Monday, January 20, 2014

Mixology Monday - In Which I Actually Enjoy A Drink For A Change

This month's Mixology Monday (hosted at Southern Ash) was Highballs. Aka a "_____ & Soda". I drink quite a lot of high balls. I think this stems from the fact that I am a Drinker first, and someone that gives a shit about fancy drinks second. As a Drinker, it is quite helpful to have something that is moderate enough in alcohol that I can still face tomorrow after 4-to-10 drinks on a Tuesday. I make soda water in 5 gallon kegs and blow through about one a fortnight. Margarett likes me to make the soda water with around 5 volumes of pressure, which I think is double what commercial soda water is. I find that to be on the threshold of painfully fizzy, but it is worth enduring for the times when guests attempt to serve themselves, and the soda water rockets into their glass and sprays their drink all over them.

One of my favorite highballs is the Grapefruit Chuhai served at Tanuki, a weird bar place in Portland. Tanuki is the only place I've ever been close to a regular at, and it's a great place to go if you are able to slam 4 beers during happy hour and then eat 15 different ocean creatures while a giant tv plays videos of tentacle horror softcore. A Chuhai was originally a shochu highball, which through the Japanese love of packaging became a canned Mike's Harder-equse alcoholic soda / premium malt beverage. Tanuki serves theirs with a big whack of bitters in it, which is nice.

While shochu would be a great choice, I selected Taiwanese cooking 'wine' to stay truer to the canned Chuhai experience. Michiu is something like a kome shochu, a spirit distilled from rice. I say something like, because I really don't know much about it except what the label tells me and what light googling yields. I DO know that it costs $5/bottle and is 19.5% abv, and tastes pretty good. This version has no salt added which is HIGHLY IMPORTANT. Is there shame in drinking cooking wine? I say no. Good enough for teens good enough for me.

If you have grapefruit soda I bet that would work. I had a Florida grapefruit that someone mailed me for Christmas because they aren't aware that we have grocery stores in Oregon now. This was great, and I expect the first one will pair well in my stomach with the four that will be following it over the course of Robo Vampire.


1 half grapefruit
3 oz Wan An Farm & Pastoral Co LTD Taiwan Michiu
1/2 oz Palm Sugar Simple Syrup

Slice grapefruit in half, place on pan and sprinkle on brown sugar. Broil in your oven for like 5 or 10 minutes, until it looks good and broiled. Juice the grapefruit, which should yield about 3 oz juice. Mix together juice, michiu, and simple syrup, shake with ice and strain into a relatively clean glass (a dirty glass will work if you can't find a clean one). Blast in some ultra carbonated fizzy water and top with a float of angostura.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Fallacy Of Hope

Well another year has finally ground itself out, with the usual depredations on my hairline, joints, and conviviality. I marked a significant milestone in my descent-toward-middle-age when my girlfriend had to berated me to 'put on your Nice Pants' for her company holiday party rather than the stained jeans I had planned on. What will 2014 hold for me? Pleated front khakis? White New Balance 'Dad' shoes? Fortunately, in Oregon I have an alternative recourse should things grow so grim.

While I might sound a bit down about it, I typically look forward to the New Year. Mostly because I enjoy making New Years Resolutions

2010 - Eat More Hollandaise - Killed It.
2011 - Drink More Gin - Crushed this one.
2012 - Achieve Spiritual Enlightenment - I guess I failed this one, but I at least kept up the momentum on gin drinking from last year. Also, I did a lot of stretching.
2013 - Embrace Love Of Classic Rock / Drink More Wine Spritzers - Mixed - I must have listened to Inna-Gadda-Da-Vidda 40 times and this is being written to the dulcet strains of Space Truckin'. If you haven't made your NYR yet, go ahead and open THIS and hopefully it should become clear. I made some headway on wine spritzers but at about the midpoint of the year I subconsciously started substituting gin for wine.

I usually give myself a few weeks into the New Year before selecting one, but some options include

Drink More During The Day
Visit Weird Asian Fish Store Down The Street
Develop 'System' For Horse Track

....Well I wrote all that on Dec 31th, and now this morning with a partially shattered brain and a burning need to read more Judge Dredd comics in bed I am struggling for a conclusion.

The Dying, The Dead & The Damned
1 Mug 'Joint Comfort' Herbal Tea
1 Glass Lagavulin 16

May 2014 relieve your suffering, but hopefully not in the permanent way.