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“A belly laugh is like a cocktail without the hangover.”

Nobody said that; I just made it up to justify today’s post, which had me LOLing so hard I ran out of time to write!

The following is what my friend P. wrote in a card that arrived in the mail the other day. It included a check as a wedding gift. Our wedding, it is important to note, took place a year and 24 days ago. It’s also important to note that Sean and I are moving to Montreal at the end of July, hence the Canada references.

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Guest post by the PhoBlograpHusband

 

I started my bartending career in the year Y2K. It was a simpler time. Terms like hanging chads and homeland security were yet un-thought of. We were all just thankful that the computers didn’t rise up and take over the world the night of Dec. 31st 1999. And thanks to a fictional woman named Carrie Bradshaw, every real woman with HBO — or a subscription to TV guide magazine for that matter  — was drinking Cosmopolitans. Hell, the bar I worked at even had a Two Dollar Cosmo Tuesday nights! If ever there was a recipe for disaster it was Two Dollar Cosmo Tuesdays, both for the work it took me to churn those pink, syrupy-citrus concoctions out and the bad ideas that they caused. Plus, I can’t imagine the hangover from a night of cheap Cosmos… they never showed that part on Sex in the City (not that I would know… really!).

But I digress. This post is about the Cosmo’s slightly more mature Swedish cousin, the Metropolitan. The Metro, made with Absolut Kurant instead of Citron, never quite rose to cocktail mainstream mania, but for a time in the late -90s and early -00s it served as a refreshing alternative. I have a theory that the evil geniuses at Absolut invented the Metro specifically to ride on the coattails of the Cosmo Craze and sell more of its (at the time) flagship product. I can’t prove this. I can find no documentary evidence (at least none that a thirty second scan of Google search results yields), but I believe it to be true. What I do know for sure is that shortly after I started bartending, my cooler, proto-hipster, counter-culture-type customers started asking for the Metro. Coincidence?

The other thing I know for sure is that the Metropolitan, when made right, is a damn good drink. The almost-earthy quality of black currant balances out the citrus of orange liqueur and lime, giving the Metro a depth that is sorely lacking in the Cosmo’s one note flavor profile.

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Guest post by the PhoBlograpHusband

Seriously, summer!?! Three days of suck-it-Trebeck humidity and thunderstorms, capped off by a 67-degree Friday and foggy in the middle of the day, that’s your idea of a grand entrance? Rose and and I have been looking forward to debuting these fantastic-for-summer, mouthwatering concoctions for months and this is what you give us?

(Yes, we’re bitching about the weather two days in a row, but it has really sucked…)

So long as you allow me a half-hour of relative sunlight on Saturday mornings so I can hit the farmer’s market in peace, I won’t let you spoil my fun. The Strawberry-Basil-Grappa Thing is perhaps the perfect seasonal cocktail for the first week of summer, when farmer’s-market strawberries and basil are at their ripest and most abundant.

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Dear Tri-State Weather,

You are being a whiny little beeyotch this week. After putting up with all your petulant bullshit throughout the entirety of spring (wait, what spring? Exactly), now you are ruining Summer Cocktail Week. I plan a Mai Tai post and you decide that it’s a good day for intermittent drizzle and an overcast sky that can only be described as pawn-shop pewter. Do you see a dot-uk at the end of this blog’s url? You’re just fucking un-American, weather.

The World’s Greatest Mai Tai

1 1/2 ounces Myers Rum

1 ounce of another dark rum of your choice

1/2 ounce orange curacao

1 1/4 ounces lime juice

1/2 ounce orange juice

1/2 ounce orgeat

1/4 ounce simple syrup

Orange peel and cocktail umbrella, for garnish

Combine all liquid ingredients into an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds. Strain into a Pilsener glass that has been filled with crushed ice, swizzle-style. Garnish.

The PhoBlograpHusband finds it funny, how particular I am about tomatoes. I won’t eat the grape or cherry varieties unless they’ve been pre-sliced, because otherwise they burst in my mouth like that Freshen-up gum and I find that icky. I’ll eat an enormous amount of sliced tomatoes on pizzas and burgers and in sammies and salads, but I won’t eat one all by itself. Don’t get me started on people who bite into tommies like they’re apples.

I’ve got just one rule for Bloody Marys, aka tommies for alkies: I try never to finish off an entire one, because they’re just too filling. Especially in summer, when the ol’ tummy takes any chance it can get to force a full-body, ass-parking, sluggish-apolooza shutdown.

Except now, voila! The Bloody Mary al Fresca! It’s all of the tomato taste with none of the tomato waste(d).

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Readers, I know I walked out on you six weeks ago sans peep, leaving you high and dry (literally) like a (figurative) con man who says he’s just stepping out for a pack of smokes, and I apologize fully and sincerely for the subsequent dormancy of this blog. Know this, though: That whole time I was gone, I did not cheat on you. Not ever. Not once.

Sure, my crazy, overpacked life since early May has included a cousin-in-law’s Vermont nuptials complete with top-shelf Knob Creek behind the open bar; the debut of a wine bar and beer garden directly across the street from my apartment (the night they opened, they served me a cheese plate that contained a pat of butter disguised as a slice of white cheddar, and yeah, I bit into it, but you know, bygones); a random tipsy game night here and a solitary evening at home with a bottle of wine there. But no cocktails. I really went well over a month without drinking a proper cocktail. So what I’m saying is, maybe I’m an ass for disappearing like that, but I’m a faithful ass.

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