Saturday, February 25, 2012

A man of the Spirit

Being a man of the spirit (not the cloth) the blog is devoted to spirits.
But there are so many totally entertaining beer ads out there!

And the winner is Ice, for Best Supporting Role

What do you do while you’re waiting for your favorite movie to win “Best Picture” or the
actress you think rocks to be handed the Oscar statue?  For me, it starts with a glass
and maybe some ice!
The folks at The have once again crafted a list of award worthy creations that
should enhance your Oscar viewing experience no matter who your favorites are. 
I, personally, always go for The Dark Horse!
Dark Horse

War Horse - The Dark Horse

2 oz Rye Whiskey
1/2 oz Cynar
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
Maraschino Cherries
Of course, I’ll also be toasting when they announce the winner in the Best Makeup in
a Full Length Animated Movie category!  Oh, they don’t have that category???

Friday, February 24, 2012

Why do they always claim it’s a weather balloon?

Beginning on the evening of February 24th 1942, less than three months after the Japanese
bombing of Pearl Harbor, an enormous round object was seen hovering over the Culver City
area of Southern California.

Sirens began to blare, Los Angeles County began a total blackout, and the glowing object was targeted by searchlights and the Army's 37th Coast Artillery Brigade. “The Battle of Los Angeles” had begun.

Residents of the area watched as almost 2,000 rounds of 12lb high explosive shells were fired
at the object - fully illuminated by the searchlights. From 3am till 4am the barrage continued
as the object slowly made its way from Culver City to Long Beach and then disappearing.

An “all clear” siren was sounded shortly after 7am and the blackout lifted.  In the aftermath,
six people died as a result of the barrage, several buildings were damaged and shell
fragments were found for miles around.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Third Times a Charm

On this day in 1885, 19-year-old John Lee is sent to hang in England for the murder of Ellen Keyse, whom Lee worked for.  Insisting throughout the trial that he was innocent and in a case based solely on circumstantial evidence, Lee had been convicted and sentenced to death by hanging. 

Lee was led to the gallows (which had been tested prior) and the noose placed around his neck.  The lever that should have released the floor underneath him was pulled, but it malfunctioned.  Twice more the lever was pulled but Lee remained standing on the platform. 

The authorities, unable to explain the malfunctions decided to attribute it to an act of God and Lee’s sentence was commuted to 22 years in prison. After Lee served his sentence he emigrated to America but would always be known as “The Man They Could Not Hang”.

     The Historical Inebriant:  Hangman’s Noose

  • 9 oz red wine
  • 18 oz hot black tea
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 tsps sugar

Brew tea then add wine and sugar. Simmer covered with cinnamon stick. Serve warm in wine glass.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Born to Die

In reading the events for the day, I did see one that puzzled me.

Born February 22, 1440 Ladislaus the Posthumous.  I didn’t really understand this entry, since the only time I’ve heard “posthumous” used was after the person died. After a little clicking I found the person has a facebook page, not unusual for a dead person but Ladislaus was called this while he was living.  I wound up going to the dictionary to find out what’s going on. Apparently, posthumous, used as an adjective, would describe a child born after the death of its father or delivered from its dead mother.

Btw – Ladislaus died young.

Today is Ash Wednesday. If you received ashes today you heard the words

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, we come from dust and to dust we shall return”.

   The Historical Inebriant:  Rebel Yell

  • 2 oz bourbon whiskey
  • 1/2 oz triple sec
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 egg white 

Combine bourbon, cointreau, lemon juice, and egg white in a shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, and pour into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with an orange slice, and serve.


In the midnight hour she cried- "more, more, more"
With a rebel yell she cried- "more, more, more"
Rebel Yell – Billy Idol

In my interpretation - upon realizing death is imminent, there’s always a pleading
for more time.


Also on this day in 1892 Edna St. Vincent Millay is born

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light.

Off today’s theme:
On this day in 1632 Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems
was published.

“People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it. 1,500 years ago,
everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. 500 years ago,
everybody knew the Earth was flat, and 15 minutes ago, you knew that people
were alone on this planet…Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.”

– Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K in Men In Black.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Yorker


On this day in 1925, The New Yorker published its first issue. 

When I think of the The New Yorker, I think of New York in the 50's and 60's, of all the great writers that wrote in that heyday; Dylan Thomas, Norman Mailer, Truman Capote, and a host of others. I think of enjoying the stories, the reviews, the articles written about New York by New Yorkers.  The magazine, as did our culture at the time, had a definite slant towards imbibing and many of the articles were a how to, bringing to a near art form the simple act of drinking in bars.

Not Clubs or Niteclubs, but bars - bars that in order to make an even greater assertion of their purpose had the word bar in their name.  Like the Bar at Bull and Bear, the Oak Bar, the King Cole Bar.  Bars with bartenders wearing crisp white shirts, black aprons and bow ties and that made their cocktails from scratch and placed them perfectly garnished on that long expanse of dark, rich, shiny oak.
I also think of those wonderful cartoons, one patron has a Martini in front of him, the other, perhaps a Manhattan.  One patron says to the other...

But that's just me.

    The Historical Inebriant:  The Manhattan

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Opera, the Rabbit, the Museum and the Fascist

Rossini’s opera The Barber of Seville premiered today in 1816 at Teatro Argentina in Rome.  A classic story of Count meets girl and falls in love with girl, girl falls in love with Count but there‘s another man involved, Count and friends conspire to free girl from the other guy - Count and girl live happily ever after.  Yes, this is one of the few operas where she does not die in the end!

If you have seen the production or not, you already know the famous songs from this opera.  They have been performed countless times by Woody Woodpecker, Tom and Jerry and by my favorite, Bugs Bunny.

Interestingly, the Barber of Seville is actually a prequel.  The Barber (Figaro) appears in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro (1786).
In a side note, today in 1872 the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened in New York City.

In another side note the Italian Fascist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto was published on this day in 1909 by Le Figaro, the Italian newspaper.  The Manifesto (a rejection of the past and a celebration of modernization) called for the demolition of all museums and libraries.

Ok, enough of the history, let's drink…and maybe sing a little

     The Historical Inebriant:  The Opera 

1 1/2 oz. Gin
1/2 oz. Dubonnet Rouge
1 teaspoon Maraschino Liqueur
Combine ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, shake and strain into a chilled martini glass