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Blogging is emotional, people, and here’s why. One day I’m confessing to you all the twists and turns, dead ends, missteps, frustrations and, ultimately, the satisfaction that comes from fashioning a cocktail recipe outta nada. And we liked that, right? The Bathtub Gin(ger) — it sounds delightful, no? We picture, like, those fantastical, Depression-era black-and-white flickers with the Mae West and the Ginger Rogers and the silky peignoirs and the heart-shaped hotel bathtubs on pedestals. Don’t we? (I have a pretty active imagination.)
And then the next day, what I have to confess to you is this: I found this other cocktail site that is a pretty excellent resource for mixologists of all levels, a really thorough, user-friendly, cleanly designed database of drink recipes that absolutely merits my recommending it to you, and now y’all are gonna leave me, I just know it. Boo hoo hoo! Now I’m picturing a Douglas Sirk B-grade weepy in which Barbara Stanwyck slaps the dickens out of her unrequiting lover because she is mentally unhinged and afraid of losing him.
Kindred Cocktails lets you browse recipes by author, ingredient, base liquor or most-recently-added recipes. Anyone is allowed to contribute. The guy who runs it calls himself “Chief Swizzlestick,” which your Head Blogtender finds almost but not quite as clever as Head Blogtender.
Guest post by Leslie Deak, a friend of mine from Duke, who mixes metaphors and mojitos (not necessarily in that order) and whose enthusiasm for a good cocktail is rivaled only by a well-executed pick-and-roll.
A lovely, late-summer evening in Tampa A dark, stormy night;
No food to be found
(white people problems);
Broad walks into a deserted saloon…
M. and I end up at a bar called Cheap, which is anything but. [Ed. Note: Most blargh bar name since Bar Le Scoop.] We share a pitcher of sangria, then move on to fancypants cocktails, each of which prove disappointing. They were either too weak or not well-mixed, such that one flavor overpowered all the others.
At that point, we were joined by a third, S., who is not a drinker, and started ordering froufy drinks, including the Orange Creamsicle. Once M. ordered it and I tasted it, I knew S. would be on board since the sweetness masked the booze. She doesn’t like to taste the alcohol. I just kept ordering more rounds.
In Montreal, Halloween’s a very big deal. Like NO-SCHOOL-THE-DAY-AFTER! big (candy hangover NOMMMMM…).
We’ll be spending tonight seated in front of our duplex with one of our upstairs neighbors, treats at the ready. (Smarties, the world’s greatest candy, am I right?) He informed us that this is tradition around here, because it prevents us all from going crazy hearing our doorbells go off 300 times in one night. I swear to you, in my 15 1/2 years of postcollegiate adulthood, spent in 13 previous apartments, I have never had a single Halloween customer come to my door! I’m so excited!
The ex-boyfriend of an ex-friend of mine, a guy who last I heard is now an ex-actor, played the cunnilinguistic Mr. Pussy on an episode of Sex and the City. His audition for the part, I remember hearing at the time, entailed eating (out?) a fig with oral, in flagrante delicto brio.
But that’s neither here or there. I actually want to talk about figs today because, as
I’m hoping at least a few of you noticed over the weekend, I posted on this blog’s Facebook page that I was playing with a recipe I’d found at The Kitchn for a Fig Old-Fashioned. It caught my attention because I happen to have some figs on hand in a very-delicious-and-not-at-all-derelict way. Back in August my friend Jackie visited us and, upon spotting figs at the Jean-Talon Market, declared herself a huge fan and promptly purchased some. Most of them wound up becoming the property of The Five O’Clock Cocktail Blog (certain restrictions apply), and the PhoBlograpHusband, as he is wont to do, immediately set about brandying them.
I’m gonna be honest with you guys — I’m always honest with you guys, right? — and tell you that the Whatchawant is actually a mistake version of another drink I wanted to make for y’all. Maybe not so much a mistake as misinformation; based on what I’d read of it in a magazine, I went about recreating this particular cocktail — wrongly, as it turns out — that’s on the menu at a place in St. Louis called Sanctuaria Wild Tapas.
I can’t vouch for how “wild” the tapas is (does it belly dance for you unsolicited, just ‘cuz it feelin’ feisty?), but the cocktail side of Sanctuaria’s operation is phantasmagoric in concept and makes me regret leaving St. Louis before I got to set foot in the place. Get this:
There is a bar a few blocks down from our apartment in The Plateau, which is Montreal’s Park Slope or maybe Cobble Hill, that embodies everything this city doesn’t get about the art of drinking. For starters, its name is Bar Scoop. I like to call it Bar Le Scoop because it’s funnier, but my point is: Who wants to drink at a place called Scoop? This isn’t an ice cream parlor or a T-shirt neckline or, like, some little whippersnapper-squirt-neighbor-kid. (“Heya, Scoop!” It is a problem if your bar’s name makes me want to toot out a “Heya!”)
The very fact that any mixologist — a term I use here in its broadest scope, as one who has mixed at least two things together on at least one occasion in his/her life — can name a cocktail creation absolutely anything he or she wants is really quite mind-blowing to me. I mean, when you have a baby, you can name that baby any name you want, but it still has to be a name… unless, I suppose, you are an Oscar-winning actress or a world-famous lip-syncher/plastic surgery recipient or that man in Egypt who, post-uprising, bestowed upon his daughter the moniker of Facebook.
The point is, given how wide-open the field is, I think I overthink my cocktail naming. What to call a cocktail needn’t necessarily follow a traceable logic or make sense to anyone other than you, and really, it doesn’t need to make sense to you, either. It doesn’t need to mean something or say anything more than these words are what you say when you want this drink. It just needs a name.
The Ward Eight has been around forever, yet few people have heard of it. What’s doubly strange about this is, it’s an incredibly palatable cocktail. It’s basically a whiskey sour with more juice in it. In fact, in his critique of the drink for Esquire, David Wondrich wrote, “the sharp tang of the rye blends just so with the bite of the lemon and the rounded sweetness of the orange, leaving absolutely no taste of liquor. In short, this drink lies like a politician.”
Our season’s-greetings cards just went out on Monday. There’s a gift I ordered online three weeks ago that’s apparently stuck in a storing-stuck-things facility somewhere. The tree’s still up in our living room (although I did manage to de-ornament it over the weekend).
However, I refuse to be late making my favorite Christmastime tipple, The Twelfth Day of Christmas, a whiskey infusion that takes (whaddaya know?) 12 days to make — but unlike the rest of all the holiday meshugas, it’s time that does most of the work.