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Cocktails?

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From my cocktail research via Ardent Spirits Behind the Bar blog:

Oh, barkeep! Might I trouble you for a whiskey?

The word Highball is a railroad term used to indicate to the conductor on steam trains that there was enough water in the tank, thus the train could go full speed ahead—the water level was indicated by a ball connected to a float inside the tank, so when the ball was high, the tank was full.  In a television documentary that aired in 1999, there appeared a guy who rode the rails during the depression, and he said that when the train was about to leave, “they gave you the highball—that’s two shorts [whistle blows] and a long.  Man, you better be ready then ‘cause he’s pulling out.”

I’m tracking down cocktail recipes because I’ve come up with a fiendish scheme. I’m planning a series of giveaways that will start at some point later this year. Probably summer because I have promised myself not to actually START any new projects until I Finish The Damn Book™ (also as Finish The Damn Book Already™). Some of these cocktails actually appear in the novel, some of them are sort of implied by events, and others would be great pairings for certain chapters… yes, I’m offering cocktail pairings to go along with my book. I know “playlists” are what’s hip, but, frankly, I have Lady Gaga and Stereophonics on my iPod so you probably don’t want any suggestions from me on the musical front. Unless they come with cocktail pairings as well.

My favorite drink is a martini. Vodka. Dry. Like so dry just wave the vermouth in the vicinity of the ice you use to chill the vodka and you’re my best friend. I like it dirty. With a twist. Or with bitters. Sometimes, I’ll drink a lemon drop (only if the sugar is big fat crunchy crystals), or ginger. I only prefer chocolate in men, not liquor. I used to drink Cosmos, but abandoned them one horrific Lenten season when I gave up sugar. I’m not a fan of the classic gin martini, a little too herbaceous for me, but haven’t settled on a favorite vodka. I’m partial to Grey Goose and Belvedere (ooo la la, the French do know how to get a girl drunk and out of her knickers, don’t they?), but recently tried a vodka from Austin, TX that has turned my head.

The fortuitously named, Tito Beveridge (who clearly samples his product because he has a few songs posted on the company website that he’s front man on… or he could just be a prototypical Texan aka exhibitionist. LOL. Advice to Tito: Auto. Tune.) came up with some corn-based witchcraftery that drinks like smooth icy goodness — Tito’s Handmade Vodka. No bitter back bite. No stomach burn. No watery eyes. Mmmm. I was going to post a pic, but I can’t find a clean one of the bottle, so I may update later if I can manage to take one at home. Ha. I do encourage (disclaimer: those of you of legal drinking age) to try it. I bought one from my new favorite Syrian liquor store clerk/hottie last week and tossed back more than was prudent once I got it home and chilled it. Good thing I didn’t have to drive from the living room to my room. And now the dog knows better than to sleep on my side of the bed.

If I hit the jackpot it will be an original pressing, otherwise a reprint.

The cocktail research has lead me to a number of pretty fantastic looking books (of course! more books!) that I may purchase or see if I can have “donated” to the giveaways. I’m excited to start experimenting with more spirits. For the book. **bats eyelashes**  I flirted with fruity cocktail drinks in my youth, but prefer my drinks like my men: hard, with as little adulteration as possible. Also, who could resist this artwork? Kinda makes me feel tipsy just looking at all that detail…. I’m thinking I may need to find a stellar bartender to conspire with on this project. Also: a liver donor.

Over the years, I’ve gone from college binge drinking (sorry, mom), to 20-something cosmos and infusions, to experimental oenophilia, a stint as a tea-totaler (and, yes, I was exactly as much fun as one would imagine), to my current re-embracing of straight spirits, possibly chilled, measured by the finger if possible. I’m trying to recruit my girlfriends, but at my tender age, so many are still in the thrall of yoga and clean-living or have small children at home they are trying to impress. Sigh.

I leave you with tonight’s cocktail experiment. As mentioned above I’m normally opposed to fruity drinks, but can’t resist this one because of the name.

 

I'm not mature enough to lead a post with this. Or just too chickenshit. Or sober.

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Written by Alyss Dixson

February 9, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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