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Mixology

Mixology & Movies: The Perfect Drink for Your Favorite Flicks

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I have been blessed with offspring and 11 nieces and nephews—12 if you count my honorary niece. I’m looking forward to their holiday merriment and flying wrapping paper but when December 26 rolls around I’m going to desperately need some grownup recreation. This means movie night with adult beverages and the little ones safely tucked in for their long winter naps (or for the teens, long winter multi-player games). For this soirée I’m gleaning inspiration from two terrific volumes of mixology: Gone with the Gin: Cocktails with a Hollywood Twist by bartending’s merry punster Tim Federle (Running Press; October 2015) and Cocktails of the Movies: An Illustrated Guide to Cinematic Mixology by Will Francis and Stacey Marsh (Prestel; October 2015).…

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Wild Cocktail Mixology Magic from the Midnight Apothecary

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There comes a time in every Bookish Diva’s life that she wants to indulge her drunken inner sorcerer. And Wild Cocktails from The Midnight Apothecary by Lottie Muir (Ryland Peters & Small, 2015) was sent from Bacchus himself to grant this Bookish Diva’s wishes. To the unsuspecting, this may seem like a mere book of cocktail recipes. Do not be deceived. This tome would impress the most stern of potion masters. To understand the greatness of this potent potable primer, we need to cross the pond and visit a little town you may know as London. On a roof garden there exists a lovely cocktail bar called Midnight Apothecary (shocking, I know). Alcoholic concoctions infused with herbs and flowers foraged…

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The nerd’s guide to cocktails

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The New Year has dawned. The hangovers have passed (hopefully). Now you are wondering what was in your cousin’s mystery punch and plotting ways to get him banned from every liquor store and wine shop in a 100-mile radius. Armed with a New Year’s resolution to not to be a victim to anyone alcohol-infused whims again, you seek knowledge and understanding. Ever the student, you know that there is more to mixology than just pouring libations into a cup and praying for the best. Lucky for you, you have a friend in Dave Arnold. “Shaken, not stirred” takes on new meaning after reading Dave Arnold’s Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail. (W.W. Norton, November 2014). The…

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Hickory Daiquiri Dock: A toast to parenting

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After a long day of playgrounds, finger painting, diapers and a couple of rounds of the world’s favorite backseat games of “But Why?” and “Stop Touching Me!” anyone who has had the joy of being a new parent (or babysitter) can understand the allure of Mother’s Little Helper. (If you do not know what that is or never felt the compulsion to imbibe, please do not tell me. Just let me sip the tea of old age and poor child-rearing skills.) Since Valium seems to have fallen out of favor, Tim Federle’s Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Cocktails with a Nursery Rhyme Twist (Running Press, $15.00) gives parents and parent sympathizers a 21st-century alternative. Disguised cleverly as a picture board book, Hickory…

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Why is the rum gone? Trick question—it isn’t.

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Alcohol, like most things, can often be intimidating for the very reasons that it can be rewarding. As many spirits, aperitifs, bitters, and liqueurs exist as could possibly be dreamed up, and with the current boom in the craft cocktail and distilling industries, even a bona fide expert must learn to expect, and hopefully enjoy, the unexpected. Working your way through this labyrinth is just that: work. When I was first learning to bartend, my manager consistently emphasized this point—that enjoying alcohol is about developing taste through a discovery of spirits. His favorite milepost on that journey was rum. “Everybody always thinks they’re into whiskey;” he was quick to point out; “but just because they haven’t realized they love rum…

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Spend Valentine’s Day at home with a drink in your hand

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Valentine might as well be the patron saint of prix fixe menus, restaurant stress, and trying to get busy on two stomachs full of béarnaise sauce. While ordering a pizza on Super Bowl Sunday may mean long wait times, and cooking a perfect Thanksgiving turkey may spell disaster, neither chore compares to the hurdle of going out to eat on Valentine’s Day. So why not take a page from those other celebrations of epicurean indulgence? Why not eat (or in this case, drink) at home? Whether Valentine’s Day was initially popularized in order to root out the traditions of a pagan holiday (aren’t they all?), or by Chaucer as a backdrop for his Parliament of Foules, today’s frustrations revolve around…

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