What Fates Impose (and a round or two on me…)

Don’t we all wish we could see the future? Catch a glimpse of of how things turn out if we choose A over B, go right or left? What if you got that glimpse and didn’t like how things turned out? Would you blame the one who gave you that peek? Would you blame yourself?  I’m very stoked to be a part of the anthology What Fates Impose edited by Nayad A. Monroe and published by Alliteration Ink. In twenty one stories by an amazing group of contributors (including Inkpunk cohorts Wendy N. Wagner, Erika Holt, and Remy Nakamura!) you can read all about the consequences of trying to peek into the future. The antho is running on Kickstarter, and as of this writing, we are a little over 25% funded with 27 days to go. If you’re inclined to back us, I would deeply appreciate the support. Any amount will … Continue reading

Cocktail Friday (“Make it a Double” Edition): The Aviation & The Blue Moon

I missed Cocktail Friday last week,  what with being sick and WFC, but today you get to reap the benefits of last week’s slacking–today I’ll cover two of my favorite gin drinks: The Aviation and the Blue Moon. These two cocktails share a common history–the Blue Moon seems to have been the original Aviation, thanks to the sky-bluish color lent by the Creme Yvette. Eventually, the two drinks went their own way and the Aviation became firmly established as described below. Popular during the dawn of aviation, I like to think of these cocktails as the same sky: either you fly during the day or at night. The Blue Moon is slightly more obscure, due to the Creme Yvette/creme de violette all but disappearing from the American market for awhile. Made from the petals of violets–the flavor of this liqueur is floral, but subtle and sweet, never cloying.  We only … Continue reading

Cocktail Friday: Cognac Sazerac

One of my all-time favorite cocktails is the Sazerac, a drink some say was the “original” cocktail, concocted in New Orleans during the 19th Century. This story isn’t quite true, but the Sazerac was definitely one of the first cocktails served–and was so-named for the chief spirit from which it was made, the cognac from Sazerac-du-Forge et fils. When the grape harvest was devastated in Europe by the phylloxera outbreak, cognac became harder to find. In the Americas, fan-favorite rye was substituted to great effect. Part of the name stuck, though, and the drink was forever more immortalized by the name Sazerac. While the rye version has become my “go-to” drink, I recently had a chance to try a Sazerac made with 1/2 cognac & 1/2 rye and was quite pleased by the results. It was a slightly sweeter drink, but mellow and approachable. I decided to continue my foray … Continue reading

(Dr)ink Gorilla!

If you dig back into the archives on my site, you’ll notice that I like to post frequently about cocktails. I’m fascinated by the alchemy of mixology–not just the interplay of aroma and flavor but also the history and artisanal practices of concocting that perfect drink. I love going out to try new cocktail bars and “speakeasies,” and sample the amazing drinks that the new generation of mixologists are crafting, but a big part of the fun for me is making cocktails at home. So, expect (Dr)ink Gorilla to be a regular feature in these pages – I’m aiming for a new update every Friday, just in time for the weekend. Come back tomorrow for the Sazerac, one of my personal favorites–but for this version, I go back to the cocktail’s roots. Cheers! … Continue reading

(dr)Ink Gorilla: 5 Things I Drank.

Continuing from the previous post, (and with all the similar caveats), here are 5 memorable drinks I enjoyed in 2009. Blood and Sand Cocktail (Absinthe Brasserie and Bar in San Francisco) Likely named for the Rudolph Valentino movie about bullfighters, this drink is one of my favorites, though with Scotch as its base spirit, it’s an unusual one. Scotch, Orange Juice, Cherry Heering, Sweet Vermouth. This was my birthday cocktail this year, and we had a fabulous meal at Absinthe following our drinks. For those adventurous souls who’d like to try it out, here’s the recipe. Fernet Cocktail (for Mixology Mondays) This is a cocktail of my own devising, my entry into Mixology Mondays “Amaro” theme a few months back. I don’t include it here so much for the taste and enjoyment of the cocktail (my feelings are still mixed on using Fernet Branca as an ingredient) but for the … Continue reading