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Category Archives: General Stuff

Honey Boo Boo MartiniWisconsin Dells, WI – November 20, 2012

….and I don’t feel fine!

I had remained blissfully unaware of the existence of that overweight and underbrained miscreant knows as Honey Boo Boo until she was brought to my attention last fall, by my boss, of all people!  Since then I’ve lamented her as a sure sign of the apocolypse and have worked hard to avoid her and her “family”.

Frankly, I had been doing a pretty good job of that avoidance…until I walked into the bar at the House of Embers in Wisconsin Dells…and was greeted by the sign at left.  Arrrrgh!  I wanted to poke my eyes out!  And no, I did not have one!  You all know my disdain for flavored vodkas – and this has two of them!  In fact, I had to order a double Bombay martini to wash the taste out of the mouth.  In fact, just writing this has brought back horrible memories that will require another Bombay martini to wash away!


Milwaukee, WI – February 16, 2012

As some of you know, I’m a fan of the Dinner Party Download podcast from NPR (and now a bona fide radio show).  If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should.  It’s lively, it’s entertaining and it helps prepare you for the weekend’s dinner party or other social events.  And, it has a weekly cocktail!

A while back (in October of 2010 to be exact) they ran a history bit regarding the great London Beer Flood of 1814.  It seems that a vat filled with 135,000 imperial gallons of beer gave way, causing more vats of beer to also collapse.  In the end over 320,000 imperial gallons of beer crashed out of the brewery and into the surrounding neighborhood, killing nine and destroying a number of homes and businesses (including several taverns).   

So where else to get a cocktail to remember the event than Milwaukee?  A call was made to Bryant’s looking for an appropriate cocktail, and bartender Katie Rose was up to the task, creating the “Last Call to Porter” for the show. 

Fast forward a year and a half, and, finally, I was at Bryant’s on an evening when Katie Rose was on duty.  I asked if she had what she needed to make me the Last Call to Porter, and, yes, she did!

  Last Call to Porter

  • 1 oz Knob Creek bourbon
  • 1/2 oz green Chartreuse
  • 1/2 oz Benedictine
  • Porter beer

Combine the bourbon, Chartreuse and Benedictine in a shaker with ice and shake hard.  Strain into a chilled coupe and top with your favorite porter.

A wonderful, woody flavor emerged and danced across my tongue.  The combination of the liqueurs and the porter leave an impression of Aperol, but the finish is much stronger and is a very nice mix of sweet and bitter.  A fantastic effort by Katie Rose!

As to how she came up with the ingredients, she makes it sound easy.  The Knob Creek is aged for nine years and thus represents the nine who died in the flood.  The Chartreuse and Benedictine were selected since beer was originally invented by monks (and these two liqueurs were as well).  And the porter – well, you shouldn’t have to ask.

So, the next time you stop by Bryant’s and Katie Rose is behind the bar ask for a Last Call to Porter.


Now that I’ve finished my year long journey, I’m ready to move into the next phase with this blog.  And what, you ask, is that?  Well, pretty simple actually.  I”m going to expand the scope beyond a cocktail a day to include, among other things, booze, beer and wine reviews, bar and restaurant reviews, updates on trends in the cocktail scene and even the occasional musical review.  So, if you have a particular bar or lounge you think I should try, or a favorite spirit or cocktail, then let me know – I’ll be happy to give it a whirl!

Stay tunded!

Well, maybe it wasn't this bad....

Day 36, Cocktail 28

The Chinese have a proverb that states “May you live in interesting times.”  The last week has certainly been interesting, if nothing else.

To recap, I’ll be posting four tasty drinks that I had last week.  Three were enjoyed at the Sporting Fraternity cocktail tasting at Bryant’s.  Katie Rose and Chad Doll outdid themselves with an amazing selection of root based cocktails (I know, I was thinking the same thing you’re thinking).  Then I’ll also fill in with a few of the tasty drinks we had over the weekend.

Now, as for what this flood thing…well, I recieved a panicked call from Gwen Friday morning informing me that the basement was flooded.  Oh, and the good news?  It was the finished Twilight Lounge side this time (yes, that’s right, this has happened before).  By the time I got home she had cut the water off.  The water was just shy of becoming standing water on the carpet.  Which means that the carpet was soaked.  I ended up spending most of Friday on my knees with a shop vac sucking up the water and then three days of fans and dehumidifiers have dried the place out.  I was able to start putting everything back together today, although that will take several more days. 

As for the bugs, I virus zapped my laptop last week.  It is now replaced, but that little sojourn without one made posting pre-flood a bit more difficult as well since I was sharing computer time with entire family. 

The good news is that the weather was spectacular for Memorial Day weekend in Milwaukee and the pool was used thoroughly all weekend long.  I also managed to fit in some BBQ ribs on Monday.

So, until tomorrow, I’m going to enjoy the rest of the Bushmill’s Irish Whiskey that is at my side.


As I’ve thought this over, I’ve developed a few rules for myself:

  • The objective is to have tasted 365 cocktails by April 25, 2011.
  • I’ll include the recipe and my thoughts about each cocktail.
  • Recipes will come from four categories – basic cocktails that are well known (i.e. gin and tonic), my own creations, creations of friends and recipes from books.  In all cases I’ll identify where the recipe came from.
  • I’ll also include information on techniques, barware and the like.
  • I’ll editorialize and include my own personal thoughts on trends and drinks.

With that, let’s have some fun!

Welcome to my personal cocktail journey!  Over the past four years my interest in classic and craft cocktails has taken me from mixing the basics such as gin and tonics, martinis and manhattans to inventing my own cocktail recipes (some good, some not so good) and having the bar at the Twilight Lounge stocked better than many local watering holes.  During this time I’ve had a lot of fun with a lot of friends.  I’ve learned much, but also know that there is so much more for me to learn.  So, with this backdrop, I’ve decided to challenge myself to enjoy 365 cocktails in the next 365 days, ala Julie Powell and her trip through Julia Childs cookbook.  So come along with me, and let’s have some fun!