Monday, June 29, 2009

My Kind of Arnold Palmer

Traditionally an Arnold Palmer is a mix of half iced tea and half lemonade. The Arnold Palmer pictured here is half lemonade and half Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea vodka.  

The Yacht Club is known to have the friendliest bartenders on Ingersoll. I tend to get along with all the bartenders on Ingersoll, but I have to say, Piper was very nice to mix this up for me and help me with my picture.

There was no harsh vodka feeling at all to this drink, even though almost half of it is the sweet tea vodka. It tasted very summery, and if I hadn't been trying to pace myself on this particular Saturday, I could have handled a larger glass. Piper said that's because this vodka is only 70 proof.

I've heard a lot about these tea vodkas lately. I'm sure mixologists have all sorts of tea drink ideas, but I feel like the Arnold Palmer is the only way I'd want to drink this stuff.

Friday, June 26, 2009


My favorite way to start the weekend during the summer months is to take the edge off with a little cocktail on the lanai. I call our porch a lanai, because it just makes it seem special.

Drinking Campari and soda seems special too. Campari is an Italian liqueur of herbs, plants and fruits. It has the strangest taste--I can't explain why I like it, but I like it. 

The drink in this picture is a mixture of Campari and soda. I added a slice of orange and a slice of lime. The back of the bottle says you can drink it with orange juice as well. 

I drink this in the summer. I've found I need to be careful with this drink because the secret blend of herbs, plants and fruits gives me a terrible headache if I overdo it. I'm SURE that won't be the case tonight. Happy Friday! Have a great hangover-free weekend.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dark and Stormy

It's been hot here. All day I was thinking that as soon as I got home I'd mix up and post about a Moscow Mule, Arnold Palmer, or chilled summery something or other. Then I poked my head over my cube to see a massive dark storm front headed my way. 

I got excited and decided to head home right away. Not because I'm afraid of storms, oh no. It's because I've been waiting for the right time to try a Dark & Stormy, and being the literal person that I am, this was the perfect time.

I made this drink using the dark Myers rum I keep around for making rum cake (future post), and the Australian ginger beer I have around because I like the bottles it comes in. I also added a dash of lime juice. I served it in a Collins glass because that's how it should be served.

This drink is SO GOOD. I'm going to invest in the ingredients to make it the right way. This is the national drink of Bermuda, so making it the "right" way means buying Bermuda's own Gosling's Black Seal Rum. Here's a link to the recipe I used from Esquire magazine. I'm going to mix another drink and take shelter in the basement.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wheat Grass?

This is a picture of my wheat grass. I planted it this spring in anticipation of owning a juicer and being a healthy happy person by the time it was ready to harvest. Well, as you can see, it is ready to harvest. I don't own a juicer, and I haven't yet become the sort of person who craves a shot of wheat grass over a shot of whiskey.

I have, however, done my research. I have friends who own juicers and they all think the one they own is the best. I'm leaning towards the Breville Juice Fountain Compact mainly because it is cheaper and smaller than the Juice Fountain Plus. I'm really not sure about it. What if I get the smaller version and it just doesn't cut it? 

Here's another dilemma: even if I do pull the trigger and buy the juicer, I've heard that it won't work for wheat grass. You need a wheat grass juicer. I'm okay with that, but there are two choices there as well. There's a manual wheat grass juicer for around $50 or the supposedly much better electric version for closer to $100. 

My health lies in the balance as I ponder these important decisions over my third glass of wine of the evening. What should I do Glass Half Full readers? Should I sink my money in the juice and bring you nothing but healthy ideas for bloody mary's? Or should I spend my money on a good bottle of aged rum and forget all this healthy nonsense?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Drinks and Dads

I thought I'd take the opportunity this Father's Day to look at my Dad through the Glass Half Full lens and determine what drinking habits and wisdom he has passed on to me.

Mainly my father drinks beer. I also have memories of him drinking Chivas Regal, Manischewitz wine and Mad Dog 20/20 (Mogan David wine). During trapping season, it was peppermint schnapps. 

The reason I remember the Chivas and the Manischewitz is because of the funny way he said those words-- no doubt after he'd already had a few. 

I remember the Mad Dog because there was a time in the 70s when my Dad and his friends all wore those shirts with snaps instead of buttons. The joke after they'd been drinking was to walk up and pull at each other's shirts so that all the snaps came undone, exposing hairy 70's chests and medallions from Avon. Well, my father did that to someone who happened to be wearing a shirt with actual buttons. As the buttons flew in every direction my dad said, "Don't blame it on me, that's the Mad Dog."

I hung out with my dad a lot as a little kid. That meant spending a fair share of my time at the bar with him and lying to my mom about it later.  I was a mouthy kid, which my dear dad mistook for braininess. So he'd tell me to start arguments with some guy at the bar that we decided we didn't like for some reason. I'd usually argue about women's rights or something equally political that I didn't fully understand. Then when the poor guy said something too out of line, my dad, who is to this day a big tough guy and back then must have been down right terrifying, would step in and say, "You got a problem with something she said, 'cause she's the brains in this operation and I back her up."

From my father I learned to work hard and play hard. While I have a little trouble with the work hard thing, I've got the play hard thing down.  The parents among you may cringe at stories of a little girl hanging out in bars, watching her father drink, and sometimes getting to have the occasional shot of schnapps or sip of beer herself.  I think it gave me a healthy understanding of enjoying life, being myself, cutting loose and saying what I think. And if you've got a problem with that, I've still got a Dad who will back me up.

What about you? Any thoughts on what you learned about drinking from your father?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Love is like a bottle of gin, but a bottle of gin is not like love

Now that summer is here it is officially gin & tonic season. I suppose you can drink them any time of year, but there's something about a cool refreshing gin & tonic on a hot day.

Gin & tonics also make me think of this great little song by The Magnetic Fields called Love is like a bottle of gin, but a bottle of gin is not like love. Makes you feel kind of profound as you sip your summer away.

It makes you blind, it does you in
It makes you think you're pretty tough
It makes you prone to crime and sin
It makes you say things off the cuff
It's very small and made of glass
and grossly over-advertised
It turns a genius to an ass
and makes a fool think he is wise
It could make you regret your birth
or turn cartwheels in your best suit
It costs a lot more than it's worth
and yet there is no substitute
They keep it on a higher shelf
the older and more pure it grows
It has no color in itself
but it can make you see rainbows
You can find it on the Bowery
or you can find it at Elaine's 
It makes your words more flowery
It makes the sun shine, makes it rain
You just get out what they put in
and they never put in enough
Love is like a bottle of gin
but a bottle of gin is not like love

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

And Now I Have That Stupid Song In My Head. . .

I received a link to the Iowa Department of Alcoholic Beverages web site the other day. Thanks O. Kay. There's lots of interesting stuff on there. I was fascinated with the top 100 liquor sales in Iowa since the first of the year.

Black Velvet is number one on the list. Really Iowa? I have a bottle of Black Velvet, but it's been years since I've gone into a bar and ordered a BV and Coke or a BV and anything for that matter.

I was glad to see Iowa's own Templeton Rye on the list at number 94, but come on, we drank more butterscotch schnapps than we did great Iowa rye. Sales of Baileys are down; probably because I've stopped adding it to my coffee every single morning.

What about you my fellow Iowans? What things surprise you on this list? Which numbers have you contributed to this year? Do you know anyone who drinks Dr. Mcgillicuddy's Cherry Schnapps? Based on its number 28 status, you must.

RankBrandCategoryCases Sold% Total Sales*YTD + or - Last Year
1BLACK VELVET    CAN-US BLND-US BTLD      38,0006.4954
2CPT MGN ORG SPRUM-FLVRD                31,8155.44700
3HAWKEYE         VODKA-CLASSIC-DOM        26,8224.58(1,034)
4FIVE OCLOCK     VODKA-CLASSIC-DOM        16,6402.841,464
6BARTON          VODKA-CLASSIC-DOM        11,9252.04611
7BACARDI LGT DRY RUM-LIGHT                11,3841.95(1,192)
8SMIRNOFF        VODKA-CLASSIC-DOM        10,8381.85336
9JAGERMEISTER    CRDL-LQR&SPC-OTH         10,0141.71(1,100)
11MCCORMICK       VODKA-CLASSIC-DOM        9,7841.67604
12SEAGRAM 7 CROWN DOM WHSKY-BLND           9,7671.67217
13PARAMOUNT WHITE RUM-LIGHT                9,0951.55420
14PHILLIPS        VODKA-CLASSIC-DOM        8,4741.45(474)
15ADMRL NLSN SPCRUM-FLVRD                8,3771.431,082
16CUERVO A LME MR COCKTAILS                8,3301.42(130)
17CUERVO ESPECIAL TEQUILA-GOLD             7,7571.33(801)
18CANADIAN LTD    CAN-US BLND-US BTLD      7,7451.32488
19JIM BEAM        DOM WHSKY-STRT-BRBN/TN   7,2741.24(244)
21UV RASPBERRY    VODKA-FLVRD-DOM          6,9111.18(190)
22SKOL            VODKA-CLASSIC-DOM        6,3041.08(351)
23POPOV           VODKA-CLASSIC-DOM        5,9811.02(611)
24ABSOLUT         VODKA-CLASSIC-IMP        5,7960.99(704)
25KESSLER         DOM WHSKY-BLND           5,6200.96(289)
26G W FIVE STAR   DOM WHSKY-BLND           5,5630.95489
27MALIBU NATURALRUM-FLVRD                4,9890.8535
28D MCGLDY CHERRY CRDL-SNPS-OTH            4,9720.851,228
29TEN HIGH        DOM WHSKY-STRT-BRBN/TN   4,9660.85(340)
30NIKOLAI 80 PRF  VODKA-CLASSIC-DOM        4,8510.832,013
31CANADIAN CLUB   CAN-US BLND-US BTLD      4,2830.73(235)
33PARAMOUNT       CRDL-SNPS-PPRMNT         4,0110.69(3)
34SEAGRAM EXT DRY GIN-CLASSIC-DOM          3,9490.67494
35E & J           BRNDY/CGNC-DOM           3,7440.6441
36GREY GOOSE      VODKA-CLASSIC-IMP        3,6170.62291
37DEK PEACHTREE   CRDL-SNPS-PEACH          3,6110.62(301)
38JUAREZ          TEQUILA-GOLD             3,5890.61339
39PARAMOUNT AMRTO CRDL-LQR&SPC-AMRT        3,4870.60(252)
40CDN RSRV BRN GL CAN-US BLND-US BTLD      3,3140.5736
41BEAMS 8 STAR    DOM WHSKY-BLND           3,2990.56672
42HENNESSY V S    BRNDY/CGNC-CGNC-VS       3,2250.55247
43LAUDERS         SCOTCH-BLND-US BTLD      3,1170.53122
44PARAMOUNT       GIN-CLASSIC-DOM          3,0520.52339
45PARAMOUNT GOLD  RUM-GOLD                 2,9700.51274
46CHRISTIAN BROS  BRNDY/CGNC-DOM           2,9440.50145
47CANADIAN MIST   CAN-US BLND-US BTLD      2,9070.50(272)
48DEK SOUR APPLE  CRDL-SNPS-APPL           2,8770.49(276)
49BACARDI LIMONRUM-FLVRD                2,7430.471
50OLD CROW        DOM WHSKY-STRT-BRBN/TN   2,7090.46242
51BAILEYS ORIG IR CRDL-CRM LQR             2,7060.46(549)
53P MSSN GRD AMBR BRNDY/CGNC-DOM           2,6080.45203
54CUERVO GOLD MRG COCKTAILS                2,5630.4465
55CHI-CHI'S MRGTA COCKTAILS                2,3840.41(608)
56TANQUERAY       GIN-CLASSIC-IMP          2,2650.39(178)
57KAHLUA MEX LIQ  CRDL-COFFEE LQR          2,2410.38(226)
58JUAREZ GOLD     TEQUILA-GOLD             2,2340.38249
59CUERVO A STW MR COCKTAILS                2,1870.37292
60SVEDKA          VODKA-CLASSIC-IMP        2,1400.37686
61JUAREZ 30       CRDL-LQR&SPC-TRIPLE SEC  2,1340.3633
63CASTILLO WHITE  RUM-LIGHT                1,9230.33(202)
64HAWKEYE         DOM WHSKY-BLND           1,8980.32(65)
65BURNETT'S       VODKA-CLASSIC-DOM        1,8740.32(373)
66RMPL MNZ PEP SC CRDL-SNPS-PPRMNT         1,8420.31160
67FIVE OCLOCK     GIN-CLASSIC-DOM          1,8390.31(261)
68UV CHERRY       VODKA-FLVRD-DOM          1,8360.31171
69BACARDI GOLD    RUM-GOLD                 1,7590.30(196)
70PATRON SILVER   TEQUILA-BLANCO           1,7260.29147
71SCORESBY RARE   SCOTCH-BLND-US BTLD      1,6870.29(103)
72ARROW           CRDL-SNPS-PPRMNT         1,6460.2860
73HAWKEYE LIGHT   RUM-LIGHT                1,6300.28277
75KORSKI          VODKA-CLASSIC-DOM        1,5820.27(147)
76SKYY            VODKA-CLASSIC-DOM        1,4810.25180
78JAMESON         IRISH                    1,4700.25267
79PINNACLE        VODKA-CLASSIC-IMP        1,4650.251,011
80UV              VODKA-CLASSIC-DOM        1,4420.25(27)
82DEK HOT DMN 30  CRDL-SNPS-CNNMN          1,3730.23(365)
83ABSOLUT CITRON  VODKA-FLVRD-IMP          1,3660.23(232)
86D MCGLLDDY M SN CRDL-SNPS-OTH            1,2430.21(232)
87TORTILLA        TEQUILA-BLANCO           1,2280.21(129)
88MONTEZUMA       TEQUILA-GOLD             1,2170.21107
89KETEL ONE       VODKA-CLASSIC-IMP        1,2090.217
90TEQUILA ROSE    CRDL-LQR&SPC-CRM         1,1930.20(130)
91SUNNYBROOK      DOM WHSKY-BLND           1,1920.20(168)
93SAILOR JRRY SPRUM-GOLD                 1,1510.20451
94TEMPLETON       DOM WHSKY-STRT-RYE       1,1170.1913
97EVERCLEAR 190   COCKTAILS                1,0770.18(174)
98HAWKEYE         GIN-CLASSIC-DOM          1,0730.18124
99GILBEYS         GIN-CLASSIC-DOM          1,0730.1847
100PARAMOUNT       CRDL-LQR&SPC-TRIPLE SEC  1,0490.18(1)
 TOTAL 470,30680.314,517
Numbers reflect the percentage of all sales in the state of Iowa since the beginning of the calendar year.