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Wedding season’s sprung up early this year here at the blog. Last week, besides my trucking down to NJ to attend Cousin Mark‘s fiancee’s shower, one of you e’d me desperate for help with a groom’s cocktail to serve at his upcoming nuptials. Why desperate? Because of when upcoming: This very gracious gentleman, Jon, e’d me on a Wednesday needing a recipe for the reception on Saturday. Ladeeeeez, dudes and wedding planning OMG AMIRITE??!?

Obligatory awwwWWW! pic of Mark and his fiancee, Molly!

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OK, yes, I know Dark and Stormies are so 2009-at-Botanica. Even if I did not know that, it is a fact that the D’nS has jumped the fad shark because by the time the NYT gets around to running a story about something, that something has likely already filtered its way down into a TGI Friday’s/Old Navy/insert corporate chain you love to mock here.*

The thing is, Dark and Stormies are good. So good. At our bon voyage boozeefest in July, our lushy-lush friends polished off an entire bottle of Myers’s in one night thanks to Dark and Stormies. And they’re so goddamned simple it’s almost not fair. They’re highballs, for Chrissakes. Why bother bashing your skull coming up with the GREATEST COCKTAIL EVER when it’s so easy to just fix yourself a Dark and Stormy? Read the rest of this entry »

Guest post by Sean Lorre, PhoBlograpHusband

Cocktail inspiration can come from that cool new bottle of bitters at the liquor store, a request from a friend, or a competition. Other times it’s from a cookie that you hid from yourself  in the back of a kitchen cabinet months before…

Many of your may remember the Drink our Booze-fest that Rose and I held for our NYC friends at the end of July. Late that very night, the Gingerman was born. While searching the kitchen for mixers, I discovered this little guy hiding behind a box of evaporated milk. (Don’t ask me why we had a two-pound box of evaporated milk). He was just the right muse for my bourbon-soaked brain, and though I have no recollection of the creative process as it actually took place, the result was good. At least I must have thought it was good because I took pictures of it and even texted myself the recipe –

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Many Royale customers, I’m sure, assume that the Mr. Smith cocktail is named after Royale proprietor Steven Smith — or at least his father, who’s also a part owner of the business and, truth be told, whose first name I can’t remember because “Mr. Smith” was all I ever called him.

But none of that has anything to do with the Mr. Smith. The Mr. Smith is named after Jeff Smith, who might also be addressed as The Former Honorable Jeff Smith, Ph.D. Jeff was the subject of a documentary, Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?, about the time he popped his campaign cherry running for the congressional seat vacated by veteran Rep. Dick Gephardt, and how he narrowly lost the Democratic primary to Russ Carnahan, son of a famous Missouri politician, and how he was a short, Jewish, basketball-loving UNC grad.

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There are plenty of reasons to drink, but only two good ones:

1. To achieve that flush of heady, giddy, tingly optimism that comes quick on the heels of the day’s first tipple. (All successive swigs are nothing but guileless attempts at holding onto this fleet feeling, although I still over-partake all the time.)

2. To imagine being in another time and place, preferably involving fedoras, topcoats, garters, nylons, evening gloves, watch fobs, spats, held doors, cigarette holders, cigarette cases and the right to make use of all this enchanting cigarette paraphernalia indoors. (I’m not anti-smoking bans; I’m just saying there’s nothing romantic about going outside to smoke. Besides, I quit smoking, although I still over-partake all the time.)

I love (love, love, love) The Moscow Mule — vodka mixed with ginger beer and lime juice, on the rocks — for conjuring both of these moods so effortlessly.

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The Martelorre distills five years of my life down to four ingredients. It’s cocktail as allegory, you might say; if I could save time in a highball. And then combine with ice and stir.

Bourbon, paterfamilias of the Martelorre’s alchemy, became a friend to me in 2005 — not coincidentally the year I began bartending. Compared to all the foolish mixed drinks I’d ordered in my youth, bourbon tasted like maturity’s reward. Adult fun, I used to call it. It spoke to parts of me I hadn’t yet gotten to know — a spirit that seemed to be a part of mine.

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