Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Best of That Which Was 2013

I’ve messed with the year-end list concept once before. It got old for me about five minutes after I finished the post. But nostalgia can intoxicate you as well as any bottle of scotch ever could, and the final couple of weeks of every year are full of it (and full of scotch, if you’re lucky). Toasting to the days that passed, awaiting the inevitable tide of ones to come, and such. So, skipping the ceremony and pageantry oft associated with these types of posts, let’s raise our glasses to 2013’s best.

Best Drink
I discovered the Papa Doble. To be more specific, I discovered Simon Difford’s recipe, which calls for four and a quarter shots of booze to two of lime and grapefruit juice. That’s over six shots of powerful, sour fuel charging its way into your veins.

More often than not, I’ve only mixed them up on quiet nights in, where I know I’m the only one I’m endangering with this high octane. Once or twice, though, I’ve kicked off turnt up nights with a couple of Papas. And each time I’ve awoken the next morning wondering why the fuck I did that, while I carefully check the building for bodies.

Best Life Lesson
Stupidity is expensive.

I’ll get to the “What I Learned This Summer” post later [If you thought it would be posted before January…well, then you must be new to the site. Welcome! Have a Papa Doble!], but half of the summer of ’13 was dominated by learning that previous statement. It seems like it should be an obvious concept, especially when you’re 34. But then I ran shin-first into a fire hose fitting.

It seems like it should be obvious…

Best Decision
2013 was the year I finally grew out a beard. And now I don’t know what life would be without it. I started it during the Penguins’ playoff run in May. Of course, that’s also when I learned about “playoff bushes,” so…call it a draw.

Most Improved at the Twitterz
Dupa learned to live tweet his drunken moments, and it’s everything I had dreamt it could be when he first opened a Twitter account. Just read the sequence from the start of his flight to Hong Kong earlier yesterday. (Click on the images to the right; for the Twitter-illiterate, read from bottom-up, beginning with the bottom picture—which, coincidentally, has a picture of a bottom in it. #BottomPicCeption. For the Twitter vets, yes “@CS_Defi” is my new handle.)

That’s pure, 100%, raw uncut Dupa. I’m just mad he didn’t make use of the inflight Wi-Fi to keep the viewing experience going. Now we’ll never know if he took his pants off and danced around the cabin.

…He probably took off his pants and danced around the cabin.

Most Improved Wifeyness
I’ve loved Aubrey Plaza since the first few episodes of Parks and Recreation. But this year she made me mentally propose.

Some say her drunken debacle at the MTV Movie Awards was faked. Some say it was real. Honestly, either way I’m impressed. You’re telling me a beautiful, funny young actress either (a.) got so irreversibly party-drunk that she tried to wrestle an award away from someone onstage, or (b.) did such an incredible job of acting drunk that no one immediately questioned whether or not she was? Sign me up. I love me some Aubrey.

Most Fun I Had Involving Naked Women
Bareoke Night happened for my crew eight months ago. How it hasn’t happened again is completely beyond me. Everything ridiculous and boozily hilarious happens there, and therefore there is where I wanna be.

Best Morning After Meal
DeLuca’s. Madone. Trust me, if you show up hungover and find a line, just wait there in it. You’ll thank me once you’re in a seat with a plate full of amazing in front of you.

Best Birthday Mayhem
Leave it to TD and Boy Toy; for her birthday party, they put together a huge scavenger hunt across the South Side to be completed by their friends. Six or seven teams raced every which way between bars lining Carson St., getting strangers involved with our tasks. I mean, really involved. After the contest was over, everyone retreated to the home of the birthday girl and her boyfriend, where folks continued drinking themselves senseless.

Best Job of Convincing Me to Do What I Shouldn’t
When it’s 11 pm on a work night and you’re at the bar, you’re inevitably faced with a decision: “Go” or “No Go.” The smart money, of course, is on “No Go.” But the simple fact that you’re faced with the question tells me that you’re not familiar with smart decisions. Which means you’re like me—specifically, like me this past Thursday.

MoFo, Jed, T.C., and Hurley were out at Shady Grove that night. And though I caught up with them expecting to be in my bed by midnight, a few Manhattans and words of peer pressure had me piling into Hurley’s car to head to Cain’s in Dormont. I awoke on Hurley’s couch at 7:42 a.m., texted my manager to tell her I’d be a little late getting in, and spent the rest of the day hating myself and my friends, and all that was life.

Biggest Mystery
Seriously, what the hell happened to my Timb lace?


Friday, December 27, 2013

Wifey Material: Kate Upton

...I mean, it's just not fair. First, she's Kate Upton. Flawless. And now she goes and does this.

The only way she can top this is to show off her skills at twerk cup. Then the prophecies will finally be fulfilled...

TJ with the assist.

Having a Good Time

All of this is my last 24 hours. All of it.

Monday, December 23, 2013

This Drink is The Balls

Not to feed any further into the Anchorman 2 hype machine, but a tasty drink recipe is a tasty drink recipe.

From Foodbeast:
The Ron Burgundy

What You Need
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 oz. Scotch (i.e. Famous Grouse)
  • ½ oz. fresh lemon juice
  • ½ oz. fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 dashes peach bitters
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • Orange or lemon peel, for garnish

How to Make It
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat brown sugar and 1 cup water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. In a shaker with ice, combine the Scotch, lemon and grapefruit juices, ½ oz. brown sugar simple syrup, and bitters. Shake vigorously and strain into a short glass with large ice. Garnish with an orange peel. (Leftover brown sugar syrup can be stored in a jar to use in future cocktails.)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Snap, Crackle, Pop Bottles

I'm not much of a baking aficianado, but add whiskey to a list of ingredients and I'm there. You had me at "whiskey." Try out this recipe and report back (or, better yet, send some samples of the finished product my way).

"How to make Jim Beam Rice Whiskey Treats," from Guyism:
  • 5 ½ cups Rice Krispies
  • 10-oz. bag marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 2 shots Black Cherry Red Stag from Jim Beam
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt to taste

  1. In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in cinnamon and marshmallows.
  2. Once marshmallows have melted completely, remove from heat and quickly stir in bourbon and a sprinkle of salt.
  3. Don’t stop for pictures… narcissist.
  4. Add Rice Krispies and stir until evenly combined.
  5. Press treats into buttered 8×8″ baking dish.
  6. Admit you can’t level the treats.
  7. Cover with parchment (wax) paper, find square object, press down evenly.
  8. Add a sprinkle of finishing salt over the top.
  9. Cut into squares with sharp knife.
  10. Stack on penguin plate.
  11. Watch disappear.
  12. Mourn the loss of your delicious Rice Whiskey Treats.
  13. Move on to next recipe.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Buddy System

A long, long, long time ago, a very wise young man gave you a very valuable life lesson: Make friends with your server. What that dashing, slightly tipsy gent didn't do is give you a long list of steps to take to make that happen. Thankfully, the folks at Thrillist are here to pick up where that other guy left off.

How to Become Your Bartender's Favorite Customer
Order simple when things get hectic
Even if the bartender designed the cocktail menu, he’ll be grateful if you ask for a beer or whiskey instead of an 8-ingredient masterpiece.

Handle your people when they get out of hand
If someone you brought in starts instigating fights, grabbing asses, etc, get them to stop, or get them to leave. Don’t wait for the bartender or bouncer to step in. Their first move’s gonna be to ask you to handle it, because you’re in a better position to calm your boy with words instead of judo.

Offer your bartender the right shot, for the right reasons
The right attitude’s “I know you’re working, but it’d be awesome if you joined us”, not “Screw your job, hop on our party train!”. Also, offer them their preferred shot, not yours; and remember that a shot is never a substitute for a tip.
Check out the full list, as it's full of great do's and don'ts, the latter of which I see less-practiced bargoers exhibit time and time again.

Oh, and while we're at it; the fourth tip on the list?

That aforementioned dashing gent invented this back in 2005. Where are my his damn royalties?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Scotchy Scotch Scotch Scotch

Yes, it's real. From Thrillist:
Weekend Bulletin: The Anchorman's favorite booze — and his own brand at that — is coming to market and a liquor store near you. In some of the best news since Ben & Jerry's made primetime and LEGO got that signature coif, Great Odin's Raven, a Scotch (of course), is hitting shelves sometime this December. While exact pricing and availability are still unknown, there has been breaking updates that it is indeed a 40% ABV blend of whiskies from Speyside, Highlands, and Islay, featuring a healthy amount of jazz flute fruit flavor.

*practices* "The human torch...was denied a bank loan..."