Vat 69 Gold and the Perfect Scotch Sour

Every year on my birthday, my parents would try to find me a bottle of whiskey that I had never heard of before. Sometimes, it is random. Other times, there is significance. Last year, it was the Quiet Man Irish Whiskey, named after the classic film starring John Wayne. This year on a spring trip…

My Dad’s Martini Glass

It sits on the top shelf in the china cabinet. There’s nothing special about it. No distinguishing characteristics. It’s the most plain-looking martini glass you could have. That’s the glass he chose to use every Saturday night when he had his martinis. He rarely drank during the week. Friday and Sunday nights were for beer…

Photo of the Day: August 30, 2017

With the summer coming to an end, I’m looking back to a 4th of July party which I bartended at for the second year in a row. It’s a great gig. My friend who is a chef does the cooking, his wife who is also a close friend of mine does the singing, and another…

Photo of the Day: August 23, 2017

When someone asks you if you want a Sake Bomb, you don’t even need to know what it is to say yes. We were out at Ichiban celebrating a friend’s birthday in June and her husband ordered one of these for everyone. Basically, you drop a shot of chilled Sake into a glass of Japanese…

Introducing a New Guest Column

In addition to my friend Hunter Dillon and his “Casual Crusades” guest column, I am bringing in the husband-wife duo of Gordon Bond and Stephanie Hoagland for something new. They are going to be tackling a guest column of their own, titled “Fermented Musings”. In it, they will focus on liquor reviews, cocktail recipes, and…

Photo of the Day: July 29, 2017

This cabinet of vintage liquor belongs to my friend Lynn. Still waiting for her to write a cocktail column for this blog. She’s one of the more knowledgeable people I know when it comes to mixology, and the friend who introduced me to Chartreuse and a favorite drink of mine which combines champagne, gin, and…

Photo of the Day: July 26, 2017

They don’t fool around with drinks at Bahama Breeze. When it comes to chain restaurants, I think we’ve all been screwed with cocktails at some point. But not there. They are lethal—especially that one in the middle known as the “Painkiller”.

Product Review: Cask & Crew Walnut Toffee Whiskey

I’m not a fan of flavored whiskeys (or whiskey liqueurs as I like to call them). I do not keep any on my bar. That changed with the addition of Cask & Crew walnut toffee flavored whiskey. Will bought me a bottle as a random gift under advice from his friend Noelle (she’s two for…

Travel Guide CT: Maggie McFly’s (Glastonbury)

When you walk in, you are immediately met with a dessert-making station. Cakes and ice cream are sourced from local bakeries and dairy producers. As you wait, you stare at the display case. We grabbed a menu to browse. We knew very shortly after that we were skipping over an appetizer to save room for…

Restaurant Review: Ichiban 18 (East Brunswick, NJ)

We stopped at Ichiban for some late night drinks and snacks with friends a couple of weeks ago. It was the first time I had been in the place since it was Shogun years earlier. It looked exactly the same. The sushi bar and tables in the front, a circular bar, and hibachi grills in…

I was All Set to Rip These Two Cheap Spirits…

A 750 ML bottle of Jacquin’s Royale 100 Proof Vodka and a liter of London Tower Gin came to a total of $15. I found them at a liquor store in the “Made in Pennsylvania” aisle two weeks ago. I had never seen either of these two items before. The only awareness of Jacquin’s I had…