THE WHISTLER (BLOG): via the Chicago Reader’s Bar Issue: Three and a half years ago two New... -
via the Chicago Reader’s Bar Issue:
Three and a half years ago two New Orleans bartenders, Maksym Pazuniak and Kirk Estopinal (formerly of the Violet Hour), published a slim volume and accompanying blog titled Rogue Cocktails, for which they asked their colleagues—many of them working in Chicago—to contribute “unusual and exciting recipes that hopefully broke at least some of the rules of cocktail construction.” Later retitled Beta Cocktails (due to the objections of Oregon’s Rogue Brewery), it featured audacious potables such as the Angostura Sour, featuring a full ounce and a half of bitters, and the Lavender Cadaver, an eggy flip with peaty Islay Scotch and watermelon. These were drinks that upended the sense of complacency that the authors felt was threatening the increasingly mainstream business of craft cocktailing. In that spirit I asked some of my favorite bartenders to offer up some of their more recent challenging, unusual, and delicious creations. —Mike Sula
OLD SALT No. 2
Eric Henry, The Whistler
The Old Salt is a fine rye whiskey drink on the Whistler’s regular menu, but its off-the-books forefather is splendiferous, made from the moonless union of Lemon Hart 151 Overproof Demerara and Smith & Cross Jamaican rums, along with burnt sugar syrup and a salt-and-granulated-honey tincture that makes it taste like a smooth, slow-melting salted caramel. Stirred rum drinks don’t sell well on paper, so you have to know to ask for it.
Mmmmmm… ask for it.
Mustache cup. To keep your mustache out of your drink.
The Porthole by dansays on Flickr.
Inside the porthole:
1 whole lemon zest, removed with peeler, all pith removed
1/4 grapefruit zest, removed with peeler, all pith removed
2 strawberries, thinly sliced with stem on, fan, then slice stem off
2 mint sprigs, rolled in hands to release oil
2 edible marigold flowers (I used dried marigold flowers from Kalustyan’s)
4g freeze-dried pomegranate arils (Trader Joe’s has fresh seeds)
5g Rare Tea Cellar Berry Meritage tea (black and red currants, hibiscus, rosehips, and raisins, no actual tea leaves)
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
Cocktail to be added (makes two Portholes):
103g Bulleit Rye whiskey
77g white verjus (I used Roland)
26g simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water, shaken briskly)
31g Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
2g Angostura orange bitters
Here’s the full text of a piece I wrote for The Magazine a few months ago. I really enjoyed writing it, and would like to thank Marco once again for publishing it there. If you haven’t checked out The Magazine yet, you should. Anyway, here’s why you’re a total snooze:
Everything was going great until you showed up. You see me across the crowded room, make your way over, and start talking at me. And you don’t stop.
You are a Democrat, an outspoken atheist, and a foodie. You like to say “Science!” in a weird, self-congratulatory way. You wear jeans during the day, and fancy jeans at night. You listen to music featuring wispy lady vocals and electronic bloop-bloops.
You really like coffee, except for Starbucks, which is the worst. No wait—Coke is the worst! Unless it’s Mexican Coke, in which case it’s the best.
Pixar. Kitty cats. Uniqlo. Bourbon. Steel-cut oats. Comic books. Obama. Fancy burgers.
You listen to the same five podcasts and read the same seven blogs as all your pals. You stay up late on Twitter making hashtagged jokes about the event that everyone has decided will be the event about which everyone jokes today. You love to send withering @ messages to people like Rush Limbaugh—of course, those notes are not meant for their ostensible recipients, but for your friends, who will chuckle and retweet your savage wit.
You are boring. So, so boring.
Don’t take it too hard. We’re all boring. At best, we’re recovering bores. Each day offers a hundred ways for us to bore the crap out of the folks with whom we live, work, and drink. And on the internet, you’re able to bore thousands of people at once.1
A few years ago, I had a job that involved listening to a ton of podcasts. It’s possible that I’ve heard more podcasts than anyone else—I listened to at least a little bit of tens of thousands of shows. Of course, the vast majority were so bad I’d often wish microphones could be sold only to licensed users. But I did learn how to tell very quickly whether someone was interesting or not.
The people who were interesting told good stories. They were also inquisitive: willing to work to expand their social and intellectual range. Most important, interesting people were also the best listeners. They knew when to ask questions. This was the set of people whose shows I would subscribe to, whose writing I would seek out, and whose friendship I would crave. In other words, those people were the opposite of boring.
Here are the three things they taught me.
untitled on Flickr.
Washington Square Park, summer 2011.
35mm, Sprocket Rocket, Kodak E100G.
The Rubikon 2 is the world’s smallest pinhole camera!
And you can make one of your own at home!
All it takes to build this minimalist beauty is card stock paper, scissors, and glue. Czech artist Jaroslav Juřica’s designed the camera, and put together a PDF for you to build your own at the link below.
The Rubikon 2 - World’s Simplest Pinhole Camera
via Pop Photo