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.

Steady, now.

First, while still sober, take this test from Liquor.com:

What Kind of Thanksgiving Cocktail Are You?

Keeping mum?

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:

Classic Cocktail: The Old-Fashioned

Boom.

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 juice and champagne — is a sharp eye-opener before the Thanksgiving meal. The Letters and Liquor blog has a detailed, historical article on the French 75:

The novelist Alec Waugh dubbed it “the most powerful cocktail in the world” and he was only half referring to its potent combination of liquor and champagne. With a refined visage that belies the origins of its name, the French 75 speaks to our post-war mentality.

Read the entire post here.

Tiny bubbles.

From bartender-expert Gaz Regan’s site, a twist on the French 75:

Cocktails in the Country: Guy’s 75 by Neil Goldberg, Mad River Distillers Tasting Room, Burlington, VT

Anne Bradstreet

Thanksgiving brings to mind the unfairly-maligned Puritans.  A favorite Puritan is poet Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) and her “The Author to Her Book”:

Thou ill-form’d offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth didst by my side remain,
Till snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true,
Who thee abroad, expos’d to publick view,
Made thee in raggs, halting to th’ press to trudge,
Where errors were not lessened (all may judg).
At thy return my blushing was not small,
My rambling brat (in print) should mother call,
I cast thee by as one unfit for light,
Thy Visage was so irksome in my sight;
Yet being mine own, at length affection would
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could:
I wash’d thy face, but more defects I saw,
And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw.
I stretched thy joynts to make thee even feet,
Yet still thou run’st more hobling then is meet;
In better dress to trim thee was my mind,
But nought save home-spun Cloth, i’ th’ house I find.
In this array ’mongst Vulgars mayst thou roam.
In Criticks hands, beware thou dost not come;
And take thy way where yet thou art not known,
If for thy Father askt, say, thou hadst none:
And for thy Mother, she alas is poor,
Which caus’d her thus to send thee out of door.

Here is the full link.

Thanksgiving and cold blood.

For reasons I cannot quite place, Truman Capote’s work has never been at the top of my list, though I should probably revisit it.  Although I prefer A Christmas Memory, his sequel long story The Thanksgiving Visitor  is holiday appropriate.  From the Amazon summary:

Buddy and his closest friend, his eccentric, elderly cousin, Miss Sook – the memorable characters from Capote’s A Christmas Memory–love preparing their old country house for Thanksgiving. But there’s trouble in the air. Odd Henderson, a scrawny, freckled, red-headed bully makes Buddy the target of his relentless torment. But Miss Sook only counsels patience and understanding, “He can’t help acting ugly; he doesn’t know any different,” she says. Filled with emotions that are universal to both young readers and adults, this poignant story brings to life what we all should cherish and be thankful for–the gifts of friendship and love.

Finally, from Loudon Wainwright III, “Thanksgiving”:

Happy Thanksgiving.


White (Collar) Christmas: Gin, Crime, Theology and the Rat Pack

Deck the halls.

Deck the halls.

 

The hour is upon us, so herewith a few Christmas items.

Cocktails

"Thought I'd never finish shopping."

“Thought I’d never finish shopping.”

Here from the archives is a recipe (via Garden & Gun magazine) for Milk Punch for Christmas Morning and a new recipe for An Old Old-Fashioned   .

From our friends at the Gin Monkey blog, a gin drinker’s gift list and from Gastronomista, a recipe for Jagermeister and Rye.  Yikes.

 

 

 

The Christmas rush.

The Christmas rush.

Crime

From J. Kingston Pierce of The Rap Sheet, here are 10 of The Most Arresting Crime Novels of 2015.

Marilyn Stasio, crime fiction reviewer for the New York Times, sets out her 2015 favorites in Death Takes No Holiday   .

Theology

From David Zahl at MockingbirdConsuming 2015: Favorite Music, Media, Books and Humor.

Billable hours done.

Billable hours done.

Here is my piece for the Cathedral Church of the Advent blog on Christmas Movies and Serial Killers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, a Rat Pack Christmas scene — Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. — from 1967’s Robin and The Seven Hoods:

Merry Christmas!


Friday cocktails: Barware, Jameson Slushies, Perfect Martinis and Emerson, Lake & Palmer

A brief guide for the weekend.

(Hennie Haworth)

(Hennie Haworth)

It’s hard to operate a home bar without good barware, as explained in All the Essential Barware You Need at Home

 

Inside-Job-e1432667629585From Liquor.com, a short on a bourbon-based cocktail (at right) called The Inside Job.

 

Lots of anti-oxidants.

Lots of anti-oxidants.

Perhaps a bit frothy, but a Dye House cocktail (left) (from Samuel Nelis, Waterworks Food + Drink, Winooski, Vermont via Gaz Ragan) looks cool.

 

The Jameson Slushie

The Jameson Slushie

From Gastronomista, this idea (right) beats all hell out of an Icee: Jameson Slushies.

 

 

My mother has always enjoyed an old-fashioned at Christmas.  See this below from Liquor.com:

And finally, from Crave, a return to The Perfect Martini, which is likely a bit sweet for many these days.

Very retro.

Very retro.

At the end of the week, I am always grateful for the many blessings bestowed upon me.  I am reminded that “it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes” (Psalm 118:9).

Which, in turn, puts me in mind of Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s “Lucky Man” (1970):

 

 


Come Fly With Me: Airplane Drinks, Beer For Breakfast, Cocktail Science and Socrates

Our notes on cocktails this Friday.

"And then he said, 'Business class, my ass.'"

“And then he said, ‘Business class, my ass.'”

From Gastronomista, an Avua Cachaca Pam Am cocktail:

I was recently introduced to Avuá Cachaça, a relatively new cachaça on the market.  After a boozy night out on the town touring some of New York City’s best bars, including Sasha Petrosky’s famed Milk & Honey, I’m convinced that this is a bottle I want to keep in my library of libations.

 

 

Please place your seats and trays in their upright and locked position.

Coffee?  Tea?  Something stronger?

Coffee? Tea? Something stronger?

 

Come Fly With Me (1958)

Come Fly With Me (1958)

Indeed, on YouTube, “Come Fly With Me” by Frank Sinatra.

 

 

 

 

In a frosty mug, please.

In a frosty mug, please.

 

 

 

 

 

From Saveur, for those who like it dark and early in the day, here’s The Brew: Founder’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout:

One of the biggest deals for craft beer enthusiasts is the annual spring release of Founders Brewing Company’s “highly acclaimed” KBS, or Kentucky Breakfast Stout. The outrageous 11.2% bourbon barrel-aged beer attracts fans from all over the country to Founders’ home base of Grand Rapids, Michigan, where they line up for hours on end for short pours of the inky, robust brew. The beer’s release has become so popular that Founders issues tickets for the event, and this year, rather than pour it just at the brewery’s taproom, they decided to celebrate with a week-long party throughout greater Grand Rapids.

Gabriella Mlynarczyk’s Smoky Brown-Butter Old-Fashioned, Jamie Boudreau’s Chocolate Milk and Dave Arnold’s Italiano Stalliano.  Credit Sarah Anne Ward for The New York Times. Food stylist: Suzanne Lenzer. Prop stylist: Paola Andrea.

Gabriella Mlynarczyk’s Smoky Brown-Butter Old-Fashioned, Jamie Boudreau’s Chocolate Milk and Dave Arnold’s Italiano Stalliano.
Credit Sarah Anne Ward for The New York Times. Food stylist: Suzanne Lenzer. Prop stylist: Paola Andrea.

From the New York Times, we have Cocktail Science, Simplified.  Booze with cookies, though, is not to my taste.

 

"This gin is awfully bitter."

“This gin is awfully bitter.”

Now, this is more like it.  From the Huffington Post and Liquor.com, here are 12 cocktails to drink before you die and 5 essential spring gin cocktails, including the Ramos gin fizz.

 

 

 

 

 


Weekend Cocktails | Backwards Bartending and Neo-’80s Beverages

 

White Collar Wire’s weekend cocktail notes.

Gastronomista.

Gastronomista.

From Emily Arden Wells, who writes as Miss Emma Emerson at Gastronomista, here are cocktails served backwards in crisp videos.  As she says:

You sit down at a bar, peruse the menu, decide on a tipple, order, and then… wait.  It is this moment of waiting that has indescribable power.  This moment is filled with anticipation – a pause – and it is the time I always use to watch the scene behind the bar.  I carefully observe the tender of bar, watching his or her hands quickly trade bottle for bottle, add ice, bitters, and then delightfully shake the concoction or stir with casual flair.  It’s a glorious moment, a moment when one always asks themselves, will the cocktail be as magnificent as I’ve imagined???  And then, there it is.  A glorious potation filled glass shimmering in the bar’s candle light, waiting to be devoured.  And then, the moment of climax: the first sip.

Ahhhhhh……

Jude Goergen from Glassbackwards has found a way to make this moment of anticipation even better – each cocktail is prepared backwards.  Yes, backwards, and, some might argue, it’s even better that way.

These high-quality videos give one added appreciation for the art of a good bartender.

Green means go.   (photo by Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)

Green means go (photo by Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)

From the Washington Posta revival of ’80s cocktails:

When cocktail lovers talk about “classic” cocktails, they usually mean drinks made before 1950: The Perfect Martini, the Singapore Sling, the Daiquiri. Few would make the case that a Kamikaze or Harvey Wallbanger belongs in such exalted company.

Unless, of course, they work at the Majestic.

Still, a little too green for us.