Aside from booze blogs, web comics, regular comics, and as many books as we can get our hands on, we (specifically Matt) like to read certain menswear blogs. In particular we recommend An Affordable Wardrobe and Put This On, which inspired our video segments. One of the common questions addressed on menswear blogs is how to build a wardrobe and not surprisingly, the process is very similar to stocking your bar.
Jacques Tati is one of those filmmakers that cinema nerds refer to as auteurs. This is a French term used to describe filmmakers whose work is so distinctive that you could recognize it without doubt. Contemporary examples would be Tim Burton, Quentin Tarantino, and Martin Scorsese. But among the most distinctive filmmakers of the 20th century is undoubtedly Jacques Tati.
Tati wrote, directed, and starred in a half dozen feature length films (with a few shorts and other projects) from the 1950s into the early 70s. And though he made his films long after the era of silent film, the dialogue in Tati’s films is extremely sparse, instead developing plot through highly cultivated characters and his actors’ ability to communicate physically.
Often compared to Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, Jacques Tati was an unparalleled physical actor. His recurring protagonist, Monsieur Hulot (played by himself) is as simple, naïve, and comical as Chaplin’s greatest roles, yet distinctly and undoubtedly French.
Some would argue that Mon Oncle (My Uncle) is Tati’s masterpiece, and though I haven’t seen all of his work yet, I would be inclined to agree. Revolving around the notion of modernity and luxury, Mon Oncle paints a sharp contrast between the ultra-automation of modern culture and the charm of classic French life.
The humor of Mon Oncle is built primarily around repeated jokes and masterful sight gags. As boring as a film with very little dialog may sound, Mon Oncle is among the funniest movies I’ve ever seen.
When we sat down to watch Mon Oncle earlier in the week, we tried something new to drink combining dry vermouth, lillet, and sparkling water. The result was light, refreshing, and surprisingly complex, fitting for the film. We named it a French Spritzer.
2 oz dry vermouth
2 oz Kina Lillet
top with sparkling water
Pour the vermouth (we used Noilly Prat) and lillet into a tall glass and stir. Add a couple handfuls of ice and top with sparkling water. You can also garnish with a twist of lemon.
Holy crap you guys! We have officially reached our 100th post. It’s a small milestone to be sure, but I’ll take any excuse to pour a celebratory tipple. To mark the occasion we thought it’d be appropriate to invent an IPTB original cocktail which we have fittingly dubbed the Century. I was actually rather surprised to find that there wasn’t already a drink by that name, but all the better for us. We fiddled with the recipe for a few days and tried a few variations, but it was Shanna that hit upon the winning combination. Those who know us and/or are regular readers won’t be surprised by the ingredient list. The result is a cocktail that’s complex in flavor, but not in execution, and which we think has the merits of a classic.
So let’s raise a toast: May the next 100 posts be even more fun than the first, and may you always drink in good health and better company!
Though James Bond, quintessential super spy and icon of debonair sophistication, prefers his trademark Martini “shaken, not stirred.” Ian Fleming’s character is credited with the invention of this variation, the Vesper. In the first Bond novel, Casino Royale, 007 pauses midway through ordering a traditional Martini and, as though struck by inspiration, amends his order with a specific set of instructions.
‘A dry martini,’ he said. ‘One. In a deep champagne goblet.’
‘Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s [Gin], one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?’
‘Certainly monsieur.’ The barman seemed pleased with the idea.
‘Gosh, that’s certainly a drink,’ said Leiter.
Bond laughed. ‘When I’m…er…concentrating,’ he explained, ‘I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold, and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink’s my own invention. I’m going to patent it when I think of a good name.’
Well we finally found a bottle of Lillet in a PA liquor store and decided it was time to sample Bond’s creation. Lillet is a fortified white wine, very similar to vermouth, with the addition of several botanical and citrus notes. This makes the Vesper a more complex cocktail than the simplicity of a Martini, both in execution and in flavor. As devoted as I am to Martinis, it is possible to suffer from drink fatigue. The Vesper’s a nice way to mix things up a little if you still want to stay in the same neighborhood.