Category Archives: Media

Cocktails, in GIFs



Complex magazine published a cool feature yesterday, naming the 25 best cocktails in New York City right now. What’s nice about it is how the piece is illustrated. Each cocktail has an animated GIF, as shown above.

I love this. There’s always something artistic and theatrical about sitting at a bar and watching a talented bartender working. This feature captures a bit of the fun.

[HT to Kelly Sue for passing it along.]

Down in the Treme …

Here’s one you cocktail geeks mighta missed.

I haven’t been watching this season of the HBO show Treme because we didn’t pick up HBO when we moved to Brooklyn. Apparently, though, the 3rd season has featured a couple of bars that should be familiar to anyone who’s been to Tales of the Cocktail or otherwise sought out good drinking in New Orleans — namely the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone, and the French 75 Bar at Arnaud’s.

But you don’t need to subscribe to HBO to learn more. The excellent blog Inside Treme is an official HBO production, written by Lolis Eric Elie, who’s a lifelong New Orleanian, journalist, and story editor for Treme. Elie features the Carousel and the French 75 in a couple of his posts. Both are worth a read, even if you don’t watch the show:

Will Elie delve any deeper into the world of cocktail blogging? For his sake, I certainly hope not, but you might check back to “Inside Treme” from time to time to be sure.

Country star makes a Manhattan

I got a funny sort of PR email today. A country artist I’ve never heard of, Kelleigh Bannen, has a new song out, and to promote it, she did a video in which she makes a Manhattan.

Ordinarily, I’d let this sort of thing pass me right by, or if I were mildly interested, I’d watch the video and then forget about it entirely. A couple of reasons I’m not doing that now. Watch the video; it’s under three minutes. I think you’ll see the first notable thing right away.


Tell me you weren’t surprised by the whiskey. Oh, and she chose rye, which sadly is notable in itself. The cherries aren’t a bad call, either. Technique? Y’know what, I don’t sweat shaking vs. stirring when it comes to mixing a drink at home. The primary reason to stir a Manhattan is to maintain clarity in the drink when you serve it. Shaking agitates the cocktail and makes it hazy looking. Aesthetics matter in cocktail making, but they’re not always crucial. Serving it on the rocks? Well, first, it’s the giant Tovolo tray, so there’s that. Second, here’s my shameful secret: I prefer Manhattans on a giant rock like that.

My only real quibble is why she’s so adamant that the bitters go on at the end.

Czechs Ban Liquor

A strange story this weekend: the Czech Republic on Friday announced a full, national ban on any alcoholic beverage over 20% abv — namely, any hard spirit. The problem, which began a couple of weeks ago, is with bootleg liquor, some of which contains methanol, which is toxic to humans. So far, 20 people have died, and 36 are in critical condition.

I can’t quite understand the rationale for a blanket ban; the government says that bootleg spirits are often sold as legitimate product, which would mean it’s hard to know the true quality of that bottle of Absolut you just bought at a Prague shop. Here’s a telling detail, though:

The BBC’s Rob Cameron in Prague says that with the number of reported deaths slowing, attention is focusing on saving those who survived drinking the tainted alcohol and finding those who bottled it in the first place.

So the idea is: prevent future poisonings, care for those afflicted, and track down the culprits. A full ban still seems like an overreaction to me, though.

The ban is expected to be temporary, but no Czech officials are speculating yet as to when it may be lifted.

Poland has now taken the step of banning spirits imports from the Czech Republic.

Thus far, police have failed to locate the source of the tainted hooch.

Hundred Year Hooch in Man’s Attic

Century-Old Whiskey Bottles Found in Missouri Man’s Attic

To save money on the installation of central air-conditioning in his St. Joseph, Mo., home, Bryan Fite began replacing the wires in his attic, prying up the floor boards on the rafters. Along with possible savings, he found a treasure beneath the floorboards: 13 bottles of century-old whiskey.

[Warning: there’s an Auto-Play video at the link; very annoying]