El Jimador New Mix Margarita Review

I have noticed a trend in my writing, both here on IPTB and elsewhere. The overwhelming bulk of reviews that I write are conspicuously positive. This has to do mainly with what I choose to review. If I like a product, I want to share it with others. I also suspect that the opinions we express here concerning booze have begun to teeter on the edge of snobbishness.

In an effort to rectify one of these two biases we bought a four-pack of El Jimador New Mix Margarita-in-a-can. I figure there are two ways this can turn out. Either I like the stuff and absolve myself of snobbery, or it’s as bad as I expect it to be and I can even out my reviewer’s karma.

Who can guess which way this is going?

El Jimador - in its natural habitat.

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I Prefer the Term Traveler: Walt Disney World

We, Matt and Shanna, spent five days over-eating, waiting in lines, occasionally relaxing, and drinking (when the cocktails seemed palatable) in Florida’s Walt Disney World this February.  We came for the animatronics, food, and warm weather, and left with a Kermit hat and a well “researched” theory on how to drink in Disney.

This theory consists primarily of what not to drink. As it turns out, we skipped a lot of opportunities to imbibe because, to our dismay, 80% of all booze on offer at the parks are cheap light beer (mostly the unholy triumvirate of Bud, Miller, and Coors), sugar & juice concoctions topped with a drop of booze, or variously flavored frozen abominations fraudulently sullying the name margarita. But fear not dear reader, for though our noses were held high in the air, they did lead us to a handful of truly magical beverages. Continue reading

The History of Absinthe: Empire, Bohemia, and the Ban

There are a lot of drinks in the world. From British best bitter to choujiu (Chinese rice wine), everywhere human beings have put down roots, you’ll find some sort of booze. And of all the beverages that have ever passed human lips, perhaps the most infamous is absinthe. This bright green spirit can boast the king of bad reputations, so much so that it was demonized and banned in several western countries for nearly a century. But what led to such drastic actions? What had influenced public opinion so dramatically against absinthe? This is a question that has been neglected, perhaps intentionally, for quite a long time; and to do it justice – unfortunately – requires quite a long answer.

An amateur preparing a dram of absinthe.

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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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The Boozehounds’ 2012 Wishlist

Around this time food analysts start to predict and report on trends we’ll being seeing in the next year. Things we’re happy about include craft marshmallows, the decline of cupcakes, the rise of Sriracha, more gourmet comfort food (like at our beloved, reservations strongly recommended, Pittsburgh gastropub Meat & Potatoes), mainstreaming breakfast for dinner, and arguably more pre-prohibition cocktail making.

Here’s what we’re wishing for in 2012:

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