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Showing posts from 2014

Branch Water

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I first heard of Branch Water many years ago when watching an episode of the Waltons.


The idea intrigued me as do all ideas when it comes to imbibing and improving on a cocktail or drink. Now I know there are purist that believe that adding anything to a good Whiskey is pure blasphemy and I myself kind of have some of the same thoughts. However, you may (as I have done) want to give this a try. (A bottle would also make a great Christmas Gift)

Adding the right amount of water to  your Whiskey may really surprise you and open up an entire new experience almost to the point of a new Whiskey.

History of Branch Water:

The Term Branch Water dates back to 1835 and Branch is simply another term for stream, brook or creek.

To Bourbon experts it is the water that really separates Bourbon from other Whiskeys. (To me this also applies to Scotch)

"Water, Fire and Time... The three essential elements for the manufacture of Whiskey. However, the most important of these is undoubtedly is Water&q…

Christmas Gift Ideas

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Normally I do at least one post like this each Holiday Season, however this year I thought I would be a different spin on the article.



Having watched the Christmas Classic, "Christmas Vacation" for the last 25 years and probably over a thousand viewings I starting looking for things in the show I may have missed. This year while watching I have noticed all the Christmas Gift ideas the show gives us. Here are just a few:

10. Lingerie


This one is probably the most obvious in the entire movie and always a favorite and since there are plenty of shopping days left and my wife don't wear underwear it can be a dilemma.

9. A new saucer for the kids


Since Clark set a new amateur-recreational- saucer-sled land-speed record, the old one has seen better days.

8. A few more Moose Mugs


Because with Eddie, dogs and squirrels around it is only a matter of time before you will need them.

7. A good supply of stogies for Uncle Lewis


Every time he turns around he is lighting one, just keep …

IV Cocktails

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I was sitting in a local watering hole a short time back enjoying many a cocktail with some barfly when he says to me

"You are really putting them away, you should just have all your drinks intravenously."

Hum, not a bad idea on the surface. I know they have been doing something similar with vitamins and the like, however I never really gave it a thought in terms of alcohol. While it is a funny thought, some internet research shows otherwise.

However to me it is not the idea of how dangerous this would be it is the simple fact that I like to drink. I like the taste of alcohol and cocktails as well as the social aspect of drinking and being in bars and pubs.

My sole purpose of imbibing is not to become inebriated, but to enjoy myself. So while this makes an interesting joke, not much practical aspect of this method of consuming alcohol.

And with that I see my glass is empty.

Cheers
The Professor


BlackKnight Cigars

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Recently one of the Usual Suspects from Fidel's Cigar Shop, Gary Moore has started a venture into the world of Cigar Making. If you don't know how much work this is just do some internet research and you will find that it not only takes a lot of effort, but also capital.



You have to get your product on the shelf in business' which is also easier said than done.

The stick I was given to try was the BlackNight King Solomon.

Size: 7 1/4 X 56

Tobacco:
Wrapper: Corojo Filler: Dominican Dlor Plant from Cuban seed grown in the Dominican Republic Binder: Dominican

SRP: 16.50 to 18.50 USD
First 1/3

The stick due to it's nipple foot is very easy to light (which I really enjoy in a cigar) even in the most difficult weather. If you have cut the stick correctly you will find the draw to be very easy. You will immediately get a spice, wood/leather taste that is nice and smooth.

Second 1/3

Second verse same as the first, still smooth with the only difference being the flavors are not …

Toasting

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No I am not talking about burning bread, I am talking about using a beverage to toast to someones health, wealth or happiness. With the upcoming Holiday Season we well be seeing and participating in many toasts.



One of my favorites is attributed to Dorthy Parker:

One Martini
Two at the most
Three Martinis I am on the floor
Four I am under the host

What is your least favorite you ask? Send all inquiries to C.O. she knows ;)

However I digress from my original point. With all the Holiday toasts that will be flying around we should not forget to toast life's everyday moments. A good sunrise or sunset, good friends and family or even a good cup of coffee. (Yes you can toast with coffee) One of the Baypoint "Usual Suspects" (D.G.) favorite lines if "Life is Good" and this statement is reason enough to make a toast.

Cheers
The Professor

The Rooster Revisited

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I last visited the Rooster, formally know as "The Rooster Crepe Sandwich Cafe in December of 2012 and at that time (see blog post Feb 2013) I stated that this establishment did indeed live up to the hype.



"BEST BREAKFAST IN MISSOURI,” AS WELL AS “BEST CREPES, BLOODY MARYS, AND BRUNCH IN ST. LOUIS!”

In 2012 I could only really speak to the Bloody Mary aspect as that was all I sampled. When visiting St Louis last month I rectified this earlier error.


not only did I enjoy another Bloody Mary with bacon and cheddar stuffed olives, but I also (along with 5 other Usual Suspects) ordered breakfast.


I ordered a BELT, which I am sure you can figure out is the bacon, egg, lettuce and tomato sandwich which is served on Texas Toast along with an ample portion of their breakfast potato.

Others dined on pancakes, eggs Benedict and french toast and all portions were very, very large. How large you ask, well so large I could not finish even my entire sandwich much less the potatoes.

Again a…

Cold Weather Cocktails

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Ok last weekend it was in the 80's and this morning it is 41! So yes I am going to bitch about the weather just a little bit.



While the weather may not be great it does give me a chance to try out a few cold weather cocktails I have been saving for just such occasion.

Now I could use the go-to cold weather drink, the Hot Toddy, however I usually save that for cold and flu weather.

The other night a usual suspect was having coffee and added some Fireball Whiskey to it and I have to say I did not hate it. Speaking of coffee a great idea for a cold weather gathering is to server coffee and have a add-on bar including items like Irish Cream, Rumchata, Irish Whiskey etc.



Or for holidays include items like the flavored (pumpkin, mint, chocolate) creamers for your coffee and you can still offer the alcohol bar add-on. This option gives you a non-alcohol option.

Here is one that I have served and has always been a fan favorite, the Hoppin' Hot Scotch. Which is
Butterscotch schnapps, h…

The Over/Under Bar St Louis

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Recently we took the train to St Louis for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon. Yes indeed if you run a full marathon you are crazy so does that mean if you run a half marathon you are only half crazy?

Anyway while in St Louis we went to several bars and one cigar shop and I thought in the next few weeks I would give you a recap.


The Over/Under is located in the heart of the vibrant Loft District on Washington Avenue in St. Louis. Now an easier way to describe the location is that is only a few blocks west of Edward Jones Dome where the St. Louis Rams play.

The name Over/Under refers to a wager on the total amount of points, runs or goals scored by both teams in a game. We happened to be at the bar right during the peak of tail gating for a Rams Home Game and the atmosphere was what you might have expected. An acoustic guitar player (which was good and even played some Nick Drake) a bloody mary bar (average at best) and breakfast buffet and a loud crowd which included our group of "U…

Zocalo Sunday Brunch

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Shush it is a secret! Maybe the best kept secret on the KC Plaza and maybe even in the whole city! But it should not be!



A few weeks ago we were looking for a place on the Plaza to have brunch and our usual Sunday brunch hangout has been Coal Vines. On this particular Sunday it was packed, which is per the norm for this establishment. We decided to walk up the block and see what else was open and noticed the Zocalo appeared to be open.

Now the Zocalo is not new to us as we have spent several occasions having cocktails and appetizers here. However we were unaware that they had a Sunday brunch and to us it must be one of the best kept secrets in KC. And is SHOULD NOT BE! We can not begin to describe how great this is for brunch with items like Crab Cake Benedict, Lobster and Shrimp omelets and  a breakfast burrito that is large enough to feed two (see brunch menu here) it is hard to imagine why this place is not packed on Sunday.


So come on KC get out and show Zocalo your support

Cheers

Quesada 40th Anniversary Salomon Press

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Recently I attended the KC Cigar Festival (more on this later) and included in my gift bag was a Quesada 40th Anniversary Salomon Press stick.


AS you can see in the picture this is no ordinary looking stick and as I smoked it I can also confirm this.

Quesada released this line of cigars to commemorate Manuel Quesada's 40 years in the cigar business. The Salomon Press is a one of two limited edition pressed cigars (of the 6 in the series) featuring the San Andres blend. The key thing is that it is only pressed in the middle.



As I smoked this cigar the thing that I was most impressed with was the constancy. While some reviews state the stick has flavors of nuts, vanilla coffee etc. I only found the stick to be very full bodied with lots of spice.

My only negative comment would be the price ($12.95 US Dollars a stick) which would keep me from enjoying this fine cigar again. However, as only 10,000 were released it is doubtful if I would every find another. So I guess I am most fortun…

Wingman

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Most of us have either used a wingman or been a wingman at least once in our life. The most famous of all wingmen is probably Goose from the movie Topgun


Recently Central Patti, our buddy T.G. and Myself attended a fund raiser for the Great Kansas City Firefighters Local 42 which was hosted by Eric Hosmer (First Basemen for the KC Royals). The event was also attended by may more from the team. Now T.G. is a friend of most of the Royals organization and decided he needed a wingman due to the large number of beautiful women who were in attendance.


Now T.G. does well with the ladies, however I believe (as you can see above) it was simply the numbers that made him seek out a wingman. Now why he did not choose me was beyond my concemption ;) however he choose Mike Moustakas, third basemen of the KC Royals.

The two approached the bevy of beauties and began by chatting them up. As the conversation progressed the dynamic duo finally got around to the line for the ladies,

"You know who th…

Shady Gators

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As most of you, my loyal readers know I spent much of the summer on the Lake of the Ozarks at MySideOfTheBar Baypoint. This will not be the last post on the summer, but close.

On Labor Day Central Patti and I along with a couple of the Usual Suspects, S. and S. M. took a wave runner rider over to the Shady Gator. For many years this was our Sunday afternoon hangout as they have better than average - great food and normally on Sunday a couple of bands to listen to.


On this day, while there were no bands and as you can see in the picture the weather was warm and threatening we still had a great time and some great eats. I once again had the gator bites which as I remembered were really good. Another great day on the lake at a lake bar and looking forward to next summer here at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Cheers
The Professor

Post Script: I would like to request that the staff at the Gator to CLEAN YOUR BATHROOMS. They are among the worst I have every used and the smell was pouring over into …

Decanters

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This weeks quick post is on decanters!


I talk about these a lot around the holidays as they make excellent gifts, however I am not sure I have relayed the practical and fun use of these.

I like to keep a different alcohol in each these days and working from the picture left two right I have Scotch, Cognac, Bourbon, Vodka and Cherry Vodka.

In my old bar for my gang of Usual Suspects I kept the alcohol that each preferred and only they could consume what I kept in the decanter and it was also a secret that made for great conversations during our many happy hours.

Cheers
The Professor

The Topsider

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Continuing my posts on bars I visited this summer while staying at the lake of the Ozarks will be the Topsider.




Technically speaking we actually were on the Poop Deck which is a multi-level deck featuring a swimming pool. The Topsider is actually the night club part of this establishment and if you go to the web page you can see a nice picture of the old clown that was a hamburger joint on the property for many years. I also would be remiss if I did not mention the Tiki Bar located on the lower lever and is a great place to enjoy a cocktail right on the water.

The food menu was nice and I have to admit that while my brisket nachos are the best the nachos featured here we very good indeed.
Three Olive Vodka is feature at the Topsider and I got a kick out of the specialty cocktail menu titled, "Bikini Removers" 


I have already featured the Marilyn Monroe in one of my Happy Hours and the Usual Suspects that tried it really enjoyed this cocktail.
In any event we had a great wave…

Beavers at the Dam

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As most of you know I have spent a large amount of time at the lake (ATL) this summer, hey why not I am retired after all. One of the many bars I have visited this year was Beavers at the Dam.



I am not going to give you the complete history of Beavers as you can read for yourself by following the above link. What I will tell you is that it is well worth a visit for a real lake bar experience.

In a nutshell, the docks are very good, the atmosphere is excellent (including the indoor bar) and the food far above average for lake food. Speaking of lake food I have noticed this summer one common thread in the lake bars I have been to is that the food quality has really improved over the past years.


I attended with a gang of Usual Suspects and one of the reasons we choose beavers was two of us really had a craving for fried shrimp! It seems a pattern has formed this summer that if someone mentions a food item a craving for this item is almost overwhelming. (Shrimp Poor Boys are now on the li…

Home Bar Etiquette

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I have seen many articles and blogs on bar etiquette, however not many touching on home bar etiquette. This very topic came up recently with my cast of "Usual Suspects" at one of the infamous Martini Hours here at MySideOfTheBar.



From time to time (really more often than that) one of the regulars brought me a bottle of Four Roses Single Barrel which I placed on the counter. A short time later someone ordered this to which I replied, it was a gift and not opened yet. I did serve this individual another top shelf Bourbon, and that conversation led to this multi-part blog on the topic of home bar etiquette.



1. Bringing Alcohol

From a Host Perspective: While it is always appreciated, NEVER request it or expect it, hey you are the one throwing the party.

From a Guest Perspective: I generally bring my own alcohol to home bar cocktail hours, however now that most of the Usual Suspects are stocking Four Roses not as often. However, as I drink more than the average bear (or bull moos…

Flights and Flatbreads

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I have blogged about the Seasons 52 before, however I thought as we revisited the establishment the other evening and had such a great time it was worth another round.

Despite the small Bourbon Selection (However they make a great Manhattan) and a Martini spilled on Central Patti (also great and the bartender comped us the cocktail) their current special is fantastic!

It is called Flights and Flatbreads which means that if you order one of their most excellent flatbreads you also have the option of a special wine flight.


You have three option for your flight, Spectacular Whites, Remarkable Reds (both 15$) and Acclaimed (90+ Points) for 20$.

Not only do you get a generous pour on the three wines in  your flight, 2 oz or more you then get to pick your favorite of the three for yet another full glass.



This was one of the best values I have yet to find on the Plaza and well the flatbread makes this combo excellent. Our entire bill was only 52$ including my Manhattan (they comped Central P…

The Shearer Delight

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Well it was a typical Martini Hour here at MySideOfTheBar yesterday. Started around 4 and ended, hell I can't even remember when. Several shifts of "Usual Suspects" popped in and out and I can safely say a good time was had by all. If you follow @mysideofthebar on Twitter or happen to be one of the luck ones who is a friend on Facebook you have already see a tweet on some new alcohol that recently showed up at the bar.


So in typical fashion we had to create a cocktail fitting not only the mood here, but also the crowd. (not that I gave them much choice) I really had no experience with Crown and that is my bad given the popularity of the Whiskey.

So without further ado here is the cocktail and the tale that goes with it.

1 Part Crown
1 Part Maple Syrup
1 Part Cream de Cacao
1 Part Whipped Vodka
Splash of Skim Milk (cream, whatever)


And in typical MySideOfTheBar fashion we had to name this elixir of the Gods. Several names were tossed around, however it was D.R. who came up wi…

Baypoint Martini Hour

Martini Hour at Baypoint starts at four
If you don't see a flag then don't go through the door

The Pretty Pink Drink is not what you think
If has sweet and sass
and if you drink to many it will kick your ass

We have Old Fashions and Manhattans
Vespers and Martini's
and many times women in bikinis

You have Central Patti and Chrissy O. cackling all day
All the while Martini's are putting them away
And if by chance they have it dirty
They are long  gone by 4:30

And Stevie O spinning his toasts Even though he will never boast He has no fear  As he cracks open a Busch Beer
Steve and Sandi may well drink the bar Which is fine cause here you never need go far
We have Dennis and Dot who never drink a lot But if by chance they do you know their night is through
There is Mike and Peggy, Craig and Sharon  That when the leave here they are well beyond a carin
Jerry and Mariata, Dan and Tara and Kurt and Ann are new to the mix and even they seem to get their kicks
Songs get sung  a…

Coconuts, Lake of the Ozarks

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As most of my tens of readers know, I spend a lot of my free time in Bars, Pubs, Taverns etc. I get to enjoy many new experiences and cocktails and what can I say, life is good.

It is not often I get overjoyed with a new spot, however a couple of weeks back I took a quick water ride on a waver runner and parked at Coconuts on the Lake of the Ozarks.

Coconuts is located at the 7 MM of the Gravois Arm and as long as you stay to the right of the Gas Hole sign you can't miss it as the property is very expansive.

Coconuts offers a basketball court, sand volleyball, ladder golf & washers! For the kids - water trampoline, new expanded playground on the beach, 3-hole miniature golf, and ice cream shack!

However the main attraction to me is the large pool with TWO swim up bars. I would also be remiss if I did not state that the quality of the food is most excellent. I cannot say the prices are cheap, however with quality of the food and the great atmosphere it is well worth a stop.

I w…

A New Coctail is Born

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This past week I and a few of the Baypoint "Usual Suspects" we sitting at MySideOfTheBar and looking through my rolling stock of booze and wanted to come up with a new cocktail. A few weeks ago K. and A. D. added a bottle of Hot Stuff to the mix so I started with that. I then added a shot of Hot Sex and a Shot of RumChata and the Donna Summer was born. The cocktail is very easy to make and here is how: In a cocktail shaker add
1 Jigger Hot Stuff
1 Jigger Hot Sex 1 Jigger RumChata Shake Well Pour into a Chilled Martini Glass or serve as shots Enjoy
Cheers
The Professor

Annual Counting of the Corks and Caps

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I realize that I say this every year, however I cannot believe yet another year has gone by here at MySideOfTheBar. So that means it is time once again for the annual counting of the corks and caps. If you recall last year the total was 156 and the previous years totals are as follows: 2008 - 2009 - 166
2009 - 2010 - 157
2010 - 2011 - 137 For those of you new to this blog, this annual event is where Central Patti and I count all the Wine Bottle Corks and Liquor Bottle Caps that we have saved from the many consumed bottles here at the home of MySideOfTheBar. This does not count beverages we had at other locations or establishments. I would say this was another great year with both Burnett's Vodka and Four Roses Bourbon represented very well. So without further delay the total for the year May 2013 - May 2014 was: 164 We are looking forward to another great year and if you are in the neighborhood be sure to drop in. Cheers
The Professor

WTF am I, Part II

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So after a good nights rest we were both off on Sunday to visit our home towns. I spent Mother's Day with my folks and then on Monday I was off to CF. I checked into a motel and spent the afternoon drinking Bourbon in my room and the motel bar. I found I was out of Bourbon so I walked across the street to the liquor store and picked up a bottle of Cedar Ridge Whiskey. I was meeting some friends in Old Chicago just up the parking lot and as I arrived early of course I had to order a drink. Old Chicago is a great spot to eat and drink and the only thing I can say is that if you have a Bourbon Menu make sure you have the Bourbon listed. I  had to go to my third choice of Maker's Mark. It was great to see some old friends, talk about how we do not look a day older and how great we still are. Two of the friends are people of myth and legend. As I was waiting for them to arrive the bartender asked if I was from out of town and I told him I was waiting on two friends one of which w…