March is a Month To Ponder

Posted on March 1, 2014 | By TheEnabler | No Comments

Now is the time to think. You have gone through the holidays, the New Year’s Resolutions, now gone, the torpor of February, and now is March. The in between month. Not really spring, unless you live in the hell that is SoCal. Not summer. Not winter. Not holidays. March is purgatory, or a place to reflect, or a starting point. The true beginning of the rest of the year. As such, Poe gives a fitting quote.

“Fill with mingled cream and amber,
I will drain that glass again.
Such hilarious visions clamber
Through the chamber of my brain —
Quaintest thoughts — queerest fancies
Come to life and fade away;
What care I how time advances?
I am drinking ale today.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

Love is in the air.

Posted on February 1, 2014 | By TheEnabler | No Comments

“Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy.”
― Frank Sinatra

A Vodka That Will Put the Hurt to You!

Posted on January 19, 2014 | By TheEnabler | No Comments

Obamacare!

Posted on January 14, 2014 | By TheEnabler | No Comments

Finally, a portion of Obamacare I can support!

What is the co-pay for this?

What is the co-pay for this?

Happy New Year!

Posted on January 1, 2014 | By TheEnabler | No Comments

My cynicism knows no bounds.

“After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.”
― Oscar Wilde

Last Minute Christmas Gifts

Posted on December 18, 2013 | By TheEnabler | No Comments

Okay pally, so you have little time and lots of people to buy for?  Ever since Madmen came out several years ago, old school drinking is now all the rage.  Remember when you were a kid and everyone gave liquor as presents?  Then the damn kids of the hippies got all persnickety and stopped all that with their political correctness.  Now, the kids of kids of hippies are rebelling and so it is cool go give liquor as a gift again.  So, here are 5 last minute bottles that will be appreciated by any hippie grandkid or will kind of annoy a hippie kid if that is your aim.

#1 – Angel’s Envy Rye.  If you like rye or want to try it (it is very trendy now), this is the one to get.  Pricey, but the best new brand of rye to come out in the last few years.

All that and a bag of spice.

All that and a bag of spice.

#2 -

Nevermore?  Not likely.  Forever more.

Nevermore? Not likely. Forever more.

St. George’s Absinthe – Again, a cool liqueur that has come back into its glory.  Do you friends like reading Poe?  (No, not from ConAir) then they will appreciate this.  This was the first American absinthe released after the ban was listed after 2007 and remains the best.

#3 – Leopold’s Gin – If you love gin and tonics, you will love this gin. The best gin I have tasted for gin and tonics. Simply the best. Buy it, love it.

Boy, give me a lime!

Boy, give me a lime!

#4 – Papa’s Pilar rum – New to Northern California this rum is inspired by Hemingway. A man who knew how to drink. I have often wished I could go on just one binge with that man. I especially like the aged dark rum. If you are a rum man, give it a try – buy one for you, one for giving as a gift.

I would punch 7 Cubans for a glass of this!

I would punch 7 Cubans for a glass of this!

Christmas Holiday Cocktails

Posted on December 13, 2013 | By The Bon-Vivant | No Comments

Bailey's Eggnog

Baileys Eggnog, ah yisss.


Although mulled wine has become the drink of choice at festive gatherings, people have long celebrated Christmas with cocktails. Journalist Pierce Egan devised the Tom & Jerry cocktail in the US as a festive serve in the 1820s, long before the father of modern bartending, Jerry Thomas, claimed it as his. A mix of brandy or rum with spices served hot, it was based on the Egg Nog, which is even older.

However, though popular in the US, neither have become part of a Christmas tradition across the other side of the Atlantic. What precisely what makes a cocktail Christmassy is still up for debate.

There are, of course, a couple of ground rules. Christmas cocktails are not tropical – though a Punch can make an excellent Christmas party choice. The classic Christmas cocktails exclude fresh berries or hand-squeezed juices, since most fruits were unavailable come December.
 However, from holly berries to Santa Claus, from Christmas stockings to cranberry sauce, red is the color of Christmas. So take inspiration for a Bloody Mary brunch on Boxing Day or a Wibble on Christmas Eve, because few things say Christmas more than scarlet. Blends from a simple vodka and cranberry through to the classic Cosmopolitan cocktail make an ultra-festive choice.


Meanwhile, many classic cocktails are based on the seasonal spirits, Scotch and sloe gin, so perfect for cocktail hour. The Hot Toddy is an iconic winter warmer. The whiskey and ginger, enjoyed by Greta Garbo, and the Blood and Sand, created for a Valentino film, pair Scotch and spice in a similar vein. Alternatively, upgrade the classic Rum Punch with Captain Morgan Spiced Gold, or channel Don Draper with a Rob Roy, Manhattan or Scotch Sour.

Nothing says celebration like a champagne cocktail, and many of the great champagne cocktails segue seamlessly from Christmas to New Year. The French 75 is a classic blend of lemon, sugar, champagne and gin; the French 21 updates this recipe for the 21st century courtesy of raspberry liqueur and Cîroc vodka.

Classic alternatives to rich, creamy confections like the Tom & Jerry and the Bailey’s Egg Nog are the White Russian, a blend of vodka, coffee and cream, or indulgent, warming hot drinks, like the Baileys Latte or a Baileys Original Irish Cream Hot Chocolate, for a real Christmas treat.

Humboldt Distillery Vodka – The Review

Posted on October 21, 2013 | By TheEnabler | No Comments

Costco is one my new favorite places now that I have more than 3 kids, more than two cats, more than no dogs and wives.  But it is a chore, a gut-wrenching chore to steel myself to go in there.  On my last trip, I was pleasantly surprised.  Going by the liquor aisles, without entering (the temptation was horrible), I noticed a stand set up with some vodka I had never seen before.  A charming woman was scarfing down some energy bar or something so with impeccable timing I asked her about the vodka.  Humboldt Distillery Vodka.  Having an energy bar in her mouth she held up a finger and turned to the side.  Several chews later she tried to converse and was stymied by the bar.  Turning away again she went through some mandibular contortions and eventually cleared her mouth.

Lots of talk about crabs, but really, just good vodka.

Lots of talk about crabs, but really, just good vodka.

 

It turns out that she was the proprietress of the distillery and had just that morning driven over the mountains from Fortuna schlepping cases and cases of organic Vodka the she and her husband were trying to sell so that they could remain in such a lovely area as the North Coast but one very deficient in good jobs.  The drive over Highway 36 is scenic but not great.  I talked to her a while and since I greatly enjoy supporting small distilleries (and large if it comes to that) I purchased a bottle.  Only $15.99 at Costco, this seemed like a bargain.

So, I brought it home and tasted it.  First, the bottle has a bold, crab-filled label.  Crabs are important on the north coast, but I am not a crab fan.  The label talks about the fresh waters of the Pacific which throws me for a minute, since it is salt-water, or was last I checked.  My mind goes on these tiny paths.

The Color:  Clear.  Very, very clear.  Like the clear waters of the Pacific, except not, since they are not particularly clear.

The nose.  Fairly strong alcohol and a kind of “aseptic” smell.  I am kind of straining here since I drink bourbon mostly.  However, it is pleasant and fairly distinct compared to the other vodkas I have had.

The Taste:  The mouth feel is smooth, a tiny bit sharp with a medium to short finish.  There is a bit of herb or botanical flavor to it.  Like a very mild gin.  I know that the site says otherwise and that it is supposed to be a blank slate but I get a tiny bit of flavor which I like.  It is distilled four times, which could be increased if they wanted to lose this little bit of character, but I think they should embrace it.  80 Proof, a pretty standard strength for vodka.  Made with cane sugar (or sugar cane, which I guess is not necessarily the same thing) which is also interesting.  Organic for what that is worth.

I find this vodka to be distinctive and perfect for a vodka martini (don’t get me started on just saying martini, which of course involves gin).  Perfect I say.  With a bit of character it provides just the right note for a dry martini.  Certainly serviceable for other drinks as well, I think this vodka is well worth the price and a good addition to a liquor cabinet both for its value as a liquor and as a show piece because not many of your friends will have had this liquor.

For more information on the distillery, visit them at:  Humboldt Distillery  or like them on Facebook.

Rejoice Fellow Flyers!

Posted on June 11, 2013 | By The Bon-Vivant | No Comments

Via a blog called “I’m a Travel Ninja” comes a most astonishing discovery: you can legally bring liquor onto airplanes!

I was recently tipped off to one of the most unbelievable travel tricks ever. In this day and age of insane security, invasive procedures and removal of freedoms, here’s a bright ray of sunshine. With an unintentional loophole (maybe intentional with some of the drinking habits in Congress), you have the freedom to take the alcohol (or non-alcohol) of your choice on your flight with you.

I first had a discussion with a TSA supervisor about this a couple of months back. My clarifying question was in regards to the 1 qt bag of liquids you are allowed to take through security. The rule is that you can take as many containers (less than 3 oz each) that you can fit in a 1 qt Ziploc style bag. I then specifically asked if alcohol was allowed. The answer was a resounding “Yes!” In fact, he was enthusiastic about it.

Here it is, in one easily understood photo, the trick for getting your little bottles of booze onto your next flight…

Flying with liquor. It can be done.

A plastic zip-lock bag of happiness.

Yes, it doesn’t make up for the police-state patdowns, the cancer-causing x-ray machines, or the random TSA buffoonery, but I’ll take whatever I can get, and being able to bring six or seven shots of premium alcohol onto my next flight will somewhat ease the pain of societal decay.

A Vodka Surprise That Surprises No One. #Greygoose #Hipsterdrinkers #morons

Posted on May 31, 2013 | By TheEnabler | No Comments

After the New Jersey liquor scandal, the New York Post did a survey as to whether the individuals could tell the difference between Grey Goose and some vodka I have never heard of with a stripper’s name – Barbie Vodka – I mean Alexis Vodka.  Star Industries, who produces the Barbie Booze immediately issued a press release.

From the press release – the results concluded that 44% of those who participated in the taste test, many of whom identified themselves as connoisseurs, could not recognize the difference between the two brands.

Perhaps this was one of the “connoisseurs” – from the Post -

“I would just order the cheap one from now on. If you can’t taste the difference, I would go for the low end,” said Emma Taylor, 22, after knocking one back. “I don’t make that much money.”

How ridiculous. First off, vodka is, and should be, pretty much tasteless. It is a base alcohol, essentially. The best are filtered to remove impurities. So, if it is pretty much tasteless, then how would you tell the difference? These people who order Grey Goose and soda or water drive me crazy. What the hell kind of drink is that? Buzzwater? Get a real drink. Secondly, “connoisseurs”? Puhlease! How many of those have you met, let alone a bunch in some random sample of hipsters in New York. And of vodka? True story- I had a friend who would order Perrier water in bars when he figured he was done with alcohol for the nonce. It was pretty expensive for water. The bars would give you club soda for free. So, once when he got up we poured out his Perrier and substituted club soda. He never noticed. When confronted that he could save a ton of money he owned up that that was not the point. The statement, and obvious waste of money that implied something, was the point. Which was why he would never let the waitress take the Perrier bottle away even if it was empty.

Will Emma, above, start knocking back the cheap stuff? Probably not, or if she does, she will claim it is Grey Goose. Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids.

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The Liquor Locusts

The Liquor Locusts

"The harsh, useful things of the world, from pulling teeth to digging potatoes, are best done by men who are as starkly sober as so many convicts in the death-house, but the lovely and useless things, the charming and exhilarating things, are best done by men with, as the phrase is, a few sheets in the wind." ~H.L. Mencken

The Dangers of Thirst

"Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing." ~Jerome K. Jerome

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The Jug of Empire!

The Jug of Empire!

"How solemn and beautiful is the thought that the earliest pioneer of civilization, the van-leader of civilization, is never the steamboat, never the railroad, never the newspaper, never the Sabbath-school, never the missionary -- but always whiskey!" ~Mark Twain