Friday, September 18, 2015

Cinnamon Appletini

This one is per request of Katie.
No, not my Katie. 
A different Katie.  She knows who she is.


1.5    oz       Vodka
1/2    oz       Sour Apple Schnapps
1/2    oz       Cinnamon Schnapps
2       oz       Apple Juice

Add all 4 ingredients to a martini shaker 1/2 full of ice
Shake vigorously
Pour into a cocktail (martini) glass

Garnish with apple slice*

*yes, I know it doesn't show the garnish.  I'm so ashamed.  DON'T LOOK AT ME!!!

FUN FACT: The bottle of Goldschlager pictured up above is, without question, the oldest bottle of liquor in my cabinet.  I got it when I graduated from college back in the old millennium and just recently opened it on the birthday-of-which-number-we-don't-speak. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Back Forty

The highest number ever counted to on Sesame Street was 40.

 "Are we ****ing done yet?  Ah, ah, ah..."

The number of spaces on a Monopoly board is 40.

The Great Flood involved rainfall for 40 days and 40 nights.

There are 40 hours in a regular work week.

My 40-yard dash time was never overly impressive.

Malt liquor is available in 40-oz bottles.

40 is the atomic number for zirconium.

(Don't worry, Katie, nobody knows about your ring.  Well, until now, anyway...) 

Forty is the only number in the English language in which all of the letters are in alphabetical order.


2     oz         Bourbon
4     tsp        Maple Syrup

1     oz         Lemon Juice - fresh is best
3     dashes  Bitters

Dilute the syrup with 2 tsps of hot water
Add all 4 ingredients to a martini shaker 1/2 full of ice 
Shake vigorously
Strain over ice into a rocks glass

Garnish with lemon wedge

Why the obsession with the number 40 today? reason.

Friday, August 28, 2015


The wife and I were Netflix-mining old episodes of the culinary TV show Good Eats.  If you haven't watched it, it's an atypical cooking show as the host, Alton Brown, tends to go very in depth into the history, engineering principles, and chemical make-ups of each dish that he features.  In any event, we watched an episode involving two classic cocktails: the Sidecar and the Margarita (the latter of which we've already covered in my favorite version).  

As one popular legend goes, the Sidecar was invented in a Paris bar that was a favorite hot spot of American ex-patriots.  The gentleman that helped the Parisian bartender create the concoction tended to travel to Harry's New York Bar on a motorcycle with the namesake attached.  There are other competing origin stories, but I like this one.  
It's simple.  
It's direct.  
And it's French American...


1.5    oz       Brandy 
1       oz       Cointreau (or Triple Sec)
1/2    oz       Lemon Juice - fresh is best

Add all 3 ingredients to a martini shaker 1/2 full of ice
Shake vigorously
Pour into a cocktail (martini) glass

Garnish with orange wheel and lemon twist

There you have it.  A classic cocktail.  I must admit that I don't ever recall having tried one of these prior to mixing one up for this post.  It's quite good.  A little on the sour side, but if that floats your boat...  It's the best answer I've come up with yet for the question "What are we going to do with all this brandy?"

Friday, August 21, 2015

Not Your Father's Root Beer

This is not your father (most likely).

And THIS is...

I was first introduced to this wonderful ale this summer on a trip to Chicago with our awesome family friends.  We were out for a long walking tour, 12 miles total for the day if memory serves, when we stopped for lunch at one of the park bistros.  The meal itself would have been totally forgettable were it not for the company and the above delectable drink.  No, this isn't a cocktail, but it is FAR superior to my other root beer concoction.  Now I have to warn you, it is a little pricey (around $10 for a sixer), but for root beer and booze lovers it is worth every penny.

I highly, highly recommend.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Reader's Choice

Regular readers know that I am a huge Star Wars dork.  So the news of Harrison Ford's plane crash shook me quite a bit.  In a way, it helped me understand the grief being experienced by the long-time arch-rival Trekkies out there with the loss of Spock.

Leonard Nimoy, you will be missed.

So, raise up the drink of your choice in your left hand, give the sign of Vulcan with your right and let these words be your toast:

"Live long and prosper."

Friday, February 27, 2015

Sneaky Tequila

I don't really have a good tie-in this week as world news has been a significant downer, the Mavs are having trouble with their point guard and I have no interest in Hollywood's annual self-gratification.  So, today's cocktail is one that was emailed to me quite some time ago with a link to Pinterest.  The emailer in question wanted my opinion on the drink (hopefully said person still religiously follows my blog in order to get the answer today).  I must admit that I was a little hesitant to try this.  Pinterest has some downright awesome craft, costume and kid's entertainment ideas, but as far as alcoholic libations tends to be a little dicey.  But worry not, dear blog readers, I am here for you.  I sampled this drink of questionable origin as many times as was necessary to correct it and give you what you deserve!  

Yes, I know, I'm a saint.


2       oz       Tequila
2       oz       Coconut Rum

1/2    oz       Peach Schnapps
1       oz       Pineapple Juice
1       oz       Cranberry Juice
Add all 4 ingredients to a martini shaker 3/4 full of ice
Shake vigorously
Pour into a highball (or regular 12 oz drinking glass)

You'll note my recipe varies from the Pinterest article.  As I said, I made the mistake of trying this before you did.  A simple splash of pineapple and cranberry just is not enough.  Trust me on this one.  Otherwise, there will be very little "sneaky" in your Sneaky Tequila.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sir Mix-A-Lot's Legacy

I saw this over the weekend and could not resist. If you like darker, richer brews then you'll love it.  It reminds me a lot of Schneider & Sons Aventinus with a smoother aftertaste.

And my kids giggled about the name for 10 minutes.

OK, so I giggled like an idiot, too.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Total Confusion

Bruce Jenner is one totally confused dude.  Not only was he involved in a recent fatal car accident for which he can provide only sketchy details, but he is going to become a woman.  That's right, in the odd event that you have not heard this already, Bruce Jenner, Olympic Gold Medalist in the Decathalon, Wheaties box hero, has decided he's really a chick.  The saddest part of this tale is that it could have been avoided.  There is a veritable cargo train of bat-s*** insanity that led to this point - allow me to conduct you...

It all started back in 1947 when Eunice had a baby boy.  As a toddler he developed rickets, but his mother couldn't afford the orthopedic shoes necessary to correct his leg growth problem.  So, she put his shoes on the wrong feet in an attempt to mimic the effect.  In a very Forrest Gump-like twist of fate, this strengthened the boys legs so he could run like the wind.

A dominant high school athlete, he was able to attend the University of Southern California on an athletic scholarship.  In 1968, he led the NCAA in rushing on his way to winning the Heisman trophy.  He was then chosen by the Buffalo Bills with the first pick in the NFL Draft in 1969.

"Wait!  What?!? 
Bruce Jenner never played football at USC or in the NFL!!!"

Yeah, you're right.  But I warned you ahead of time that this story was just chock-full of crazy.  Bear with me for a moment as we go back into our looney tale...

The football player in question is one Orenthal James Simpson.  O.J., as he was better known, had a fantastic NFL career that led to much fame & fortune (during which time, in 1976, Bruce Jenner won his gold medal at the Montreal Olympics).  In 1977, O.J. met a cocktail waitress named Nicole.  Though already married, O.J. began a serious affair with Nicole.  He divorced his first wife in 1979 and married Nicole in 1985.  The marriage ended in divorce in 1992 under hints of spousal abuse.

In 1994, Nicole and her boyfriend were found murdered (NSFW).  The prime suspect was her ex-husband, O.J.  We all remember it - it was the trial of the century.  And who was O.J.'s defense attorney?  Yes, everyone remembers Johnny "If the glove doesn't fit" Cochran, but most only vaguely recall the rest of his legal team:  Robert Shapiro, F. Lee Bailey, and ROBERT KARDASHIAN.  O.J. stayed at Kardashian's house for the days following the murder, and some conspiracy theorists (including one of the prosecutors) believe that Kardashian was involved in hiding evidence.

Three years prior to the Simpson trial, Robert Kardashian divorced his wife, Kris.  One whole month later, Kris was married to Bruce Jenner.  Nicole Brown Simpson and Kris, the former Mrs. Robert Kardashian, had been best friends.

So, Bruce Jenner was married to the ex-wife of O.J. Simpson's attorney (accomplice?) and said wife was best friends with the murder victim.  Bruce inherited three step-daughters that are famous for being what can best be described as angels.  Add their fame-at-any-cost mother into the mix of this attention-seeking circus and you get:
The Four Whores of the Apocalypse?

Thankfully, Bruce and Kris got divorced before he had to accept that jackass Kanye West as his step-son-in-law.  But the damage was obviously already done.  Going from Olympic hero, to actor, to attention-whore background piece, err, reality TV supporting star clearly made him lose his freaking mind.  

1       oz       Vodka
1       oz       Coconut Rum
1       oz       Southern Comfort
1/4    oz       Apple Schnapps

Add all 4 ingredients to a martini shaker 1/2 full of ice
Shake vigorously
Strain into a chilled cocktail (martini) glass

So, how will the tale of Bruce Jenner end?  If you said "in pantyhose", stop being so crass.  This all could have easily been prevented.  
Just remember, every time you let your child wear his shoes on the wrong feet, Michael Phelps puts on lipstick.

Friday, February 6, 2015


Thursday night is the night when I typically write these posts and I'm always looking for something to do when I'm finished editing.  But now NFL season is over.  NBA is about to head into the All-Star break.  MLB hasn't even hit spring training yet.  NHL?  Well, yeah, I guess there are fans out there.  
I do get a few hits every now and then from servers in the Great White North.

At any rate, Thursday is the most likeliest of days [citation needed] that the question "What are we going to do tonight?" is raised.  After 8:30pm, when the kids go to bed, the options are normally either TV, cocktails, or Marital Calisthenics.  Usually 2 of the 3 can go together for some type of mutual benefit, but the combination of all 3 requires one of them to be a quickie.



Why are you looking at me like that?  This is a very fast drink recipe. 


2      oz       Tequila
1      tbsp    simple syrup
1/2              lime

Fill a rocks glass 3/4 with ice
Add tequila and squeeze the juice of 1/2 lime

Add a tablespoon of simple syrup


There.  Now you can take your sweet time doing the other things...

Like finding something worth watching on TV.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Groundhog Day

Monday, February 2 is Groundhog Day.  The day that a large rat comes out of his hiding hole to give an unintelligent response as to what's in store for the near future*.  But this is more a comment on humanity than it is the rodent.  The Global Warming alarmists fervently swear that your failure to drive a Prius will cause untold weather disasters throughout Earth for the next hundred years.  Meanwhile, the Channel 8 Meteorologists can't even get the forecast for the coming weekend right on a regular basis.  In light of those two issues, maybe asking an over-sized squirrel for advice on the changing of the seasons isn't so ludicrous after all.

   *not to be confused with a Marshawn Lynch press conference

Groundhog Day is also a very underrated film starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell (who was on my official "list" for several years running).  If you haven't seen this flick, then you really should give it a shot.  I highly recommend it.  You'll even see today's cocktail featured at one point.


2     oz        Sweet Vermouth
twist            Lemon

Fill a rocks glass with ice
Add sweet vermouth

Twist lemon over the glass


OK, I'm just kidding.  Don't really drink that abomination.  Our pal Bill will show you why at 0:31 - 

Want something remotely Groundhog related?  Then try this:

Trust me, it's MUCH better.  Not even Andie MacDowell is worth the former...


Friday, January 23, 2015

Gin & Tonic

Tonic water originally started as a way to consume quinine, which is an effective prophylactic (no, not that kind) against malaria.  Tonic is quinine dissolved in carbonated water with a little sweetener added to it.  One of the neat things about quinine is its phosphorescent qualities. It glows under UV light.  
 So, y'know, next time you're at a Rave you know what to drink.


2     oz        Gin
4     oz        Tonic
squeeze      Lime

Fill a rocks glass with ice
Add liquor & tonic
Stir lightly
Add a squeeze of lime 

Friday, January 16, 2015


BOILERMAKER originated with the profession of actually making boilers from iron or steel.  This is one of the cases where the English language mimics German in that the word defines itself (for example, the word "Schweinefleisch" literally translated means "swine flesh" or "pork" - "Schweinefleisch, das andere weise fleisch.").  Professional Boilermakers are typically part of the worker's union International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers.  There has apparently never been a single Language Arts major in their guild or they'd have a catchy acronym.

THE BOILERMAKER is a 15K race/charity fund-raiser held annually in Utica, NY.  The top prize is $7000 (which, y'know, would almost be enough to get me interested in running 9 miles...almost).

THE BOILERMAKERS are Alumni of the University of Purdue (and the official mascot). Purdue began as an engineering school in which the students, as part of the coursework, were expected to work in the on-campus forges where they would smith their own designs from raw materials.  Contrast that to today's college student work ethic.

A BOILERMAKER is a hell of a way to start an evening.  A boilermaker is simply a shot of whiskey with a beer chaser.  If anyone tells you it must be a certain type of whiskey (or beer), then feel free to punch them in the face.  If you've had a few Boilermakers already, you won't even care that they are punching you back.  If someone tells you to drop the shot glass of whiskey into the beer to make a Boilermaker, let me know so *I* can punch them in the face (that's not a Boilermaker, it's a Depth Charge).  Boilermakers are whatever you want them to be, so let your freak flag fly:

Good choice.



Friday, January 9, 2015


A total of 9 earthquakes ranging from Richter 1.6 to 3.6 hit the greater Dallas area on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.  The first earthquake, a magnitude 2.3, hit around 7:37 a.m. Tuesday and was centered near the former site of Texas Stadium - the demolished prior home of the Dallas Cowboys. 

Yup.  Earthquakes.  In Dallas.  

While the initial reaction is one of shock (shake?), after the novelty wears off we're all left wondering "Why is this happening?"

The first, obvious answer is Plate Tectonics.  That's the theory that the continents we all know and love used to look like this:
While I'm sure all of that togetherness would make the hippies happy, Geology is really a rather boring subject, so let's visit some of the more exotic theories about the quakes.

From the lifetime of the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras in the 5th century BCE to the 14th century CE, earthquakes were usually attributed to "air (vapors) in the cavities of the Earth."  Thales of Miletus, who lived from 625–547 (BCE) was the only documented person who believed that earthquakes were caused by tension between the earth and water. Other theories existed, including the Greek philosopher Anaxamines' (585–526 BCE) beliefs that short incline episodes of dryness and wetness caused seismic activity. The Greek philosopher Democritus (460–371 BCE) blamed water in general for earthquakes. Pliny the Elder called earthquakes "underground thunderstorms." [source]

Maybe it was supernatural.  Based on the site of the first quake, Texas Stadium, perhaps someone is coming to collect Jerry Jones' soul from that deal he made 25 years ago.  Let's consult our expert panelist:

And then there's fracking.  Ah yes, fracking.  I have a little trouble with this one.  Not because of the science supporting the pro-fracking or con-fracking sides, but because it sounds like a Yosemite Sam curse word.  Saturday morning cartoons aside, maybe we are screwing around with the ground a bit too much and Mother Nature is warning us to back off.  I have another little piece of evidence about fracking that I collected last weekend that I'd like to share with everyone:
Frack away, baby!  Frack until you're sore.


1       oz       Gin
1       oz       Bourbon
3/4    oz       Absinthe

Add all 3 ingredients to a martini shaker 1/2 full of ice
Shake vigorously
Strain into a chilled cocktail (martini) glass

 "Rackin', frackin', carn-sarn rabbit!"

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Long Weekend

Hi everyone.  I'm back from a self-imposed hiatus.  Just in time for a long weekend.  Which was, of course, the inspiration for this cocktail.  Since we absolutely intend to open the pool and relax over the next 3 days, I wanted something original to sip out in the sun.  So I used my favorite rum, my current favorite beer (and if you haven't tried Franconia's excellent products, then you are missing out on some truly fine local craft brews - made right in McKinney TX), a mixer that most people actually have in their fridge (please excuse my slightly-out-of-date, almost depleted product in the pic), and a summer citrus fruit. Also, I got a little fancy this time and used a 10 oz goblet in order to get a better presentation.  The really shocking thing is that I nailed this recipe on the first try.  Usually with my original cocktails I have "tasted" so many failed attempts that the final one I go with is simply because I'm too inebriated to keep trying.  

With no further ado, I submit to you the...


1.5    oz       Spiced Rum
2       oz       Orange Juice
4       oz       Wheat Beer (definitely needs to be a wheat - Blue Moon is a brand at most grocers)
squeeze      Lemon

Fill a 10-oz glass 3/4 with ice
Add rum, OJ and squeeze of lemon wedge

Fill with wheat beer

Stir gently

Garnish with another lemon wedge

Long weekends are great, but let's all be responsible, please.

Friday, March 21, 2014


No pithy dialogue today.  No current events comments.  No meandering rabbit-trails of thought.  Just a simple, easy, tasty, change-of-pace cocktail.

MEXICOLA (aka Claudio's Tequila)

2      oz       Tequila
4      oz       Coca-Cola
squeeze      lime

Fill a collins glass (or regular 12-oz drinking) 3/4 with ice

Add tequila and squeeze 1/6 lime wedge

Fill with cola

Stir gently


Friday, March 14, 2014

Whiskey Punch

I'm not Irish.

Now that I've summarily dismissed another upcoming fake holiday, let's get into something more noteworthy.  Spring is almost here.  That means playoff basketball, baseball is right around the corner, kiddo soccer is in full effect, fishing starts getting good, the pool is almost warm enough, and spending time in the evenings on the patio with friends no longer requires parkas.  But what to drink?

Beer is the easy answer for guys.  Wine is fine...for the ladies.  However, I suggest a nice punch.

No, not one like this:

If you are a contemporary of mine, your days of partying at the Pike house have long since passed.  We need something a bit more sophisticated.  

Something for adults, not hormone-driven teens.
Something that does not use evil liquor that doubles as paint thinner or engine degreaser.

2        oz  Whiskey
1/2     oz  Cointreau
1        oz  Orange Juice
4        oz  Ginger Ale
1/2     oz  Lemon Juice
1              Maraschino Cherry

Pour everything into a rocks glass 3/4 filled with ice

Garnish with a cherry

That is how you make ONE of these.  

Having a group over?  That's easy.  Just change "oz" to "cups".  That will give you enough for 8 servings.  Increase as necessary.

And remember, Everclear is Evil.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!