When talking drinking, hearing the word “Hurricane” usually makes people shudder. The cocktail-as-named has been known to make many a person quiver under the multiple rums used; the curvaceous glass has no soft touch for light imbibers. It can be a very tasty drink if crafted respectfully, but does not hold the same refreshment quotient as a G&T or Cape Codder.
Similarly, hearing the word “hurricane” can give distillers and owners of establishments a queasy stomach. It can bring an early end to tourist season, let the air out of a vacation weekend, or totally damage the building, putting the owner totally out of business. For a distiller, years of age can be upset by water’s force, damaging warehouses, contaminating barrels, and ruining the ROI that a fine whisk(e)y offers.
In this article, the Old New Orleans Rum brand shows that there is sunlight after the storm passes. Hurricane Katrina brought damage unlike any seen before, but this spirits brand found a way out when they didn’t think there was, and also when they weren’t looking for it. Hurricane Sandy is shaping up to damage many areas of the country as well, but hopefully we can calmly sip a bit of spiced brown until the waters recede.
When life starts to beat you down, the day-to-day grind makes you resemble crushed peppercorns, and you reach the very end of your rope, the word “vacation” starts to sound extremely enticing. That should be the easy part — deciding to take a vacay — but the logistics usually take precedence. When flight itineraries, hotel stays, entertainment costs, and lack of public transportation start to rear their ugly head, a glorious option pops up.
People might decide to stay in their home city instead of spending googobs of money on expensive flights, cruises, train rides, or pony expresses. This “city retreat” might include a visit to a museum, dinner by candlelight, and a walk on the river with one’s sweetie. Other staycations might be held inside the home, with a book, a DVD, or a pillow.
But are those the only options available? All of us need our rest — and home is where the heart is — but can’t we rest when we’re dead? The fact is, YOLO should be the aim; we don’t have nine lives like our feline friends.
Why not take a “city retreat” and make up your own pub crawl: one place for happy hour, another for aperitifs — maybe a dinner break — then another place for digestifs or dessert + drinks. Embrace the warm weather and try out a couple new drinking places’ summer menus. Take a rooftop lounge tour, a grungy basement tour, an alfresco/riverfront tour — the possibilities are endless. Well, that is until last call. Regardless, take advantage of your city whenever you can. You might not get an umbrella in your drink, but you might grow fonder of the place you call home.
What’s in your cocktail cabinet? Arbitrary bottles, the Ghosts of Parties Past? Treasured gifts opened once every Blue Label moon? A steady parade of cascading and rotating bottles, mostly of a mainstream variety?
Congenial greetings to those who hold to keeping wondrous offerings in their cocktail cabinet. Whether at home or on vacation, visitors abound — they must be catered to with fervor and warmth. Anyone can offer someone a bit of hooch you can pick up from any corner store. But to have a collection of offerings that make the person really take note that it’s more than just having bottles, and exudes the effort undertaken to bring them all together. Pair that with some attractive and functional glassware and cocktailing tools to make your favorite barkeep smile, and you’ll be on to something. Take care of yourself, and the ones around you. And always stay prepared for The Hour.
“With the introduction, in the 1920s, of a new social pastime — the cocktail party — a new piece of furniture was created, inspired by the 18th-century sideboard with its ice drawers and fitted decanter cabinets. Intended for storing all the accoutrements associated with the making of cocktails, the cocktail cabinet contained fitted shelves and bottle holders.
It often took the external form of a traditional writing desk, while its modern interior was frequently a flamboyant, conversation-making piece of furniture veneered with a host of exotic woods, equipped with lights, and lined with mirror glass. Far from its original intention as a piece of furniture designed for writing, the cocktail cabinet added a more frivolous and decadent note to the fashionable interior that chimed with the contemporary taste for luxury and glamour, which persisted throughout the Jazz Age and the Great Depression.” — Furniture: World Styles From Classical to Contemporary, by Judith Miller
The best way to get people to read your work is to create a list. Thankfully, this entrapment was a benefit: listing the top 10 spirituous journeys that every man with a grain of hair on his chest should make in his lifetime. Ranging from wine trips to beer festivals to distillery tours, there are tons upon tons — actually 10 — of options for all in this article. I hope somebody out there, somewhere, will exclaim from the depths of his taco meat, “YESSS….I’ve been there!!” Is it you? [Click on the keychain I purchased from a trip to the oldest licensed distillery in the world.]