I'm not much of a drinker, and I didn't know what a Moscow Mule was until I saw the Bali Hai episode of Better Call Saul. The drink, made from vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice, poured over ice, was served to Kim Wexler (my favorite character on the show, played by Rhea Seehorn) in a copper mug. Recently, I went on vacation with my wife, and she ordered a Moscow Mule at a restaurant. It was served in a copper mug. It turns out you are supposed to serve them that way.
The origins of the Moscow Mule are a bit murky, but it appears to have been invented in the early 1940s by the owner of a Hollywood pub on the Sunset Strip called the Cock 'n' Bull. The bartender wanted to clean out a slow-moving stockpile of Smirnoff's and bottled ginger beer that had been gathering dust on the shelves in the backroom, so he mixed them together and started serving them in copper mugs to the movie stars who frequented the pub. It became an instant hit, at least until McCarthyism scared people away from anything with the taint of Sovietism to it. But the Moscow Mule had a kick that people liked, and it made a comeback in the 1960s, which it enjoys today.
You can buy a set of 4 copper mugs with brass handles for $25 on Amazon. I just bought a set, and am looking forward to mixing up a batch of Moscow Mules the next time we have friends over for dinner. Read the rest
As someone who spent many misguided years of my youth drinking poorly-eyeballed gin and tonics out of coffee mugs, I never really understood: How exactly can you make cocktails "well" or "poorly"? Isn't it a simple matter of ratios – of pouring the right amount of the right things into a glass, chucking in an ice cube or two and calling it a day? Where is the mysterious opportunity in that simple process to either mess it up or do it exceptionally well? Jeffrey Morgenthaler's The Bar Book is a masterclass on that very subject.
The Bar Book is not a recipe book. Instead, it is a techniques book. Morgenthaler elevates making cocktails into a craft, focusing on finding the right recipe, using the best ingredients, and executing it all using effective techniques. While the author does include expertly curated recipes for some must-know cocktails, instead of focusing on what to mix (which can always be found with a quick Google of "how to make a Cosmopolitan"), it focuses on how, why, and when to mix it. He gives you a 360-degree education in barcraft, from what shapes cocktail shakers come in and what the differences mean to why the shape and size of your ice is important and how to make it so that it comes out of the tray clear and beautiful. He’s a big proponent of making things like mixers, garnishes and even liqueurs from scratch, so the book offers up recipes for making things like flavored syrups, infusions, and even tonic water. Read the rest
Jazz pioneer Charles Mingus (1922-1979) had a secret recipe for eggnog that by all accounts was delicious, and incredibly potent. He shared the recipe with biographer Janet Coleman who published it in her book Mingus/Mingus: Two Memoirs. Here's the brew below, followed by Mingus's "Moanin'."
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Charles Mingus's Egg Nog
* Separate one egg for one person. Each person gets an egg. * Two sugars for each egg, each person. * One shot of rum, one shot of brandy per person. * Put all the yolks into one big pan, with some milk. * That’s where the 151 proof rum goes. Put it in gradually or it’ll burn the eggs, * OK. The whites are separate and the cream is separate. * In another pot- depending on how many people- put in one shot of each, rum and brandy. (This is after you whip your whites and your cream.) * Pour it over the top of the milk and yolks. * One teaspoon of sugar. Brandy and rum. * Actually you mix it all together. * Yes, a lot of nutmeg. Fresh nutmeg. And stir it up. * You don’t need ice cream unless you’ve got people coming and you need to keep it cold. Vanilla ice cream. You can use eggnog. I use vanilla ice cream. * Right, taste for flavor. Bourbon? I use Jamaica Rum in there. Jamaican Rums. Or I’ll put rye in it. Scotch. It depends.
See, it depends on how drunk I get while I’m tasting it.
Pop Chart Lab was founded in 2010 by a book editor and a designer, with the modest goal of rendering all of human experience in chart form. Since then they’ve charted a wide array of cultural touchstones. A Visual Guide to Drink is Pop Chart Lab’s comprehensive volume of its most important topics in graphical form: beer, wine, and spirits.
Containing everything from the many varieties of beer and the vessels from which to drink them, to cocktails of choice in film and literature, A Visual Guide to Drink maps, graphs, and charts the history, geography, and culture of the world’s very favorite pastime. The domestic beer-drinking novice and whisk(e)y aficionado alike will relish this perfectly practical primer awash in essentials like charted cocktail recipes, a breakdown of brewing processes, and extensive maps of the world’s wine region in Pop Chart Lab’s trademark clean and elegant design.
The definitive guide to informative imbibing, A Visual Guide to Drink is a fun, functional, and beautiful concoction of data and design that is sure to inspire delight in readers (and drinkers) everywhere. Read the rest
Although the word "cocktail" wasn't coined until the 1800s, mixed drinks were all the rage when America got its independence. Many were made with rum or whiskey, and punch was the term du jour. Both refreshing and timeless, why not toast the weekend with these 3 smashing cocktails of yesteryear? Read the rest
The Macallan Ice Ball Machine- 01.15.10 (via Andre's Notes) Previously:Virtuoso cocktail shaker does his thing Boing Boing Halloween cocktail photos - Boing Boing Rube Goldberg cocktail-mixing machine - Boing Boing Desk/cocktail bar from 1947 - Boing Boing HOWTO make a snail out of a melted cocktail stirrer - Boing Boing Read the rest