I don’t always think all the way ahead. I know, that’s a shocking confession if you know me. Somehow, though, I managed to get out of Austin with only two pictures – one of a gift bow-wrapped roll of toilet paper, and the other a fuzzy picture of country fried beef tongue (more on that later). I ain’t gonna subject you to either of those. Still…
I’m guessing not here since we’ve been a bit remiss on posting as often as we’d like. We’re working on it, honest!
But things I’ve done lately:
- Cigar Advisor revamped as an online magazine. You’ll see something from me in their July issue. But they’re doing tasting competitions with a great deal on the cigars involved, and I did my first round last night. It was a J Fuego Origen Original versus a Schizo 60 versus a Trocadero Honore. The Original was good, though quite a tight draw, and unlabeled which made it hard to figure out which one it was at first. I liked the Honore at first, but it had an interesting spice taste that got a bit old after a while. The Schizo 60 was just a solid cigar, and so I voted for it.
- And it looks my “raccoon traps” – bowls with rags soaked in ammonia – are working to keep the bugger away from me!
- Plum Deluxe posted an article I wrote about upgrading your bar. Read it and comment about it on Facebook should you desire!
- If you know me, you know I like beer. That being said, I am now boycotting Rogue. It started with them suing some NOLA bartenders after they dared name their book “Rogue Cocktails” and now they’re suing a local restaurant, Rogue 24. That’s Not Cool, Rogue.
- Next Friday DC Toasts salutes African-American bartenders. You should go. I will be there. It will be fun.
- Just an FYI: Looks like neither Marshall nor I will be attending Tales this year. It’s sad, but it will be good for my wallet. I will probably write more at length on the biggest reason I’ve decided against going later, but if you’ve read my coverage from previous years (especially 2011) you can probably guess the gist of it.
Well, that’s about it for now. If you’re looking for a good brunch spot, go bug our fellow scofflaw Anthony at Beuchert’s Saloon. Order many Ramos Gin Fizzes and mimosas. Try the oxtail gravy and biscuits, because I haven’t yet but they look fantastic!
I know, I know, I know. I’ve been absent from the site for a while.
My excuse, if I really have one, is actually two excuses: 1, I’ve been moving, and that’s taken up a lot of time in the April time frame, and 2, I’ve been doing a lot of CSOWG work, which takes up my online/cocktail energy, leaving me to barely be able to crawl to the bar for a Fernet-filled pineapple.
But that’s two for excuses (times two!) so I’ll shut up on that now. And try to do better in the future.
Of perhaps more relevant information to y’all in the DC area…
It’s DC Savor Beer Week out there right now. Last night I wandered over to Jack Rose Dining Saloon to check out their collaborative tasting/pairing of cigars from W. Curtis Draper and beers from Victory. And what an event it was.
You had a choice – three full size drafts of Victory beer plus one cigar for $25, or 10 taster pours plus three cigars for $35. I went ahead with the latter option, knowing I could always order extra tasters at $2 if I needed them.
The first pairing was a La Aurora Preferido #2 Maduro cigar, in the traditional “flattened football” shape of La Aurora, matched with Victory’s Hop Devil, Headwaters, and Hop Wallop beers. The latter beer was also paired with a small pour of Pampero Anniversario rum. I ended up getting another taster of Hop Wallop to go along with it, as the combination was delicious. (Later that night, I ordered the Headwaters after finishing my cigars, and think I preferred it on my own.) I’m a big fan of doing both a liquor and a beer as I smoke a cigar, so the rum was good – though I’d be curious to pair it with some of the rums I have, such as El Dorado 12 or 15 or Chairman’s Reserve.
The second pairing was a La Flor Dominicana 2000 #3 with the Helios, Mad King hefeweizen, and Golden Monkey tripel. I definitely liked the last two beers, and this cigar was so mild and light compared to the La Aurora. It might have helped to do it first, but at the same time, seemed like a good travel cigar to me.
The third pairing had the cigar I was most eager to try – El Triunfador #5 (made by Pepin Garcia for Tatauje). It was paired with Prima Pils, Altbier, and St. Boisterous. The cigar itself was delicious (even my non-smoking companion loved the smell of it when it was fired up) and definitely worked well with the beers.
I’d forgotten how good Victory beers could be. I’ve got to start including them more often in my repertoire. I’ve also now got some new cigars I need to head up to Draper’s to pick up!
There are events going on all week, so make sure you check ‘em out if you’re into beer.
AND I PROMISE TO POST MORE!
First off – happy belated two year anniversary to us! I admit we maybe haven’t been blogging perhaps as much as we should be, and I’m trying to get off my tookus and do more. Tales of the Cocktail and that trip to Korea broke my rhythm! But the good news is that I’m finally working things out right again. I think. Ask me that again in a week.
Second off – Phil Greene alerted us to this post covering the cocktails from the DC bracket of the Domaine de Canton competition. I know I’ve tried a couple of those – the Domainatrix by Rachel Sergi, now over at Againn, and the Thai’s the Limit by Gina Chersevani of PS7 (which also features your Scofflaws in the Washington Post video about it). I want to say I’ve tried the Owen Thomson (of Bourbon) Jack O’ Ginger but I might just be confusing it with another drink.
So – now to drinking and reading.
When I moved into my current apartment my parents commented on how it seemed like all the boxes I brought in had one of two things in them – either books or liquor. Well, duh, I thought – what are my hobbies? Cocktails and reading!
As I settled down recently to reread a ten part alternative history by Harry Turtledove (the Timeline-191 series, if you must know, where the South won the War Between the States thanks to not losing Lee’s Special Order 191 to McClellan), I did it my usual way – most of the time outside, on my balcony, drinking a beer and smoking a cigar.
As I read through the first book How Few Remain that was mostly fine, but then I got into the Great War series with American Front. That series introduces what has to be my favorite character in the entire series, Quebecois farmer Lucien Galtier. Unlike most of the characters in the book (slight spoilers here, I’m afraid) his life doesn’t entirely suck. In fact, his often humorous sections really help out through the grimmer parts of the series.
It was also his sections quite a while ago that got me introduced to Calvados. Calvados is an apple brandy produced in France, and while the character drank basically a moonshine variation of it – after all, he’s a farmer in Quebec, not in the Calvados region of France, and it’s so often wartime with occupation forces etc yadda yadda yadda – that I had finally managed to get a bottle a few years ago.
I still remember the first time I actually tried Calvados. It was on a date at a place called Sonoma here in DC and I was so excited to see it on the menu that I spilled red wine on my shirt. (Hey, that was like over 2 years ago! I had no idea what I was getting myself into.) I didn’t care for it much straight, and the bottle I had tended to only be used in cocktails for a number of years (that number being two).
As I started rereading the series, I thought, hey, I should drink appropriately for the books. Cigars are fine, a lot of the characters smoke them though the US characters will remind you repeatedly that their cigars are bad compared to Confederate ones (the Confederacy, in these books, own Cuba as well as the prime tobacco growing parts of North America).
At first this started with sipping on Calvados while reading them, which helped with the Galtier parts to feel more “into it”. Depending on night of the week and compunction, I started adding in other things. Whiskey, for instance, is an easy choice for a lot of the characters, as well as beer – which I had before, naturally – and occasionally for the characters from Sonora and Chihuahua some mezcal, specifically, Del Maguey crema de mezcal.
Of course, you can’t keep up with the characters in the book, but on the other hand, keeping it close to what you’re reading helps a lot. I feel an urge to read The Great Gatsby again, since I think it’d fun to drink appropriate cocktails to that – though it is kind of funny to try to figure out what to drink while reading my Warhammer 40K novels.
Right now? Well, I’m reading The Space Wolves Omnibus and therefore drinking ale. In fact, I started tonight with a Sam Smith Yorkshire Stingo. Sure, I probably should drink something more viking, but they drink ale in the books, and I don’t have any Skullsplitter. A lot of the characters drink amasec in 40K, and the description of that seems to be “brandy” as it’s distilled wine. Hey, I’ve got plenty of brandy in my house…
What do you drink while reading?