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.
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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.
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Oct
03
2011

Robot Sex on the Beach

—Josey

Laura G. Duncan: Knows a lot about sex robots.

The request: Develop a drink for a happy hour presentation about Teledildonics, “Hey, Where’s My Robot Girlfriend,” at The Tip bar—which is exactly what your filthy, perverted mind imagines. Read more »


Aug
12
2011

How to make the Summer Tremble

Our first happy hour event was a great success. After setting up at HANGR 16, I mixed drinks like crazy for almost three hours.
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Jul
05
2011

Win tickets: Moonshine launch party in SF

Thanks to everyone who entered the haiku contest! The contest is over and the winners’ haiku can be read in the comments of this post. Cheers!
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Jul
01
2011

The Drunkest I’ve Ever Been: The exciting conclusion of 2010

—Zip

I work at the One Union recording studio. One year, our annual Christmas party was to be followed by a recording session at 2am. Turns out we were connecting to Cape Town, South Africa to record “Ninja” from Die Antwoord. It was noon there.

The fancy shmancy restaurant we go to for dinner every year is Jardiniere, by the opera house. They pour drinks with a heavy hand! We all had some whiskey at the office before the party, and once there I indulged in my usual drinking of the oldest and most expensive scotch they have available (it’s on the boss’ tab!) The dinner went well, was really fun, and Jesus those scotches were huge! We ate scallops, steak, risotto, holy shit, tons of buttery french shit piled up on top of all that booze. I drank like an asshole even though I knew I had an overnight session coming up.
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Feb
10
2011

Mixology 101

—Josey

When we saw the name of the class—“Mixology for the Alcohol Enthusiast”—we knew Jeebus herself wanted us to sign up. But admittedly, when we left the unseasonably sunny February afternoon behind and wandered into club Mist, a little worse for wear from Friday happy 12-hours, we were shocked to find other students that were not just us crowded around the bar. Then we realized where we’d mis-assumed—of course!—these drunks had named their blogs the Alcohol Enthusiast, too. Duh. Duh. We’re so dumb.

Once the initial surprise wore off, and we sent enough knowing and not-at-all-creepy winks around the bar at our classmates, it was time to start mixologying, 101-style.

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Dec
28
2010

Diaries of a cigarette girl: Part 5

—Chelsea

Guest writer Chelsea regales us with her first forays into the wild world of booze in this multipart series.

Working as a cigarette girl is only partially about selling cigarettes. It’s much more about selling yourself. A Peachy Puff is a product, and when a customer buys a pack of cigarettes from her, he’s also buying her company. It’s a form of very short-term, platonic prostitution. This is where it came in handy to be witty, funny, and exciting, because these things were the real wares we were peddling, much more so than the packs of gum and the disposable lighters. But this could cause some confusion about the role of a Puff as well; we were propositioned often, if not nightly.

I can’t tell you how many times people tried to pay me to party with them at someone’s house after the bars closed. I remember one guy drunkenly trying to convince me to come play a late-night game of tennis, with complete sincerity. But sometimes, people were looking for more than just friendly company. Once, a man with a thick accent and an old-fashioned pinstripe suit and hat pulled me over to sit next to him. He wrapped his arm around me, telling me that he wanted me to come back to his hotel room with him. “I have a jacuzzi in my room,” he offered. “You don’t have to take all your clothes off, just wear your panties.” He pulled out a huge wad of hundred dollar bills—more than I had ever seen in my life—and waved it in front of my face, saying “Don’t you want this? Take it.” I quickly removed his arm from around my shoulders, smiling nervously, and hurried off.

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Dec
21
2010

Diaries of a cigarette girl: Part 4

—Chelsea

Guest writer Chelsea regales us with her first forays into the wild world of booze in this multipart series.

The Peachy Puffs were a motley bunch of tough, loud, beautiful, shit-talking night owls, who would do almost anything for an easy buck. And by easy I mean, not requiring 40 hours a week behind a desk, a Bachelor’s degree, or getting out of bed before noon. These girls were hustlers. The maximum amount of money in the shortest amount of time was the goal, and many also took work as alcohol promotion girls, models, gogo dancers, and drug dealers—as long as the pay was in cash and under the table. The turnover rate was high, as the job can be intense. Many girls quit after one or two nights. But there were some stalwarts who became my nightly companions.

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Dec
16
2010

Diaries of a cigarette girl: Part 3

—Chelsea

Guest writer Chelsea regales us with her first forays into the wild world of booze in this multipart series.

Despite my novice status as a drinker, alcohol quickly became my fuel, pushing me through the insanity of each night as a cigarette girl. I knew nothing about cocktails so I usually asked the bartenders to make me something they liked themselves. The beautiful brunette tending bar at the upscale dance club on Broadway made me an ultra-sweet concoction in a martini glass called a Purple Hooter; the friendly, scruffy-faced guy at the dingy sports bar made me a SoCo and peach schnapps atrocity called an Alabama Slammer. The geeky bar-back who clearly harbored a crush always greeted me with two shots of Fernet, one for me and one for him. And the aging, chubby queen behind the bar at my favorite gay dive made me a large juice glass filled to the top with his secret recipe for a Vanilla Cosmo, which he refused to reveal. I didn’t know what I liked, so I would try just about anything. I never had to ask for a drink, as bartenders tended to have some affection for the cute Peachy Puff girls, and offered booze freely to us. I enjoyed the camaraderie I felt with my fellow night workers, and they, along with the drinks they shared with me, were my only comfort during each night of stressful, fast-paced, disorienting work.

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