A Fresh Start

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All right, so. It’s been a while since my last entry, and there are all manner of excuses, some valid, some useless. But what it comes down to is that the initial format of the blog is, well, tricky. To comment on news stories with drinks requires not only a very quick turnaround time, but also on-demand creativity, which is not ideal, and often not possible.

Therefore, to keep the blog going, we have to shift gears a bit. The new direction I’ve decided on is a little less about the news, and more about the booze, but will hopefully be just as interesting, if not more so.

Let’s talk about Jerry Thomas. Jerry Thomas is considered by many to be the instigator of American bartending, mixology, and not just drinking spirits straight. Of course, he didn’t start this tradition, but he was the  first in this country to write it down, codify it, and convert it from oral tradition and off-hand recipes to something you could look up, create, and enjoy across the country.

In 1862, he published a book which had about 30 names, as seemed to be a trend back then. Bar-Tender’s Guide: How to Mix Drinks Or The Bon-Vivant’s Companion. This was the first drinks book published in America. It has the first versions of what we now think of as classic cocktails, from juleps to punches and more. And, I’m hoping, a bunch of other weird stuff that we don’t use as much today.

Why do I hope that? Because the new direction of the blog is going to be a sort of “Julia and Julia” type thing. I’m going to go through the 200-some odd recipes in this book and try them all out. Or die of alcohol poisoning along the way. Some may be trickier than others (the first recipe, for example, has no listed ingredients nor measurements, so that will be a good test), but I’ll do my best. I haven’t yet decided whether we’re going in order or not, but if I get really tired of a particular section I may jump around.

And, of course, I’ll aim to keep them related somewhat to news, whether current events or interesting things that happened a while ago that might be somewhat related.

I’m also going to try to spruce up the place a bit, shift the site itself into something a little fresher. We’ll see how that goes as well.

So that’s the plan. Let me know what you think.

Tasting Notes:

BN: A slight aftertaste of fear, but an overall pleasant tanginess of expectation and excitement, topped with a ~150 year old mustiness.

PiC: Some of the recipes in that book are “for 20.” There are two of us. I’m excited.


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