Showing posts from 2015

The Bar Cart

At a request from a "Usual Suspect" (A.M.) I decided to get in one more post before the end of 2015. The question was what should I stock my bar cart with?

Now while it is true I have several blogs (see links at the end of this post) I have never addressed the bar cart and this could prove tricky due to space restrictions. I always wanted to have an antique bar cart and in a way I do.

The only difference is mine is technically not a cart.

So here we go...

You will want to stock the base liquors and I recommend a mid-range quality as you are limited on space.

Vodka: Absolute modest price, but a good quality vodka

Gin: I really do not like skimping on gin as this is the base for a good martini. So Hendricks is my choice here. However a nice quality at a very modest price is New Amsterdam.

Whiskey: Well here is where you can really go crazy, however for Whiskey Cocktails I recommend on Bourbon and one Rye Whiskey, I would go with Four Roses Yellow Label and Old Overholt Rye.


Randy's Unwrapped North Pole

Hum? Sound well...

Anyway, every year as a member of the Four Roses Mellow Moments Club Four Roses sends me a Christmas Card (as well as a birthday card) hand signed by the staff at Four Roses Distillery. They year in the card then sent a link for a personal cocktail designed especially for me. (or anyone) You have to answer a few quick questions

and you get a cocktail created for your own personal tastes.

Mine was Randy's Unwrapped North Pole

As you probably are not surprised I had all the ingredients to make it

1 1/2 ounce Four Roses (pick your type)
1 ounce Campari
1/2 ounce DOM Benedictine
1/2 ounce Italian vermouth

Method: In a ice filled mixing glass, add all ingredients and stir, strain into a rocks glass with large ice cubes, garnish with an orange twist

An excellent sipping holiday cocktail and I know at least 1 or 2 (S. and S. M.) will enjoy it.

Cheers and Happy Holiday Sipping
The Professor

Two Drunk Bimbos on a Train

or the day the bar car closed at noon.

As most of my loyal readers know we frequently take trips on the Amtrak. Recently was yet another adventure riding the rails (Clickity Clack) as we were off to St. Louis for the weekend. As seasoned rail travelers and professional drinkers we always carry a well stocked bar along with an ample supply of ice. We learned a long time ago that the bar car can run out of many items and you do not want to get halfway to your destination only to discover you need another drink.

On this particular day we choose our seats and waited for the train to pull out of the station. As the train slowly began to move I took inventory of those around me and did not notice anything out of the norm. Of course on the train you have to have some latitude for what the norm actually is as you do see some strange things when you travel by rail.

We started with our bloody marys and chatted quietly and about an hour out I started reading a book. I looked up and noticed that …

Repeal Day

Imagine not being able to drink a cocktail (legally) for thirteen years... the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution, mandated nationwide Prohibition on alcohol on January 17, 1920.

 Those dark years finally came to an end on Repeal Day, December 5, 1933 with the passing of the 21st Amendment which revoked the very unpopular 18th Amendment.

 And the celebration lives on. After all, being able to enjoy a cocktail is a freedom not to be taken lightly. Not then. Not now.

So pick your drink and give a toast!

Oh and look at this (hint it would make a great Christmas gift for one or more of your usual suspects)

Mad Men Cocktail Glasses

The Professor

A Couple of Whiskeys for Thanksgiving

It is not to late to add a few items to your bar for  your Thanksgiving get together. If you family get gatherings are anything like some I know you may need it.

Here are a couple of Whiskeys I have had the pleasure of trying as of late.

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

The whiskey starts with standard Woodford, which is distilled in both copper pot and column stills before aging in heavily charred white oak barrels. Double Oaked starts off with standard Woodford Reserve before undergoing an inventive finishing process.

Once the standard Woodford is dumped, it’s then placed in a second barrel for an additional 9 months of aging. These barrels have been toasted twice as long, and charred far more lightly, than the first barrels. The result is a different type of “seasoning” to the wood that is designed to provide a dramatic impact on the flavor of the finished whiskey.

However when all is said and done this is one very, very smooth Whiskey. Priced at about 50+ USD it may not be the cheapes…

The Gift of Whiskey

As the holiday party time of year is now upon us I thought a question by a loyal reader would be good to address at this time.

The reader made a statement about a recent gift he was given by some friends. This particular reader is a Jamisen Drinker and his friends gave  him, well a bottle of Jamesons. His question was should the friends (who know he drinks lots of Whiskey) give him his standby or go outside the box and try a different type.

I pondered the question for a couple of minutes and said that he was asking a question that really had not correct or wrong answers.

From my point of view as a Four Roses Drinker I can never have enough Four Roses in my rolling stock. Also you never know what type of Whiskey I have tried so it would be difficult to try and surprise me. (although any Whiskey gift is a good gift)

On the other hand if you know the person drinks a particular brand you might consider giving a gift of a different type of that brand.

It also would not matter if you  did t…

The Key West Cocktail Challenge

Recently we were on the road with MySideOfTheBar in Key West with a couple of "Unusual Suspect" friends of ours. As you might expect we were in a bar when A.S. found a brochure for the Key West Cocktail Challenge.

Also as you might expect we took up the challenge. The premise was easy, visit 6 participating bars, enjoy their signature cocktail and you get a T-Shirt. You can visit them in any order and take as long as you need to. (you could even do it in 6 days, but...) I am not going to try to describe each bar as you can follow the links to see and learn more.

The first stop was The Green Parrot Bar. The Green Parrot is an open air old school bar that I absolutely loved. Their signature drink was Root Beer Barrel and at least two of us liked it ;)

Stop two took us to Charlie Mac's and beside the great Signature Drink, it is also a BBQ joint. We only had the chicken wings, however they were awesome. The drink here was the Huckleberry Lemonade and I have to say I was stu…

Last Flight Out

So a little over a year ago I was in Key West and was looking for a hat to wear in the sun. I settled for one with a picture of an old plane on it and it said "Last Flight Out." I was fortunate to be in the Keys again recently and found out the entire story on "Last Flight Out." So I thought I would share it with you...

During the 1970s there were only two ways to either arrive or depart Key West. You could drive your car on old U.S. 1 and cross the infamous seven-mile bridge (extremely narrow with only inches between passing cars), or you could fly on Air Sunshine, the only airline to service Key West.\

The first flight took off at 8 a.m. and the last flight out was at 11 p.m. Conchs (residents of the Keys) affectionately called the airline “Air Sometimes” because of its inability to fly on schedule.
Tourists visiting Key West realized they were enjoying one of Florida’s best-kept secrets and many were reluctant to leave. The rallying cry became, “I’m not leaving …

New Martini and New Contest

Last week I was doing some research on one of my favorite subjects, Martinis. I came across a recipe that did not have much of a name. As luck would have it I had all the ingredients in my rolling stock so I mixed one up.

2 parts Gin
1 ½ parts Sweet Vermouth
1/5 part Maraschino Liqueur
Dash Angostura Bitters
Dash Orange Bitters

Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker and shake hard over ice. Strain into martini glass and garnish with orange zest/slice and cherry

I enjoyed this drink very much and as you can see by the picture I used New Amsterdam Gin, however I would like to try it with Hendrick's as this it is one of my favorite Martini Gins.

Now for the Contest:
In the comments below pick a name for this Martini and if chosen you could win a prize selected especially for you


Yet Another Great Joke

I have to post these from time to time as some are way to good to keep to myself. This was sent to me by one of the Baypoint "Usual Suspects" M. C. (thank you)

As a former college instructor I can relate to excuses from students!

There were four sophomores taking chemistry and all of them had an 'A' so far. These four friends were so confident that the weekend before finals, they decided to visit some friends and have a big party. They had a great time but, after all the hearty partying, they slept all day Sunday and didn't make it back to Florida State until early Monday morning. Rather than taking the final then, they decided that after the final they would explain to their professor why they missed it.  They said that they visited friends but on the way back they had a flat tire. As a result, they missed the final.  The professor agreed they could make up the final the next day.   The guys were excited and relieved.  They studied that night for the exam. The next …

The Bloody Mary

If you have been following this blog for awhile, you more than likely remember the post on Infused Vodka where I describe my process for infusing Vodka for Bloody Mary's.

My original interest, much like other cocktail interest, was peeked by two bartenders, Martin of the Plaza Mariot and Neva from Bobbers at the Lake of the Ozark. Those two really taught me a lot and made me appreciate that a real Bloody Mary does not come in a bottle of pre-mix.

I have also been on a rant lately when ordering a Bloody Mary in a pub only to find out it is made with a mix. So I volunteered to do a presentation  this past weekend to set the record straight and show you how easy it is to make a Bloody Mary with ingredients you already have on hand.

The Bloody Mary has  has been called "the world's most complex cocktail". Which does not mean it is that hard to make.

What do you normally have in your refrigerator?
Including Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, beef bouillon, horseradish…

The Improv Shop

Recently Central Patti and I caught the train in Jefferson City and rode the rail to ST. Louis to see our good buddy and fellow TobacPack member C.M. perform at the Improv Shop.

If your like me you may not be that familiar with Improvisational Comedy.

Improv by definition is:

A form of theater where most or all of what is performed is created at the moment it is performed. In its purest form, the dialogue, action, story, and characters are created collaboratively by the players as the improvisation unfolds in present time, without use of an already prepared, written script.

What improv really is is just plain funny and very high energy. C.M. preformed with a small group of 7 and we were totally entertained.  The place was rocking and the laughter never stopped.

Oh and did I mention they had a top shelf bar? We even were able to enjoy several drinks with C.M. (or was it S.B. hum) after the show

The Professor

Where Are We?

Not sure if you remember the game "Where in the World is Carmen Santiago?" or not. However this weeks post is similar. You need to decide where we are by a cryptic description and some photos.

It is not secret that MySideOfTheBar has been on the road a lot this past few months (and will continue to be) so I will try to keep up with post hopefully two a week or so.

If you are the first to reply on this blog to our actual where bouts you will win a prize selected especially for you.

So here we go

A Midwest City
You can buy and smoke a great stick

You can also buy alcohol

MySideOfTheBar has visited this establishment before

I have used both Twitter and Instagram from this fine place

Here are a few more pics

Good Luck
The Professor

Patriotic Shots

It is not often that I have a Jello Shot I like (or any shot other that a Whiskey Shot) however this year for the 4th of July a Friend and Usual Suspect made some that were outstanding. So with the coming Holiday Weekend I thought I would share.

Here is the Recipe 

Enjoy for the holiday weekend, I know I will!!!!

Thanks M. M.

The Professor

Women Who Smoke Cigars and Why We Love Them

This is not an original idea for a post, as I read a similar blog a while back. However, I thought I could put my own spin on it so here we go with my top 5 reasons why we love women who smoke cigars.

5. A women who smokes cigars exudes power and independence and I myself find that a very attractive trait.

4. When you are smoking a Cigar with your significant other you are immediately the envy of all the other guy cigar smokers.

3. You have something in common and you get to spend time out with the person  you  enjoy the most.

2. Well let's face it I find it really sexy. The cigar is...well...really phallic, and when women hold it like that..."

1.   And what is it they say, a women who puts a cigar in her mouth... Well I will leave that one alone

However guys don't get your hops up as only 2% of women smoke Cigars.
The Professor

Brandt's Ice Berg

Recently I walked up to one of our favorite watering holes, Bobbers located at the Alhonna Resort at the 8 MM on the Lake of the Ozarks. While  I was waiting for Central Patti to arrive a nice family came in. The young man who was ordering drinks for the whole famdamily, asked the bartender if she could make an Ice Berg. The bartender replied she had not heard of it, however if he could describe it she could possibly make one.

The young man said all it really was, was a Margarita topped with a Corona. The bartender said, that would not be a problem.

She then said to the young man, "I am not gonna lie to you, this will be on my happy hour special tomorrow."

To which he replied, "Can I at least get credit for it?"

The bartender said, "Sure, what is your name?"

"Brandt!" he said.

And I said, "I am not gonna lie to you, this is gonna be my next drink"

Great drink Brandt!

The Professor

The Tonic

One of our favorite pass times  here @mysideofthebar is to travel and try different bars, pubs and eating establishments.

This past weekend Central Patti and I were in Des Moines Iowa and looking for a place to enjoy a Cigar. Our bartender Nick at the downtown Marriott (by the way Nick was an exceptional bartender) told us of a "rumor" that this bar on Court Ave, The Tonic would allow smoking on their patio.

Well he was right, not only did they have a great establishment with a great Whiskey selection, they had a cabinet humidor. Kyle took great care of us and we enjoyed several drinks as well as a couple of fine cigars.

In fact we liked it so much we went back the next night and took a couple of friends.

The Professor

Fucking Z!

So as you have probably noticed I have been quiet for a couple of weeks enjoying the last 19 days OTR. Over the holiday Central Patti and I were set to walk to breakfast with a couple of the "New Usual Suspects". The canceled at the last hour (to be fair we were imbibing very late (or early) the night/morning before) and I said to Central Patti

"Lets walk anyway, like the ole days"

To which she replied, "Really? Fucking A, B, C, D!"

Now I had been hearing and using the phase "Fucking A" since the early 70's as I am sure you have. (provided you are old enough to remember the 70's) and I have used and heard the phrase "Fucking A, B, C, D for years as well.

However as Central Patti used the phrase I responded to her,

"Fucking Z!"

She looked at me with a quizzical look saying,


"I said well for years the Fucking alphabet has only included A, B, C and D at the most. What about Z!"

To which she replied…

Bulleit Bourbon Part II

This is the second part of Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey 10 Year.

A History of the Family and Frontier Whiskey (as Told by Tom Bulleit)

My great great grandfather was Augustus Bulleit who left France for New Orleans in 1800, just three years before the Louisiana Purchase. He was an adventurous soul and left little record of his early years. But it is known that he traveled by flat boat up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers from New Orleans, where he worked his way into the whiskey business.

The Frontier Spirit

In those days the frontier was just down the road. It was full of danger and dare, hard work and hardship. It was a period that shaped the spirit and character of our nation. It gave us smile lines and great stories, but also a few grey hairs. And as these brave souls moved west, legend has it that my great, great grandfather's bourbon traveled with them.

My Old Kentucky Home

My wife Becky is descended from her namesake, Elizabeth Callaway, who was kidnapped during the Revoluti…

The Kamikaze

The other day while reading a book and sipping on a Bloody Mary, I came across a reference to a Cocktail that while I had heard of it had never tried one, nor did I have any idea on how to make one. I cranked up one of my many bartender apps (Search Mr Bartender in the iTunes or Google app stores) and found the recipe and also discovered it was quite easy.

All you need is a good quality Vodka, some Triple Sec and Fresh (and I can't stress this enough) FRESH LIME JUICE.

1 1/2 - 3 OZ Vodka
1 OZ Triple Sec
Juice from 1 medium to large size Lime

You can either build in a cocktail glass or in a shaker
Stir or give it a quick shake

If you like more Vodka (like me) you can adjust the formula. Likewise you can add more or less of the other ingredients to suite your own taste.

A great summer Cocktail and as you see very easy to make

The Professor

Annual Counting of the Corks and Caps

It was May here at MySideOfTheBar and that means it is time for the annual counting of the corks and caps. I can not believe another year has gone by, and yes I do say that every year.

For review this is an annual event 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 base of MySideOfTheBar. This does not count beverages we had at other locations or establishments.

2008 - 2009 - 166
2009 - 2010 - 157
2010 - 2011 - 137
2011 - 2012 - 156
2012 - 2013  - 164

This year was a little disappointing and all I can say is that we have been on the road a lot more. So without further delay the number for his year was...


as you can see Four Roses, Burnett's and Burnett's Strawberry are leading the way. No Suprise there.

The Professor

Tools of the Trade

I was recently on the road with MySideOfTheBar and was at a relatives home bar. This entire neighborhood went through a bar renaissance over the last 5 to 10 years where it seemed like everyone wanted to have a nice home bar. Well mission accomplished and while I have only been in a handful of the bars the ones I was fortunate enough to see were very well done.

It was during happy hour one night I discovered that while they bar had great "curb appeal" it lacked the most basic of tools of the bartender trade. I wanted to make a Manhattan for me and a Dirty Martini for Central Patti.

Earlier in the day I picked up some olives and dry vermouth and I did find a cocktail shaker so Central Patti was covered. I also picked up some limes and lemons, but discovered no sweet vermouth. No problem as I spied a bottle of bitters I proceeded to build an Old Fashioned. I could find no other tools to help in my construction so I had to improvise the best I can. So without further ado here a…

Bulleit Bourbon

Recently I was given a bottle of Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey 10 Year Limited Release by one of the new "Usual Suspects" J.E.

The taste is interesting to say the least (more on that at a latter date), however the story behind it is more that a little interesting so I thought I would relay it here in a multi-part post.

The Tough Old Days
The American frontier was a time as well as a place. It was an era rich with opportunity but not short on hardship and strife. Dreaming big and taking risks was just a way of life. Many headed west with little more than a horse, an axe, a bag of salt, a barrel of Bourbon and a dream.

When Whiskey Meant Bourbon
They crossed the Red River, The Badlands, The High Sierras, Death Valley. They were mountain men and cowboys. Wives and dance hall girls. Men of few words and women of substance who when they asked for Whiskey, expected Bourbon.

Bulleit Bourbon
Augustus Bulleit knew a good thing when he tasted it. (as you probably do as well as  you ar…

Jamaican Pub Crawl

Recently we took MySideOfTheBar on the road to the beautiful island country of Jamaica. Central Patti and I set aside one day to do a Jamaican Pub Crawl to some of the local (and semi-local) pubs. I thought you may enjoy a recap of the day.

The first stop on the crawl was a beach bar that was semi-local. What I mean by that is that it was on the beach and kind of in a tourist area, however outside of our small group, it looked to be only locals in attendance.

Bourbon Beach

I made two observances here at Bourbon Beach; 1 was they did not have bourbon ;) and the other was while you immediately smelled marijuana when entering you saw this sign at the beach bar.
This was the only stop on the crawl that you received Jamaican currency back in change, however if you planned correctly you could simply give your change back for a tip. I enjoyed a couple of Gin and Tonics and Central Patti sipped on a Vodka Tonic.
Bourbon Beach was a great place and despite no Bourbon it was on the beach ;)