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Ridin’ with Biden Cocktail

Ridin’ with Biden Cocktail

I trust you’ve all enjoyed drinking the Trump Fucker cocktail through the summer months. I’ve mixed dozens and served them to many friends. Everybody loves the highly alcoholic drink but hates its namesake.

Now that this brutal election season is well underway, and fall is just around the corner, it’s time for a smooth bourbon-based drink that will keep you warm and cozy while you watch the debates or while you try to forget them.

This cocktail is made from much more common spirits than the Trump cocktail. The Biden cocktail has about half the ingredients – all of which are very common and not too expensive.

Ingredients

And it’s very simple to mix. Pour the Makers, Kahlua, and Disaronno into a mixing glass half full of large ice cubes (you don’t want to water the drink down), add three dashes of chocolate bitters and stir gently for about 20 seconds. Strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass and add a maraschino cherry.

What you get is a rich, smooth mixture that tastes kind of like a Manhattan, but is darker, sweeter, and has a coffee kick and a nutty finish. It’s perfect for “Sleepy” Joe Biden.

I have tried this with rye, and found that it gives the drink a sharper taste. I also tried a couple of different bourbons but settled on Maker’s Mark, because it blends well with the two liqueurs.

Trump Fucker Cocktail Recipe

Trump Fucker Cocktail Recipe

What should you drink during the six months between now and Election Day? I think you should try my tasty new cocktail recipe that allows you to vent your frustrations with Donald Trump while you make it, laugh while you sip it and savor the complex, somewhat bittersweet orange-spice flavors that result from the perfect harmony of ingredients and the cathartic process of preparing it.

Everything you need for a Trump Fucker cocktail.

Ingredients

  • ¾ oz vodka
  • ¾ oz Ferrand Dry Curaçao (this is important – do not substitute – and it’s also great in a Mai-Tai)
  • ½ oz dark rum (Pyrat, Cayman Reef Barbados, and Kōloa Gold are good choices for dark rum. Bacardi would probably be good too)
  • ½ oz Campari
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • juice of one whole small mandarin orange
  • 3 dashes of orange bitters

Preparation

Pour all the ingredients in a shaker about one-third full of ice cubes. Pick up the shaker and raise it to eye level. Imagine that it’s Donald Trump’s head and then shake it violently. Feel free to scream as you continue to shake it mercilessly until your hands are so cold they hurt.

Pour the drink into a old fashioned glass or rocks glass (or even an absinthe glass) with ice – preferably one large ice cube but, in a pinch, a few normal size cubes will do. The color of the drink should match the orangey hue of Donald’s spray tan.

Garnish with one or two lychee fruits and, for optimum presentation, place a blueberry in the opening of the each lychee. If you make it right, it looks like this.

A perfect Trump spray-tan color with white eye sockets.
“That fucking cocktail is such a pretty color. Reminds me of someone… Oh, right. Me! My beautiful self! So wonderful, so unbelievably wonderful looking… too bad I don’t drink, but you go right ahead and drink that beautiful cocktail. I heard it ends with a perfect, so perfect bitter aftertaste. Why is that? I wonder…” – Donald Trump

Seattle’s Mystery Soda Machine

Seattle’s Mystery Soda Machine

My 8 year old’s big plans for this past weekend: “Can we go to the Mystery Soda Machine? You really don’t know what’s going to come out and then you have to drink it no matter what it is. The buttons just have question marks all over them. And it’s really dirty.” Nobody knows who fills it, it’s empty until you put your coins in, and there’s a magic rule that you have to drink what you get.

That machine has been there for as long as I can remember. Seems like it only had one “mystery” button before, though. Now they’re all “?M?Y?S?T?E?R?Y?” buttons. It’s been forever since I even paid attention to it.

Adding to the silliness of the whole thing, the mystery was amplified by my never letting on that I knew exactly where we were going and that there was nothing actually mysterious about the mystery soda machine in any way and I have walked by it (with both of them!) more times than I can count and have lived around the corner from it more days of my life than I have not.

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The number of pubs in the UK is declining but craft breweries are thriving

The number of pubs in the UK is declining but craft breweries are thriving

If there was an endangered species act for national icons, the British pub (or public house) might be on it.

According to the British Beer and Pub Association, since 1982 the number of pubs across the United Kingdom has declined from 68,000 to fewer than 50,000 in 2012, and about 25-30 pubs close every week.

What has brought the venerable British pub low?

The reasons are varied and include sky high real estate prices, which make it more profitable to sell a valuable pub property than continue its operation.

The corporate wheeling and dealing of “pubcos” (corporate pub companies) have also contributed hugely to the diminishing number of pubs. First, pubcos have sold many pubs to pay off corporate debt. Second, they impose restrictive agreements on licensees who manage their pubs which narrow both the range of beers the latter can sell and the profits they can enjoy.

A third problem is that supermarkets can now significantly undercut the price of pub beer.

The good news is that public awareness has been raised by the looming crisis of the disappearing pub and efforts are under way to arrest it. And craft breweries in the UK are booming.

So fear not. Buying good ale in most towns or cities in Britain (and a decent cider too for that matter) remains almost as easy as it is in, well, the thriving Seattle neighborhood of Ballard, home to many craft beer lovers, several fine craft breweries, and, not coincidentally, to some of the contributors to this blog.

What to Drink on Record Store Day

What to Drink on Record Store Day

RSD 2014 beerIf you weren’t able to get into Sonic Boom when it opened for Record Store Day at 10:00 a.m. because you were at the Woodinville High School baseball field waiting to watch your kid to play a game that you were pretty sure was going to get rained out, and then were able to bet back to Ballard around noon because the games were cancelled, and got into the store around 1:00, then you needed a beer after you got home with your purchases. (Springsteen – American Beauty RSD exclusive vinyl, The Coathangers – Suck My Shirt, and A.J. Davila – Terror Amor)

I could think of no other beer more fitting than the one above. Perhaps I’ll pack some in with me if the games are rescheduled.

 

Celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the Ratification of the 21st Amendment

Celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the Ratification of the 21st Amendment

Eighty years ago today 36 of the 48 states at the time ratified the 21st Amendment to the US Constitution that repealed the 18th Amendment that had prohibited the sale and consumption of alcohol in our country for nearly fourteen years.

Celebrate your right to drink alcoholic beverages with some festive concoctions. There are plenty of winter ales available. One that obviously comes to mind is from San Francisco’s 21st Amendment Brewery – their seasonal Fireside Chat. My favorite comes from Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery, Jubelale.

If wine is more to your liking, then Champagne is in order. My current favorite is Gaston Chiquet Tradition, unless you’re having oysters while you drink. In that case, go for Pierre Peters Cuvée de Réserve Blancs de Blancs.

Or perhaps since it’s so damn cold outside you would like your drink to warm you up a bit. I have the perfect concoction for you: The Old Viking’s recipe for Glögg – Sweden’s traditional hot flavored spirit made from wine and aquavit mulled with dried fruit, nuts, and spices.

Another festive winter warmer that will fill you up as it loosens you up is eggnog. Here’s a recipe for the World’s Greatest Eggnog that I heard on NPR while driving to work this morning:

WORLD’S GREATEST EGGNOG

4 cups bourbon

2¼ cups sugar

12 large egg yolks

8 cups whipping cream

Pour bourbon into large mixing bowl. Stir in sugar and let sit several hours. Overnight, if you can wait. Beat egg yolks until they are an ugly yellow color. Fold them into the bourbon and sugar mixture. Let sit for two hours if you can wait. Whip the cream until very stiff, fold into the bourbon and egg mixture. Let sit for one hour if you can wait. Mixture may be cut in half if you are clever enough to know how to divide 2¼ by two! Serve in cups. Serves 20–30 people. Nutmeg not permitted! ENJOY.

So pick your favorite drink and raise a glass to the determined souls who stood up to the nuts in the temperance movement and successfully repealed one of the stupidest laws ever written.

Cheers!

Why I Don’t Eat at McDonald’s or any other fast-food restaurants

Why I Don’t Eat at McDonald’s or any other fast-food restaurants

The Atlantic has an article on their website about McDonald’s strange, seasonal sandwich, the McRib. Ian Bogost’s column is mostly about why people want to eat McRibs (advertising!), but he opens with the following description of the “barbecue wonder”:

…this would-be rib sandwich is really a restructured pork patty pressed into the rough shape of a slab of ribs, its slathering of barbecue sauce acting as camouflage as much as coating.

“Pork” is a generous term, since the McRib has traditionally been fashioned from otherwise unmarketable pig parts like tripe, heart, and stomach, material that is not only cheap but also easier to mold and bind into a coherent, predetermined shape. McDonald’s accurately lists the patty’s primary ingredient as “boneless pork,” although even that’s a fairly strong euphemism. Presumably few of the restaurant’s patrons would line up for a Pressed McTripe.

I checked the website (you can too if you click here) and found that the primary ingredient is “pork”. That to me implies it is no longer “boneless”.

Okay so sausage is made up of many of the same things, and I eat sausage once and a while. Here’s another excerpt from the article and it’s why I won’t eat a McRib:

[It’s] bound and preserved by a petrochemical preservative called tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ. According to the Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives, one gram of TBHQ can cause “nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse.”

I’m lovin’t it! NOT.

McDonald’s manufactures their much more popular McNuggets the same way. If you click on the link to view what they’re made of  you’ll find the primary ingredient is “White Boneless Chicken”. That’s a little more precise than “pork”, so maybe it’s not as bad.

Other fast-food restaurants serve chicken nuggets, and another Atlantic article reports that Doctors Richard D. deShazo and Steven Bigler dissected samples of chicken nuggets from two unnamed restaurants and found:

The nugget from the first restaurant (breading not included) was approximately 50 percent muscle. The other half was primarily fat, with some blood vessels and nerve, as well as “generous quantities of epithelium [from skin of visceral organs] and associated supportive tissue.” That broke down overall to 56 percent fat, 25 percent carbohydrates, and 19 percent protein.

The nugget from the second restaurant was 40 percent skeletal muscle, as well as “generous quantities of fat and other tissue, including connective tissue and bone.” That was 58 percent fat, 24 percent carbs, and 18 percent protein.

I’m lovin’ it two times! Not NOT.

So do yourself and your kids (if you have any) a favor by not buying manufactured food from fast-food restaurants. You’ll all be better off.