Posts Tagged ‘alcohol’
Wednesday, March 4th, 2009
If you live in New York, there will likely be an unprecedented challenge awaiting the thirsty barfly this Saint Patrick’s Day, aimed at setting a new world record in size and length of famed pub crawls.
My Goodness, My Guinness!
St. Patty’s “Luck of the Irish” Pub Crawl invites folks in the NYC metro to join them for three days of “wearing green and drinking cheap beer”, and though Guinness will be involved, it’s not the dark drink you might have hoped for. Being billed as “The World’s Largest Pub Crawl”, promoters are urging people to join them in breaking the current world record, details of which have been verified according to (you guessed it) The Guinness Book of World Records.
Claims to the present title have been made up until now by The Rich and Bennett Annual St. Patricks Day Pub Crawl based out of Charlotte, NC, which also claims to host the largest Pub Crawl in the World. Last year, the annual event hosted 3,581 “crawlers” on Saturday March 15th, 2008. Now, according to the website saintpattys.com, the new record-breaking event will take attendees on a trek spanning “over 5 Miles, 3 Days and 100 bars”.
Monday, March 2nd, 2009
Australian news sources are reporting a perceived decline in alcohol purchases, with experts now urging politicians to support the Australian federal Government’s “Alcopops tax”. This tax, part of a strategy which adds a 70 percent tax hike on ready-to-drink products, was intended to curb binge-drinking by young drinkers.
Bacardi Breezers, Tropical Lime and Ruby Red Grapefruit flavors, are considered "Alcopops"
After being implemented, the tax does appear to have caused pre-mixed drink sales to fall as much as 26 percent; but could the information be skewed?
Alcopop refers to bottled mixed-drink malt or wine beverages, and is a general term which describes a variety of brands and beverages. However, the spirits industry does not condone the use of the term, fearing that obvious associations between “alcohol” and “(soda) pop” may bring negative press for being attractive to individuals below the legal drinking age.
Friday, February 27th, 2009
If you aren’t in a chair already, you may want to sit down before reading this; present American budget deficit numbers, projected at a whopping $1.8 trillion for 2009 and $1.2 trillion for 2010, both represent levels not seen since World War II.
But here’s the good news:some sources advise that this may be a good excuse to drink to your health (since we know drinking to prosperity is out of the question, for now). According to the Web site American Progress, “If a Martini is your drink, skip the Vermouth. If Whiskey’s your poison, take it straight. If you’re a teetotaler, make an exception. And if you really, really shouldn’t drink, close your eyes and take a deep breath. But, under no circumstances should you look at President Obama’s budget blueprint for the next ten years without fortification.” Whoops, if you’re seeing these numbers here for the first time, it may be too late. Sincerest apologies (at least I asked if you were sitting)!
Friday, February 27th, 2009
According area news sources, the Pennsylvania House Appropriation Committee heard yesterday that sales of wine and spirits in the state are projected to outdo last year’s fiscal earnings of $1.77 billion.
“At the halfway point of fiscal 2008-2009, which was December 31st, state store sales were $1.02 billion. If sales continue on that same path through June 30th they will total over $2 billion for the full year. That compares with the total for the entire fiscal year of 2007-2008 which was $1.77 billion,” reported Newsroom Solutions yesterday.
Thursday, February 26th, 2009
Brian McDonald at the New York Times alcohol blog Proof recently shared some rather philosophical musings on drunken writers who have influenced him, and among them I found one of my many favorites: Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Below is an excerpt:
“Late one night Hunter S. Thompson sat by himself at a back table lighting shots of Bacardi 151 rum with his Zippo and firing them down the hatch. I don’t remember how many flaming shots he drank — but I do remember the last one. Something had gone horribly wrong with his technique. When I looked back at him he was on fire. Only the quick thinking of Carlo the waiter, who snatched a nearby tablecloth and used it to smother the blue flames, saved Dr. Thompson from escalating into a three-alarm blaze.”
The Rum Diary : A Novel
Among other vibrant literary names, McDonald also conjures Hemingway, as well as F. Scott Fitzgerald (another feller close to home in my repitoire). You can read the entire article by visiting the Times Web site.
Wednesday, February 25th, 2009
Last night on the late-night radio program Coast to Coast AM, host George Noory began his show by reading various news items of particular interest to those who follow “offbeat” topics in his listening audience. One of the stories Noory touched on has to do with an article written by Dianna Cahn, a Staff Writer Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The story reads that “On Feb. 27 and 28, the Sheriff’s Office plans to apply for a search warrant from an on-call judge for anyone refusing a breath test, to take a blood sample, according to a memo by Captain Patrick Kenny, head of the agency’s traffic division.”
Normally, only in extreme incidents involving serious injury or death are officers allowed to take a blood sample from a motorist suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. New measures designed to obtain on-spot search warrants with intent of forcing a blood sample from all DUI suspects is not only controversial, but has already been defeated in some courts.
Tuesday, February 24th, 2009
Some of the finest mixed drinks you could think of off the top of your head include wines as an ingredient, like Martinis or Manhattan cocktails, which both use vermouth, an aperitif wine. But what would you think of a drink that called for champagne… mixed with beer! As strange as it may sound to American audiences, the practice of mixing beer and ale with things like wine, champagne, brandy, and other spirits is not only a tradition; it is quite commonplace.
First up on our list of English beer cocktails is the Black Velvet, a hefty combination of champagne and stout (usually Guiness). I remember first stumbling across this beverage when it was ordered by James Bond at lunch during one of the early chapters of Diamonds Are Forever. According to English tradition, the stout is supposed to represent the lowly “common man”, whereas the champagne is indicative of “nobility”. Celebrated homebrewer Marty Nachel calls this comparison “a tired old stereotype” in his Beer For Dummies, but whatever the case may be, the legend persists. Along these same lines, a Brown Velvet is stout mixed with port wine (probably not as exciting as the crisp-carbonated Black Velvet, honestly). In Germany the recipe differs in that the beer used is schwarzbier, a dark lager, and an alternative name is used for the drink itself: “The Bismarck,” named after 19th century Minister-President of Prussia Otto von Bismarck.
Sunday, February 22nd, 2009
Look out, ya’ll: it appears that Kid Rock is hoping to stimulate the poor economy with a Michigan-based beer brand of his own design. Conrad Doucette of Maxim Magazine tells us “The beer will be ‘an American lager’ and will be suitable for parties, Pistons games, and BBQs all summer long. Snobby sots need not apply!” What this translates to is “Kid Rock plans to bottle a Budweiser-clone in the center of the failing auto industry capital of the world.”
There are both good and bad elements here. The good has to do with the help this may provide in the way of jobs in the Michigan area. The down side: it’s questionable whether any amount of rejoicing that dozens of Michiganders will be getting these jobs will outweigh the tears many of us will cry in our craft brews at the notion of a “Kid Rock brand beer.”
Friday, February 20th, 2009
Every well-learned journalist prescribes and adheres to some manual of style. In fact, many major media outlets have their own guides to proper style for their writers, like the Associated Press Stylebook (which I use), The Economist Style Guide, and of course, The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage. I bring this up because, as I understand it, the latter of these three, used by the astute newspaper of the same name hailing from the heart of the Big Apple, recently modified it’s guidelines regarding the use of the words whiskey versus whisky.
Blogger Eric Asimov of the Times‘ excellent blog The Pour recently used the spelling whisky in reference to single-malt scotch, to which Times readers scolded him profoundly, asking whether or not he knew better that to omit the “e” when referring to Scotch and Canadian whisky.
Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
Yesterday the New York Times featured a recipe for a cleverly-named cocktail, which they call “The Market Crash”. As much as alcohol and its particular relation to the present economic situation the world-over is discussed on this Web site, I felt that this one must be added to the cavalcade of crash-cocktails we’ll no doubt continue to enjoy for the next several months (at least). That being said, do you have a recession-themed beverage that you would like to recommend to Culture of Spirits? If so, email it to us by clicking here.
And now, on to that recipe…