“Mixed drinks tend to be invented on a whim, named as an afterthought, consumed on the spot and forgotten in an instant.”
William Grimes, food critic and historian, was perhaps a bit harsh in his judgement of the cocktail. Mixology culture is often very tongue in cheek and colorful in their way of naming the potations they put forward. I can’t say they are all winners. I for one find the Screaming Orgasm to be a blatantly forward and undeserving name for a creamy little shot that’s over in a flash… but I’m sure Short-lived Orgasm wasn’t quite the sales pitch they had intended.
The bar culture has a history of having some more risqué named cocktails to draw a giggle and a guzzle from its patrons. After pouring through one of my cocktail books (Lets Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition by Lesley M.M. Blume), I’ve pulled out five suggestive little love potions from a bygone era to tempt your desire this Valentine’s day.
NOTE: These cocktails (except the Angel's Tit) are formed from vintage measurements, which means they were meant for smaller glasses than we have now. If you want to serve up drinks "proud of the brim" then double the recipe. Cheers!
Between the sheets
This suggestive little number originated around the 1930s. I'm not one to typically drink in bed, because inevitably between my honey, my pets, and my own clumsy nature, I spill. However I totally approve of a night cap, and with a blend of brandy and rum, this cocktail seems destined to put you to bed…either to sleep or to more amorous activities.
¾ oz light rum
¾ oz brandy
¾ oz Cointreau
1 tsp lemon juice
Combine ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon peel and sip bedside, in pajamas or something a little more scandalous.
Subtlety is an art and unfortunately it is entirely wasted on this cocktail. The Bosom Caresser not only bears a fleshy colored resemblance to the anatomy from which it gets its name but served up in a coupe it even appears to be the same shape. It actually sits very pretty in the cup of a bra. Not surprisingly, this was a popular libation at gentlemen’s sport clubs where they no doubt snickered themselves silly ordering it.
1 oz brandy
1 oz Madeira
1 dash grenadine (A dash = 1/8 of a tsp)
1 dash curacao
1 egg yolk
Put ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and then strain into coupe glass. Caress it gently as you enjoy…naughty you.
Suprisingly this cocktail was not named for a dalliance. Named for being simply delicious, this cocktail has more than a little mischievous intent to inspire carnal activities.
1 oz Italian vermouth
1 oz dry gin
2 dashes Fernet-Branca
Pour ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake. Strain over highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange peel and serve with innuendo.
Secret stolen kisses are the hallmark of any good romance. Whether secret affair or daring forbidden romance, a stolen kiss can be exhilarating. As is such, this cocktail is a quick sweet embrace that leaves you wanting another sip.
1 ½ oz Pernod
1 ½ oz gin
1 egg white
1 teaspoon simple syrup
Pour ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into chilled cocktail coupe. Feel free to let your lips linger.
Clearly there is an obsession with the ta-tas at the bar. Created in the 1920s when people lived to scandalize, especially those goody-goodies who tried to ban alcohol, the Angel’s Tit is a dessert like cocktail aptly named for its perky appearance.
1oz Maraschino Liqueur
1 dash grenadine
Pour the liqueur and grenadine into a chilled pousse-café glass (or shot glass), top with whipped cream and place a cherry right in the middle…to uh complete the look.
Hope you got a giggle and a guzzle out of these little seductive numbers in a glass. Perhaps a few of you are even blushing, you goody-goodies. Tantilizing, titillating and overall enthralling, make these little love potions part of a Valentine's day you'll never forget.
* I shouldn’t have to put a disclaimer in here that these are not actual love potions guaranteed to result in the activities that they proclaim, and that to use them as such is well… wrong, you pervert. Using these cocktails in an unscrupulous manner may result in insults, a slap, newly becoming single, or having to sleep alone.
Don’t be an idiot.
Have a happy Valentines day!
Working in the beverage industry is hard on the health. Drinks, too much dipped, battered, and fried bar food, and being up till the wee hours of the morning can’t be great for anyone on a consistent basis. So, six weeks ago I signed on for a health challenge with a local gym. I agreed to the strict workout plan as well as a protein heavy diet. Of course, that meant giving up something that I enjoy almost nightly in one form or another. Alcohol. What kind of diet doesn’t allow alcohol? Answer is all of them. Unfortunately, alcohol is on the big list of no-nos if you want to get fit, healthy, or just need a break.
The choice to pursue a healthy lifestyle is always worth a standing ovation. However, making big changes can be difficult. For myself as well as many others, cutting out alcohol can change social outings, how the day ends, and how they generally unwind after a stressful day. Having a drink is a social experience. However, walk into just about any bar and your non-alcoholic options are slim to sugary. I know that forbidden s-word in the realm of health. Usually you have the option of sodas, tea, lemonade, or the ever-infamous seltzer and lime. Asking for a non-alcoholic cocktail could land you with a Shirley Temple, which does nothing to enhance your bar experience or make you feel like a grown up. Basically, your options are low.
Luckily there is a non-alcoholic revolution taking place and the next big thing in drinks looks to be people not drinking…alcohol that is. There is even a company, Seedlip, that has crafted the world’s first non-alcoholic distilled spirit and brought their philosophy of elevating the mocktail to a sophisticated balance sweet, savory, and herbaceous to bars in the UK as well as California and New York. You may have seen my Instagram video about discovering this out of the box new product. I’m still perplexed by it and spent a fair portion of my six-week challenge toying with recipes and applications for one of the Seedlip flavors (Garden 108). I’ve already ordered the second flavor (Spice 94) and reordered the Garden 108. I think I love this stuff and am happily making a permanent spot for it on my home bar. It’s delicious with just soda water, like a gin and tonic sans well... gin.
As my challenge comes to a close, I get to reflect on the progress I’ve made and the changes I want to make moving forward. Discovering that a glass of wine or cocktail was a way to signal the end of my day, not a necessity was a big takeaway. Finding out that I could have the same effect from a mocktail without breaking my diet and that this was a change I wanted to take past the challenge was a surprise. Though I still plan to enjoy a glass of wine or cocktail every so often, I do plan to enjoy a few more nights sans alcohol. Who knows maybe one of these recipes will inspire you. Please enjoy these 10 recipes of elevated mocktails to curb your cocktail cravings while staying dry!
I wish I had coconuts on hand to drink this tropical combo out of, and maybe a hammock, and a tropical breeze. Someone just send me to the Caribbean. The sweet blend of pineapple with coconut water is mellowed by the quick bite of lime juice to balance it all out. Excuse me, an island state of mind is calling.
2oz. Pineapple Juice
2oz. Lime Juice
In a tumbler (or better yet a coconut) pour the pineapple juice and lime juice over ice. Fill to the brim with coconut water and enjoy!
My challenge has ended since starting the research for this post, but the big takeaway from the whole experience is that sometimes you don’t want a drink. You want something to signify the end of your day. Something to sit back and sip on that says good job, you made it through and now it’s time to relax. Normally this would be a beer, a glass of wine, or on a bad day whiskey neat. However, by pushing myself to not have alcohol I found that these mocktails gave me the same satisfaction. Cheers!
Nashville is said to be a drinking city with a music problem. The fact that you can enjoy a glass of Tennessee whiskey while listening to a band playing the song Tennessee whiskey anywhere on Music Row seems to reinforce that. From speakeasy style cocktail bars to good ol’ honky tonks, Nashville seems to have a little something for every kind of drinker. All offered with a hearty welcome, plate of hot chicken, and genuine Southern hospitality.
I have been to Nashville a few times before, usually associated with work, and typically with a schedule so booked it left little time for me to explore. So when I found out I was going to be there for a week for the 2018 Craft Brewer’s Conference, I made sure to block out some time to explore. What I found was that there were lots of reasons to raise a glass in Nashville. Here are some of my must visits!
1: The Booming Beer Scene!
This is the 35th year of the Craft Brewer’s Conference and its arrival in Nashville means the beer scene here is bursting at the seams with potential. About a year ago there was a change to the alcohol laws, raising the level of alcohol in beers allowed from 6.2% to 10.1%. That meant that breweries were able to craft higher gravity beers highly sought after by their drinkers, and that restaurants and bottle shops would be allowed to sell those items. Breweries from within Tennessee and outside of it flooded into the market. Tennessee now boasts 66 craft breweries, up from 24 in 2011, and 19 of those craft breweries reside in Nashville! With the Craft Brewer’s Conference and the World Beer Cup being held in Nashville, literally thousands of brewer’s from around the globe flocked to the Music City.
As I said, there are about 19 breweries within the city limits of Nashville. Sadly I hadn’t time, nor the liver functions, to visit them all. The ones that I did get to visit each had some truly interesting brews pouring from their taps.
Tailgate Brewery - Tailgate started in 2014, and has grown by leaps and bounds since. They now boast a 50 barrel brewing system and at least 30 of their own house brews on draft at their 2 tap room locations. They have a “beer first” philosophy, meaning that no matter how crazy the ingredients they play around with (sourced locally whenever possible), that they always want the beer to shine most.
I have been to Tailgate twice now, and each time I have tried something I have never had before. Their Music Row location is an ideal starting spot for a pint or two. This past time, my three favorite brews were the Guava Wheat, Sake Kolsch, and the Negroni IPA.
Yazoo Brewing - Yazoo opened their doors in 2003. They quickly out grew their first facility and opened a new spot in 2011. Now sitting in the trendy area known as the Gulch, they brew a variety of beers including a pre-prohibition tribute to Nashville's original brewery Gerst, as well as an award winning Hefeweizen. In 2012 they added their Embrace the Funk line of sour and wild fermented ales.
I got a flight of six beers on my last visit, trying their Mexican styled beer Dos Perros, the Pale ale, the dark and smoky Sue, and three selections from their Embrace the Funk line. Hands down the favorite was the Trio from the Embrace the Funk line. It's brewed as a Tennessee tribute and triple threat. Tennessee brewery making a raspberry beer aged in Tennessee wine barrels that previously held Tennessee whiskey. Seriously you can not get more Tennessee than that.
2: Amazing Cocktail Bars:
Nashville's cocktail scene is constantly evolving and luckily for us, it just keeps getting better and better. The mix of artfully designed spaces, soft spoken speak easy hideouts, and seriously unique takes on classics brings a variety of options to the bar. Sometimes you can find all on the same street too, which makes for a memorable bar crawl. Since I was there for the Craft Brewer's Conference, my last visit was devoted mainly to beer, but I managed to persuade my group to a couple of select spots I just couldn't pass up.
The Patterson House- Hidden behind an unassuming faded door off DIvision street, with the name of the establishment written in small gold letters, rests the Patterson House. When it opened its doors in 2009, it brought bar concepts that the likes of Nashville had never seen. Homemade syrups, fresh juices, eight different representations of twice filtered ice, all in a pre-prohibition atmosphere with a set of house rules that set the stage for a uniquely quiet and welcoming drinking experience.
The bar of the Patterson House is tucked behind a velvet green curtain, which a delightful hostess will direct you through after she has set your places. One of the rules at The Patteson House is that you must be seated to get a drink, which means there is no standing room and never anyone leaning over your shoulder to order a drink. You silence your cell phone as you enter, because talking on the cell phone isn't allowed and the atmosphere just encourages you to disconnect for a moment.
When you order a drink, once you decide from their extensive menu that offers selections divided by main spirit then by how adventurous your palate is, remember to be patient. It's one of the rules and the manner in which the Patterson House bartenders go about their craft should be admired. Handcrafting each drink perfectly from parts to shake to pour is clearly their sole focus.
I could have stayed at this bar all night, and in fact we went back twice. Not only were our drinks beyond delicious and the bar snacks a wonderful compliment, but the bartenders are a joy to chat with. You can feel their passion for what they do just pouring out of them and I don't often meet people who get as excited about a new strange spirit or fresh ingredient as I do. As for drinks I enjoyed the Naked and Famous (Mezcal, Aperol, Lemon, and Yellow Chartreuse) and the As it Stands (Mezcal, Carpano Antica, Passionfruit liqueur, Campari, and Absinthe). My step dad fell in love with a drink called the Ruby Revolver (Rye whiskey, Lemon, Cynar, White Creme de Cacao, Grapefruit liqueur, and Angostura bitters) which I have successfully been able to recreate at home for him.
Just do yourself a favor and make this a must visit. Even if there is a line this place is so worth the wait. I plan to go back every time I'm in Nashville.
3: Fabulous food scene:
Nashville has as much to offer on the food scene as it does the entertainment scene. Seriously there are a plethora of restaurants offering the iconic Nashville Hot Chicken, tacos, barbecue, ramen, and everything in between. Finding those local hidden gems that dish up something unique to the area are one of my favorite memories of anywhere I travel. Right up there with shopping the local bottle shops.
Speaking of hot chicken, it is a Nashville specialty and something that is on nearly every menu in the city. Some places are dedicated hot chicken shacks, serving fried chicken drenched in hot sauce and spice with white bread and pickles by the basketful. Others have reimagined it as sliders, skewers, salads or anything else. I think I even saw hot chicken sushi, which I will 100% admit was just a bit too odd of.a fusion for me. You can't leave the city without trying at least a bit of hot chicken, even mild.
*Note: There are some hot chicken shacks which take no mercy on newcomers. They delight in tormenting those who ask for mild by giving them atomic hot. You've been warned.
Milk and Honey- The land of Milk & Honey is paved with craft coffee, handmade gelato, and fresh fruit popsicles. Milk & Honey, which originated in Chatanooga, opened a second location off 11th street in Nashville and expanded upon their coffee and desserts menu to include a variety of made in house breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.
We dined here for both breakffast and dinner. For breakfast, they start out bringing a fresh cinnamon roll made from brioche to the table. I wish I had the opportunity to snap a picture, but with our hungry crowd the delicious bun didn't stand a chance. I did however get the opportunity to snap a photo of the Queen Bee cocktail (lemon, creme de violette, vodka, St Germain, simple syrup, and bee pollen) before I finished it off.
Breakfast here was fantastic, so much so that I got dinner to-go on the last night I was there. The in house made pasta was fantastic, if a touch al-dente. I must admit that I did not try their gelato. I'm a bit of a gelato perfectionist and therefore very picky, but it looked fantastic. I'm sure it was delicious.
Bar Taco- Yes, Bar Taco is a chain with multiple locations across the country. However, a good friend of mine runs the one in Nashville so it was a must visit for me regardless and if you've a hankering for street tacos, then you really can't miss a visit.
Bar Taco is inspired by the beach cultures of Brazil, Uruguay, and Southern Califorina. With a wayfairer flair, this restaurant boasts a very laid back atmosphere with a focus on fresh ingredients with minimal fuss. White washed walls accented by woven basket lighting and plenty of beach inspired decor provide a perfect backdrop for one of their signature cocktails and a trio of tacos delivered on a silver lunch tray. Their signature beverage list includes fresh juices, bottled or canned beers, and an excellent selection of craft cocktails. The margarita is one of my favorites.
The street tacos are all unique combinations, including some veggie options and small enough that three makes a meal which allows you to diversify your plate and try a little of anything. There. are also a selection of different sides to accompany your tacos. Do not miss an opportunity to have the grilled corn. Seriously street corn grilled, topped with cotija cheese, lime, and a red pepper spice blend is one of the most delicious things you will have there.
If you though delisious stopped at the tacos, be sure to save room for dessert. The churros, fried strips of dough covered in cinnamon sugar, are served up with a warm cup of mexican dipping chocolate with a sprinkling of salt. *drool*
You will probably be in need of a siesta after the delicious meal but you will definitely remember it. I'm more than happy to have more than one reason to keep going back to Bar Taco every time I'm in Nashville.
Hattie B's - Hattie B's is Nashville establishment dishing up that most infamous Nashville cuisine: Hot Chicken. Founded in 2012 by a father and son team, Hattie B's now has 5 locations each dishing up different levels of hot chicken. At Hattie B's , they serve up Southern ( no heat), Mild (little heat), Medium (warming up), Hot (feel the heat), Damn Hot!! (fire starter) and Shut the Cluck up!!! (burn notice). Apparently the spicy ingredient in the Shut the cluck up is ghost peppers, which are essentially designed to melt your face off (my opinion not fact). I will whole heartedly admit I am a complete chicken and wimp when it comes to spice. Mild was as far as I was willing to dip my toe in that pool. Some of my group were brave enough to try the Shut the Cluck up and wound up red-faced with sweat on their brow proclaiming, "I can't feel my face."
Each heaping basket of chicken is served on white toast with a pickle, as is traditional for hot chicken, and comes with a side and slaw. The sides are a line up of southern favorites including a fan favorite of Pimento Mac and Cheese and Southern Style greens. To quell the heat they offer a selection of beers, local and domestic, as well as sweet tea, free squeezed lemonade and sodas.
Expect a line and a few minutes wait heading in the door. This place seems to be non stop busy from the moment the doors open to after they close, but its one of those places that is well worth the wait. Also they don't trick you with the heat levels like some other hot chicken shacks (disclaimer above) so you are in safe hands here.
Nashville has plenty to offer those devoted to the music scene, but equally as much to offer the foodie and craft beverage seeker. From antique shops to the multitude of music halls down Music Row, you're sure to be drawn in to the rhythm of this city. The friendly folk, fabulous food, and delectable drinks will have you falling in love and ready to plan your next trip. So be sure to add Nashville to your must see cities.
Celebrating all that we raise, sip, guzzle, clink, drinks and most affectionately cheers with!