• Cocktails,  Crime Fiction,  Music

    Cocktail Codex, Summertime Crime

    Readers, writers, and drinkers are irretrievably linked. “I’m an occasional drinker, the kind of guy who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Singapore with a full beard.” ―Raymond Chandler Barry Day, ed., The World of Raymond Chandler: In His Own Words (2015) Books about cocktails, on the other hand, are often unhelpful. Where they are practical, they lack insight. The best I have come across in a long time is The Cocktail Codex, by the folks at Death and Company: “‘There are only six cocktails.’ So say Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan, the visionaries behind the seminal craft cocktail bar Death & Co. In Cocktail…

  • Cocktails,  Congressional Investigations,  DOJ

    Spring Drinks, Bill Barr, Bruce Lee

    I loathe Cinco de Mayo cocktails. They are generally ill-conceived and ill-prepared. But, if you insist, here is a set of recipes from Cowboys and Indians — I don’t name ’em, I just report ’em — and from the Houston Chronicle. For a step up, here are a recipes for Spring and Summer cocktails from Forbes, Refinery29, Marie Claire, and Fatherly that are worth reading (especially the bourbon cocktails in Fatherly). Bitterness reflects much white-collar work. This article from Town & Country about Aperol is worth reading: The Best Aperol Cocktails to Sip Al Fresco. Recent footage of the Attorney General and Congress reminds one of vintage Bruce Lee and…

  • Cocktails,  Crime Fiction,  Music

    Spring Break Meditation

    It is the end of Spring Break, at least where I write. The end of the week always puts one in mind of the spring-breaker classic “Where The Boys Are” (1960). Here, after everyone else has left the beach and gone back to school, Merritt (Delores Hart) ponders love with Brown senior Ryder (George Hamilton): Crime Fiction To keep you current, here is a “Revue of Reviewers” from Rap Sheet, as well as recent reviews from the Irish Times, the Guardian and Crime Fiction Lover. Music An updated “White Collar Wire” is out on Spotify. New this week are Liily, The White Buffalo, Johannes Brahms, The Allman Brothers, Black Sabbath,…

  • Christmas,  Cocktails,  Crime Fiction

    2018 Crime Fiction, Booze and Music

    A Christmas roundup of crime fiction, booze and music. BOOKS.  A little late for Christmas, but why give them away?  Read them yourself. From The Rap Sheet, edited and written mostly by J. Kingston Pierce, some 2018 favorites: Part I here  and Part II here.  And even a few more lists here. From Vulture, here are The 10 Best Crime Books of 2018 Opium smugglers, mad scientists, Instagram socialites, and serial killers fictional and real. Then, Crimereads gives us . . . From across the water, the Telegraph lays out The best thrillers and crime fiction of 2018, and the Irish Times lists The best crime fiction of 2018. A few of…

  • Cocktails,  FCPA

    Foreign Corruption, Pilot Program, Aviation Cocktail

    The Republic is now a year out from DOJ’s announcement that its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act “pilot program”  was to be made permanent.  Some would say that the anniversary calls for alcohol either in joy or in sorrow.  Perhaps an old cocktail, recently revived?  One consistent with the “pilot” theme?  Let’s try the Aviation: Drink in hand, you can sit down and read  FCPA Compliance 1 Year After DOJ Revised Policy by my Lightfoot colleagues Brandon Essig, Tenley Armstrong, and Jeff Doss (and me): Because of the risks, the dollars and the players, the FCPA connotes sophistication to the point of mystery and complexity to the point of opacity. We propose that…

  • Cocktails,  jazz,  Theology

    Thanksgiving Notebook: Bing, Booze, Book of Common Prayer

    Unlike the music of Christmas or Easter, the music of Thanksgiving is harder to pinpoint.  Shuffling leaves?  The drum-brush strokes of a knife carving the turkey?  Vince Guaraldi, an early lead-up to Christmas through the dim or vivid Charlie Brown television-memories of readers of a certain age?  An uncertain business, but here are a couple of thoughts. First, when in doubt, start in the seventeenth century.  The “Te Deum & Jubilate for Voices and Instruments made for St. Cecilia’s Day 1694” of Henry Purcell was apparently performed as a Thanksgiving piece, as noted by Michael Evans Kinney and the Stanford libraries: While not much is known about the early St.…

  • Cocktails

    The Gibson: Thanks, Given

    If one writes poetry in bound verse, the poet must follow the rules or the form loses its character.  “Blank verse” is written in un-rhymed iambic pentameter.  It can be written in another form, or no form at all, but it will no longer be blank verse.  The thing is its form. Similarly, the martini is (or should be) akin to the bound verse of cocktails.  The true list of potential alcohols — gin, vermouth — is austere.  There are two popular garnishes — the twist and the olive — and one nearly forgotten: the cocktail onion.  The combination of gin, vermouth and a cocktail onion (or two or three)…

  • Books,  Cocktails,  Crime Fiction,  jazz

    Southern Comfort, Niall Ferguson and Peter Gunn

    Cocktails, books, jazz, and crime. COCKTAILS Crude and low-fi, one’s early-life alcohol memories resonate, but they do so uneasily in our era of craft beers and hyper-precious cocktails. I spent the first semester of my junior year in high school at a lycee in Clermont-Ferrand, France, a city in Auvergne known primarily as the global headquarters of Michelin.  A classmate and I broke into his father’s liquor cabinet and downed half a bottle of a dreadful eau-de-vie.  I barely made it back to the home of my host family, doubtless thinking I was some combination of Albert Camus and Jacques Brel. But one flavor from those early years, once I…

  • Cocktails,  Crime Fiction,  Music

    New Year’s Day: Reflection, Not Resolution

    Reflection without discipline can be self-indulgent, especially as the year draws to a close and a new one opens before us. So, let us impose discipline; avoid white-collar crime (there will be plenty in 2018); and focus on music, booze and books. First, music is especially appropriate at this season, whether for reflection or not.  Here is the Miles Black Quintet, Jazz For The New Year: As jazz critic for the Wall Street Journal (and JazzWax blogger) Marc Myers notes: Sixty-three years ago, on New Year’s Day in 1955, pianist Teddy Wilson, bassist Milt Hinton and drummer Jo Jones went into a studio for Norgran Records and recorded The Creative…

  • Cocktails,  Literature,  Theology

    Christmas: Cocktails and Crime, Choirs and Cool

    A few notes, as Christmas is upon us. First, what to drink? I don’t care for Bloody Marys; they’re too acid.  The best Christmas drinks for morning or lunch are milk punch and the French 75. Here is a Garden & Gun article about (and recipe for) milk punch: And, just this past Thanksgiving, I shared notes about the French 75: Second, what to read? This blog dwells on crime fiction, so consider these “best of 2017” lists from the New York Times — — and from The Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, and The Rap Sheet. Third, what to listen to? I first read about jazz pianist David Ian…