If you’re thinking my insurance problems may be driving me to drink, Blog, you’re kinda right. But not to worry, even though I’m from Wisconsin I’ve never been a binge or heavy drinker. Heck, until my mid-30’s I’d only been in one bar in my whole life, Paul’s Club in Madison. (And don’t forget, I was legal at 18!)
But I was raised to appreciate good wine, learned to like beer, and have always been fascinated by cocktails. All those colors and flavors! Endless combinations! Fun names like “Singapore Sling”! And no baking! So when my level of affluence permitted it, I began to refine the Art of the Well-Stocked Bar.
I am a totally amateur mixologist. However, I do have the credential of having placed third in a cocktail contest last December, so I’m not a total poser, am I, Blog? I wish Blog could vouch for my modest skills, but of course he has not only a low tolerance for alcohol but also no mouth.
Here’s a look at our bar, which also serves as our coffee bar (and storage for my mug collection). Our glassware, including Davie’s pint glass collection, is mostly elsewhere.
brandy and/or cognac
spiced rum (i.e., Captain Morgan’s)
coconut rum (i.e., Malibu)
apple (Apple Pie, apple schnapps)
banana (Creme de Banana)
anise (Galliano, Sambuca)
root beer (Root Beer Schnapps)
half & half or cream
green onions, celery, beef sticks etc. for Bloodies
TIPS, TRICKS AND RECOMMENDATIONS:
1. I have a cool tip that’s sort of a cheat but saves money. I also use flavored syrups (like you use in coffee) in cocktails. Coconut syrup can turn rum into Malibu, raspberry syrup can sub for Chambord, etc. This can also be a way to reduce alcohol content if you are so inclined, or to make mocktails with no alcohol.
5. Is good vodka important? After all, it’s basically flavorless. Here’s what I do: I have a medium priced vodka on hand like Skyy or Three Olives, for use in highballs and bloodies. I also have my favorite, Rehorst from Milwaukee’s Great Lakes Distillery, for martinis. For whiskey, bourbon and gin I go for the good stuff. For rum and tequila, moderate is fine for me (although I’m sure connoisseurs of those would differ on that point).
6. If I could only have three wines in my wine rack to cover the bases, what would I stock? If you’re looking for few options that will please the most palates, I’d pick a Riesling, a White Zinfandel, and a Merlot.
Well, Blog, it’s kinda crazy how long I can go on on the subject of booze! And I haven’t even talked about the times I made mead (turned out awful) and beer (not bad but too much work). Readers, feel free to post a question, tip or fave cocktail in the comments. And party on!