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An Interesting Look at European Wages in the Universal Currency of Beer

January 24, 2014 Nick McAfee 0

With all the different currencies and costs of living, the value of the minimum wage can be difficult to understand.  The obvious solution that has so long eluded economists?  Measure it in beer!  The above graphic depicts the number of beers that can be bought in each European country based on the minimum wage and national costs of beer.  The clear winner?  Belgium, with a staggering 1028 beers per month.  For more details, checkout the original article.

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How to Make the Klondike, or a fitting cocktail for Discovery’s new tv show.

January 22, 2014 Nick McAfee 0

Well the reviews are in, and after the first episode, there seems to be a strong divide between those who think Discovery Channel’s newest show “Klondike” is either pure gold or still hunting for it.  One thing everyone should be able to agree on is the perfect drink for the show:  something a bit old, something involving whiskey, and most importantly something absolutely delicious.  From the classic Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book, comes the perfect cocktail, the Klondike. The Klondike 2 oz Makers Mark 2 oz Vermouth ginger ale (optional) garnish with an orange wedge Pour the Maker’s Mark  and vermouth over ice into a Collins glass.  Top off with ginger ale and stir till chilled.  Garnish with an orange wedge and serve.  For a fun and slightly unexpected twist, I recommend replacing the vermouth with fresh squeezed orange juice (if that isn’t available, any brand that isn’t made from concentrate Learn More

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Technically Saturday: Your Guide to Types of Beer

January 18, 2014 Nick McAfee 2

Although this blog doesn’t often discuss beer, it is occasionally used in the cocktails.  Talking about beer as though it is all the same is just about as oblivious as assuming that every distillery that produces whisk(e)y,  be it in America, Canada, Ireland, Japan or Scotland is exactly the same.  Only beer is even a bit more complicated than that.  There are seemingly countless types of beer, and it can be difficult to get a grasp on them all, but I stumbled upon a great resource the other day that gives a great  short description of each type of beer.  I grabbed a quick screenshot of types of beer and encourage you to learn more over at the great beer blog The Perfectly Happy Man.  They also have some fantastic beer photographs and a large database of craft beer reviews.  Enjoy!

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Sunday Funday: The Golden Globes, or Another Excuse for Mixing Booze and Bubbly

January 12, 2014 Nick McAfee 0

Tonight marks the celebration of the best 2013 had to offer in terms of film and television: the 71st Golden Globes!  Unlike the formality of the Oscars, the Golden Globes is a boisterous party filled with drunken actors, producers, directors, and other cast members.  So what type of drinks are good for the occasion?  How about continuing what we left off on New Years and keep on mixing spirits with bubbly in these two great cocktails! The Negroni Sbagliato 1 oz Campari 1 oz Sweet Red Vermouth 1 oz Sparkling Wine (optional) garnish with an orange wheel Fill a rocks glass with ice and pour in the Campari, vermouth and sparkling wine. Gently stir until mixed.  Garnish with an orange wheel and serve.  The name of this drink translates from the Italian to “the bungled negroni” and it gets its name from substituting the sparkling wine in for the original Learn More

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How to Make a Hot Toddy, or the Workhorse of Winter Cocktails

January 11, 2014 Nick McAfee 2

It’s National Hot Toddy Day!  But actually, look it up, it’s a thing.  The hot toddy is a wonderfully versatile hot drink which can be served with almost every imaginable booze and hot drink combination.  To get our footing, the following is a great simple recipe for the hot toddy on which many variations can be made to taste. The Basic Hot Toddy 2 oz Spirit 0.5 oz honey 6 oz hot water Mix all ingredients in a mug and stir with a cocktail spoon until the honey has fully dissolved. Garnish with whatever you like – I love to garnish the basic hot toddy with a small mint sprig or citrus wheel.  Hot toddies were developed sometime in the early 18th century in Scotland.  While no one remembers exactly why it was created, historians believe that the recipe was designed to make the taste of scotch whisky more palatable, Learn More

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How to Make Irish Hot Chocolate, or Drinking Warm Booze as not to Freeze!

January 7, 2014 Nick McAfee 0

With most of the US pretending it is Alaska, the weather is far too cold for just your average cocktail.  We need something served hot, something delicious, and something with more than your average share of booze.  The perfect drink for this occasion, without a question, is Irish Hot Chocolate. Irish Hot Chocolate 1 (12-ounce) bottle Guinness 1/4 cup cocoa powder 1 tablespoon granulated sugar pinch kosher salt 3 cups whole milk 4 ounces milk chocolate chips 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips 4 ounces Bailey’s or other Irish cream liqueur 4 ounces Irish whiskey (optional) garnish with marshmallows Unlike most of the cocktails we have covered in this blog, this drink is easiest to make in a large batch and also takes a bit of time, but is well worth the effort.  Begin by boiling down the Guinness over high heat in a small saucepan until there is only 1/2 Learn More

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Sunday Funday Brunch Special: How to Make the Perfect Mimosa!

January 5, 2014 Nick McAfee 0

There are few things that compliment a hearty brunch or morning after a night of heavy drinking than the refreshing mimosa.  Mimosas offer a much needed burst of vitamin c and a sparkling reviving drink that will help you wake up and enjoy your meal.  Some may think the simplicity of adding a splash of orange juice to a flute of champagne, and for you I have a special recipe that brings this classic to a new level.  The perfect mimosas, with a new spark of heightened flavors and the same revitalizing effects. The Perfect Mimosa 1 oz Grand Marnier (or other orange liquor) 4 oz Champagne or other sparkling wine 2 oz fresh squeezed orange juice 2 dashes orange bitters Pour the  orange liqueur and bitters into a shaker with a little ice, then squeeze in the fresh orange juice.  Gently stir until thoroughly mixed.  Strain into a champagne Learn More

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Technically Saturday: How to Make Honey Whiskey at Home!

January 4, 2014 Nick McAfee 6

For those who are a fan of flavored whiskey’s, cinnamon and honey are the two kings.  While cinnamon whiskey offers a great burn and burst of flavor, honey whiskey presents a smooth sweetness that is hard to beat.  In a previous post I discussed how to make your own fireball cinnamon whiskey, and now it is time to learn two ways to make your own honey whiskey. Simple Honey Whiskey American Whiskey (like Bourbon) 1:1 Honey Syrup to taste This is the simplest way to make a drink tasting like honey whiskey.  The best part is it is easy to mix to whatever sweetness, strength, and proof you prefer.  All you have to do is whip up a batch of Honey Syrup, which is made by heating one part honey and one part water in a small saucepan.  Let the syrup simmer, but not boil.  Once the honey has been Learn More

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Does Your Favorite Wine or Spirit Indicate Your Politics?

January 3, 2014 Nick McAfee 2

According to a recent article released by the Washington Post, it almost certainly does.  The research began as consumer data supplied by GFK MRI, and was analyzed by Jennifer Dube of National Media Research Planning and Placement (an Alexandria-based Republican consulting firm).  The Washington’s Post basic takeaway?  “Democrats prefer clear spirits, while Republicans like their brown liquor.” While this data is fun to look at, the basic analysis that the Washington Post writes about is just that – very basic.  And it fails to touch on an issue that I think is probably even more indicative of spirit or wine preference than political view: regional preferences. Let’s look at a very simple spirit, the spirit of America.  Bourbon.  Within the context of the consumer data, bourbon is represented by brands such as Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Maker’s Mark, and even Jack Daniel’s and is strongly associated with Republican political leanings.  If you Learn More