Friday, May 4, 2012

Rum, drunk on Rum, or, Why was there no post this morning?

This Post was originally titled "Rum, drunk on Rum.  Check back tomorrow for pass."
That should have read check back tomorrow for "pics" but such was my state of mind this morning.

When I revisited the blog tonight, I realized I liked the title and decided to keep it.  Although its been a long time in between hangovers, it's like riding a bike, you never truly forget.  Having somewhat recovered, and since I can photographically recap some of the nights events, I thought a pictorial of the evening might be interesting.

Last night starts out very innocently at Rizzuto's, meeting friends (including my old friend Dennis who used to bartend at Telluride and now does the same at Rizzuto's) and sampling the very tasty Greenwich Gimlet with Thatcher's liqueur and Grey Goose that they serve there.

At 7:30 the party moves to the Connecticut Cigar Company, my local cigar lounge, and a tasting of Don Q Rum plus a white whiskey called "Death's Door".  If this were a horror movie there would be some pretty ominous music playing right about now!

The Don Q Gran Añejo was so amazingly smooth I was mostly was drinking it neat.  I did return to our presenter numerous times to obtain another sample to "better fathom the depths of the complex flavours". I believe I still had some depth to go before they ran out!

Later on, as one bottle after another of the rums were killed, we began the tasting of the White Whiskey, you remember the name of it right?  Death's Door, like the Grim Reaper, is a very sneaky character and in this movie it's one you don't want to turn your back on!  By the way the story behind the name Death's Door's is interesting and refers to the geographic area (and its inherit perils) where the whiskey is made.

It was then onto The Fez where they have live music every night.  Sorry but no pics, it was too late in the evening but here is one from a few nights earlier.

I did, for the sake of consistency (although the damage had already been done) stayed with the white whiskey and Fez has a great one.  However, this is why there was no blog this morning!

Have a great and safe Cinco de Mayo (be sure to check out my post on Spanish lessons if you have not) the life you save may be your own!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hurray for Bollywood

On this day in 1913 the first full-length Indian movie titled Raja Harishchandra is released. For those familiar with Indian movies in general, it is difficult to think of any that is 40 minutes long, contains no songs, and has has no female characters it.  But such were the humble beginnings of Bollywood.

As we all know, an Indian movie is a 3 hour long sight and song fest where one or more male characters named Raj (or Raja) meets a girl, (cue song/dance scene) falls in love with girl, (cue two song/dance scenes - one for the girl shot in a field of flowers - one for the boy shot in the city with all his friends) finds out why he cannot be with girl (cue one or two tearful song scenes) and finally boy/girl overcomes the obstacles that keep their love apart (cue long happy multiple shot song/dance scene in which everyone who has appeared in the movie has a scene) and that is why we love them.

Happy Birthday Bollywood and thank you for all the great movies!

Big Bang Theory - Grasshopper Experiment

The Historical Inebriant:  The Grasshopper

  • 1 shot green creme de menthe
  • 1 shot white creme de cacao
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • Fresh mint sprig, for garnish

Place creme de menthe, creme de cacao, and ice cream into a blender. Blend until thick and pour into a 12-ounce glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Now face West...

Things that made my life 1000 Times Better

On this day in 2000, President Bill Clinton announces that accurate GPS access would be made available to the general public. (see 4/13 and 4/21 posts)


On this day in 1955, Tennessee Williams wins a Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Cat on a Hot Tin roof.  Dealing with the grittiest of topics, Williams addressed alcoholism, sexism, and homosexuality without reservation and without hesitation in his work.

New York's Cardinal Spellmman described the script for Baby Doll as “revolting, deplorable, morally repellent, offensive to Christian standards of decency.”  Seems like everyone is a critic nowadays.

Interesting Link:

Drinking on Cinco de Mayo? 15 Spanish Phrases You Should Know

With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner and every Spanish and Mexican restaurant in the country bracing for an onslaught of drunken gringos, I thought a few quick Spanish lessons might help to bridge the inevitable cultural divide on May 6th.

First, let's begin with a few words about the event itself. In 1862, Mexico stopped payments on a huge debt they owed France - they also did the same with Britain and Spain, but France was the only one that sent over a fleet. Keep in mind the United States was fighting its own Civil War at the time so we weren't involved. The French fleet landed on the coast of Mexico and troops started making their way to Mexico City to take over the capital and the country. On May 5th 1862, a much larger and well armed French force was defeated by a much smaller but highly fortified local Mexican force at the small town of Puebla.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  

Unfortunately, when the French reinforcements arrived a short time later Puebla fell, Mexico City fell and the French ruled Mexico for the next four years.  Which is why in Mexico,
Cinco de Mayo...not such a big deal!

Understanding all that, let's get to the lecciones de español (the Spanish lessons)


Hello in Spanish is Hola - a familiar greeting you can use with almost everyone in the service industry and you should receive a friendly Hola! back.

If it's late morning when you head out to the bar and you still have your wits about you, be a bit more formal and start things off with Buenos días (Good morning).

Later on in the day, if you're still feeling good after a few Margaritas and you want to impress the attractive hostess you can use Buenas tardes (Good afternoon).

Later that night, (later meaning 6 Margaritas, 8 Tequila shots, and 5 pitchers of Sangria later) after you've lost your cell phone, the bar has taken your car keys and you are being escorted to the taxi after vomiting on yourself - if you'd like to prove that you're really a decent guy, try using  - Buenas noches (Good evening, Good night).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day

Today is International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day.
Never heard of it, join the club. But...

    Guerrilla gardening is not your grandmother's Sunday garden club. It's an underground movement. It targets populated urban areas, often strategically located - highly walked downtown sites, sometimes struck under the cover of darkness...

Guerrilla gardening is gardening on land that you do not have a legal right to use. These sites are mostly abandoned or neglected by their legal owners. They are eyesores, aesthetically dangerous, or both. The Guerrillas come in and clear the land of trash and overgrowth, planting crops or flowers in their place. These random acts of beautification are sometimes carried out at night or in broad daylight to promote the ideas of reconsideration of land ownership for the benefit of the community.

However lofty their goals, however beautiful their results...
they are still outlaw Guerrilla Gardeners.

The Historical Inebriant:  The Che Guevara


  • 4 cl Dark rum
  • Ginger Ale
  • Angostura Bitters
  • Syrup
  • Slices of lime

Muddle 3-4 large slices of lime with mint, add some Angostura Bitters and a touch of syrup.
Fill with ice, dark rum and shake fast. Top with Ginger Ale.

On this day in 1707, The Act of Union joins the Kingdom of England with the Kingdom of Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.

The was just the first of many unions and alliances concerning England, Great Britain, The United Kingdom,  The British Commonwealth, etc., none of which I have ever fully understood. C.G.P. Grey, however, does - and here is his amazingly clear and simple presentation.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Have a Wonderful Walpurgis Night

An early Walpurgis Night shout out to all of our European Friends!

Walpurgis Night is traditionally celebrated on April 30 in northern Europe and Scandinavia. It is a night of singing, dancing, drinking and pranks. Originally a pagan spring fertility event it was merged with the Canonization of St. Walburga, the English-born nun who lived at Heidenheim monastery in Germany.  Coincidentally, the observance of Walpurgis is six months prior to All Hallows Eve.  It sounds like a great holiday if you want to do some research on it.

In Finland, the traditional drink of Walpurgis is Sima, a type of fermented lemonade. Not sold in the U.S. if you would like to take a crack at making your own for next year, view a recipe here:

The Historical Inebriant:  Sima

George Washington, Alben Barkley, and Camarón Day

On this day in 1789, from the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City, George Washington takes the oath to officially become the first elected President of the United States.


On this day in 1956, Kentucky born Former Vice President and Senator Alben Barkley dies during a speech in Virginia. Barkley, who had recently been elected as Kentucky's junior senator after serving as Vice President, collapsed from a heart attack as he had just finished a speech in Virginia proclaiming "I would rather be a servant in the house of the lord than sit in the seats of the mighty."

The Historical Inebriant:  Woodford Reserve Bourbon
                       Straight up and honest 

The best audience is intelligent, well-educated and a little drunk.

~ Alben W. Barkley


For Benoit

In a situation almost the reverse of Cinco de Mayo, on this day in 1863, a 65-man French Foreign Legion infantry patrol fought a force of nearly 2,000 Mexican soldiers to nearly the last man in Hacienda Camarón, Mexico.

Today France and the French Foreign Legion celebrate this day as Camarón Day
It's an interesting story if you want to read about it further.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Drinking Poems, Vodka Manhattans, and You can't wear stripes with that.

Tomorrow is the last day of April and as such, Poetry Awareness Month.  So I thought it would be great to dive into some poems close to the subject matter of this blog - Drinking.  On this subject I turn to Curtis Fox of the Poetry Foundation for guidance.

Curtis put together a program on "Drinking in Poetry" and invited guests Jeff Gordinier (staff writer for the NYT Dining Section) and Rosie Schaap (Drinks columnist for the NYT Magazine and author of the upcoming novel "Drinking with Men") to join him for drinks at Temple Bar in lower Manhattan.   Their discussion of some of their favorite drinking poems is lighthearted, insightful and follows here:

In the discussion, the wonderful poem Grappa in September by Cesare Pavese is mentioned but not read, you can find the text of it here.

Jeff Gordinier's reading of Ciaran Carson's Hippocrene is definitely worth listening to - you will never look at a Bloody Mary the same again.

If you love wine, When Dean Young Talks about Wine, is a must read.  It is also where the "You can't wear stripes with that" reference comes from.

Since many of the poets featured were from NYC, (O'Hara and Kenneth Koch) and since Jeff Gordinier and I are currently on Manhattan kicks I'm throwing this one in that I saw recently from Kettle One but have yet to try out.  Why, because I'm afraid, very afraid.

The Historical Inebriant:  

Please visit the Poetry Foundation's site.  It's a great site if you love poetry -
It's a Fantastic site if  you don't!

April is almost over, but take the poetry with you all year long
with the Poetry Foundation's Mobile App!