Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Somehow I knew all this yoga would come in handy. Not only just to perform acrobatic feats to get the good stuff on the top shelf since they still haven't bought my step stool. And not just for my big scary muscular arms and back so I look like I mean business at last call, but mostly I think it's my inner sense of calm that usually is for when it gets super busy during happy hour. But Monday, it was for something else. I had to 86 the largest man that I've seen in a long time. He had come in before we opened and so therefore directed him to other local watering holes. Sure enough, at 9ish he comes barreling through the door and orders a vodka cranberry. I've always been weary of people who hide their alcohol with easy flavorings. Give me a well crafted cocktail or something pure any day, say bourbon on the rocks, a glass of cava, but if you bury your alcohol, you're trying to hide or suppress something. He's wearing a button down shirt with his employers logo---not great advertising for an institute I admire and I wonder what he does and how they hired someone who leers at ladies sitting at a bar. The woman to his right has already asked for her check and is taking her dinner to her room. This leaves him to my regulars. He's crowding and loud and at this point his has a twenty out and wants another round. At which point I tell him (and the other fellow on the other side who have managed to get in a loud conversation over said regular ladies) that they need to behave like gentlemen and let the ladies enjoy their girl time. He starts to deny that he was bothering them but they still protest and so calmly I say that I'm sorry but I'm not going to serve him another drink and I hand him the tab. And happily ever after he pays without tipping and walks out into the full moon night and I breathe easy, a breath worth so much more than the two dollar tip I could have received.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Adventures in Drinking from the Heart

Just got back from an amazing trip home to Ohio and was mighty happy that mixology is alive and well in the heartland. The cocktail menu at L'Albatros had a fantastic vodka drink which they kindly substituted Hendricks Gin for moi :). A refreshing blend of rosemary simple syrup, lime, and soda to wake up the taste buds before dinner! I have to say the most inspiring dish was the chilled beet soup with watermelon and ginger---some things I hope to experiment with in cocktails in the near future.

But the best adventure of the night was to come at La Cave Du Vin, where the barman Eric educated me about the delicacy of making lambic beer. In his words, my favorite Lindeman's are like the Boon's Farm of lambic beer. Girl beer was what I called it, but he introduced me to a better kind, or rather, a more artfully crafted version true to the intention behind the premise of making a lambic. I can't remember the brand name (this was my third beverage of the evening), but the sour cherries really came through and then a beer finish, not the sugary almost wine-like quality of the Lindeman's. This reminds me of how my father introduced me to wine. We started with the sweeter reislings when I was still in high school. We were sitting outside at a restaurant in Akron when my father ordered me a glass. I loved the sweet, fruity taste and that I finally had a grown up glass---no more coke or tea!

And then as I got older, my taste buds craved the peppery bite of more intense reds. You can choose to evolve or devolve, one of my yoga teachers says. Life changes, our tastes change. May we all find something that makes us happy and takes us another step on the path. One sip at a time. Find something to savor.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mock-tails or Mixers?!

Summertime means lemonade and so here are two varieties---and if you like, you can add gin or vodka (in my order of preference), though honestly, I prefer these pre-spike :)

Basil Lemonade

boil one tea kettle full of hot water
add honey to taste
squeeze in the juice of 4-6 lemons
add a few sprigs of fresh basil

Lavender Lemonade

boil one tea kettle full of hot water
in a tea strainer steep lavender blossoms for 3 minutes
add honey to taste
squeeze in the juice of 4-6 lemons

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Freeze Your Bourbon!

Normally I hate it when people ask me to make a frozen drink, the most common being margaritas. Why in the middle of the city in an upscale tavern would a frozen drink ever appear? I'm not disputing the quality of said drinks and I happen to enjoy frozen drinks---at poolside bars and bbqs. To me ordering said frozen whatever would be like walking into a beer bar and asking for a mojito. You just don't do it. Everything has a time and a place...but there are always exceptions to the rule!

Normally, bourbon isn't a summer drink, but when combined with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce, it makes a rockin' milkshake, or rather, bourbon shake since there is no milk here---it's replaced with the bourbon. I used Buffalo Trace and didn't measure so it was a STRONG shake! So go ahead, break some rules and break out the bourbon!