Chicago is a fine town. I love the place, but I don’t always agree with the citizenry on matters of taste. I enjoy a good Portillo’s Chicago style hot dog or a breaded steak sandwich from Ricobene’s, and I have had some truly incredible dining and drinking experiences in that toddling town, but they get some things wrong. Most of these mistakes are minor, like making a float with Green River or calling that awesome deep dish casserole a pizza. However, there are other transgressions that are far more serious and even dangerous. Chief among these is a staple of the Chicago bar scene, Jeppson’s Malort. If you know, you know. If you don’t, I am not sure I want to encourage you to learn. Some folks swear by the stuff, most folks swear at the stuff, I mostly try to avoid it, but I heard it can be lovely when paired with the right ingredients. I am dubious, but willing to take a chance, so won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Hard Sell.Continue reading
O’ you lost and forgotten child,
cup of memory from a time more mild.
When winter’s chill was not yet come,
you were born and placed in the album.
There you waited, your story unwritten,
blind and lost as a newborn kitten.
Will you join us as we explore the past?
Remember the forgotten, their part recast.
While the spring winds blow and thunders clash
Help us mix the Autumn Ash.
I’m not really feeling this. You get it. It’s been a long day at the end of a long week with a surprising number of headaches. I’m not really complaining, I’m just tired, boss. So, I am not going to pontificate about all the things wrong in the world today or try to get folks excited about all the good things out there. Nope, I’m just gonna keep my head down, nose to the grindstone and crank out a reasonable number of words before hitting post. That’s the plan, anyway. So, I beg your patience and indulgence as we stand and make JD’s Single Barrel Sweet Tea.Continue reading
I love how pop culture can be used to expose folks to ideas that they have not heard before. It is always interesting to hear classic psychology, ethics or logic problems suddenly enter the pop lexicon because someone took the time to write them into a script. A couple of years ago The Good Place introduced folks who had not taken sociology to the classic Trolley Problem and it clearly got them thinking about what really did constitute the greater good, and that is a net positive. Recently, Wandavision brought the conundrum of the Ship of Theseus to the forefront and that got me to thinking, not about this drink, but something near to it. So, in the spirit of not knowing where one thing begins and another ends, won’t you join me now as we stand and make, the Lady Washington.Continue reading
Some times, you need to do the thing for the sheer beauty of it. Not because it has any value to society. Not because someone is paying you to do it. Not because it would make your fourth grade teacher proud, even though I do hope Mrs. Hall is pleased. Not for duty or honor or any sense of obligation, but simply because you want to see that beauty exist in the world. So, won’t you please join me now as we stand and make the Parisian Daiquiri.Continue reading
I am always drawn to folks who don’t quite play by the rules. Not rebellious types who tear things down or light fires just to see the world burn, but the folks who see a chance to make things better and say “Why not?” The ones who make “good trouble” as John Lewis put it. We spend a lot of time going through motions and doing things because that’s the way they have always been done without taking time to stop and ask why or if there is a better way. So in the spirit of not accepting the status quid pro quo, won’t you please join me now as we stand and make the War of the Roses.Continue reading
It’s definitely autumn. The frost in the mornings, that low angle golden light in the afternoon playing through the falling leaves. You can’t help but think of the bounty of the harvest and, for me, all the apple things. Cider, turnovers, dried slices, apple butter and fine fall cocktails. So, please join me now as we stand and make the Montparnasse.Continue reading
It’s been quiet today, oddly quiet. And warm, oddly warm. It looks like a wonderful autumn day, with that amazing kaleidoscope of colors falling from the trees, but you better grab your shorts and sunglasses cause it’s a summer day in November. I was looking for something cool and refreshing and we had a late afternoon repast of Corned Beef and Cabbage, and it was natural to find something with Irish whiskey. So, please, join me now as we stand and make the Irish Maid.Continue reading
The season is winding down at the farmers market. Fewer tomatoes, more sweet potatoes. That’s the nature of things, circle of life and all that. Pretty sure that it’s all covered in the most overplayed track in Ecclesiastes. Still there is bounty left, so we grabbed some end of season cucumbers and harvested some mint from our own garden for an end of summer cocktail. Please join me now as we stand and make, The Botanist.Continue reading
We use milestones to measure time, that would otherwise slip past unremarkably. This is why we celebrate birthdays and anniversaries and mourn past tragedies when the dates arise. We mark beginnings and endings, like the first day of school and the eventual graduation, and so many little milestones along the day. First steps, lost teeth, learning to ride a bike, these little accomplishments that remind us of just how much has changed while time was marching inexorably onward. It is funny, you don’t realize how quickly things change, if you aren’t keeping up. Today, the death toll from this virus that started me writing again crossed over 191,000. If there is a silver lining, it is that death’s have slowed recently, as case counts have continued to climb. Today also marks 150 cocktails from quarantine. Hard to believe, but I guess we better keep it going, so please, won’t you join me now as we stand and make, the Spicy 50.Continue reading