The world used to be a bigger place. There were lots of corners to hide in. Remember the days of regional delicacies? Stuff you could only get if you went to a particular area or place. Hatch Green Chiles in New Mexico, cheese curds in Wisconsin, scrapple in Pennsylvania or Jersey’s Taylor Ham. You could live a couple of hours away and have never heard of a loose burger, fry bread or chislic. I kind of miss those days of culinary exploration, even when it wasn’t remotely fancy. Twenty years ago, we always stopped at Culver’s when we were in Wisconsin, Five Guys when near DC or Jack in the Box in L.A. Today, we can visit any of those within a mile of each other in Franklin, Tennessee. We have more choices, but as these local flavors expand across the country, even in these standardized ways, we are getting a bit more homogenized, a bit more boring. So, in honor of a shrinking world, please join me now as we stand and make my version of a Texas classic, Smoke on the Ranch Water
It’s Saturday, so we’ve been to the farmers market and we have new goodies. I never know what I am going to make but Saturday’s make it easy, we are drinking whatever the fresh ingredients dictate. Today, we stocked up on purple Cherokee tomatoes to have in bacon sandwiches with fresh sourdough bread and some corn to make elote, which you will see in a drink soon. We also found some wonderful cucumbers for today’s drink. Won’t you join me now as we stand and make Horn of the Bulls.
Orwell said, “Who controls the past, controls the future, who controls the present controls the past.” With that in mind, I would like to remind you that Big Monkey is love and we have always been at war with Eurasia. Here at the Ministry of Truth we work hard everyday to make sure that you know only the best history, fresh off the press. Some of you may recall that we made this drink last week. This is simply not true. Any reference to this occurrence was malquoted. A quick search of the historical record will reveal that you have misremembered the facts. So, please join me now as we stand and make, for the first time ever, the Switchblade.
It’s always good to take a moment to look around and appreciate how good things are, even when they are not so great. I try to be mindful of that, especially when a day is frustrating or I’m feeling down and missing friends during these “unprecedented times”. Truth is, it’s not always easy, but it helps. So let’s have a drink and dig into our reflections. Won’t you join me now as we stand and make a Tequila Gimlet.
Happy Independence Day! This celebration of the 4th of July when our founding fathers, joined together to sign their names to a document that insured their deaths as traitors, if they failed. They did not fail. They fought and they died to craft a new country, based on a democratic idea that had never been attempted before, the great experiment. That’s worth celebrating, so join me as we stand and make the Firecracker.
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Well. mostly. My early forays into drinking were far from sophisticated. There are some drinks from those days that I have not revisited, many with good reason, but maybe it is time, being National Iced Tea Day, and all. I guess it is only fitting that we make a Long Island Iced Tea.
We spent the day working in the backyard, cleaning up, hanging new lights, trimming branches, burning a bunch of wood in the fire pit. You know, good honest work. It wasn’t till I walked inside for a drink that I realized I smelled like a campfire and that’s when I decided I needed a real drink, something smoky and rugged, like me. Looking at my recent acquisitions, a new stirring pitcher and a fresh bottle of mezcal made this one an easy call, the Oaxacan Old-Fashioned.
So…you’re listening to The Eagles with your pals, one day…
I’m a fan of The Eagles, have been since the music was current, but I’ve never been crazy about Tequila Sunrise. I like it fine, it’ll do, but It’s never something I’m gonna queue up first. I’m kind of the same way about the drink, they are nice on occasion, they are pretty, but a bit sweet for my taste and grenadine just makes me want a Shirley Temple. Which makes me think I need to work up an adult version of that famous kiddie cocktail. I remember ordering those with class and savoir faire as the most worldly 7 year old at the Red Lobster, but that’s another tale for another day. My wife, on the other hand, loves a fruity, sweet drink at the end of a long day, so Tequila Sunrise it is.
A big portion of my socially distanced existence revolves around selecting a cocktail to make and acquiring the tools and ingredients. Some days this is easy, I want a daquiri or Laura has a request or the day lends itself to an obvious choice like today. So, happy Cinco de Mayo while everyone is having margaritas tonight, in my naturally contrarian manner, I’ll be making La Paloma.
Ready for another super simple cocktail? How about a proper margarita? No mixes here just 2 ounces of tequila, I used the Kah Añejo, cause it comes in that cool skull bottle, one ounce of fresh squeezed lime juice, 1/2 ounce of Cointreau, 1/2 ounce of agave syrup and 3 drops of Havana and Hide bitters from 18-21. Pop it all into your tins with some ice, shake it about as long as you should be washing your hands and double strain into a chilled coupe with salt on the rim. Garnish with a lime wedge and you’re ready to enjoy. Only slightly more challenging than adding the tequila to a mix and so much tastier. Stay safe, stay home and stay hydrated!
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Random postings from inside the mind of a fairly boring ape, suffering from delusions of grandeur. One of these delusions is his incessant belief that you, the reader, care what he has to say.
There are lots of pictures for those who don't care to read, recipes for those who hunger and so many drinks.