about onions to speak of).

"I can drink whatever I like tonight as long as tomorrow I eat chicken soup."
- Ari, 71, lawyer

2oz chilled gin
3/4oz chilled dry vermouth
1 small pearl cocktail onion

I felt it was time to have a more.. what's the word... subdued, calm, anti-birthday evening and this would be a perfect time to knock off one of the drinks that I've been dreading. I wouldn't quite say it was penance for last weeks insanity but karma has a funny way of sneaking up on a person.

If at all possible (and you can appreciate the irony) try to put on some Debbie Gibson while you're mixing up this drink. I myself prefer Electric Youth but feel free to sample whichever of her numerous hits is your favourite.

Yeah that's pretty much the best I have for you this week. In actuality I was only able to choke one of these drinks down and it took me the better part of three hours to accomplish. The first sip was by far the best so if I could make a suggestion while chilling the gin & vermouth in the freezer I might suggest going for a 3 hour drive for some take out, or possibly heading off to Denver for the weekend and by the time you return the alcohol will be frozen and you'll be able to move on to a better drink. Like, say, battery acid? Just an idea...

I passed the night watching some killer kung-fu (Ip Man) with my good friend and our canines and it was a great time. The drink itself did less than  nothing to help the evening and I'm beginning to think about grading these drinks on some kind of curve. If you saw your friends dying face-down in the muck as you prayed to your deity of choice to save you from this awesome horror I could imagine that anything which numbed the pain might seem tasty. To that end I give this drink a 21-gun salute on the shores of Juno Beach.

Be well everyone. Until next week...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Birthday Drinking Part 2: The Haunting

In a loose continuation of birthday celebrations for Yours Truly, I made plans to get together with a group of close friends to drink some alcohol, shake our booty's and effort to ring in this next year of my life in style. Which we did - in a manner of speaking.

Dry Mahoney

Part 1 of the evening took place at my friend's house where we met up to store my vehicle and my pet Labrador for the evening as we primed for the evening in advance of heading off to rendez-vous with my regular team of drinkers to take part in this weeks Old Man Drink.

Bored with the same old gin and vodkda martini's? Swap in some Kentucky whiskey and you've got yourself a Dry Mahoney, the perfect capper to a day spent overseeing your plantation. Relax in the wood-paneled splendor of your local gentleman's club and drift away...

I wish my old mother were here today. Oh wait, no I don't! Not today anyway! [Laughs, pauses, makes sign of cross] Ah, and right - sorry then, Mum. Didn't mean it. Honest."
- Robert, 81, Sailor

2-1/2oz bourbon
1/2oz dry vermouth
Lemon Twist

I'd just like to say, if this drink is like overseeing your plantation than now might be a good time for reparations or more specifically they should be focused towards my pal who offered me a place to crash for the night! I've never been a huge fan of Martini's, having only had one or two through the years - I had always assumed it was the olive but now I've got to re-think that. Pretty sure its the vermouth. YUCK. Its got a signature aroma somewhere between 'hospital' and 'sweat'. Thankfully the bourbon outnumbered it 5-to-1 so that at least gave me a fighting chance. Three drinks later it still didn't taste any better but I was into Full Party mode (thanks in small part to the 3 bottles of cider that preceded them).

Fast-forward 4 hours into the future and the carnage left in my wake looked like something out of 3 Mile Island.
  • Instigating a fight with random girl in line at the club for saying she was from Hamilton; Check.
  • 'Claiming' the beverage of one of my friends and guzzling it down once caught; Check.
  • Ejecting myself from the bar for excessive drunkenness only to realize 3 blocks later that the friend I was staying with was still on the dancefloor prompting this gem of a text message sequence:
    • Friend: Text me, dancing downstairs by pillar
    • Me: Little drunk outside. @ 7--1. Dunsmuir & Seymour south side (nice to know my internal compass is still spot on when I'm blind drunk)
    • Friend: R u done. shall we meet you outside?
    • (15mins later)
    • Friend: Have you got T's coat?
    • Me: No I have my coat.
    • Friend: Ok we're coming out now 2 meet u, stay by door :-)
  • Once outside I was badgering one of my friends for about an hour on some ridiculous tirade until she fell and twisted her ankle then went home.
  • I fell 3 times on the way to my friends including wrapping myself around a knee-high chain fence and face-planting into the snow.
  • Got back to my buddy's place and was poured into bed only to emerge 20mins later with my shirt pulled up to my neck, hand over my mouth and failing to hold back the contents on my way to the rest room. (I will give the 2 dogs a big assist on helping to clean-up. That's all I think I need to say here.)
A night out with me is fun no? As has been said to me MANY times - whiskey makes for an ANGRY drunk. Luckily I have the most amazing, understanding friends in the world but let me warn all of you out there.. Dry Mahoney? Pass on this one!! Final Grade: 3 Energy drinks and 1 Redheaded Slut too many. Game forfeited on account of idiocy.

In a wacky twist of fate I'm thinking the next drink on the docket should have both gin AND vermouth. That sounds like it couldn't possibly go wrong...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me.....

It was time to pull another year off the calendar for your humble host and this year I decided to stay in town and head out for dinner at a nice restaurant with some close friends and family. We did break from tradition somewhat as the volume wasn't conducive to a reading from the Good Book so this entry will be everyone's first chance to learn a little bit about the evening's beverage.

Salty Dog

What self-respecting old man doesn't keep a carton of grapefruit juice in his refrigerator? This refreshing drink, made with simple ingredients that everyone has on hand, is a great alternative to the screwdriver, especially in warmer climes. It may have originated in Texas. In fact, a July 1947 edition of the Bowerville Herald sings the praises of the Salty Dog for its replenishing power, claiming that it "replaces salt sweated out in torrid Texas summers." Think of it as Gatorade with benefits. If salting the rim is too much trouble, skip that step and you've got yourself a Greyhound.

"I would sit in the bar for hours, brooding. Once, a guy walked up to me and said something I didn't like. I looked up, and something in my eyes made him back away, while the bartender was reaching for a baseball bat."
- Roy, 66, Mechanic

2oz vodka
3oz grapefruit juice

To be honest I ordered a vodka/grapefruit with a salted glass and my sister-in-law was quick to point out that I needed to order a Salty Dog by name, so I acquiesced so I can't be sure if the bartender snuck some extra salt into the drink. Upon my first taste it was actually pretty good; refreshing and fresh and delicious. But I've never had a pleasurable rim-job *cough*. Errrr that is to say.. I've never enjoyed a rimmed cocktail. I have in the past been seduced by a red-head named Mary (or Caesar) with a celery salted rim and every time I kick myself for tasting it. This, was no different. I can't say what the full 1" high of kosher salt is supposed to do to help this drink and granted I wasn't in Texas and nor was it north of the freezing mark outside, but once I took a big lickery kiss on the outside of the glass my love affair with this drink turned into a Fatal Attraction. I pushed on in hopes a second Dog would rekindle our flickering flame but it was not to be. I will give them this (whomever named this drink) there sure was some truth in advertising! Salty... yeah you ain't kidding!

The balance of the meal was spent cleansing/scorching my palate with some dry cider to wash the salt away and we were treated to some excellent cuisine and great times with better people. In stark contrast half of the guests were debating and discussing the phenomena known as 'The Singularity' where sentient machines will surpass humans (I believe the date was set at 2049 so don't worry about making any long-term plans for your kids) while the other half of the table was reliving 80s professional wrestling. It is with this that I give you... The Ultimate Warrior. Enjoy.

Oh... you're still here? I guess I never did rate the drink yet did I, well how about 3 birthday candles out of Dill-mydia. What's Dill-mydia you ask? That's a whole nother story.....