We want to come clean with you, so we’re putting it out there now: we really hated grappa. We are the sort that will try anything once, but when that thing is grappa, had the alcoholic burn of say, jet fuel, and was a tasteless, stinging, unpleasant dram, be sure that we aren’t up for seconds. It’s the work of the Italians, and hey, we love what you did with wine, but maybe you should have stopped there?
This was one of the first concerns voiced when we arrived at the Soft Tail Spirits tasting room. We had been invited out to try their award winning grappa and vodka, graciously accepted the invitation, and then downed a huge pasta lunch in preparation for the burn. The first thing that our host, Jeremy, asked in the tasting room was “do you actually …
Whether attending small, intimate gatherings, or throwing an all-out shindig, let this all encompassing menu help guide you through a summer’s worth of flavorful fare, spark inspiration, or just whet the appetite for things to come. As always, examples are available at Leschi Market. Have a fantastically fun and safe summer. CHEERS!
Get started on the right foot. Nothing sings summer more than a bowl full of fresh cherries parked out on the deck with a perfectly chilled glass of rosé. The 2009 Casal Garcia Vinho Verde Rosé ($7) with its slight effervescence, strawberry-cherry notes, and overall refreshing factor makes for a great fit. The low alcohol content is a nice way to start off the afternoon and transition on to other adult beverages.
Another staple of summer is the caprese salad. Garden fresh tomatoes and basil with thin sliced mozzarella …
We were on a mission.
Of course, there are so many amazing things to see in Japan that it might seem silly that one of our goals would be finding a carved ball of ice to soak in our whiskey. But we are drinkers, worshippers of all things boozy, so our Japanese carved ice ball obsession (which started here) shouldn’t be all that strange to you, really.
You see, our Asian friends love Scotch, so much so that they actually have been distilling it themselves since the late 19th Century. Now, it can’t be called Scotch in Japan, it’s ‘whiskey’, but several of them have won head to head contests with traditional Scotch and Japanese whiskey is made in the same style. That’s the Japanese for you: take an idea, and make it just as good if not better than the original. …
Yes, that’s a snake.
In case you didn’t get the memo, We hopped a plane a few days ago bound for Japan. We are now meandering the streets of Tokyo, taking in the sights and pulling up a barstool here and there to do what we do best.
That’s how we ended up in front of our reptilian friend here. Interestingly enough, this snake is spending its post-mortem days bathing in Sake. We found this fella in a bar called Pogi, in the Honcho district of Yokosuka (pronounced yo-kus-ka). Our lovely hostess Ellie laughed as we poked at the glass, musing aloud about his demise. She smiled and told us: “They drown snake in sake. It poisonous. Habu snake.”
We were intrigued. Sake? That red stuff is sake? Do you drink it? Ellie points to a sign on the wall. Yup, you can …
Alas, we are not in New Orleans for the kickoff of World Cocktail Week today, except perhaps in spirit!
World Cocktail Week was established to promote better understanding and appreciation of the art of the cocktail and its history, as well as responsible drinking. The date commemorates the first definition of the term Cocktail in print in the 1806 edition of The Balance and Columbian Repository. This fundraiser also raises much needed revenue to help pay for the Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC) operating costs throughout the year.
Events are happening not only in New Orleans, but also in New York, Washington DC, Chicago, and er, Poland. Seminars, pairings, dinners, and even a the largest Fire and Ice Mint Julep ever made will highlight this week, all benefiting the preservation of the institution we call the Cocktail.
If you are not in …
Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day. Nor is it a nationally recognized holiday in Mexico. In fact there is only one place in Mexico that celebrates this holiday at all, and that is a town just outside of Mexico City called Puebla. You might be even more surprised to learn that is is not, in fact, a drinking holiday for the Mexicans in Puebla either.
If you are scratching you head, here is the skinny: in 1861, Benito Juarez (President of Mexico 1858-1872) decided that Mexico no longer needed to keep making interest payments on the outstanding loans it had incurred with France. Well, Napoleon III (the self-appointed Emperor of France at the time) wasn’t thrilled with the lack of pesos he was receiving, and decided to invade Mexico for their arrogance and set up a French government. Their …
The Kentucky Derby is arguably one of, if not the most famous horse race in the United States, as well as one of the oldest. Considered to be the most prestigious of it’s kind, 3 year-old Thoroughbred horses race for a mile and a quarter as fast as they can, the whole thing lasting about two minutes. Yep, that’s what we said: Two minutes? All this fuss over two minutes? We are fighting to suppress inappropriate jokes. Regardless, it’s touted as the “Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports” and is the first “jewel” (race) in the Triple Crown, followed by the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes, respectively. The prize for winning the Derby? About $2 million. Well, maybe it IS an exciting two minutes after all.
These days, the race comes at the end of a two week Kentucky Derby Festival …