Saturday, April 30, 2011

Drink 105: Muddle Buddies

Mojito Cocktail
Looks as good as it tastes
Today we have the Mojito, a mixture of rum, lime, sugar, club soda, and mint.   The Mojito was the “it” drink of Los Angeles in 2001.   It was the go-to drink in Kissimmee, Florida, in 2008.  That means it is due to be the hot drink of Indiana sometime late next year.  Get ready, Hoosiers, because it is tasty.  The Mojito has the longest history of any drink we’ve tried, with a precursor dating all the way to the 16th century.   That makes it a little odd that the Mojito was named one of the 25 most influential cocktails of the past century.  It throws the whole list into doubt.  I now have no choice but to question how much influence the Gin Gin Mule actually has.

Enough with the facts, let’s have some commentary.  The Mojito is a great drink.  I can see why people have been drinking it in some form for almost 500 years.   That is real staying power. I seriously doubt that in the year 2525, if man is still alive, he will choose to drink a Canal Street Daisy.   If woman can survive, she won't want one either. Of course, by the year 2525 woman will be killed at the age of 29 in the fiery ritual of Carrousel, so she will have bigger things to worry about but she will still want a Mojito.

Why is the Mojito so good?  Because mint and lime is really a great combination that helps balance out the sweetness of the sugar and rum.  I have read that some people add angostura bitters to cut the sweetness.  I guess those folks didn’t think to just put less sugar in the drink.  The Mojito also gave Mrs. Bottle another chance to muddle some mint.  Muddling makes her so happy I’m going to start drinking a Mojito every morning.  That way we will both start off the day with smiles on our faces.

Earliest known painting of a Mojito
and its inventor Richard Drake
Overall Rating for the Mojito

Taste: 5
Presentation: 5
Ease of Preparation: 2
Drinks Until Blackout: 9 – 12% Alcohol

2 oz Light Rum
2 tsp Sugar
1 Lime, halved
2 Sprigs Fresh Mint
Club Soda

Friday, April 29, 2011

Drink 104: Wedded Bliss

Gin Gin Mule cocktail
Mint Mint Pieces
Today we celebrate a glorious wedding.  A marriage between an established dignitary and an up-and-coming young socialite.  I am of course talking the Gin Gin Mule, our latest drink.  It is a marriage between the venerable Moscow Mule and the newly resurgent mint, herb about town.   A traditional Moscow Mule is made from vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer.  A Gin Gin Mule replaces the vodka with gin and adds simple syrup and mint.  This combination may sound odd but it was wonderful, just like a mashup of Missy Elliot and AC/DC.

In my opinion the Gin Gin Mule was far better and more interesting than today’s royal wedding.  I don’t really understand the fascination with the royal family or their weddings.  Personally, I am more excited about the upcoming nuptials between Vanessa Minnillo and Nick Lachey.  At least Nick Lachey did something to earn his fame.  Namely, he married Jessica Simpson.  All Prince William did was be born. As far as I can tell, the most interesting thing about today’s wedding was that (a) Kate Middleton has a sister named Pippa and (b) Pippa apparently has a very nice butt.  I also learned that William’s full title is His Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, Baron Carrickfergus, Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Master of Arts.  It’s lucky for him that he was born into the royal family or that title would seem ridiculous.

His butt is nothing to sneeze at, either

The Gin Gin Mule is also a silly title, but far less pretentious.  It is actually a fairly recent addition to the mixed drink world.  It was invented in the aughts by Audrey Saunders, who apparently is a famous bartender.  Have you heard of her?  Me neither. I guess being a famous bartender only buys you so much. Nevertheless, you know it must be a good drink because it was named one of the 25 most influential cocktails of the last 100 years by some random guy who writes for a magazine I’ve never heard of.

The Gin Gin Mule marked some TBIAW firsts.  It was our first “buck” which is a drink made from ginger ale or beer, fruit juice, and liquor.  These are also known as “mules”, hence the name.  It was also our first drink that required muddling.  Mrs. Bottle bought a muddler ages ago in anticipation of this day.  I hadn’t seen her that excited since, well, ever.  She took out a lot of frustrations on those mint leaves.  I have no idea what they ever did to her.

Overall Rating for the Gin Gin Mule

Taste: 5
Presentation: 4 – Only a 3 if you don’t like little bits of stuff floating in your drink
Ease of Preparation: 1 – Complicated with all the muddling and whatnot
Drinks Until Blackout: 8 – 14% Alcohol


1.5 oz Gin
.75 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Ginger Beer
6-8 Sprigs Mint

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Drink 103: A Twist We Never Saw Coming

Kangaroo Cocktail
Vodka Martini aka
Kangaroo Cocktail
Greetings, fair readers!  Things have been a little hectic around the Bottle Wonderland Estate this week so our posts have been a little late and less verbose than usual.  Fortunately the quality has not been affected whatsoever.  We commissioned a survey and 99% of the respondents said, “I have never read The Bottle Is a Wonderland.”    1% hadn’t noticed any change.   Another 1% questioned the math behind the survey.

After the survey was completed, we tried the Kangaroo Cocktail, a mixture of vodka and dry vermouth.  “Hmm,” I thought, “that sounds a lot like a Vodka Martini.”  In fact, it is exactly the same as a vodka martini, which is too bad. This drink was not good. I don’t love martinis in general (because of the vermouth), but a so-called vodka martini really pales in comparison to a genuine gin martini. Given that a real martini has gin and tastes far better,  I propose that the name should be changed back to the Kangaroo Cocktail. Someone should really hop to it.

The one redeeming quality of this drink was Mrs. Bottle’s lemon twist.  She has not been happy with her lemon twists up to this point, so she has been researching twist techniques.  She actually did more research on lemon twists than she did on her last car purchase. Her research paid off, though, because her lemon twist was beautiful.  The picture doesn’t really do it justice.   I hardly noticed the 20 minute wait before she served the drink.

Overall Rating for the Kangaroo Cocktail

Taste: 1
Presentation: 5
Ease of Preparation: 2 – 4 if you can make a lemon twist
Drinks Until Blackout: 3– 32% Alcohol

1.5 oz Vodka
0.75 oz Dry Vermouth

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Drink 102: It Ain't No Honey Badger

Wild Thing Cocktail
Look how Wild!
Today we have the Wild Thing, a mix of tequila, cranberry juice, club soda, and lime juice.  I’m not sure why this drink is called the Wild Thing.  I checked in the official TBIAW drink naming guidelines and they clearly state that in order for a drink to qualify as “wild” it must meet one or more of the following conditions:

A) The drink must contain a brazllion ingredients
2) The drink must have at least one crazy ingredient such as ayahuasca
C) The drink must incorporate a butt-load of alcohol

Sadly, the Wild Thing fails on all counts.  It has four ingredients.  That is well short of a brazillion. The four ingredients are about as wild as a tiny kitten.  Ooooh, club soda, how exotic!  Finally, 1.5 ounces clearly could not load any but the smallest of butts.

This is a Wild Thing

On the bright side the drink was very good.   It was on the verge of being too tart, but it went just to the edge and then pulled back.  It was also the first drink we had with club soda that rated higher than a 3.  This is probably due to the fact that there was only an ounce.  That was really just enough to provide a nice fizz.  I was going to rate it a four but Mrs. Bottle declared, “I would give that a five!”  Since she can be something wild when I don’t do what she says, a five it is.

Overall Rating for the Wild Thing

Taste: 5
Presentation: 4
Ease of Preparation: 4 – A lime wheel away from a 5
Drinks Until Blackout: 8 – 15% Alcohol

1.5 oz Tequila
1 oz Cranberry Juice
1 oz Club Soda
0.5 oz Lime Juice

Monday, April 25, 2011

Drink 101: Short and Sweet

Cuba Libre Cocktail
Sweet Delicious
Coke (and Rum)
Today we bring you the Cuba Libre.  This cocktail classic is made from light rum, lime juice, and cola.  I’m not going to mess around with a bunch of jokes and crap.  I’m just going to let you know that this drink is really good.  I would say that it tasted a lot like a Diet Coke Lime, except for the fact that the Cuba Libre was not horrible.  It probably tasted extra good to me because I recently gave up drinking Coke and this was a chance to not only have a Coke, but to get some rum, too.  I call that a win-win-win.

Overall Rating for the Cuba Libre

Taste: 5
Presentation: 4
Ease of Preparation: 4 – Lime twist is complicated
Drinks Until Blackout: 9 – 12% Alcohol


2 oz Light Rum
.5 oz Lime Juice
4 oz Cola

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Drink 100: Pump Up The Volume?

Ed Note:  Mrs. Bottle was wearing pants when this was filmed.

Overall Rating for the Limoncello Sunrise

Taste: 4 
Presentation: 4
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: 10 – 7% Alcohol


1 oz Limoncello
3 oz Orange Juice
1 dash Grenadine

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Feets of Strength

It is finally here.  The highly anticipated and equally dreaded whisk(e)y taste test. So far our first two taste tastes each led to surprises. In the vodka taste test we learned that a cheap Russian vodka tasted better than the more expensive and more well-known brands.  In the light beer taste test we learned that mass produced light beer pretty much all tasted the same.  Oh wait, that wasn’t the surprise.  The surprise was that our two devoted Miller Lite drinkers both actually liked Bud Light better.  Will the whisk(e)y taste test lead to a surprise?  If neither of us retches during the test, I would consider that I surprise.
Our Contenders
Since whiskey (I’m going to stop with the parentheses after this) has many different sub-categories, this test will be slightly different than our previous two.  Instead of picking the best of a specific variety, we will be tasting several different types of whiskey to see which one we hate the least.  I’m not going to spend a bunch of time explaining the differences since there are plenty of other resources available for that. Our selected choices are based purely what we have on hand in the Bottle Wonderland Bar.  We have two Kentucky bourbons, a Kentucky rye, a Canadian blended whisky, an Irish whiskey, and a Scotch whisky.

Without further ado, let’s meet the competitors:

Wild Turkey Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – According to Wikipedia, Wild Turkey “suggest[s] a rough, hard-living person” or “a person with ‘white trash’ traits”.  Those of you who know us personally understand how those descriptions fit us to a T. I’m as hard as they come.  The suburb I grew up in didn’t even have all-brick houses.  Through hard work and perseverance, we were able to work our way up to our current brick-fronted Bottle Wonderland Estate. We did it with no help from anyone other than our parents paying for college and buying us stuff.   That hardscrabble life is why we drink Wild Turkey.

Maker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky – Maker’s Mark is a little more froo-froo than Wild Turkey. There are some clues right on the bottle.  The first is the famous red wax seal, although I admit it looks kind of cool. The second clue is that they spell whisky without the “e”.  Typically, bourbon whiskey is spelled whiskey, not whisky.  Who are they trying to kid with this tomfoolery?  I guess it worked, though, since we have a bottle. It is 90 proof, making it stronger than most of today’s competition.  Maker’s Mark has a lot of information on their web site, but I couldn’t find anything that really described what the taste is.

Jim Beam Rye – There are several drinks in the Mr. Boston guide that specifically call for rye.  It turns out that rye can be a little difficult to find at the ABC store.  Once we found it we were presented with the choice of Jim Beam or Wild Turkey.  The Beam was cheaper, so that’s what we have.  According to their web site, Jim Beam is America’s best selling rye.  Congratulations, Jim Beam, you beat out your one competitor!  I think it may have more to do with their cheaper price than the fact that it is “spicy, bold, and flavorful”.  I was also glad to see that Jim Beam is made with 51% rye, which is the minimum amount required to be called rye.  We here at TBIAW are huge supporters of doing the minimum required.  If they used more than 51% it might make the other rye look bad.

Whisky Purse
Crown Royal Black Blended Canadian Whisky – Crown Royal is our first contender from outside the USA.  It comes from Canada, America’s Hat.   This whisky is actually a guest in our home.  Mrs. Bottle’s father inadvertently left it here over Christmas.  Since we are bad children, we have not returned it yet.  I don’t know much about Crown Royal other than the fact that their bottles come in a little purse. People try to tell me that I am not manly because I don’t like whisky, but at least gin doesn’t come in a purse. The Crown Royal Black eschews the traditional purple purse for a black one, making it the perfect companion for a night on the town with the girls.  Mrs. Bottle’s father claims that this whisky is smooth and thinks we might like it. Even though it is a strong 90 proof, their web site says it has “dark, sweet, maple notes and a light vanilla flavor towards the finish”.  That sounds delicious to me.  Maybe I’ll pour some on a pancake.

Jameson Irish Whiskey – When we do our taste tests, we try to learn a little about each of the contenders.  We distil the information and share with you only the most interesting tidbits.  For example, it turns out that Jameson Irish Whiskey is made in Ireland. The main thing I learned from the Jameson web site is that in Ireland they spell “distill” with only one “l”.   They had to conserve the “l” to make up for the extra “u” they liberally sprinkle where it doesn’t belong.  Their site also infourms us that Jameson has a “sweet nutty flavour” and “toasted wood and vanilla notes”.  I love toasted wood with some cinnamon sugar and a nice poached egg.

Johnnie Walker Black Label Old Scotch Whisky – Johnnie Walker has five different colored labels they use to distinguish their whiskies. Their rainbow of flavors makes them a favorite in the LGBT community.   Black Label is their second tier offering.  It is a “unique blend with a smooth, deep and complex character”.  That doesn’t tell me a lot about what to expect.  What are they hiding?  According to their web site, Black Label is “regarded by experts as the ultimate Scotch deluxe whisky, the benchmark by which all others are measured.”  If that is the case, it seems that their Green, Gold, and Blue labels are superfluous. Like many of the whisky manufacturers, Johnnie Walker has a club you can join to let everyone know what product you like.  Theirs is called the “Striding Man Society”.   They have an annual meeting in the desert just like Burning Man, but with less ecstasy and more striding.   

Whiskies ready to be tasted.  They are also ready for the Olympics
As before, the tasting was set up so neither Mrs. Bottle nor I knew which cup contained which whiskey.  Instead of ranking them from favorite to least favorite, we simply picked our “favorite”, and then tried to guess which was which.  I actually knew which one was the Crown Royal because it was significantly darker than the others, but I did not know what the other five were.

Before we get to our notes, we must warn that if you are looking for some fancy-schmancy reviews where we give subtle details about the differences of the various whiskies you will not find it here.  It’s not to say that we didn’t try, though.  We spent many minutes sniffing and swishing and generally looking like accomplished snobs aficionados.  It didn’t matter though.  Our palates are not conditioned for whiskey and my vocabulary does not contain phrases like “the nose has notes of pepper, butterscotch, honey, and a pointed hint of citrus that really highlights the softer, sweeter flavors.”  Maybe people can really taste all that, but I remain skeptical.

Let me share with you our notes:

Wild Turkey Bourbon:  Smooth; slight burning; pretty good; more feet-like.  Off to a decent start.  Rating a “pretty good” is high praise from us.
Maker’s Mark Bourbon: Smells sweet; a little like caramel; a little burn; not altogether horrible. Again, I consider this a victory for Maker’s Mark.
Jim Beam Rye: First not too bad, then got worse; Not burning; Harsh; bitter.  Notice that the words “spicy, bold, and flavorful” did not appear.  I suppose “harsh and bitter” could be “bold and flavorful.”
Crown Royal Black Blended Whisky: Nostrils burn, but a different taste than #1 [Maker’s Mark]; Harsh, but not as bad as #5 [Jameson]. It did not taste like something I would want to put on a pancake.
Jameson Irish Whiskey: Smells floral; Awful; Harsh but not feet-y.  Hmm…this isn’t good.  I thought I was learning to like Irish whiskey but maybe not.  It certainly was not as good as toasted wood.
Johnnie Walker Black Scotch: Feet; I can’t tell my taste buds are dead.  There you have it.  Mrs. Bottle has been saying Scotch tasted like feet and this test confirmed it.

Celebratory shot of Maker's Mark
with built in Coke Zero chaser

So there you have it. In the whiskey taste test, everyone is a loser, especially us.  And possibly you, if you made it this far.  We didn’t love any of them, but in fairness, this taste test was more pleasant than the vodka taste test.  In that one the burning sensation was terrible.  For the most part, the whiskies were smoother and had more flavor than straight vodka.  The downside was that the flavor was that of feet.

Guessing which was which was a tough challenge, especially considering neither of us had ever tasted the rye or Canadian whisky before. Mrs. Bottle correctly identified the Johnnie Walker and I was able to get the two bourbons, but we got all the rest wrong.  When it was time to pick our “favorites”, Mrs. Bottle liked the Wild Turkey, and I liked the Maker’s Mark.  This was sort of like picking your favorite deadly bacteria (it’s a dead heat between E. coli and MRSA).

Regardless, a winner was chosen and that must be celebrated.  To reach that end, I dipped various body parts into red wax.  Normally we only do that on special occasions and Saturdays.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Drink 99: Bad Cocktail Reason No. 1 (and 2 and 3 and 4)

East India Cocktail No 1
East India Cocktail Pick No. 1
Mr. Bottle isn’t feeling it today so I offered to fill in (I'm Mrs. Bottle for those first time readers out there- all none of you). Today’s drink is the East India Cocktail No. 1 and it’s made from brandy, pineapple juice, triple sec, Jamaican rum, and the all important dash of bitters. Basically this drink sucks. There are many reasons so let me get on with the enumeration.

No. 1: There is only ½ tsp. each of the pineapple juice and triple sec and 1 tsp. of the rum. What the hell is the point of that? All you can taste is brandy, brandy, brandy. This is like getting a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and there being a tiny pin-headed dot of peanut butter in the center. Might as well just have bought a Hershey’s bar. In this case, you would have poured yourself a shot of brandy.

No. 2: This whole idea that it’s ok to have a recipe with a tsp. or ½ tsp. of this stuff is absurd. It’s not easy to pour these amounts from a liter sized bottle. And you certainly won’t find those marks on your shot glass so have fun pouring into those tiny little spoons. So why put yourself through the pain for what No. 1 points out above. You can’t taste a ½ tsp. of anything.

This chart will help you see what I mean
No. 3: Brandy is not tasty. Not to get repetitive, but I cannot emphasize enough that as No. 1 points out, a ½ tsp. of a liquid is not going to impact the flavor of the drink. Sadly this resulted in a big swig of burning brandy down the gullet. I guess this point doesn’t apply if you like brandy but this is my list so it stays.

No. 4: The name of this drink is too long. And there’s no East India Cocktail No. 2 so I don’t get it.

Overall Rating for the East India Cocktail No. 1

Taste: 1 – Brandy, brandy, brandy
Presentation: 4
Ease of Preparation: 1 – Those teaspoons ruined it
Drinks Until Blackout: 3 – 37% Alcohol


1.5 oz Brandy
1 tsp Jamaican rum
½ tsp Pineapple juice
½ tsp Triple sec
Dash of Bitters

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Drink 98: Who You Gonna Call?

Florida Cocktail
We have found the answer to the
question: "What are two things
you won't do on Sundays this fall?"

The Florida is a mix of gin, kirschwasser, triple sec, orange juice, and lemon juice.  Both Mrs. Bottle and I are both somewhat at a loss as to how to explain the flavor.  The primary component was orange but there were hints of the other ingredients.  When they all came together it just tasted kind of odd.  It wasn’t unpleasant, but it was nothing so amazing that I would seek it out.  I might have it again though, since it is one of the few drinks that call for kirschwasser and we have a whole bottle of that stuff to drink.

I had an idea to call James Hetfield, lead singer of Metallica, and ask him if he knew any good drinks that featured kirschwasser.  I don’t have James’ number, so I just dialed 1-800-METALLICA since that seemed like a logical choice.  Much to my surprise, that was not only not the phone number for James Hetfield, lead singer of Metallica, it was a phone sex line. After a quick session of dirty talk, I became curious as to why 1-800-METALLICA led me to hot one-on-one chat.

James Hetfield,
lead singer of Metallica
It turns out that there is a company that is buying up toll-free numbers and redirecting them to phone sex lines.  According to this article, over 25% of all 1-800 numbers in the US and Canada are owned by PrimeTel Communications and most of them lead to a phone sex service.  Once the customer gets redirected to the phone sex line, he has to give his credit card number before he gets charged.  I feel safe using the pronoun “he” in this context instead of a gender neutral one.

This business model raises a couple of questions.  The first is: Who calls 1-800 numbers anymore?  Between Google and text messages, I thought talking on the phone had had been eliminated.  I suppose there are rare occasions when I might have to call someone, like when my power is out or if I am very lonely. 

Even if you do call one of these numbers, who stays on the line for phone sex when they called 1-800-MINOLTA to ask a question about a camera?  How does that thought process work?  “Oh, I was trying to find out how to set the aperture, but go ahead and tell me what you are wearing.  You can fit your whole fist in your mouth?  That’s a good thing because I have a wide angle lens, baby.”  But I digress.   

I guess enough people do it to make it worth their while.  It seems to me that getting business through trickery is the devil’s work.  I think I will call 1-800-WORSHIP to talk about it.

Overall Rating for the Florida

Taste: 3
Presentation: 1
Ease of Preparation: 3 – Lots of measuring
Drinks Until Blackout: 7 – 17% Alcohol


.5 oz Gin
1.5 tsp Kirschwasser
1.5 tsp Triple Sec
1 oz Orange Juice
1 tsp Lemon Juice

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Drink 97: Et tu, Potato

I clean out my spam folder every couple of days, but I always check to make sure that I’m not inadvertently filtering out any real messages.  Today that paid off.  Sitting in my spam folder was an invitation to participate in a blogging contest.  The rules for the contest are also available online.   The prize is a $100 American Express gift card.  That is a great prize, because I can use it to buy almost 20 gallons of gas.  Before I write my entry I thought we should go over some of the rules.

We're inviting the blogosphere to participate in a contest to create humorous posts about how potatoes are a boring alternative to STOVE TOP Everyday Stuffing Mix.

That should be easy.  Everybody knows potatoes are boring.  Do you ever reach into the pantry, pull out a potato and take a big bite?  Of course you don’t.  At the very least you would add a little salt or some butter buds first.

Just in case you don't understand the premise, STOVE TOP helpfully provides some examples to help get you started:

Example 1: An image and story of talk show host potato that has put its guests to sleep.
Hmm. That happens every time I watch Jay Leno on the boob tuber and it really isn’t that funny.

Example 2: An image and story of a potato totally underdressed in it’s [SIC] plain old skin for an event.
As far as I can tell, that one is funny because the potato doesn’t know the difference between “it’s” and “its”.

Example 3: Showcase kids talking about how boring potatoes are and how they love STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix.
Oh man, that is hilarious.  Give me a minute while I compose myself.  Okay, I’m back.  I’m not sure how I could top that one, but let's continue.

Example 4: Showcase how potatoes don’t cut it – they’re so worthless to eat – doorstoppers, brick-fixes (spoof on home entertainment show sponsored by Stove Top)
Even Stove Top isn’t sold on this one.  They didn’t even call themselves STOVE TOP.

After the examples, they give this final tip:

Seriously, the more creative your posts and images are (as well as appropriate and non-offensive) the better! If it helps, think of the type of humor found in The Onion ( and incorporate that style of comedy into your story.
Why didn’t they just say so?  It is no problem for me to write comedy like The Onion.  I do that all the time.  I usually do it right after I play guitar like Jimmy Page, make some food like Thomas Keller, and run some sprints like Usain Bolt
Darth Tater would like to have a word with that box
of delcious STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix
Using those hints I still have to be sure I follow the official rules:

At least 200 words with your “story” about the STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix being the “HERO” over the BORING POTATO.
I was going to write a story but I guess I have to write a “story” to qualify.  I also have to send a tweet, a Facebook post, or a YouTube video with the hash tag #unpotatofest.  That is a lot of rules, but I’ll do my best.  Without further ado, here is my “story”:

BORING POTATO does not understand viral marketing 
One day there was a BORING POTATO who worked at Kraft.  He toiled away day after day trying to come up with new ways to sell American cheese.  He once pitched an idea to Lowe’s Home Improvement for marketing a new paint color called “American Cheese Artificial Orange Coloring” but like most of his pitches, it fell on deaf ears.  At times like these the BORING POTATO wanted to bury his body in the dirt and die.
The BORING POTATO’s career was going nowhere.  Just when he had given up hope, he read a story in his daily newspaper about something called “viral marketing” and he thought he would give it a try.  At the next sales meeting, he proposed a plan to try to get web loggers to write about a Kraft product in a humorous way.  He suggested that something in the style of Ziggy would really take off.  They would offer $400 worth of prizes and generate at least twice that much in publicity.  It was a plan that seemed great to the BORING POTATO. 
Luckily for Kraft, there was a new member of the marketing team.  Her name was STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix.  She pointed out that this  idea was a transparent attempt to get people to work for very little remuneration.  Also, it was a ham-handed effort to tap into so-called social media that was not very clever or fun.  Not only that, it was the BORING POTATO’s job to make sure that all apostrophes were used properly in marketing materials and he had recently made some embarrassing gaffe’s.  He really needed to focus on that instead of coming up with half-baked potato ideas. She promptly mashed his idea and saved the day.
The End
Mocha Mint Cocktail
No taters here
Oh yeah, I almost forgot that we also had a drink to share with you.  It is called the Mocha Mint and it is a combination of  STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix and turkey gravy.  Ha ha! That is not what is in the Mocha Mint.  That is my second favorite food to eat on Thanksgiving.  My favorite food is mashed potatoes.

The Mocha Mint is made from coffee brandy, crème de menthe, and crème de cacao.  It was a little syrupy, but the flavor was nice, almost like a minty Frappuccino TM.   I was about to mention to Mrs. Bottle that I could taste coffee until I remembered that the Mocha Mint had coffee brandy as an ingredient.  You can bet that STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix would never make such a mistake.

Overall Rating for the Mocha Mint

Taste: 4
Presentation: 4
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: 5 - 28% Alcohol

.75 oz Coffee Brandy
.75 oz Crème de Menthe
.75 oz Crème de Cacao

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Drink 96: meh.

Robson Cocktail
Red rum! Red rum!
 I really didn’t feel like writing a blog entry today but Mrs. Bottle said that she would think less of me as a man if I skipped it.  Honestly I didn’t think Mrs. Bottle could think any less of me as a man than she already does.  On the off chance there is still room for her to lower her opinion we present the Robson Cocktail, a mix of Jamaican rum, orange juice, lemon juice, and grenadine.  The drink was good but nothing special.  It had some sweetness provided by the orange juice and grenadine and a strong rum flavor.  Normally I would do exhaustive research and provide scores of links and tidbits about the Robson Cocktail, but I just don’t feel like it.   It's too bad, too, because if I was motivated I could have spun a wondrous tale about trying to figure out the difference between Jamaican Rum and dark rum.

Overall Rating for the Robson Cocktail

Taste: 3 
Presentation: 4
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: 7 – 19% Alcohol


1 oz Jamaican Rum
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp Orange Juice
1.5 tsp Grenadine

Monday, April 18, 2011

Drink 95: Another Freaking Orange Drink

Today's drink is the Orange Blossom, a combination of gin, orange juice, and simple syrup.  For mixed drinks we had been using Tangueray gin but we recently ran out.  We don't like to use our top shelf gins like Bombay Sapphire or Tanqueray No. Ten with mixers  so we went with the gin we normally serve our guests: Seagram's.  According to their web site, Seagram's is "the best" so I don't feel at all bad about that.  It turns out that the Seagram's was fine and the Orange Blossom tasted good.  I had doubts that 1/4 teaspoon of simple syrup would even be noticeable, but it was. It added a sweetness that was ever so slight. One downside to the Seagram's was that it is only 80 proof whereas the Tanqueray that we had been using was 94.6 proof, making this drink a little weaker than it would have been a week ago.

These orange drinks are getting really boring
so we added a Lladró to give a little something
else for you to look at
That gave me an idea for today’s blog that I thought was going to be pretty good.  My plan was to show a chart of our ratings for “Drinks Until Blackout” (DUB) versus the actual alcohol content of the drinks.  I thought it would be hilariously inaccurate.  Unfortunately the DUB is consistent and today’s premise is ruined.  Sometimes being right all the time can be a curse.  

There are only a few drinks that don’t fall on the diagonal.  I have valid excuses for some of the outliers.  The Canal Street Daisy got a DUB rating of one, but it was because of the horrible taste, not the alcohol content.  The Southern Comfort Eggnong was our first drink so we didn’t know what we were doing.  I don’t really have an excuse for the Banana Bomber.  Perhaps there were sunspots.  The Ritz Fizz is probably the most embarrassing, since it was just yesterday.  The only explanation I have is that I was distracted when I was writing because Mrs. Bottle was out getting a massage at a spa while I was left here to provide my own happy ending.

Overall Rating for the Orange Blossom

Taste: 4
Presentation: 3
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: 6 – 20% Alcohol

1 oz Gin
1 oz Orange Juice
.25 tsp Simple Syrup

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Drink 94: Dash Dash Fizz Fizz

Ritz Fizz Cocktail
The Leaning Tower
of Fizz-a
Today we have the Ritz Fizz, a mix of Champagne, amaretto, blue Curaçao, and lemon juice.  It tasted exactly like what you’d expect if you had a glass of Champagne and did not add amaretto, blue Curaçao, or lemon juice.  The recipe called for a dash of each of the other ingredients.  Maybe our definition of a “dash” isn’t the same as Mr. Boston’s, but the dashes weren’t enough to be detectable.  You could smell lemon but I think that was mostly due to the lemon peel garnish.

The good news is that both Mrs. Bottle and I like Champagne so we liked this drink.  We can’t give it a perfect five, though, because this is a blog about cocktails, not Champagne.  A blog about Champagne would probably be kind of boring, but at least you wouldn’t have to drink any Scotch.

Overall Rating for Ritz Fizz

Taste: 5
Presentation: 5
Ease of Preparation: 4 – Lemon twist
Drinks Until Blackout: 9 – 11% Alcohol

4 oz Champagne
1 dash Amaretto
1 dash Blue Curaçao
1 dash Lemon Juice

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Drink 93: Top Boston Banana Gold

Mrs. Bottle is here to write (one day earlier than normal) about today’s drink. This is a story of a beverage called the Top Banana that consists of vodka, crème de banana and orange juice. Our very faithful readers who also have great memories might recall a similar drink earlier this week called the Boston Gold. When I say similar, I mean it was made with vodka, crème de banana and orange juice. So here’s how this debacle of planning went down.
Top Banana Cocktail
The different glass couldn't fool us
Let me first explain the process for picking out drinks because it’s a fascinating tale of intrigue. Every Saturday I pour through the Mr. Boston guide to pick out each day’s drink for the following week. I try to vary them by ingredients (unless we have a theme going a la Cream Week) because it’s difficult to be hilarious and interesting about the same things only three days apart. However if we write similar things about similar drinks three WEEKS apart, all six of our readers might get a niggling feeling of déjà vu, but they’re not sure why. Crafty, right?

Now you’re wondering how the wheels fell off this carefully laid out plan? Two words: Mr. Bottle is at fault. I originally planned for a coffee drink last night and Mr. Bottle made a face when I told him what we were drinking. Then when I gave him a choice of three alternative drinks, he chose the Top Banana. So he single-handedly unscrewed those lug nuts and hence the wheels went flying. He might try to offer excuses like “Mrs. Bottle wasn’t interested in that coffee drink either” or “Mrs. Bottle made me choose the drink without knowing the ingredients”. While these excuses are both inspired by actual events, one might say that one could have asked what the ingredients of the drink were and then changed one’s choice.

Bottom line is Mr. Bottle ruined it and then made me write the blog about the Top Banana, a drink that was pretty tasty, with lots more banana flavor than the Boston Gold.

Overall Rating for the Top Banana

Taste: 4 – Just like Boston Gold
Presentation: 4 – Just like Boston Gold
Ease of Preparation: 4 – Just like Boston Gold
Drinks Until Blackout: 8 – 14% Alcohol – Not just like Boston Gold


1 oz Vodka
1 oz Crème de Banana
2 oz Orange Juice

Friday, April 15, 2011

Drink 92: Refund Denied

Income Tax Cocktail
Possibly subject to AMT
We decided to have the Income Tax Cocktail for April 15th, the day that Federal taxes are due.  Of course when made that decision we didn't realize that  this year's due date was pushed out to April 18th even though April 15th is a Friday.  You are probably thinking, "Why is the due date the 18th?"  Even if you aren't thinking that, it is a convenient technique for telling you why anyway.  It is because April 16th is a holiday in Washington DC called Emancipation Day.  Since the 16th is on Saturday, the holiday is being observed on Friday, which pushes tax day to Monday.  That is almost as confusing as the tax code itself. Well it would be if I use 9,000,000+ more words to describe it.  You might also be wondering, "What is Emancipation Day?" I'm so glad you asked. Emancipation Day commemorates the day that Abraham Lincoln signed the law that freed the slaves in Washington DC.  I have lived in the south most of my life and for some reason people around here don't celebrate Emancipation Day.  I'll have to look into why that is.

Even though this is now 3 days early, we still bring you the Income Tax Cocktail, a mix of gin, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, orange juice, and bitters.   I'm still not sold on vermouth, but Mrs. Bottle seems to have grown accustomed to it. Thus she liked the drink better than I did. I thought had an unusual taste which I attributed to the combination of vermouths and bitters.  The vermouth taste was slight enough that I still thought the drink was acceptable, though. On the flip side, leaving out the vermouth and bitters would have made for a better albeit less complex drink.  Now if we could only have a better and less complex tax code.  Like vermouth, it would still leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Overall Rating for the Income Tax Cocktail

Taste: 3
Presentation: 2 – This is about the 13th drink that looks exactly the same
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackout: 5 – 28% Alcohol


1 oz Gin
1.5 tsp Sweet Vermouth
1.5 tsp Dry Vermouth
1 dash Bitters
1 oz Orange Juice
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