Your bar cart isn’t stocked for Halloween?! OH THE HORROR!!!
What’s more Halloween than a giant skull filled with vodka? Maybe some Bloody Mary Mix or a tiny skull adorned bar spoon? We’re stocking our bar cart this year with some matte black and smoky glassware. OK and yes, just a touch of gold too. And our cocktail toppers? Wax vampire teeth of course! After all it is Halloween. Let’s get spooky!
Growing up in New England, once the calendar page turned to October, inevitably the Colonial time plays in school began. But what they didn’t cover in grade school was the real story of how America came to be: those Colonists got drunk and invented America.
If you’re intrigued about just how these fine folks did this, then this week’s giveaway is for YOU! We’ve got a giveaway package that tells you the whole story, AND an amazing new on the scene bar tool you can use to replicate some of the toasty beverages those Colonists enjoyed while, you know, inventing America.
Colonial Spirits: A Toast to Our Drunken History by author Steven Grasse combines a love of cocktails and history into an immensely entertaining book that’s perfect for your cocktail book shelf. Here’s a few facts from the book you can throw out at your next Fall Holiday party:
George Washington had a treasured recipe for Small Beer stashed in a notebook, brewed with Bran Hops and 3 Gallons of Molasses
Martha Washington developed Cherry Bounce, a brandy-based drink that keeps her husband warm while he is away fighting the Revolutionary War
Benjamin Franklin took it upon himself to pen the Drinkers Dictionary, kind of like a colonial version of Urban Dictionary, where he published at least 200 synonyms for getting drunk
Thomas Jefferson imports red wines from all over the globe, collecting 20,000 bottles during his presidency; and toasts the Declaration of Independence with a glass of Madeira
John Smith and the early settlers at Plymouth Rock learn how to ferment alcohol from corn, as taught to them by Native Americans
John Adams preferred hard cider and drank a tankard of the stuff every morning; and Adams would live to be 90 years old, the third longest living president.
The Triangular Trade (and the blight of slavery) fuels the rum business and Fish House Punch is created at Philadelphia’s Tun Tavern as a way for people to “forget their mother-in-law”
How many of you have a loggerhead in your home bar? My bet is no one. However, this bar tool has been around for centuries helping to create toasty cocktails going all the way back to the Colonial era. And now one lucky Stir and Strain reader will get their hands on their own! But what is it you may be asking. The loggerhead is a unique bar tool that’s simple in design, yet has an effect on cocktails that’s complex and incomparable. Heat up the loggerhead, prepare your drink and then plunge the loggerhead in to create an exciting effect (and heat up your drink). This is the perfect bar tool for those chilly nights ahead of us.
The loggerhead is finishing up its Kickstarter run but has already been funded which means you’ll get yours by December. For more info on the loggerhead, head over to their page!
Ready to drink like this nation’s forefathers? Enter below and score up to 10 entries to win the Colonial Spirits and Loggerhead Bar Tool (approximate retail value $90)! Giveaway ends at 11:59pm PST Wednesday October 12th, 2016 (US residents only). Good luck!
Need something a little cooler to sip from this summer? I got ya covered. So be cool. Don’t be all, like, uncool.
Summer’s made for pitcher cocktails, long icy cocktails, and when it’s really hot… beer in a glass (or just straight from the fridge). Brighten up your home bar while we’re still enjoying those long days.
One week from tomorrow it’s OK to carry around a riding crop and wear a helmut in public. Be prepared. Get bourbon.
Leave those tiny silver cups at home, we’re feeding a crowd. And by feeding I mean drinking a giant silver punch bowl filled with Mint Juleps. So get your Maker’s Mark, and a commercial ice crusher, and if you have the time, grow some mint! Or, you could just fake it and add in some mint simple instead. Stir it all up with some wild horses, and please, gentlemen, use a napkin.
There’s a sizable stash of holiday movies in our house and I can’t throw them away…even if they are crappy transfers on DVD (or VHS!!!). If you hoard holiday classics, especially any of those 1960’s classics, you’ll recognize this song title. And if you don’t, who cares! Let’s get gifting…
Everyone wishes for silver and gold, so let’s add some sparkle to your holiday cocktails shall we? From glistening glasses, to heavy metal pineapples, and don’t forget the bottles that are pouring your booze! How do you measure its worth? Just by the pleasure it gives here on Earth (or your bar cart).
Tight on space? One does not need to call in the team at Hometime to knock down some walls and put in plumbing just so you can use your fancy glasses come cocktail hour. Craft a home bar for a small space with a handful of useful, and, obviously, fun pieces.
You’re drinking in the living room/home office/kitchen and chances are you’ll need a table there. But what if it was also your bar? And inside the glasses doubled as measuring cups and you had ONE tool that did just about everything? No room for full bottles? That’s what the half bottles are for; you can store those anywhere. Your ice bucket can also double as a storage vessel when not in use: bonus if it looks like a work of art (your friends won’t know the difference). And all those beer bottles? Hang ’em up out of the way. Just be mindful when doing cartwheels after a couple Daiquiris.
If by progress we’re talking about taping off the space where the bar should go. In some respects this was actually a big step; both of us finally decided on the shape after going back and forth with charts and graphs of why the other person is wrong. I had much more grandiose ideas but two problems were staring back at me.
1. Our space for the bar is small. The room is big, but a giant portion of this is taken up by the pool table that we blew the budget on last year. It’s funny really. The room has a pool table, a tv, and half a couch right now. I feel like I’m in college when I’m in that room.
2. My husband still has to build the bar. So no rounded marble tops.
As always, stayed tuned for updates. I have some awesome cocktails with tarragon I’ve been drinking lately. And apparently, my husband poking his head over my shoulder, just mentioned that he’s not so sure about the measurements for the bar. So there’s that.
I’m just going to go ahead and file this under the “Clever Ideas” category.
Let me roll back a year and fill everyone in on how this came about. Last year we had some awful rains in L.A. and we noticed that there were some bubbles forming in the walls on one side of the house. And then we had more rain. And then suddenly the windows looked like they were going to fall out. This wasn’t a slow progression either. This was, on Monday there were a couple of bubbles in the plaster and on Wednesday THE FUCKING WINDOWS ARE GOING TO FALL OUT OF THE WALL CALL THE HOME INSURANCE NOW. Turns out part of our roof had flown off and water had been leaking in and 2 months later we gutted the entire downstairs and now we decided hey let’s put a bar down in there.
Present day. That was November when we finished up putting the flooring in and after having nonstop construction guys in our house from 6am to 7pm at night. We needed a break. Apparently that break was going to last for 7 months. And then my husband spoke up out of the blue that we could do it ourselves the other day. Part of the reason for building a bar ourselves is that there was nothing on the market we liked, and also, prices wildly shot off into areas neither of us could comprehend spending any money on. Both of us consider ourselves to be pretty handy. My dad does/makes cabinetry for a living and I have 4 years of a fine arts education behind me, long behind me but still visible in that distance. And also, I can use a bandsaw. This Old House was, and still is, a favorite show of mine.
So here is the space. To any of our friends who haven’t been downstairs since the construction, this used to be the kitchenette area. And yes, we still need to get a 5th bulb for that light.
Maybe putting this out here will kick start us into plowing full speed into the project. Or it will be a reminder a year from now that we broke down and spent money on a bar and boy, what the hell were we thinking….