Monday, September 23, 2013

He Announced Laconically

My semicolon usage in the previous post was deemed '100% correct'. To celebrate, a drink designed for a vacationing Conan The Barbarian.

'The Lipid Panel'
1/2 Avocado
1 Whole Egg
2 oz Coconut Cream
2.5 oz Gin
.75 oz Torani Amer
.75 oz Simple Syrup
1/2 Lemon
1/2 Lime
Soda Water
Blend all ingredients except soda water (duh, you idiot) with your immersion blender. If your immersion blender caught fire and died because you were using it to puree 8 gallons of malted corn, have your girlfriend buy a new, better one. A minute of blending basically makes pudding. Add ice and shake hard (~2 min). If you can't shake a shaker for 2 minutes, consider eating more whole eggs, you whimp. Strain into glass, mix with ~8 oz soda water, get into the tub. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Desperately Seeking Calories

It has been a trying week at Reasonable Industries. With the last drops of alcoholic yoghurt consumed, my umbilical cord to cocktail inspiration has been severed. I will compound what looks to be a promising new elixir, sure to impart vitality and stimulate the tastebuds in heretofore unimagined ways, and upon reaching for the Yoghurt Liqueur my hand will close on nothingness and all my mighty works turn to ash in the mouth. 

Valiantly, I press onward.

Without yoghurt, the primary aim of my cocktail consumption this past week was to dramatically up the calorie content of the drinks. I think this puts me into a very small niche, as the google results for 'how to make more fattening cocktails' yields the exact inverse of the information I seek. I have been working an extraordinary amount (nearly 35 hours some weeks)! As a consequence I've been shedding weight like a thing that sheds a lot of weight <ed note - insert analogy or metaphor later[look up difference between analogy & metaphor]>Thus the need to bump the caloric content of my beverage intake.

Reverse-engineering Forbes list of the 6 most fattening summer cocktails, I've identified 3 levers to tweak.

1. Sugar - Sugar has calories in it, no shit...This proves not to be a useful lever, because I don't like sweet cocktails. You can cram in a little bit more, but it requires a horse-sized dose of something reproachably bitter like Vallet Fernet to counter-act it.

2. Alcohol - The internet and 'Medical Doctors' claim that alcohol has calories, and theoretically calories are fattening. However, my metabolic pathways are attuned enough that all alcohol is immediately processed into Power, which is transmitted quite rapidly to my Brain and lesser muscles. This surge of Power causes the affected areas to burn up non-alcohol based nutrients, sort of like how using a Nitrous Boost on a car still uses up your gasoline just faster (is this true? All automobile knowledge I have was gathered from Need For Speed 1 for 3DO which had neither Nitrous Boost or a Gas meter). This is the reason that for every 4 alcoholic drinks I consume, I need to consume one Burger or two Quesadillas.

Did You Know
that my internet browser's spellcheck doesn't know the word Quesadillas and always wants to substitute Quadrilles? (Quadrille is a historic dance performed by four couples in a rectangular formation, and a precursor to traditional square dancing)

Additionally, my level of alcohol intake can't really be tweaked to garner more calories; if an individual drink has more or less alcohol, I will just have more or less individual drinks. Margarett, I just tried using a semicolon but I don't know if I did it right. Please berate me later for my incompetence.

3. Other - Glorious, glorious Other! This has always been the category where I excel.

An Examination of the Vagarities by Which Man Greets The Day

I Got Shucked At the 10th Anniversary Oyster Cloyster

2 oz London Dry Gin
1 oz Coconut Cream (the heavy shit that solidifies in the fridge and contains 100% of your lifetime Saturated Fat)
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
Half a Lemon
1 Whole Egg
3 dash Orange Bitters
3 oz Sparkling Wine
Mix Gin, Coconut Cream, Simple Syrup, Lemon Juice, Whole Egg, and Orange Bitters and dry shake for as long as you can manage (for me that is totally a long time cuz I'm like really, really strong). It should froth intensely. Add ice and shake for 10-15 seconds until frosted. Strain into glass (ideally hilarious novelty stemware obtained at a Coastal Town Fundraiser) and top with sparkling wine.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Containing the Metaphysics of Indian-Hating

While I know just about everything there is to know about alcohol, there are unfortunately many other glaring gaps in my knowledge. The sum total of my knowledge of India is based on that one episode of Seinfeld where they go to India and also what Margarett told me of her summer there. She said that it was incredibly hot, crowded, and you can't hardly get a drink. These two pieces of evidence were all I needed to cement in my mind that India is the Worst Country In The World, even though a five minute glance at handily proves that Every Country is the Worst Country In The World. Anyway, this has lead to a number of conversations along the lines of:

Me - Man, India must be the worst place on earth.
Margarett - You are an intolerant bigot.
Me - *grumble grumble while searching for an article at The Atlantic to provide liberal support for my intolerant bigotry*

Margarett's efforts to persuade me that India is in fact NOT the world country in the world never really succeeded because I had a personal reason for perpetuating my belief: I used to have an Indian coworker (Indian in that he lived in India...) who I despised. Every episode of his incompetent bungling and mealy-mouthed buck-passing would cause me to rain curse down on a country that could allow his existence. I didn't think that India was a bad place because it was full of treacherous half-wits like him, I WANTED it to be a bad place so that his every moment would be suffering. I wanted his environment to punish him in the same way his voice punished me during 6 am phone calls. That is the danger of a 24 hour global economy, it forces you to hate others very early in the morning...

Anyways, I've left that job and have been able to find forgiveness in my heart now that I'm not presented daily with evidence that he hasn't died. And just this week, thanks to the peace bringing, brotherhood stimulating power of Bol's Natural Yoghurt Liqueur, Indian culture has provided the inspiration for a daringly delicious new beverage.

I was gonna type some stuff talking about what Lassi is but I am tired so here is wikipedia --->>>>>>  Maybe I will come back later and add useful information. Basically, it is hot in India and you sweat a lot, so Margarett says they drink salty yoghurt drinks to rehydrate. I also sweat alot because I work in an unairconditioned building tending to pots of boiling alcohol. So I took their Idea but made it have alcohol in it because I have the power to do that (Thanks Bols!)

As a point of biography, I'm tired because the coffee I had this morning was made from Starbucks beans which expired in 2008 that Margarett brought home out of a roadside 'Free' bin. I think perhaps at some point in the 6 years since its roasting it lost some of its mentality-boosting power.

Also, this is the last post in Yoghurt Week both because I am out of Yoghurt Liqueur and because weeks are traditionally held to be 7 days long. Bols, if you would like me to continue writing about your wonderful Natural Yoghurt Liqueur, please email me for information on where to mail a case of free product.

'What's That Lassi, Trouble At The Old Mill?'

4 oz Bols Natural Yoghurt Liqueur
1 1/2 Limes (juiced and strained)
1/2 teaspoon salt (I used sage-smoked sea salt)
1/4 oz Ginger Simple Syrup
6 oz Soda Water

Strip to your boxers and pile your sweat-soaked clothes in the middle of the kitchen floor. Add together ingredients (except soda) and muddle to dissolve salt. Depending on the results of your fearless moral inventory, add a shot of vodka or gin. Shake and strain into a 20 oz pint glass filled with ice. Top with soda water and gently stir to mix. Take glass to basement and drink in your underwear while fantasizing about the Coming Of A New Ice Age. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

In Which Humankind Progresses Via Alcoholic Yoghurt

Upon embarking on The Yoghurt Project, I received a lot of 'ewwww's and 'why?'s from the simple-minded plebs I'm often forced to converse with. Those familiar with the histories of Art & Science know that similar questions often plague the careers of all true Achievers. The boilingly virile minds of  modern Prometheuses such as myself and the geniuses at Bols are the true engines which drive forward Humankind. The Nattering Nabobs of 'Why?' & "Ewwww' are anchors which work to keep the ship of Progress mired in the stagnant swamp of Ignorance. Why do we need Yoghurt Liqueur, when there are many other non-yoghurt based alcoholic beverages? Why do we need the telephone, who could possibly have more to express than the telegraph will allow? Why do we need to go to the Moon, we already have Arizona? WHY INDEED.

So, in the Spirit of Heroic Discovery, this first batch of cocktails will be rated using the Apollo Missons. Much like Apollo Missons, I don't have all the photos you might expect but I assure you I didn't fake these.

'Stuck at PDX For Christmas'

2 oz Gin (Aviation)
3/4 oz Bols Natural Yoghurt Liqueur
1 tsp Cherry Heering
1 tsp Apricot Brandy (liqueur)

Combine ingredients with ice, shake and strain into chilled glass.
This is a modification of the New York Bartender's Guide's version of an Aviation cocktail, using cherry heering instead of maraschino and Bols Yoghurt instead of lemon juice.

Rating -
Apollo 8. The First Manned Flight for Bols Yoghurt Liqueur, while drinking felt like "first humans to see the far side of the Moon and earthrise over the lunar horizon with their own eyes", but other than profound inspiration to make more Yoghurt cocktails it was only sort of meh tasting.

'Rafia Song About Teethbrushing'

1 oz Leopold Brothers Highland Fernet
1 oz Bols Natural Yoghurt Liqueur

Shake with ice and double-strain into chilled glass.
Rating - Apollo 1. Fire erupted during testing which killed 3 astronauts. The yogurt added a toothpaste-like texture to the already toothpaste flavored Highland Fernet.

'A Raja At Blandings Castle'

1 1/2 oz Tawny Port
1 1/2 oz Bols Natural Yoghurt Liqueur

Chill port & yoghurt liqueur, then combine in chilled sherry glass. Alternatively, you can make a pousse cafe with the yoghurt at the bottom. Take the pousse cafe as a single gulp.

Rating - Apollo 13, with the original cocktail representing the craft during oxygen tank explosion, and the pousse cafe the dramatic and heroic recovery. This tastes like a piece of cheese cake with berry sauce on it. I had to strong arm Margarett into trying it, but she ultimately approved. Tastes like something a teen girl with a fake ID would try to order at a bar.

'Two Great Tastes'

1 1/2 oz Torani Amer
1 1/2 oz Bols Natural Yoghurt Liqueur

Combine Amer & Yoghurt in a highball glass with ice. Top with soda and stir gently to integrate. Garnish with orange peel.
Rating - Apollo 11. Finally, success! Landing a man (me) safely in the Sea of Tranquility, this tastes like a fizzing, lightly sweet orange creamsicle. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

In Which a Picture Stands In For Many Of The Words

This is a picture of a drink I invented called a 'Scotch & Yogurt', served in a chipped glass and resting on the floor.  Welcome to Yogurt Week at Reasonable Industries, where I will be drinking only Bols Natural Yoghurt Liqueur based cocktails all week. 

'Scotch & Yoghurt'

2 oz Trader Joe's Brand Scotch (because fuck it)
1 oz Bols Natural Yoghurt Liqueur
3 oz Soda Water
Pour together the Scotch and Yoghurt liqueur into a glass of ice, top with soda and mix lightly. Sit on the floor while your girlfriend calls you a depraved weirdo. Wait for her to go to bed, then drink as many Scotch & Yoghurts as you want, because you are totally the boss and just because you want to stay up late drinking scotch and yoghurts and listening to atonal jazz doesn't make you a depraved weirdo. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Confronting The Inevitablilty Of Death With Simple Crafts You Can Do At Home

There are a lot of days where I wake up, and stare at the ceiling for a few moments and think to myself "well Andy, no escaping it, Death will claim you and everyone you know". This might drag a lot of people down, but fortunately I've found a foolproof remedy for Existential Crisis - edible busywork.

Making flavored sugar cubes is one of those things like making vinegar or baking bread that is incredibly easy, but where also no one believes you when you tell them it is incredibly easy. People say "Oh my god how did you make those?!" and then you say "It's really easy, you just" and then their eyes glaze over because most people are lazy. Perhaps their laziness stems from not acknowledging that Grim Death is hovering over their shoulders?

This latest batch was made with Fernet Leopold Highland Amaro, an American-made Fernet style digestive liquor with a distinct mint flavor. How distinct? To approximate:
  1. Grab a tube each of Tom's Wicked Fresh Spearmint Ice & Cool Peppermint Toothpaste, some unsweetened cocoa powder, and a friend.  
  2. Fill your mouth with a tablespoon of cocoa powder
  3. Insert the end of both tubes into your mouth. 
  4. Close your eyes 
  5. Have a friend squeeze both tubes simultaneously into your mouth as hard as they can. Ideally you'll want a friend that has known you long enough that they will relish the chance to make you suffer.
Anyway to make sugar cubes, you'll slowly mix in about 1.5 tablespoons of liqueur into 3/4 cups sugar. As you mix it should take on the consistency of damp sand, add more of either ingredient until it feels about right for building a sand castle. Spread on wax/parchment paper into a layer the height of desired cubes and let sit for 15 minutes while you contemplate how little the universe cares about you or your sugar cubes. While an almost overwhelming wave of hopelessness and despondency washes over you, preheat your oven to 150. Use a knife to divide the sugar into cubes, if they look shitty and irregular, well that's probably how you look too. They'll need about 20 minutes in the oven to dry out, once they feel pretty solidified remove them to cool totally and then artfully arrange in a glass to impress others with how little value your time must have if you have time to make flavored sugar cubes.

They will keep for months and are a useful addition to coffee, champagne, or in creation of an Old-Fashioned.   

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Confluence Of Happenstance

Waking up at 5 am for work every day has crushed out my will to communicate, but I know the teeming masses must be appeased. It is hard to have a sense of humor when you leave the house while it is still night time. The sense of humor is replaced by the sense of injustice, and the desire to communicate funny things is replaced with the desire to avenge yourself against those who wronged you. Like Batman.

Anyway it turns out there are lots of awesome things you can do in the world that aren't update a blog, like cut your finger nails or write haikus about your overweight house cat.

BORIS, you wide wad
You'll get fed when you get fed
So stop your whining

But the whole time you are haikuing, something is nibbling away inside. GUILT. Guilt that you are forsaking your duty, to alert the world to horrible poisons. So here I am.

The pickleback has been kicking around for a bunch of years (New York Times wrote it up in 2010), and is perhaps old news to many but two recent gift of some delicious pickles as well as some Jameson brought it back to the fore at Reasonable Industries. The Portland Mercury also mentioned it in a review this week, stating
As if to make a position statement, the bar offers a Pickleback: a shot of pickle brine that washes away a shot of bad whiskey—an efficient tool for those only interested in one aspect of their drinking. It lives at the end of the cocktail menu, a white flag of capitulation after all that trying.
He's got it a bit backwards - I enjoy the pickleback, but primarily because I want to drink a shot of pickle juice and this is a good format. Having a shot of pickle juice by itself seems highly depraved, like something a 45-year old bachelor named 'Uncle' Tony would do to 'replenish the salts'. Turning it into a novelty bar shot moves it from weird and depraved, to weird and debauched, which is always an easier position. gave the Pickleback at 98/100 "Hair On Your Chest Factor". But also has a story titled "Do Real Men Wear Louis Vuitton Watches?" which is the question of someone who might balk at the pickle back. For the rest of us who use a $15 cracked-screen burner phone to check the time, the pickle back is a soothing treat.  
Shown after Margarett's small, birdlike sampling

'Behind The (New York) Times'
2 oz Whiskey (Jameson or Old Crow)
2 oz Pickle Juice

Pour them, then drink them, then quickly do it again while your girlfriend is in the bathroom so she doesn't look askew at how much whiskey and pickle juice you really want to drink on a Wednesday. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Worth the Consideration of Those to Whom it May Prove Worth Considering

Today is Derby Day at Reasonable Industries. This Labor Day neatly closes my first year as a 'laborer', so in the proud American tradition I've scraped together one mop-handle calloused handful of cash with the intention of investing it at the horse track, rather than blowing it on something stupid like health insurance or vegetables. In prep for the all you can eat Prime Rib Buffet, I've seasoned my innards with the classic horse racing cocktail The Mint Julep.

The Mint Julep is by all rights a pretty shitty drink. Depending on which 'classic', 'proper', or 'traditional' recipe you follow you'll end up with a drink that is somewhere between VERY SWEET and MASSIVELY SWEET. A sugary slush for the infantile palate of pablum-seeking sweet tea drinkers. That doesn't bother me too much, as we all need some pablum to help spoon us along through the everyday horrors of everyday existence. There are lots of shitty, sweet cocktails out there and none of them do me much harm. I guess the Mint Julep gets my sap up a bit because of the legion of Southern-for-A-Day experts who slather the drink with false nostalgia, beating on endlessly about how  the Julep is a indispensable Southern Institution. The Julep may in fact BE a Southern Institution. Just like Lynch Mobs, Humidity, and Losing Your Foot To Diabetes.

The Julep (or some form of it) is reputed to be one of the oldest cocktails in existence, put in print for the first time in 1803 according to wikipedia. Well, despite what Portland bartenders would have you believe, it's not the 1880's anymore. Time and Science have propelled us pretty far since then. People in the 1800's didn't even have pagers. Why would I take their advice on a drink? 

The Mint Julep is also somewhat unique in that it is NEVER at the right dilution. Prior to the ice melting, each sip yields a meager trickle of sugar thickened bourbon along with a mouthful of ice chips. This stage goes on for approximately 3 hours. Seemingly between hours 3 and 3.15 hours, all of the ice melts simultaneously and you now get to pound some mint flavored water because all the bourbon was sipped out in the first 3 hours. The Julep is touted as a drink designed to last you the whole race day (with some recipes calling for a Senator-worthy 8 oz of bourbon). This is highly Southern to me, because I think of Southerners as lazy idiots, and only a lazy idiot would make one drink that is bad 80% of the time instead of 4 drinks that are perfect 100% of the time.

Anyway, I still made one and it still tastes fine regardless of how much bile the topic of 'The South' excites from my spleen.

"Pregnant At The Waffle House"

3oz Bourbon or whatever whiskey you find if you aren't a fascist
1 tbsp superfine caster sugar
10 mint leaves (spearmint ideally)
Most of the Ice From Your Freezer
Grab your tablespoon measure and stare at it, trying to imagine how this isn't way too much sugar. Add to glass along with mint leaves, and muddle a bit with 1/2 oz spirit or hot water to melt the sugar. Add 2 oz spirit. Fill one of the good dish towels with ice, then smash it against a tree stump until it is finely cracked or until you feel too guilty about using one of the good dish towels. Pack the glass with ice and pour over whatever amount of whiskey you want because you just put like 10 oz of ice in the drink so who fucking cares how much alcohol is in it. I used an applewood smoke infused blended scotch, the muddle mint was spearmint, and the garnish is mojito mint.
This drink lasted me the entirety of a documentary about a man and his pet elephant.