• 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…

  • Cocktails,  Poetry

    Thanksgiving Cocktails, Truman Capote, Puritan Poetry

    A few notes for your Thanksgiving: a holiday examination, Mumm champagne, an old-fashioned cocktail from Garden & Gun, the French 75 (its history and variants), Puritan poetry (no Puritans = no Thanksgiving), Truman Capote and Loudon Wainwright III. First, while still sober, take this test from Liquor.com: From the formidable Emily Arden Wells  at Gastronomista, a Cocktail Friendsgiving with G.H. Mumm Champagne.   Although I usually repair to gin drinks, this recipe for an old-fashioned from Garden & Gun is the real thing: If, like me, you do not care for Bloody Marys, a French 75 — essentially, a cocktail made with gin (or sometimes cognac), simple syrup, fresh lemon…

  • Cocktails,  Crime Fiction

    Lauren Bacall and The Big Sleep: Film Noir Cool, White Collar Crime, Cocktail Cold

    To the extent that it reflected crime, Lauren Bacall’s work was noir, not white-collar; black, not white; guns, not accounting fraud.  Yet, there was an elegance and a fierceness about her films – especially those with Humphrey Bogart – that are familiar to those who work in a white-collar crime landscape. David Brooks, writing in the New York Times, reflects on The Bacall Standard.  In particular: [Raymond] Chandler was not particularly kind to women, though. It was up to the director Howard Hawks and his star, Lauren Bacall — who died this week — to give that era a counterpart female ideal, a hero both tough and tender, urbane and fast-talking,…

  • Cocktails

    Gin Van, Joan Collins and Rare Earth

    Friday is upon us, so a few notes about cocktails. The cocktail snob is suffering a (deserved) backlash, as Robert O. Simonson of the New York Times points out in When Bad Drinks Go Good: Just as the cocktail renaissance has brought renewed fame to classics like the martini, the Manhattan and the Negroni, it has heaped fresh infamy on a rogues’ gallery of less classy concoctions, most of which emerged during the final decades of the last century. Now a backlash of sorts has begun, as some high-end bartenders apply their skills to a new challenge: doing bad drinks well. Bars like Holiday Cocktail Lounge in New York; Pépé Le Moko…

  • Cocktails

    Summer Crime, “Young Lawyers,” Martinis

    Summer’s heat is fully upon us.  Let us take a moment for crime fiction and cocktails. For recent crime-fiction releases, take a look at Midmonth Book Notes  from The Poisoned Pen bookstore. Also, here is a useful “review of reviewers” from The Rap Sheet blog.  And, for the visually-oriented, The Rap Sheet has a YouTube channel.  One clip I found there was for a show called “The Young Lawyers,” which ran from 1969 to 1971 and which I vaguely recall.  As described by IMDb: David Barrett [a young-looking Lee J. Cobb] heads an organization in Boston that supports poor and indigent clients with the aid of young lawyers, Aaron Silverman is the young…