Category Archives: Uncategorized

Vote for me on Foodbuzz!

A Dash of Bitters has been nominated for a Foodbuzz Award in the category Best Cocktail/Spirits Blog! And the competition is stiffer than the drinks around here: I’m up against Jay Hepburn from Oh Gosh!, Marleigh and Dan Miller of Sloshed, and Jeffrey Morgenthaler of the wittily named Jeffrey Morgenthaler blog. I know it’s cliché to say these things, but I am honestly honored to be in this company. I know and like all of these people, and I read their blogs avidly. I’ll be happy no matter who wins, but I’ll be even happier if I win!

If you’re inclined to vote, go here and vote! You have until October 29th. They do want you to register, but all you need provide is name and email. You do not need to vote in every category. Cheers!

This is my beautiful house! This is my beautiful wife!

Jen in the Times

Sorry for the non-cocktail digression. My wife, Jennifer Hess, who blogs at Last Night’s Dinner and takes most of the beautiful pictures you see here, is featured in the Dining and Wine section of Wednesday’s New York Times, in a piece by Kim Severson about crowd-sourcing cookbooks and recipes. That’s Jen above, so nice I had to show her twice. To say I’m proud of her wouldn’t even begin to scratch the surface. And if you’re thinking, “Dude, I met you at Tales or somewhere else, and how’d you get so lucky.” Believe me. I know.


Well, I kinda promised another drink recipe before now. Unfortunately, between getting ready for a quick trip home to see family and actually taking that trip home to family, I didn’t quite get around to prepping anything.

That’s okay, though, because the wifey did, while I was away. What? It kept her from the pool halls, didn’t it? Anyway, I have it on reasonably good authority that if you are in the Mixoloseum chat room tonight, you’ll get to see her recipe entered into competition. Be there! Or not.


I’m working with my webhost to migrate over to a new server. I’ll spare you the boring details, but it will enable me to incorporate some nifty new design elements on this site. It does, however, mean that this site will probably go dark for a little while during the migration period. I have no idea when it will start or how long it will last. I’ll update as more info comes in.

UPDATE, 2/5/09: Still some work to do, I see.

Technical note

Just wanted to say, I’m currently in the process of redesigning this site.

Part of that process will include going back through the archives, cleaning up (and standardizing) the format of drink recipes, and adding any garnishes into the ingredients lists. I know it’s a particular pet peeve of some of my fellow cocktail bloggers to find a garnish mentioned only at the end of the technique paragraph, and not in the ingredients list.

At some point, inexplicably, my recipe formatting broke. I think a WP upgrade was misreading my CSS or my FORTRAN KO’d my COBOL or something, and my ingredients became all strung out on one line instead of listed out tidily.

Here’s an example of what I mean. My MxMo post from November 2007 is among the busted and broken and I failed to list the garnish. A little tweaking, though, and it all works out okay. My design work isn’t done yet, but you can see a before version and an after version that’s mostly complete.

(Please note that the URL for this site will not change. A Dash of Bitters will continue to live at The URL for the redesign––is just a test site! You’re peeking behind the curtains a bit. As soon as the redesign is done–sometime on or around 1/1/09–I’m porting all of the changes back over to this blog and I will probably delete the entire directory that holds the test site.

Please don’t update your RSS settings, change your bookmarks or blogroll, or remove this site from same.)

Oh, happy new year, drunks. Remember to be careful handling loaded weapons after sipping six Seelbachs.

MxMo: Made from Scratch

I got nothing.

We’ve been so busy this month that I just didn’t get my shit together in time to even make anything from scratch, let alone write it up.

That doesn’t mean I won’t have something else to post this week, though. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, point your eyes at Doug’s Pegu Blog for his wrap-up post, later this week, and thanks to Doug for hosting.

MxMo 32: Guilty Pleasures

MxMo logoMan, 32 already, huh. It seems just yesterday that MxMo was finally old enough to drink–soon, MxMo will be old enough to run for president of the U.S. Ain’t that crazy?

Now, the topic of this month’s installment is …


Oh, that’s right, guilty pleasures. Sorry if I zoned out on you there for a moment. I had to run to the kitchen to make sure my Jell-O didn’t burn. I’m prepping a test batch of a Halloween-themed, brain-shaped Melon Fusion Jell-O mold, spiked with Sour Apple Pucker and Absolut Sheboygan.

All right, everything’s gelling up just fine, so it’s time to talk dirrrrrrrrty pleasures.

Except. I don’t really have many anymore. Not to be snahby or anything, we just don’t drink that way for the most part these days. The only thing I feel guilty about is that when we have a second drink before dinner, it’s almost always an Old Fashioned. I get creative for round one and lazy for round two.

That’s not to say I don’t have a history of embarrassing drinks. The first drunk that I can recall was at my eldest cousin’s wedding, in Southern Illinois, in–oh– 1982 or so. I was 14 and obviously underage, but the bartender served me at the reception anyway. My first drunk, I shit you not, was on Tom Collinses. Now, I guess that’s not terribly embarrassing, but they weren’t really Collinses as much as they were gin and Sprite.

Actually, I think that’s exactly what they were: gin and Sprite. And at 14, I wasn’t much of a drinker, so three of those in about an hour kinda messed me up. I went back to the hotel room, read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, laughed my ass off, and fell asleep, at which point a million-gallon vat of custard upended itself over me without warning.

I proved myself such a man that weekend that my grandparents started plying me with drinks when we’d go visit them. Ah yes, such a gentleman of leisure I was in my high-school days that I developed a taste for the Fuzzy Navel.

I can’t believe this guy gets workAt least he didn’t pick his nose this time

But just because I’m no longer prone to quaffing gin and Sprite while chortling at Marvin’s antics, or sipping a Fuzzy Navel in front of the Rose Bowl parade, doesn’t mean I’m always high-brow when I’m out drinking. When Jen and I were in New York, we went out often with friends, and that normally meant a good dive bar or neighborhood pub. Unless we were in a specialty beer bar, such as D.B.A., I was always happy to go with a humble brew of regional renown.

Yes, East Coasters, behold my favorite party-time beer in New York:

Yuengling Lager

Thanks to Stevi for hosting, and for choosing such a fun topic.

Last Night’s Dinner

I dunno whether anyone’s paying attention on this long holiday weekend, but my wife’s blog, Last Night’s Dinner, is down at the moment. I’m working on getting it back online, but there are mitigating factors too boring to mention that are complicating things.

Jen hasn’t gone away; in fact, the site outage is an unintended consequence of an LND redesign. So if you’re one of her loyal readers, fret not.