Saturday, November 3, 2012

Drinking Soundtrack of the Week

Bruce Springsteen performs "Jersey Girl" in tribute to those effected by Hurricane Sandy at a show in Rochester, NY.  

The video is shaky and the recording ends before the song does, but it is unmistakably Bruce, performing this great song with passion, empathy and humor.

In the days and weeks to come, please keep the victims of Sandy in your thoughts by making a donation to the Red Cross, Food Bank or organization of your choice.

The Historical Inebriant: The Jersey Shore Cherry Lemonade Cocktail


1 1/2 oz Absolut® vodka
1 1/4 oz sweet and sour mix
1 tsp sugar
fill with Sprite® soda
top with grenadine syrup

Add sugar, vodka, and sour mix over ice and shake. Fill with sprite/7-up, and top with grenadine or cherry juice. Garnish with a cherry and lemon wedge.

To view all Drinking Soundtrack of the Week posts, click here and scroll down.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Apologies, and The Falling Leaf Fizz Cocktail

As they say so often in that series "Spartacus" that plays on the Starz channel..."Apologies".

There is no real post for the day.  I could tell you the story of my traveling around the Bronx to get an accident report so I can claim the damage to my car, or I could tell you about driving around town trying to find a gas station that 1) had power 2) had gas 3) did not have a line of 25 cars in front of the pumps, or, I could tell you the story of how I've lost my phone (a brand new one, since mine died about 2 weeks ago) but none of that really matters.

While driving today I found myself looking at the leaves and thinking of the holidays that just past - Samhain and Day of the Dead, All Souls, and began thinking of a poem I had not thought of since I was in school...

By William Shakespeare

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consum’d with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

The seasons turn, night comes early and the end of another year is in sight.

I say we drink!!!

The Historical Inebriant: The Falling Leaf Fizz


1 part Grey Goose La Poire Vodka
4 parts of sparkling wine
Dash of simple syrup
1 heaping teaspoon pumpkin butter
Pinch of pumpkin pie spice
dried apple chip for garnish

Place GREY GOOSE La Poire, pumpkin butter, spice and syrup in the bottom of a champagne glass.  Stir well. Top with sparkling wine and garnish.

This is a drink that I might go a little heavier on the vodka with, but would definitely be willing to try.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

El Día de los Muertos (The Day of The Dead), A Grateful Dead Song, and The Corpse Reviver #2

It is part of the cycle of life. The vibrant days of Spring that burst with new life transcend into the warm, glowing days of Summer. Then, slowly, the brightness of each day shortens as the dark side of the world, the Otherworld, slowly creeps into time previously occupied by light. This time of year begins the tenous battle between the light and the dark, the living and the dead. It is All Hallows Eve, it is All Souls Day, it is Samhain, it is also Día de los Muertos.

Tonight in Mexico, the cemeteries will be crowded with people gathering in remembrance of family and friends who have gone to the other side.  Candles and crosses will dot the graves and the air will be eerily quiet.


But before that, there will be parades, festivals and parties.  Toys will be presented to children, gifts of small skulls made of sugar will be exchanged between friends, and of course brightly wrapped bottles of Tequila will be under everyone's arm ready to be shared.  There will be hearty meals with special sweet breads.  The the skull mask will be worn by many and costumed dances will take place in many plazas. For those in Mexico who remain on this side, they remember that life goes on and it is to be enjoyed!


But of course, if you're not in Mexico tonight and you want to leave a bottle on the grave of a loved might be very appreciated!

Drunken Skeletons.  Art by José Guadalupe Posada.  [Click to read more about this artist]  Postcard.

The Historical Inebriant: The Corpse Reviver* #2


1 shot gin
1 shot Cointreau
1 shot Lillet Blanc
1 shot fresh lemon juice
Dash of absinthe or substitute (I used roughly ¼ teaspoon)

Shake well with ice and strain in to a cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

*The drink is referred to as The Corpse Reviver because the first written account of the drink is found in The Savoy Cocktail Handbook by Harry Craddock in 1930 with the description "four of these taken in straight succession will unrevive the corpse again."

For those in the Stamford, Conn area, I will be sampling these tonight at one of my favorite local haunts Harlan Social.  Local Cocktail Craftsman Adam Patrick will be creating them. Worth the trip!

Canción para El Día de los Muertos

Is there anything a man don't stand to lose,

When the devil wants to take it all away? 
Cherish well your thoughts, keep a tight grip on your booze
Cause thinkin' and drinkin' are all I have today. 

On a more somber note: Tonight, my thoughts and prayers will be with those who recently traveled to the other side as a result of hurricane Sandy, and their friends and family.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Samhain - fire walk with me, fairies, and The Apparition Cocktail

The Gaelic festival that marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter called Samhain (pronounced sa-win) begins at sunset tonight. The ancient festival at the end of the season of light and the beginning of the dark season was seen as a time when the door to the underworld would open and the souls of the dead could travel back to make contact with the living.  In fact at the typical feast on that day places are set at the table for the previously departed.

Bonfires that would cleanse the air of evil spirits were lit and the livestock that were brought down from the grazing lands would be marched past the fires. Games of divinity were played to gain knowledge of who would live and who would marry, who would fall in love and who would concieve in the coming year.


Sometimes masks and other costumes were worn to hide a person's true identity from the spirits that were free to roam on this day.  I assume that one hoped to see not only the evil spirits but also the legendary fairies that might also appear.

The Historical Inebriant: The Apparition Cocktail

3 oz Purity Vodka
.75 oz Cucumber Water (infuse 2 cups diced cucumber in 4 cups of water overnight. Strain and keep chilled.)
.25 Black Pepper Water (infuse 20 black pepper kernels in 1 cup of water overnight Strain and keep chilled.)

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Also check out the Witches Brew and Vampire Kiss drink recipes in the link!


Check out the link by the fire graphic to learn more about Samhain and below is a link to a podcast on the holiday (the discussion of Samhain comes at 10:00 minutes into the podcast).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sometimes a bluff is better than a hand, Aliens invade in "War of the Worlds" and an alternative to the Alien Brain Hemorrhage Shot

On this day in 1806, believing that he was facing a much larger force, Prussian Lieutenant General Friedrich von Romberg surrendered his garrison fortress of Stettin containing 5,300 men and 280 cannons to 800 French soldiers commanded by General Lassalle.

File:Antoine Lasalle.JPG


On this day in 1938, American actor and director Orson Welles would broadcast his radio play adaptation of H. G. Wells's science fiction novel about an alien invasion, The War of the Worlds, resulting in a panic.

The broadcast, which aired on a radio station that did not have commercials, was done as a series of simulated news bulletins, describing the landing of aliens. There were realistic news reports from State Militias, Army officers and the Secretary of Defense. Those cruising the radio channels that night and happened to tune in to the program believed they were listening to real news reports.

Local police and news stations were flooded with calls from radio listeners asking if they would soon be under attack and what should they do. There was much confusion, since many officials did not know where these reports of alien invasion were coming from. It became the most talked about radio program of all time.

In the months following the broadcast, there would be over 12,500 articles published about the broadcast, the confusion and the impact. In the end, it was a huge marketing coup by Orson Welles and it made his career.


In keeping with Halloween Week:

In our April 17th post "How not to Handle Alien Remains" we featured the Alien Brain Hemorrhage Shot, (if you have not read that post I suggest you do so now - here is the link) which is a great holiday drink.

I thought I might offer the classic Brain Hemorrhage, because we all know - aliens are here for our brains!

The Historical Inebriant: The Brain Hemorrage Cocktail

1oz Peach Schnapps
1 tsp Bailey's Irish Cream
Step 1 Pour the Peach Schnapps into a large shot glass.
Step 2 Slowly add the Bailey's so it looks like a brain.
Step 3 Top with the grenadine so it looks like blood
Step 4 Eat Bloody Brains 

Check out their site for other halloween drinks!

To hear "War of the Worlds"  (it starts out very slow -a musical program interrupted by news reports)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Witches in Paris, First the Ticker Tape - then the Crash(s), and The Witch Hunt Cocktail

To start off Halloween week:

On this day in 1390, the first trial for witchcraft begins in Paris leading to the death of three people.

The Historical Inebriant: The Witch Hunt* Cocktail


1 oz Scotch
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1/4 oz Strega herbal liqueur
1 oz lemonade
Build in an old-fashioned glass 3/4 full of crushed ice. Stir.
*The drink is referred to as The Witch Hunt because of the use of Strega (meaning witch in Italian).


On this day in 1886, during celebrations marking the dedication of the Statue of Liberty in New York City, office workers begin throwing ticker tape out of office windows and into the streets. (Ticker tape is the paper output of ticker tape machines, used in brokerage offices to provide updated stock market quotes)

 Thus was born the first ever "ticker-tape" parade. 


On this day in 1929, the New York Stock Exchange crashes in what will be called "Black Tuesday" and would mark the beginning the Great Depression.

Editors Note:

This should not be confused with the "Black Friday", September 24, 1869, where the price of gold reached $162, then fell to $133 within a few minutes, causing stock prices to fall 20%.

Nor should it be confused with the "Black Monday" of October 19, 1987 when The Dow Industrials’ took a single day 508-point plunge.

I don't think anyone would confuse it with the crash of 2:45pm on Thursday May 6, 2010, or the "Flash Crash" where the market fell almost 1,000 points in a matter of minutes.

But I just wanted to be clear.

Not that I'm on a Steely Dan kick of late, but there is a reason this song is titled "Black Friday"

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A country split down the middle, debate continues...

Shaken or stirred? With the release of Skyfall the debate heats up once again. While I remain steadfastly on the sidelines of this one (I also drink vodka, not gin martinis), I came across a site today that I thought I might share.

Drink has a podcast on the subject. The series, called Happy Hour Podcast, covers cocktail making. How cool is it to be in you car, on the way to your favorite bar, listening and gaining advice on what you should be trying once you get there.

To listen to the shaken/stirred debate podcast follow the link:

Make sure you check out the site as well.  Liquor reviews and more podcasts abound.

Drinking Soundtrack of the Week

In honor of Halloween fun, this week's performance (a different type of "drinking") is "Zombie" by Kelsey Mia.

Kelsey is a soprano vocalist and songwriter from Cincinnati who composing Pop music wrapped in electronic ambiance.  While "Zombie" is a fun, campy, Halloween song, be sure to check out some of her other music including "Winter Paradise" at the link below.  Very nice.

The Historical Inebriant: The Zombie Cocktail


1 1/4 oz. lemon juice
3 dashes grenadine
3/4 oz. blood orange juice
3/4 oz. cherry brandy
3/4 oz. light rum
2 oz. dark rum
1/2 oz. high-proof dark rum

Combine all ingredients well over ice cubes in a shaker, and strain into a large, frosted cocktail glass over crushed ice. The drink can be garnished with a stick of pineapple, a cherry, or a sprig of fresh mint dipped in powered sugar.

While we sometimes think of the Zombie as a made up Halloween cocktail, it's not. The story goes that owner and bartender Donn Beach originally created the drink to help a hung over customer get through a business meeting. The name came about when the customer returned the next day claiming that the drink had turned him into a "Zombie" for his entire meeting. The fruity tropical themed drink was presented at the 1939 New York World's Fair and took off after that.  Steely Dan features the drink in their song "Haitian Divorce".

She drinks the Zombie from the coco shell,
She feel alright, she get it on tonight...

To view all Drinking Soundtrack of the Week posts, click here and scroll down.

Thanks, and have a great and safe weekend!