Friday, November 30, 2007

Time to switch to your winter drink!

I didn't know. Then I was browsing the WaPo to avoid mosaic and I read THIS. The article by Jason Wilson about Stocking Staples for a Winter Bar told the following story:

One cold autumn afternoon, back when I was young and clueless, a successful friend of the family took me out for a drink. The reason is lost to me now, but surely it involved some pointed career advice that I never followed. Anyway, this older gentleman -- who in my hazy memory wore a brimmed hat and a flower tucked into his lapel and carried a pocket watch -- took me to a hotel bar. As we sat, he announced to the bartender with a wink: "Jimmy, as of today, I'm putting you on official notice. I've switched to my winter drink."

Without a word, the bartender promptly mixed and served him a Stinger on the rocks. The gentleman laid a crisp $100 bill on the bar and told me to order, so I asked for a vodka and tonic, hoping to seem sophisticated. The gentleman appraised me, my slovenly attire and my vodka and tonic, and gruffly declared: "That's a summer drink." Then he told the bartender he'd better make another Stinger.

The implication was clear: What sort of adult doesn't know when to switch from a summer drink to a winter drink? Or worse: What sort of soft generation was this that needed to be told how to drink at all?

The upshot of all of this is I need to FIND a winter drink. I have no time to drink it but I do want to be prepared should I be lucky enough to find myself in a situation where someone is asking me what I would like to drink. Any suggestions? I don't like anything too sweet or creamy.

One more thing. I ventured out of my mosaic cocoon last night at about 7:30 PM. I hadn't been out of my house in 6 days. I HAD to have some spice drops. Don't ask. I only like the Food lion brand so that's where I was headed. It was dark. To my utter shock and dismay road after road was lined with homes whose yards were lit up w/Christmas lights! The houses were decorated for Christmas AND I could see in through the windows the lit and decorated Christmas trees in the houses! What is going on? It's still November. My 2 doorsteps are still displaying pumpkins. What are the neighbors thinking of me? (P.S- Don't give a ___) I believe the country is losing it. Christmas is DECEMBER 25th people!

Yesterday Cream asked me about my grout selection. He also does mosaics. I have mixed acrylic paint into grout before but really I'm always able to find the color I need in the tile stores around here. Here is a picture of the color I picked Cream. If all goes as planned I should be grouting on Sunday. We'll see. I am slowing down. A deep corner that had to reach into for a couple hours yesterday pinched something and I am experiencing a little discomfort. But hey, that's what Motrin is for. I'll be fine. Back splashes are NOT my favorite thing to do. You have so many obstacles. You know those damn counter tops really get in your way.


Blogger Babzy said...

Oooooh I want a winter drink too. What a cosy idea.

There was a time, long ago, when we decorated the tree on Christmas Eve. The adults sat around drinking their winter drinks while the kids hopped around decorating the tree.

Christmas Eve is a little too last minute but November is too early. I find now that I get tired of lights and decorations and Christmas music long before Christmas arrives.

I like your grout choice Mary. It's nice and neutral so won't detract from the design. Not only am I impressed with your talent and creativity, I am impressed with how focused and determined you can be. I feel inspired now.

11/30/2007 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Carla said...

I just threw out my doorstoop pumpkins yesterday.
Maybe we should just try stingers like the guy in the article as our winter drink.

11/30/2007 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Babzy- We used to put ours up Christmas eve too when we were kids. Maybe a couple days earlier. I agree w/you. I get sick of it too by the time Christmas rolls around. They wear it out starting so early. And who wants to have your kids all hyped up that soon? The grout is named Caramel. Sounds warm and kitchen-y. I must stay focused or I would never finish. I hate have my kitchen a mess like this so that's my other motivator.

Carla- Okay. I will try the Stinger but I've never had Cognac.
Here's the recipe for anyone who is interested:

"The Stinger has always been considered a Society drink," writes David Wondrich in his entertaining new cocktail history, "Imbibe!", noting that it was the favorite drink of Reginald Vanderbilt. A 1923 profile of Vanderbilt described the Stinger as "a short drink with a long reach, a subtle blending of ardent nectars, a boon to friendship, a dispeller of care." This classic is a perfect drink for after dinner.

There are many ways to make a Stinger, which traditionally is served straight up. Spirits columnist Jason Wilson likes his on the rocks; he usually makes it with 1 1/2 ounces of fine (read: expensive) VSOP cognac.

When using the better-value Pierre Ferrand Ambre, Wilson prefers a ratio of 2 parts cognac to 1 part creme de menthe.

1 serving

2 ounces cognac
1 ounce white creme de menthe
Twist of lemon peel

Fill a mixing glass two-thirds full with ice. Add the cognac and white creme de menthe. Shake well, then strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with three or four ice cubes (not crushed ice). Garnish with a lemon twist.

11/30/2007 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Winter drink? Neat and smooth Armagnac, thank you!

I thought you'd choose a colour like that. Something to blend in with the background without clashing with some of the deeper colours.
I love your Chip Clip thing, Mary.
Thanks for your explanations.

11/30/2007 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger Fran said...

Even though you don;t like creamy.... I have to tell you about this drink we invented just because the name is funny. WE determined you can contunie to drink them until you can no longer pronounce the name of the drink!


Take Goldschlager liquer, add to eggnog & you have a schlaggernog.

If it is a hot drink you like to warm up with in winter

Hot Cocoa w Peppermint schnopps is good-- kind of a mint mint cocoa with a kick.

A fun holiday cold drink--
A cranberry fizz- Cranberry liquer w Sprite or Tonic water.

All year round- Gin & Tonic w lime is a favorite, not very trendy... but good.

11/30/2007 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Cream- Armagnac here I come! Sounds perfect.
John builds homes so he gets those chip clip things. Pretty neat.

Fran!!!! I think we could really hang out. I will be trying those drinks.

11/30/2007 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger msliberty said...

Whenever I think of "winter drink" I think of hot buttered rum. My mom used to drink it on cold, snowy nights. Apparently it is a northwest thing, because about the time the stores put out the egg nog they put out the hot buttered rum mixture. It's usually sold in the refrig. section, because, well, it contains butter. The first year I moved to California I looked EVERYWHERE for the mix and could never find it. I once ordered it at a nicer bar in town and the bartender looked at me like I had a third eye.

Oh well.

11/30/2007 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger Spadoman said...

Interesting stuff to think about. I don't get into the bar much anymore. But way back when, I'd be on runs where I drank the same thing for a while, then I'd change, for a change of pace. Never thought it might be a seasonal change though. I need to give this much thought. Maybe I'll pour myself a drink and think about it:-)

Remember the old drinks, not you Mary, you're not old. The High Ball, Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour, those kind of drinks? Then someone came out with the Harvey Wallbanger and it started. The new wave of concoctions.

That's it. I want a Tom Collins.

Your mosaic creations are truly a work of art. This backsplash looks like the bridesmaids dresses at our wedding. We got married in the Fall and used the autumn theme colors, oranges and beiges and bronzes oh my. Really cool.

Peace to All.

12/01/2007 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Msliberty- My mother used to make those too! I never saw a mix though. I'm sure she made them from scratch. I'll have to ask her how.

Spado- My mother is Irish so I do have a great understanding of all those drinks. My mom used to love a Sidecar. Those were great. My grandma liked a Manhattan. Dad wasn't much of drinker but I remember after they visited Italy they were drinking wine like fish for a while out of a pitcher rather than the bottle. Good times.

The kitchen area is my favorite part of the house because of the colors. I love all those colors. I love color period!

12/01/2007 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Hayden said...

I used to drink stingers in my 20's. I do switch, semi-consciously, from vodka martini's (not the modern flavored ones, simple, very dry, very cold and up) usually to scotch or bourban.

But this year I'm drinking hot cider with rum - it's a perfect late-night libation for reading before bed.

12/01/2007 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger just me said...

My winter drink is coffee...I'm so much freaking fun....

12/04/2007 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger deuddersun said...

Hot rum toddy Mary, or if you're a serious drinker like I was, scotch neat, works anytime.


12/06/2007 06:38:00 AM  

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