Thursday, December 29, 2005

Another interesting article found about cocktails, this time in the National Post.

Christine Sismondo, author of Mondo Cocktail: A Shaken and Stirred History (McArthur and Company, $24.95) agrees. Her handsome book is crammed full of fascinating cocktail lore that simply can't be found anywhere else. It's clear she loves her cocktails, but it's equally obvious she knows more about what goes into a mixed drink -- and why --than just about anyone else on the planet. Cheers to her, I say. - Marc Horton

Saturday, December 24, 2005

In case you missed it, a nice little article about cocktails in today's Globe and Mail. Also, buy a National Post if you have some time and have a look at the books they recommend as stocking stuffers. It's true Mondo Cocktail would fit well into a stocking and it's not too late to run out to your local Pages, Book City or Chapters/Indigo and get a copy. But hurry, supplies are bound to be running low.

Cheers and Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Found a nice little review of a book about champagne in the Globe this weekend. Perhaps if you take the Toronto Star's suggestion (today but it seems to be in the print version only) that Mondo Cocktail makes a good gift book, you'd want to pair it with a book on champagne for that special someone in your life who enjoys the finer things in life.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Another mini-review found:

Mondo Cocktail: A Shaken and Stirred History is a delightful read, just the right kind of congenial fare to curl up with over the holidays. The author, Christine Sismondo, has taught courses on film, new media and writing at York University, Ryerson and the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. She is also a freelance writer and until recently, maintained her once-a-week job bartending at a pub "known neither for its food and atmosphere nor wide beer selection." She did, however, entertain her clientele with perfect cocktails and anecdotes about cocktail culture. The book is witty, full of interesting facts and just plain fun. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

- Sean Wood

Chronicle Herald

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I wish I had some clever words to introduce these reviews of Mondo Cocktail with, but frankly, all the best witticisms this weekend seem to have been used up by Nick Pashley and Jessica Warner.

Inspired choices for reviewers! Pashley wrote Notes on a Beermat: On Drinking and Why it's Necessary a few years ago - an extremely funny book that, now that I think about it, was probably a major influence in my decision to write about cocktails - and, Jessica Warner wrote the groundbreaking Craze: Gin and Debauchery in the Age of Reason in 2002.

Pashley wrote: This handsome little hardcover book (with numerous appropriate illustrations) should come shrink-wrapped with a cocktail shaker, because only the clinically dead could read Mondo Cocktail and not want to mix a stiff drink. Even a beer guy.

And then, there's Warner: Caution: This book is recommended for ironic readers only. Some people might be shocked to read that the best cure for a hangover is a "Bloody Mary with two shots of vodka," that people who have neither the time nor money to drink Grand Marnier in the morning are to be pitied, that the abolition of drive-through bars is a minor tragedy bespeaking a lack of political will on the part of lushes. There is, of course, an element of épater le bourgeois in all this -- reason enough to give the book to the born-again Christians in your life.

Cheers.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Okay, I just can't resist commenting on this one. Trump's Most Excellent World's Finest Super Premium Cadillac of Vodkas? I can't comment on the quality of his vodka - not having tasted it, for one, but also because I think I'm a poor judge of which brand of the tasteless, odorless liquor is best - I'm sure it's sans pareil, but I think his use of superlatives a little excessive.

Many will be quick to point out that the guy is a teetotaler and question the wisdom of this particular brand extension. I would, instead, like to draw everybody's attention to the fact that this man has gone on record supporting the civil cases against tobacco companies and urged lawyers to sue liquor companies as well.

TRUMP: No, no, no. They're taxed. I'd like to see them sued. You know what I don't -- I hope a lot of lawyers are watching tonight. Why is it that everybody is suing the tobacco companies and nobody sues the alcohol companies. I mean, you have the car crashes and the kids that get killed by some drunk that's, you know, riding on the road. It's just terrible. So, I would like to see something happen with alcohol.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Right after Ghost of a Flea posted an interview with me, I checked Amazon.com and found this intriguing note: Only 1 left in stock--order soon (more on the way).

Now it could be that Amazon only ordered two in the first place, but I am taking this as a very promising sign. The power of the Flea!

Cheers.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Found this link at Gawker - a site devoted to finding free booze in Manhattan. You might think I'd be more excited that somebody has decided to spend their days in pursuit of open bars but, in general, I'm against free booze. Well, it's okay sometimes if it comes your way by accident - for example, if in a bar the house suddenly buys you a round, it's a great moment when you know you've made the cut. That's okay, but going out and looking for drinks is well, unseemly.

At my local, where I worked for some time, we always shake our heads at the behaviour exhibited at Christmas and regulars' appreciation parties. That guy who drank coffee refills all year has suddenly acquired a taste for single malts; the woman who has a glass of red wine once a week is ordering rounds of B52s - which I'm sure she doesn't even like. I never want to be associated with that sort and tend to avoid venues where I might get confused with them. Perhaps my reaction is extreme - I was traumatized by an evening out with a group who ordered a round of the cheapo shooters which were advertised as undrinkable. They drank the stuff and then proceeded to complain (in all earnestness) that they were atrocious and should be taken off the bill. Management agreed they were awful shooters and offered to buy the table another round of the exact same shooters by way of an apology. My friends accepted. The shame stayed with me for years like a foul odor.

At any rate, the whole Manhattan bar thing reminded me that I have never written of the cocktail trail in New York in late September and that I certainly have fallen behind. In my defense, I did have a book to launch.

The first stop was the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis. Gateway to America for the Bloody Mary (then known as the Red Snapper) I had to order one. It was excellent and I certainly had to have the Snapper for obvious reasons, but while sipping my drink I would occasionally stop examining the beautiful mural in order to watch the spectacular bartender - whose movements would have been envied by Balanchine - make a martini. He even had me second guessing my longstanding ideas about shaken, not stirred. In the words of Jack Nicholson, he made me want to be a better bartender. Or, was he the guy who said take the celery stick and hold it between your knees?

My reverie was interrupted by the sudden realization that I was late to meet my friend at the Monkey Bar. Now she knew better but I had made such a big deal about drinking in Tennessee Williams' old haunt that she condescended to go with me. It's not a bad bar, exactly, it's just that the bartenders, unlike the poetry in motion I had witnessed at the St. Regis, were just your average sort making up primate-themed drinks, heavy on the banana liqueur, and couldn't even answer the burning question: "Do you think Talullah really stripped here?" The crowd, who were practically spilling out onto the street, were surely the sort of people our forefathers had in mind when they coined the term hoi polloi. It was so crowded I couldn't properly enjoy the spectacular jungle murals.

So, we headed for dinner at Cowgirl where they made a decent enough Margarita and wound up at a nondescript bar near the hotel.

The next day, after lunch at Steak Frites and fighting elbow to elbow with millionaires for clothing bargains, I was rejuvenated by one of the best blood orange margaritas I have had in my life at a place called Sensa. Strength restored, we made our way to the Delta Grill in Hell's Kitchen (now Clinton?) for an adequate bourbon sour and a first-rate filet mignon.

Siberia was the next stop. Known for being a place you'll enjoy in part for its lack of velvet ropes, we were dismayed to see velvet ropes almost immediately. This would be a turn off anywhere but is most disconcerting when the club is across from the Port Authority. Fortunately, the bouncer saw our dissapointment and sent us around the corner to Bellevue Bar. What luck - cause this place goes down as one of my all-time favourite bar experiences. Motorhead and Peggy Lee on the jukebox, a stand up Galaga machine, cheap drinks, what more could you want? I strongly urge anybody in the area to go check out the bar known as the "last dive bar left in Manhattan." Tremendous.

Our final night started right after brunch. We were enjoying a Bloody Mary at the Blind Tiger on Hudson (which I'm sorry to say is closing or at least relocating) when we decided it was time to redouble our efforts. Passerby was on my list but not open for afternoon drinking so we waited out the rain at a Belgian-style brasserie in the meat-packing district. Then we high-tailed it to the Flatiron Lounge, which I'm pleased to say had about the best cocktails I've ever had in a bar. The Juniperitivo was only perfect, as was the entire flight Julie, our superb bartender, prepared for us.

A quick drink at the laid back beat landmark Kettle of Fish, followed by a truly excellent pork dish at a Cuban place on Christopher (I look forward to returning and trying a mojito when they get a full license) and it was on to Employees Only, where Henry entertained us for a couple of rounds. We ended the evening at Pegu, where Toby lived up to his reputation as the best bartender in New York. We never quite made it to Milk and Honey that night. It seems the days of coming home just in time to shower and get a cab to the airport are over for us. A blessing in disguise, perhaps; now we have something to look forward to when we return. And, always good to know that other Canadian cocktail aficionados agree about where to drink in NY.

Cheers.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Well this is certainly good news. It's reassuring to know that even in civilized England (where it's rumoured that people still get drunk without facing an intervention the next day) news of longer pub hours is immediately met with a concerned party who are alarmed about binge drinking. I was beginning to think our Puritanism was a total anomaly. Just partial, turns out.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

No matter how up to date you try to make your book...

...there are always innovations in the cocktail world. So much for the world's most expensive cocktail being a Sidecar:

Condé Nast Traveler reports, for example, that at the Teatro Euro Bar in the MGM Grand Las Vegas, you can have a High Limit Kir Royale, which combines Champagne, 140-year old Cognac and raspberries. The price is $2,200.
The Bar Giardino d'Inverno at the Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan offers Liquid Luxury, which is a combination of Grand Marnier Cuvée du Cent Cinquantenaire and rare wild Sicilian berries. It goes for $4,225 a glass.
And for those who want to provide their loved one with a drink while they pop the question, the Piano Bar at the Sheraton Park Tower Hotel in London has a suggestion: the $7,200 Louis XIII Diamond Cocktail, which is a mixture of Champagne, Angostura bitters, sugar and Cognac along with a one-carat diamond ring.


Cheers.

Monday, November 21, 2005

In case you missed my appearance on TVO's More 2 Life this afternoon, I believe it airs at 5am tomorrow. In the past, when I get up at five (which is unfortunately a lot more frequently than you might imagine) I usually watched Law and Order on the grounds that it was the only thing on. But now that I know TVO's More 2 Life is on at that hour, my early morning TV habits are altered forever.

The promo on their website:

MORE 2 LIFE-The holiday season is upon us but before you take that next cocktail, have you ever wondered where the tradition started? York University lecturer Christine Sismondo has written the definitive social history of the cocktail: Mondo Cocktail: A Shaken and Stirred History. She'll be in to mix a tale or two.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

More on food and foodie books for those who are into that kind of thing. Powell's book was a great read, by the way.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

From Embassy: Canada's Foreign Policy Newsweekly:

Mondo Cocktail By Christine Sismondo McArthur & Company 246 pp. $24.95

Its subject matter is that of legendary drinks -- from the first sip of an aperitif, to a night cap known as the Side Car -- and their place in history. Throughout, the book is overflowing with urban myths, futile facts and interesting tid-bits about some of the tastiest alcoholic imbibes.

With only a dozen recipes, this self-described "bartending book," is more of a conversation piece than an instruction manual. But a fascinating read for any drink lover nonetheless. -- Sarah McGregor

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Q: But wasn't that just an excuse to drink bourbon?

A: Yes!

Well, we had a little party on Tuesday, and judging by the fact that I'm only posting on Sunday, it must have been a good one. People came from as far away as Syracuse, Kingston, Manhattan, the Bridlepath and even the Annex. (Special thanks to those who ventured from Annexia to the land of Parkdale - I know how difficult it can be to leave the vortex of those three blocks.)

Crowd was estimated at 100 and the bartenders were heroic in their efforts to serve the hordes their Mint Juleps, Daiquiris, Martinis and especially Sidecars. Penny was even seen helping to bus at several points so we thank her for going above and beyond the call.

Shaun Smith from Pages on Queen hosted the event and he was happy to tell me at the end of the night that we not only sold out but also broke the record for books sold at a This is Not a Reading Series event. So, thank you so much to everyone who came out and supported the event and bought books. It was sincerely appreciated.

If you are one of the few who arrived late and couldn't get a copy, or if you have friends and family who you think would like to receive a copy of Mondo Cocktail for Christmas, I encourage you to visit Pages at Queen and John to pick a few up. Alternatively, Book City on Bloor has signed copies and I'm headed down early this week to sign all the warehouse copies for that chain so they'll all be autographed.

And, in case you're agoraphobic like me, you could always order it here. For my American friends, the book is available here. It would be nice to see it move up past the millionth most popular mark, even if only for a day!

Finally, for those of you whose drug of choice isn't alcohol at all, there's a nice little review in the Toronto Star of Ian Mulgrew's excellent new book Bud Inc: Inside Canada's Marijuana Industry.

Cheers.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Christmas Shopping and Cocktails. Together at last.

Listen, I know book launches and readings are deadly dull. But not this one, okay? For one thing, it's part of the "This is Not a Reading Series," which means I couldn't read from my book even if I wanted to. I promise this is not that kind of event where you all stand there, sipping some not quite properly chilled Ontario wine-from-a-box, in silence, while I bore you to tears with my observations about my navel. Instead, we'll be drinking cocktails - I'll be making some cocktails - the event is sponsored by Maxxium, so we should be able to get some free cocktails - and, well, you get the idea.

Just scroll past Margaret Atwood, Thomas King and Deepa Mehta and you'll find the listing at this link:

http://www.pagesbooks.ca/?cat=6

Tue, Nov 8th, 7-11pm (doors 7pm)Pages Books & Magazines, NOW Magazine, McArthur & Co., and Maxxium present: CHRISTINE SISMONDO in a night of mixology and frivolity celebrating her new book of cocktails Mondo Cocktail: A Shaken and Stirred History @ Lot 16, 1136 Queen St W, Toronto

Sunday, October 02, 2005

If you are tortured by low thread counts, this book is made for you.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Where are we?

New gadget advertisements have a lot to answer for in my books regarding the incivility they generally promote, not to mention the erroneous notion they advance that students can download/cut and paste their entire term paper from online sources and do well in school.

But the newish sympatico ad takes the cake for stupidity. There are two students. The girl raises her hand to answer the question from last week's assignment. She gets stuck and the boy jumps in and gives the correct answer: "The Solar System?"

He is correct. And apparently he has to LOOK IT UP online to find the answer. What could the question possibly have been?
Only in Canada, eh?

Don't usually like to mention anything remotely connected to the film festival as I find the evidence of this place's provincial mentality a little distressing. For example, I was walking home from a nice meeting with the Plymouth Gin people and found getting past the Inter Continental hotel as much of a feat as it is during the Santa Claus parade thanks to the slack-jawed gawkers lined up to see if they can catch a glimpse of Kevin Bacon. However, Rebecca Eckler had a little story about a film festival drink at the Four Seasons called "The Six Figures" in the September 14th National Post and I felt compelled to comment.

The drink is a Margarita. Eckler confuses it with a Martini several times, but we can forgive her that since it's a common mistake these days to call anything in a glass with a stem that isn't wine a "Martini". I've changed my mind. We can't forgive her as we must take a stand on the degradation of the vocabulary of the drinking chamber. Still, I'm not really so pedantic that I'd actually write a whole blog entry about her little slip. (To be precise, she calls her Margarita a Martini ten times - so that's ten little slips.)

My real complaint, though, is that the public relations director claims that there's not a lot of profit in her $70 cocktail. The drink is clearly an attempt to get on the map with world's most expensive drink (not even close, by the way, see here and here). By this, I assume she means the profit margin is low, which may be true although I can't see it. After all, fresh lime juice, Patron Anejo and Grand Marnier 150 are expensive; lime juice= a dollar; Patron Anejo, well let's say they use 2 ounces and that's ten dollars; that leaves, wait a minute, just how much Grand Marnier are they using? The truth is, even though Grand Marnier 150 is abour $225, you really only use about a half ounce (tops) in a drink like this, so that's about $5 with some spillage. So the drink cost is about $16 a perfectly respectable cost of 22%.

But really, that's just a digression from my actual real complaint, which is about this ridiculous Patron pricing scheme. There is no way, I repeat, no way, Patron Anejo is worth remotely $125 at the liquor store and ten dollars for two ounces. This is one of the more outrageoss scams I've seen in the liquor industry. Patron is a premium bar brand in the States. It is the equivalent of asking for Johnnie Walker Red Label instead of bar scotch.

Patron is a decent brand. In New York and in Baltimore (where a bottle of silver goes for around $45) I'd gladly pay another oh, say, dollar to have a Margarita made with Patron. That would make it seven dollars (not seventy). And, I have happily paid over a hundred dollars for good tequila. But not for Patron. Don't fall for the marketing on this one, kids. It's not even drunk in Mexico. The bottles look handcrafted small batch but it's major mass production. Buy two bottles of El Jimador instead. Or, write the liquor control and ask them to import one of the hundreds of other excellent tequilas available (but please don't mark it up to twice the price anywhere else).

On the other hand, maybe what we don't know won't hurt us. That must be what they're thinking. It's yet another confirmation of that provinciality I was talking about. Another confirmation that our "world-class city" lacks many of those cosmopolitan qualities that we desperately covet and so blatantly lack.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Found a nice little review of a fantastic book in The Star today.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

When booze intersects with literature, I'm quick to my feet.

If you're as outraged as I am, write a letter, start a campaign or perhaps chain yourself to the building. They're talking about turning a Ulysses pub into condos.

Link found on Bookslut.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Listen - I'm doing my part. I've easily bought way more than 7.6 litres of spirits this year. Where is the rest of the country?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

If you're wondering what's new and refreshing this summer, you might want to pick up this month's Toronto Life. Nice article about cocktails in there.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The prospect of a garbage strike has us none too thrilled. We began a policy of eating out for every meal yesterday. We make exceptions for food brought in in styrofoam containers. I'm not making the fatal mistake of having a seafood risotto the day before the strike this year, even though it was a valuable lesson in the wonders of the ecosystem seeing what happened to squid guts bake on a front porch for 12 days.

But I'm happy to report that I am no longer really afraid of the garbage strike, having realized that the pickups are important to our household functioning, but not an essential service like this.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

I just want to say the loss of Joey Greco on Cheaters is a blow to reality television. But if that's too lowbrow for you, I found a nice little review of Marilyn Powell's Cool in today's Globe and Mail. Proust is mentioned.

Monday, June 13, 2005

There are many fine cocktail related products at Restoration Hardware, but my current favourite has to be this. Don't forget, I have a birthday coming up.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Interesting review of Tom Standage's History of the World in Six Glasses in The Star today.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Well, there's some occasion or decade or something about which they say if you can remember it you weren't really there. I think the same can be said about the Gin Smackdown!.

The Junipero was very popular (especially because it was 49% alcohol). We added three juniper berries to each glass after the inital straight taste. This didn't necessarily add much except visual appeal. It was excellent and moves straight to the top of my list of things which need to be smuggled in on a regular basis.

A friend brought a bottle of Blackwood's - new to the LCBO - which also met with great approval. A very fine gin, which was ever so slightly too subtle for my taste that evening. The Magellan didn't work on the first round but improved greatly when we tossed out any premise of adding vermouth and just had our martinis essentially straight. Somebody else brought Broker's which had a really crisp, clear taste. It's packaging was a big hit as it's the only gin we know of with a little hat.

We brought out what was left of the Citadelle from last time to compare and, it, much like the Magellan was a nice, subtle, springy change from the spicy Scottish and American contenders.

But, when the Hendrick's made its appearance, it blew most everyone away again. I'm sure there are dissenting opinions and those who disagree (and remember their disagreement) should post a comment, but I say Hendrick's was the best of the lot.

You get to a point, though, where you realize they are all very different tastes and might not be even suited to a ranking. A Plymouth martini, for example, is superb, but right at the other end of the spectrum. Well, that's it for now.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Nice little article on page 11 of York's glossy mag this month.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

It's been a while since I've posted properly here, I know. And writing a proper post might only draw attention to how remiss I've been of late. Still, I'm going to suck it up, drive by the shame and just tell you all about Cleveland or, at least, about Ohio's fourth largest liquor store which is located in Cleveland.

You see, having been to Cleveland a couple of years ago, I have done all there is to do in that fair city, so felt no compunction about not going to any museums, science centers or halls of fame and was free to concentrate on eating, drinking and liquor shopping.

I chose our hotel so we would be close by the Warehouse District and the fourth largest liquor store in Ohio, and can report with some smug self-satisfaction that I never wandered outside of the four square blocks in which all this grandeur is contained. Now, everyone must want to know about the three larger liquor stores in Ohio but I am sorry to say, I am as uninformed on the matter as any random reader. I suspect the suburbs of Cleveland hold some of the answers.

However, I can tell you that you are not allowed to browse in the Sixth Street Market (said liquor store) and must be accompanied into very cramped aisles of crowded shelves so you can choose your purchase. Makes you appreciate the LCBO and how much more money must be made off browseres who are allowed to freely peruse and get caught up in impulse purchases. Although, to be fair, the Sixth Street Market's selection of tequila is far superior to the local liquor store.

We picked up a Corralejo Anejo, and a couple of fairly standard stock choices: a Herradura Anejo and a bottle of Cazadores Reposado. Just in time too, there's only a couple of ounces of all three of those bottles left in my liquor cabinet.

Our most exciting purchase though, was of a French Gin by the name of Magellan. Doesn't seem like the most obvious name for a French gin to me but I'm less interested in the name than its other qualities. So, this weekend we plan to pit it against Junipero which has been smuggled in for us from Chicago. The winner of the Gin Smackdown! will have to move up the tournament ladder to fight the defending champion Hendrick's. I'll be shocked if the French gin named after the Portuguese explorer will make it past the first level, but I'm giving almost even odds on the longshot from California. It's made by Anchor Brewing which I understand is a very good sign, has some good buzz, has won some awards, comes in a nice bottle and well, I just want to like it, okay?

But more about that later. I had a nice, if slightly too sweet Caipirinha at the Brasa Brazilian steakhouse, followed by a first-rate churrasqueria-style dinner with the best salad bar of that type I had been to, ever. My only complaint was a lack of music and that the meat came out a little too fast. Although we were in the second seating, the pace with which the "gauchos" served up each new roast was frentic. You were barely into your filet when the top sirloin arrived. Clearly, this was a strategy to turn the tables over at least once per evening and I just don't think a place like that should try for more than one seating in a night. Charge more if you must, perhaps add a floor show as the Red Violin in Toronto does, but please slow down the pace.

All I can remember from the Rio de Janeiro meat joints is that I loved them - nothing more specific - but I clearly remember that in Mexico we had time to eat what was on our plates before the next selection came around.

At any rate, back to the grind. Will post again with the results of the Gin Smackdown!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

It's never too early to get a start on your Christmas shopping. For the cocktail lover in your family: Mondo Cocktail: A Shaken and Stirred History.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Happy to report the cocktail news is still coming! Chris Atchison of Metro News wrote a piece about Mondo Cocktail in today's Toronto Metro.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Judy Creighton of Canadian Press wrote a lovely little story about Mondo Cocktail which got picked up by the Ottawa Sun, Montreal Gazette, Halifax Chronicle Herald, Timmins Daily Press, Peterborough Examiner, Regina Leader-Post, Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal, Calgary Herald, Okanagan Weekender and the New Brunswick Telegraph &Times.

We're cooking up a couple of cocktail events for the near future. Keep Sunday, April 24th open and Tuesday, May 10th. More details to follow.

Cheers

Saturday, March 19, 2005

A man after my own heart:

WHAT THE HELL is going on here? When did this country get overrun by killjoys and prudes? Aren’t folks allowed to have fun anymore? Will the day soon come when each American citizen is subject to random weigh-ins? When gym memberships are handed out with our Social Security cards? When each household room is outfitted with a cigarette-smoke detector wired to the local police department? When bars and clubs institute two-drink maximums? Frank Kelly Rich, editor of Modern Drunkard magazine, an unabashed and gleefully provocative celebration of the lush life, wonders the same thing. "It’s like this whole new age of nannyism," he says. "Everybody’s trying to tell everybody else how to live. They’re so concerned about their neighbor having too much fun that they stop remembering to have fun themselves."

Link to Vice in a Vise by Mike Miliard found on Arts and Letters Daily.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

I'll be speaking about cocktails on Team 990's Menz show Saturday at 10am and Sunday at 9am. It airs in Montreal, but I'm assuming it'll be available on the internet broadcast as well.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Welcome Flea readers! This is perhaps a bit late to post this but I spent a good part of the day regretting having gone to various bars in the neighbourhood and loudly announcing the fact that we were number two.

Second place may not sound like much to celebrate, especially to the perfectionists in the crowd, but we lost to a very accomplished chef and mixologist, Brock Shepherd - who we were also rooting for.

The cocktail was made with coffee, cream, Cruzan Vanilla Rum, Butter Ripple Schnapps, Tia Maria and a drop of maple syrup. It's a dessert drink.

Cheers!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

A little more cocktail news about me to be found here.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The big cocktail news is obviously the Museum of the American Cocktail. Ted Haigh, who we've written about here before (in reference to the Corpse Reviver #2) is apparently the curator and much is from his very own collection.

Some cocktail news about me can be found here.

Incidentally, the Corpse Reviver #2 has influenced me so profoundly that I have used its basic principles as a foundation to concoct new drinks. Two of my submissions were influenced by this masterpiece.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Mixology 101

Been working laboriously to concoct four new cocktails for an upcoming event. This is a much harder task than the reader might think. For one, there's only so much research, creation and experimentation you can do in a day before you just fall down. Actually, I'm being a bit flip - last night I couldn't go to sleep thanks to all the potential variations and permutations came rushing into my brain.

Creme de Menthe, Anisette, Grappa...we haven't tried any of these yet. And my liquor cabinet (generally a point of pride) has expanded to the point where it is out of control. Obscure liqueurs with one shot missing line the shelves.

So, at 3:30 am, I made myself a decent concoction and took it with me to watch the end of The Basketball Diaries. I truly wanted to see the movie (although I've heard it's awful, Jim Carroll was my favourite writer when I was young) which is always the key to falling asleep and calming my tourettic brain as Jonathan Lethem would call it.

So, this mixologizing, teaching and several urgent writing tasks have kept me from the blog. Rather shameful, I'm aware. Until I have more time for this medium, maybe some readers will enjoy reading this.