Jan
06
2012

An Enthusiast’s guide to cocktails: the Sazerac

–Christian

Sazerac Bar—Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans

The Sazerac is one of the oldest cocktails still commonly consumed today. Invented around 1830 in New Orleans (where all the classics seem to have come from) by a Creole apothecary from the West Indies named Antoine Amadie Peychaud, the drink’s original recipe called for cognac, bitters, sugar and a dash of water. Incidentally, this concoction was pretty much the only cocktail recipe back in those days—something now referred to as the Old Fashioned.

Antoine’s particular approach and proprietary bitters were so popular that bars (or “Exchanges”) all over NOLA started serving it. Legend has it that a man named Sewell Taylor, owner of Merchants Exchange Coffeehouse, was serving the drink at his bar when he became the sole importer of Sazerac-du-Forge et fils Cognac. Shortly thereafter Aaron Bird took over the Merchant’s Exchange from Taylor, who had gone full-time into importing, and changed the name to Sazerac House after the liquor in their signature drink. And the first branded cocktail was born.
Read more »


Dec
28
2011

Hungover Personality Types: Part II

—Josey

Just as everyone who drinks has a drunk personality type, those of us who drink to excess also experience our drunk personality’s bloated and dehydrated evil sister-in-law—the hungover personality type.

In Part I we looked at The Teetotaler, The Hypochondriac, and Misery Loves Company. Here are three more:

The Strategist. Between the cases of coconut water she gets delivered to her apartment, the multiple bottles of liver- and energy-restoring vitamins and ibuprofen perpetually stocked in her medicine cabinet, the extra-large aloe juice in the fridge and the raw apple cider vinegar on the counter—it’s obvious this isn’t her first rodeo. Read more »


Dec
26
2011

Hungover personality types: Part I

—Josey

Just as everyone who drinks has a drunk personality type, those of us who drink to excess also experience our drunk personality’s bloated and dehydrated evil sister-in-law—the hungover personality type.

Let’s take a look at a few of the more common:

The Teetotaler. 364 days a year, he’s the quiet guy in the back cubical who looks confused when you regale him with stories about your brother’s bachelor party last weekend in South Lake. Read more »


Dec
09
2011

Appreciate your bartender: Dos and don’ts

It’s Bartender Appreciation Day! In honor of the gods and goddesses behind the stick, here are some “dos” and “don’ts” to help you be the best drunkard you can be—provided by our dear friend Haley, who tends bar in Portland, OR.

***

—Haley

Thanks for appreciating all the ass kickin’, kissin’ and holes we deal with. Here’s some pointers to show you give a shit. Because saying “you work in the industry” doesn’t mean jack. Frankly, it can be a little insulting.

Your lovely bartender—off-duty

Don’t
1. Pound on the bar to get my attention. I see you. I see the 50 other people standing around you, and the 4 that are immediately in front of me. Your lack of patience and common courtesy makes me want to make you wait longer.
Read more »


Dec
07
2011

Homemade holiday gifts for drunks: Infused booze

—Leila

It’s getting toward the end of the year, and if your 2011 New Year’s resolution was anything like mine—more day drinking—then you’re probably realizing right about now that your best intentions quietly slipped away sometime in … well, let’s face it, early January. Damn work.

But unlike with all your other failed resolutions, there’s still time for this one before the clock strikes 2012.

“But Leila,” I can almost hear you saying, “when will I find time for all this merrymaking? I have things to do! Presents to buy! Holiday parties to attend!”

First of all, quit your whining. Second, I have a solution to all of these problems and more, because you and I are getting ready to make infused liquor as holiday gifts for all your friends and (selected) family. Infused liquor is delicious, quick and easy and fun to make, and is appreciated both at holiday parties and as gifts. And you’re pretty much forced to taste it as it infuses! So let’s Martha Stewart it up and make some homemade gifts, shall we?
Read more »


Nov
03
2011

The home bar: Part 2

—Christian

Last week we talked about the bar itself. In Part Two of the home bar series we look at the various tools of the trade. While you can definitely get by with a basic shaker, strainer and bar spoon, there are few more fun toys that will make your life easier and increase your potential repertoire. Take a look and outfit the bar to fit your needs.


Jiggers

Jigger

Slanted jigger

While I’ve seen people rant on blogs and message boards about how it’s a sign of weakness to see a bartender use a jigger, the flat truth is that when making a cocktail more complex than gin and tonic (do those mix?), you want to be pretty accurate with your measurements or else you’re going to end up with an imbalanced drink. Having nothing to do with Jay Z, the classic jigger is metal with a cup on either side (they come in various combinations of volume ranging from .5oz to 2oz). You can also get the slanted jigger with volume lines which is a little more versatile. (And just to note, a standard shot glass is just over 1.5oz when topped off.) Read more »


Oct
29
2011

5 Halloween costumes for drunks

—Josey

As an Enthusiast, one of your primary concerns on Halloween weekend is probably how to conveniently tote the night’s libations around in your costume. Unless you’re dressing as a college student, bike messenger, or office worker (possibly some of the laziest “costumes” you could wear), the usual backpack, messenger bag, or briefcase of booze will negatively impact the efficacy of your festive outfit. Here are 5 Halloween costumes that lend themselves particularly well to transporting booze:

 

Cowboy/Cowgirl:
Pick up a bottle of Hijos De Villa Pistol Reposado for tequila that does double-duty as a prop gun for the night. Play the distraught cattle-wrangler and down the whole thing yourself or do your crew a favor avenging your old friend’s death by shooting them in the mouth.
Read more »


Oct
28
2011

The home bar: Part 1

—Christian

Every September San Francisco is host to a wondrous occasion know as Cocktail Week. Classes, lectures and bar-hosted events are held all around the city. This past cocktail week your humble Enthusiasts attended a seminar on a topic that has always been of great interest to me: the home bar.

Our gracious hosts were none other than Jon Santer­—founder of Bourbon and Branch (among many other prolific San Francisco bars) and David Nepove, aka Mister Mojito—currently a bar advisor by trade, but a long-time San Francisco cocktail guru. Between the two of them, it’s needless to say we were in good hands.

In this multi-part series I will take you through everything we learned. From how to build a bar; to the tools you’ll need to outfit it with; to the various ingredients you’ll want to keep behind it. In Part One we cover the bar itself. And depending on budget, the sky really is the limit.
Read more »


Aug
31
2011

What to pack for your long weekend: An Enthusiasts’ checklist

—Josey

There are two things we don’t think work better drunk here at the Alcohol Enthusiast, and driving is one of them. (The other one is your mom’s penis, in case you were wondering—heyo!) So I’ll preface this road trip list with a big “IF.” IF you can sober up long enough to drive someplace or you’re a really excellent liar who feigns a pitiable combination of congenital Strabismus and inability to operate your household’s only vehicle because it’s a stick shift person whose friends crave their company so deeply they offer to stay off the sauce for a few hours to drive you all somewhere super sweet for the weekend, here’s what you should bring to ensure a bitching time: Read more »


Jun
12
2011

An Enthuisiast’s Guide: Hangovers

—Christian


Unfortunately, rampant enthusiasm has its consequences. In the worst cases those consequences involve waking up in a hospital or jail. But that typically comes from bad luck or inexperience—or if it’s a frequent occurrence, perhaps a sign your alcohol enthusiasm has ventured into darker territories. Much more common, and some say unavoidable, is when having a really good time leads to having a really bad time the next morning: the dreaded hangover.

Hangovers are caused by a variety of factors, most notably: dehydration and the body’s struggle to metabolize the acetaldehyde in your system. The problem being while your body works to process the excessive alcohol its ability to effectively absorb water is hindered—meaning, the liquids you drink tend to flush right through.

Another element that contributes to hangovers is the general depletion of vitamins and nutrients resulting from consuming nothing but liquid carbs and sugar for 8-16 hours. Not to mention the physical exhaustion that standing/dancing/walking/running/giving piggyback rides/copulating over that same period of time will exert.

So what can you do to help your body get through the pain next morning?
Read more »


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