How to Stock Your Bar

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.

This is our collection a year ago. Much like a child, it has only gotten larger and more expensive since then.

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St. Germaine Cocktail

We discovered this treasure at Les Chefs Des Paris restaurant in Epcot. Now in my top five favorite drinks, the St. Germaine Cocktail is like a glass full of happiness. (Even if technically it’s not a cocktail.)

1 1/2 parts St. Germaine

2 parts Champagne or other French sparkling white wine

2 parts Perrier or sparkling water

Combine all ingredients in a tall glass with ice. Stir thoroughly and garnish with a twist of lemon.

St. Germaine Cocktail

Recipe courtesy of St. Germaine

Film Fridays: Keoki Coffee and Cigarettes

Before I took up booze writing my literary efforts were directed towards the more legitimate field of semi-professional online film criticism. ‘Legitimate’ is a relative term, of course. At my cinematic height I wrote for four different film websites, and specialized in horror cinema. I had just graduated from college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Film Studies and figured that writing about film was the only thing I was qualified to do professionally. (My full-time A/V job notwithstanding.) But eventually I started doing the math and found that I was spending more money on movie tickets than I was making from the reviews.

Soon after this revelation I turned to the far more fruitful field of drinking a bunch of booze and not getting paid anything to write about it. And here we are. But occasionally I get the urge to take up film writing again, and thus I conceived of Film Fridays. Continue reading

Guest Post: In Defense of Delicious

Today’s post was written by Aaron Crandall, librarian, scientist, occasional bartender, and friend of the boozehounds.

I am, by many accounts, an odd duck. I have had pseudo-theological discussions which theorized the Kool-Aid man as a symbolic Christ figure in a fight with the Planters Peanut mascot, made armor out of fence wire, and have the words “Don’t Panic” tattooed in large, friendly letters on the inside of my biceps. But while these things have on occasion earned me strange looks and lost me the respect of some normal (read: boring) human beings, in my time spent at college bars I have earned the most grief due to my fondness for that most abhorred beverage:

The “girly” drink.

Aaron Crandall: mad scientist and advocate for girly drinks

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Post #100: the Century Cocktail

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!

Celebrating 100 posts with a Century Cocktail

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Homemade Grenadine

One of the disadvantages of living and drinking under the thumb of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is that if the PLCB doesn’t carry it – short of taking up amateur rum running – you can’t get it. In this case, we’re talking about grenadine. Now it’s not that you can’t get grenadine, you’d actually be hard-pressed to find a PA liquor store that doesn’t stock it, but rather that every PA liquor store has the same grenadine.

Jacquin’s Cordials is a Philadelphia-based producer of bottom-shelf liquors and liqueurs, and the only brand the PLCB carries of several cocktail essentials, not least of which is grenadine. Theoretically, grenadine should be made from pomegranate juice (grenade is French for pomegranate) though even outside of Pennsylvania it can be tough to find a commercial grenadine that still is. These days most grenadine is like Jacquin’s: artificially flavored and over-sugared with so much corn syrup you could probably distill it into bourbon. Much like maraschino liqueur, grenadine is overdue for an artisanal back-to-basics overhaul.

Homemade Grenadine

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Mary Pickford

The Mary Pickford, named for the queen of the silent screen, is a bit difficult to pin down. The pineapple juice and grenadine give it sweetness, but it’s held in check by the aromatics of the rum and maraschino liqueur. The result is a balance of flavors that is very interesting, but certainly not for everyone. This recipe makes a rather large cocktail, so feel free to scale it down a bit.

BONUS: Click here to check out a small but charming gallery of Mary Pickford portraits.

4 oz Jamaican rum

2 oz pineapple juice

2 tsp maraschino liqueur

dash of grenadine

Combine all ingredients in a shaker half full of ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Mary Pickford