Helloooo Nurse!!!: Brandy and Blood

For the most part I’ve been drinking my spirits straight for the past few months, but since summer is coming up my taste buds are leaning back to cocktails and things a bit more refreshing. What I really wanted to make was a Brown Derby, but I didn’t have any grapefruits and was too lazy to go to the store to get any. It’s also the reason why I haven’t done the mint julep or whiskey smash. Anyways, this came out good. A sweet drink with mild complexity that is perfect for summer and makes use of seasonal ingredients. If you don’t have any blood oranges on hand let me know how it tastes with another type of orange and we can turn this into a thing. Here’s how I made mind at home.

  • .75 oz of blood orange juice(fresh squeezed of course)
  • .5 oz Honey syrup (equal parts honey and water
  • 2 oz of Brandy or cognac
  • 2 dashes of Angostora Bitters

Pour into a shaker with ice and shake until ice cold, strain into a cocktail glass, and as always….enjoy.

Brandy and Blood cocktail

Song of the Drink: Frank Sinatra- Fly me to the moon

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Tales of Wine and Geisha: Memoirs of a Geisha

I suppose you can consider this a Valentine’s day post given the timing, but this is mainly aimed at those who do not have a valentine on this oh so romantic holiday of sorts(for once I do). Also I think we don’t drink enough sherry. So, if you’re of the mood pick up a bottle of Sherry and crack that baby open you are in for a treat with this one. Memoirs of a Geisha is one of my favorite books of all time, and having read it twice (and planning on reading it a third time if my backlog of books ever clears up) I can say without a doubt that it loses none of its stylish grace and charm.

Geisha and sherry

Chiyo is a young girl born in a fishing village with her father, mother, and older sister Satsu. Not too soon into the story our protagonist meets with tragedy and loss that no one should have to endure(trying not to spoil anything) and is “relocated” to an Okiya (Geisha house) in Kyoto. In her time at the Okiya Chiyo is gains the name Sayuri , makes friends, and enemies (Hatsumomo…..remember the name…forever…) all  in the pursuit of her hearts desires. I bet a few of you have seen the movie adaptation and I have to say that it’s not at all bad, but like everyone says, it just doesn’t do justice to the original work.

Since it’s all told from first person perspective you really get to place yourself in Sayuri’s position. Every move, gesture, and thought is carefully calculated in her head and presented in elegant and flowery poetic fashion that will leave you narrating your life as blossoms flutter in the breeze and you contemplate the fleeting beauty of reality. It also gives an interesting and compelling depiction of Japanese culture through the eyes of a woman in Japan before and after WWII( even if you aren’t into that sort of thing, you will be). I’ve devoured this novel twice over and everyone I recommended it too did the same.

Song of the Drink: Joe Hisaishi- Merry Go round of Life (Howl’s Moving Castle

I believe this song to be appropriate. And as always, sit back, take a sip and enjoy.

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Your new favorite: The New York sour

Now I firmly believe that one cannot call themselves a cocktail enthusiast until they’ve had a whiskey sour with egg white. This drink is a twist on an oh so dreamy friend with its creamy texture, subtle sweetness, and gentle tartness. You can get quite the array of flavors just from this one drink. You can swap the simple syrup for maple, use limes instead of lemons, switch out the whiskey for different flavor profiles, and finally top it off with different wines. There are endless possibilities leading to a new experience every time you take a sip. This drink is amazing no matter how to take it. The world is your cocktail. Here how I made mine at home

  • 1 egg white (do this first so you don’t mess up an entire cocktail if you get some yolk in)
  • ¾ oz of lemon juice (I used lime in this one)
  • ¾ oz of simple syrup
  • 2 oz of whiskey (today I used Dickel)

New york sour

Dry shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker (shake without ice), then add your ice again and vigorously shake for around 30 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass or tumbler with fresh ice. Take your bar spoon (or table spoon in my case. Things got a bit messy) and slowly pour wine over the backside to float wine near the surface for a beautiful looking sunset in a glass.

And as always, sit back, take a sip, and enjoy

Song of the drink: The Consouls- Super Mario Overworld Theme (Jazz Sextet)

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Honing my Craft: Blind Rum Tasting

It’s the new year, and I’ve been tasting a lot of whisk(e)y lately and noticed that I haven’t given much love to my other favorite spirit, Rum! So, instead of doing a multitude of tastings with detailed notes, I decided to do a blind tasting and give very small notes. Method: pour spirits into glasses, close eyes, mix them up as best as possible, smell, taste, take notes, then guess as to which one was which. Then taste again side by side with spirit poured from the bottle in separate container. Also, sips of water were taken in between each taste of spirit. Today’s contenders- we have Brugal Anejo Rum weighing  in at a standard 40% ABV and wearing a stylish net with blue label, Captain Morgan limited sherry oak cask weighing in at a lighter 35% ABV with its silver sleek design. Next we have Shellback spiced rum weighing in at a standard 40% ABV  and featuring the likeness of the legendary sea god Poseidon , and last but not least, the hard hitting, over-proof hoola skirt weighing in at a whopping 46% ABV…..Sailoooooor Jerrrryyy’ssss…..spiced rum.

So, as I said I mixed them up, tasted, smelled etc, but I also put a number next to each glass. These numbers are no indication of rank or how much I like them, but simply just so I could take notes unbiased by the number and not the bottle. Coolest thing about this taste test was that I turned out to be right on all accounts, probably because all of these rums are incredible different. Without further ado..

  1. Guessed this one was Brugal Anejo, due to its grassy notes on the nose and lemon rind flavor, which I quite enjoy in a classic Daiquiri
  2. I had high hopes for it, turned out to be Sailor Jerry’s and my least favorite of the bunch. It had some mild fruit and butterscotch notes hanging out on the nose, but all taste was completely overshadowed by the over-proof ethanol flavor.
  3. Next up we had Captain Morgan Limited Sherry Oak Cask, which ended up being my first pick. Has a very sweet, almost syrupy nose to it, but a welcome smoothness after the other two (also less alcohol content). A candy sweet taste that reminded me strangely of gum drops. Weird because I like this and always hated those candies…
  4. At the end we have ShellBack Spice Rum. Overwhelmingly pleasant nose of vanilla, with a hint of cinnamon. Watery in taste though compared to the nose, but those flavors were all there.


Order of preference: Captain Morgan Limited Sherry Oak Cask, Brugal Anejo Rum, ShellBack Spice rum, Sailor Jerry’s Spiced rum

Song of the Drink: Electric Joy Ride & Exige- Escape (ft. Zoe Phillips)

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Merry Beermas: Winter ales for the soul

The nights get long and the days are short, it’s that time of year. A time of sweet drinks and Christmas cheer. Time to grab a pint of one of my favorite holiday beers.

First up is Anchor Brewing co. and their wonderful “Christmas ale”. This one is super cool because every year they have a different recipe and a different tree on the bottle. Very tasty.


Next up is “Monk’s Blood” from 21st Amendment Brewery. This one is hoppy and sure to put a pep in your step this holiday season. I’m also a HUGE fan of their “Fireside Chat”, which is amazing.


Last but not least we have “Jubleale” from Deschutes Brewery. A festive nose, some sweetness, and hops to keep a going this holiday season.


Grab a sip of something nice, get cozy, and listen to sweet pitter patter of precipitation.

Song of the Drink: Michael Buble’-Me and Mrs Jones

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Tales of Wine and Gallantry: The Three Musketeers

You know that book out there that you’ve heard a lot about, but for some reason you’ve yet to pick up a copy? For me that book is “The Three Musketeers” by Alexander Dumas. This novel has countless movie adaptations and as I’m a quarter through my second read I must say that none of the movies do this work of literary art justice. D’Artangnan is a young man who leaves home with nothing but a small pouch of money, the old family horse, and dreams of becoming a musketeer like his father before him. After many antics and happenings he becomes close friends with the “inseparables”, well known musketeers who go by the names of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. The young man and his trio of brothers in arms uncover a sinister plot by the Cardinal to disgrace the Queen of France and end up in a swashbuckling tale of action and romance. There’s something about the action, intrigue coupled with subtle court happenings that draws me in. I believe that D’Artangnan’s tale mimics that of many youths who leave home in an attempt to make their fortune and along the way end up finding life-long companions, a thirst for adventure, and a new form of themselves along the way. This novel sucks you into 17th century France and invites you to take part in the story as if you were there. I enjoy this work immensely and am very excited to explore the wealth of works that belong to Monsieur Dumas. “Georges” and the famous “Count of Monte Cristo” are among them. Until then more wine and all for one, and one for all!


Song of the Drink: Claude Debussy-Arabesque

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Honing my Craft: Larceny Bourbon

For those who know me, it’s no secret that I love whisky and all things considered I’m more of a scotch kinda guy. Although, every once in a while there comes a Bourbon or a Rye that makes me reevaluate my taste buds and say, “Why haven’t we met sooner?”. Larceny is one of those drams. I’m just scratching the surface of American Whiskey, so like a newbie I tend to prefer my stuff a bit sweeter on the palate, though I do enjoy wood characteristics as a secondary component. I’m not too into the whole “in your face wood” drams which people tend to enjoy, but I can see the appeal since some people don’t like a lot of peat in their scotch. It’s all about personal taste, which is why I love the world of food and drink so much. Wheaters like Larceny get extra marks in my book. A Whiskey I can sit and analyze or just sip and enjoy. I  just can’t stop drinking it. Here’s what I get

Price: $20-$30

Sight: clear bronze, amber if you will. (Doesn’t mean much in matters of taste, but I like to think of adjectives) legs are medium

Smell: Winter spice, orange peel, oak, something sweet

Feel: a tad oily

Taste: oak, fruit (maybe cherry or other stone fruit), that sweet winter spice

Finish: Medium- pepper, oak, a little dry

Sit back, take a Sip and enjoy

Larceny bourbon

Song of the Drink: Beegie Adair- Fly me to the Moon

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Warm the Bones: Hot Toddy

I’m not entirely sure you can call this the Hot Toddy since I make mine differently than other recipes, but in my opinion it’s no less good. Something easy to make that hits the spot on those cold winter nights, (or mornings in some cases). I’ve been on hiatus for a cool minute, but I‘m back and ready to let the good times roll. Without further ado, here’s my version of the Hot Toddy

2 oz of spirit (in this case Chivas Regal 12 yr old blended scotch

.25 oz of lemon juice

.25 oz of honey syrup (equal parts honey and water)

Fill the rest with a nice spiced tea

Pull up a chair, bundle up, and listen to the soft sounds of precipitation.

hot toddy

Song of the Drink: Beegie Adair- The Days of Wine and Roses

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Honing my craft- Glenlivet 12

In the spirit of whiskey month (hah get it?) and the fact that I will probably never go to Scotland I will be starting a new series titled “Honing my Craft” in which I taste different spirits in order to gain some exp and level up my tasting abilities. This is by no means a review, just me developing myself as a spirit lover and hopeful connoisseur. I decided to start off with the third single malt I ever tried, Glenlivet 12. I could drink this for hours…if there was any left.


Sight- sunset gold

Smell- Green apples, mint leaves, black pepper, caramel

Taste- Granny Smith apples, a little bit of dry orange peel hanging out, a kiss of mint and black pepper chillin’ like villains in the back ( yea, cheesy I know)

Touch- Talking about the feel of this, which is something that I don’t know much about yet, so if you are more experienced than I, I would greatly appreciate some pointers. and advice about tasting in general

Finish- medium: this is where I get the mint and black pepper. They hang around for a bit and slowly fade away along with another flavor that I can never put my finger on. On day….one day.


Song of the Drink: LA Noire- Main Theme

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Take me for a ride: The Sidecar

            A cocktail with a convoluted history that I’m not even going to go into that at this point Maybe in the future. The real kicker for this one here is that its tasty. I remember I made one for myself using the same type of brandy used here, but for some reason I couldn’t get with it. Now that my tastes have matured this one if delicious. Fresh lemon juice gives it a refreshing kick and the orange liqueur helps bring out the grape flavors hidden in the brandy while helping to balance with a little bit of sweetness. The sugar rim, something I didn’t do on my first try, made it out to be like taking the first sip all over again every time (I think that made sense). The liqueur used in this IS HOMEMADE, won’t find it anywhere else and it actually came out pretty dang good ( yes that is the Bulleit Bourbon bottle). Called it Solstice’s Orange Sauce. Here’s how I made mine at home. The cocktail, not the Sauce.

1 ½ oz of E&J Brandy

1 oz of triple sec, orange liqueur, or Curacao

½ oz of Lemon juice

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and as always…enjoy. (sugar rim is optional)



Song of the drink: Linus’ Blanket- Parade (i think its in Korean, but its nice)



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