I think most of us can remember where we were when we heard that Princess Diana had died in a car crash on August 31st 1997 - 10 years ago today. It was such a sad and awful tragedy. May the good spirit and generosity she embodied live on and continue to inspire. xox.
LISTEN TO BRITNEY'S NEW SONG HERE.I WANT THIS MESS OF A POP STAR TO MAKE IT BACK TO THE OTHER SIDE. SHE USED TO BE SO FUN. THIS SONG IS A VERY GOOD START. I'M NOT HOLDING MY BREATH THOUGH. SHE ATTACKED A CAR WITH AN UMBRELLA - ENOUGH SAID.
So yesterday ended up being a crazy crazy day and I wasn't able to post a birthday wish for my good buddy JustinakaJuki. I was lucky enough to see Justin this past weekend and have a few beers with him and unwind. Justin is one of the most sincere guys I know. He is honest, caring, funny and someone that I'm so so so glad to have grown up with. Justin is an elementary school teacher back in my home state of Virginia. He is one of those folks who has a truly meaningful job. As cheese ball as it sounds, he is shaping the future of the community he lives in. I admire Justin and his devotion to his craft more than he knows. Sorry it's a day late but it's certainly not with any less meaning and sincerity. Happy Birthday, babe. 30 is just around the corner! Love you. Hugs.
Last week I featured a video interpretation of Christina Aguilera's song Ain't No Other Man. The video was laugh out loud funny. I found another video by the same guy but this time his sights are set on that awful song that played on America Idol season before last called Bad Day by Daniel Powter. I totally loathe that song so I'm glad to see someone having a go at it. The results, like the Christina video, are hilarious. Enjoy. xox.
Midweek Libations has generally focused on cocktails in the traditional meaning of the word, i.e. a mixed drink of two or more ingredients. Requests have been made (and surprisingly not from college students) to provide recipes for good ‘shooters’ or short cocktails served in a shot glass for rapid consumption.
A shooter, distinguished from a ‘shot’ by having more than one ingredient, can be defined as aone- to four-ounce alcoholic beverage consisting of one or more types of alcohol, or a cocktail of alcohol and other non-alcoholic beverages. Just like cocktails in general, shooters can be mixed or created in many different ways. While many shooters can be made by simply shaking, stirring or just pouring the ingredients, the real art to the shooter lies in the creation of layers within the glass.
Layering or ‘floating’ a drink was reportedly at its peak of popularity in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, especially in Europe, where bartenders concocted “pousse-cafes” , visually appealing drinks composed of layers of liquors and syrups. The layered shooter is prepared by gently adding each ingredient from densest to least dense, in order to create the appearance of colored stripeswhen the drink is viewed from the side. The method became popular again in the 1960’s and 70’s and remains popular today.
The names of shooters are quite varied. There may be several names for a shooter of the same ingredients, and there may be different ways of making a shooter of the same name. Many of the names given to different shooters incorporate vulgarities for shock value and to increase word of mouth exposure of the drink. (See previous post on lewd cocktails).
Any cocktail may be served in a shot glass but here are a few real shooters you can get started with.
B-52- The B-52 is perhaps the quintessential shooter of all time. It layers Kahlua, Baileys Irish Cream and Grand Marnier, and may also be referred to as a KGB. Pour one measure of Kahlua into a shot glass. Carefully pour one measure of Baileys on top, then drizzle the Grand Marnier down the side of the glass or over a bar spoon to float clearly on the Baileys. An alternative to the traditional B-52 is the Russian B-52, with the addition of a layer of vodka floating on top of the Grand Marnier.
Kamikaze - Fill a clean cocktail shaker with ice. Add one measure each of good quality vodka, triple sec (or Cointreau), and freshly squeezed lime juice. Some people use lime cordial (e.g. Roses) but I prefer the zing of the fresh juice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled shot glass. Add a small wedge of lime to garnish. One popular variation on this drink is the Southern Comfort Kamikazeor "SoCo" Kamikaze, which is made using Southern Comfort liqueur in place of the vodka.
Flatliner - Pour one measure of Sambuca into a shot glass. Add several (8 to 10) drops of Tabasco sauce to form a thin layer on top of the spirit. Now carefully pour one measure of good quality white tequila(no need to break the bank with Patron but it shouldn’t taste like lighter fluid either) over the back of a teaspoon into the glass to float it on top of the hot sauce. The liquids should remain separate with the Sambuca at the bottom and the tequila at the top. The Tabasco sauce sits in the middle of the glass forming a red line between the two spirits.
Thank you RJH for sharing your knowledge and keeping us toasty! If you have missed any of the past Midweek Libations, you can catch them all HERE .
As we approach the 10th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana, I wanted to feature a video by Madonna that was inspired by the August 1997 tragedy. In the summer of 1998, Madonna released the song Drowned World/Substitute for Love from her seventh studio album Ray of Light. The track was produced by Madonna and the extremely talented William Orbit. The song was originally called No Substitute For Love which had slightly different lyrics from the final version that was released. The demo of the song with the original lyrics and overall sound was leaked to internet prior to the song's official release. While the original song was quite good, the final version was far more beautiful. Listen to the original version HERE. The video for the track was directed by Walter Stern. Mr. Stern has directed videos for other big acts like Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie, Massive Attack and The Prodigy. The video was filmed in the summer of '98 in and around London's famous Savoy Hotel and the touristy Piccadilly Circus. The video features Madonna in several scenes being pursued and chased by the paparazzi. No matter where Madonna goes, she is never left alone. In the video, Madonna's public and private life blend in to one. The video and song both deal with fame and fortune and the sacrifices of being in the spotlight. The video caused quite a lot of controversy - nothing new to Mrs. Ritchie - when it was released. This video was shot the year after the death of Princess Diana and the imagery used in the video is obvious. On the night of Princess Diana's death, there is a shot of Diana, captured through surveillance camera footage, being whisked though a revolving door in to a waiting car. This car would crash in a tunnel just minutes later resulting in her untimely death. The shot of Madonna leaving her hotel in the video bears a striking resemblance to the shot of the late princess. Madonna is chased by a team of photographers who pursue the car in a mad chase. Madonna was deeply touched by Diana's death, as was the rest of the world, and the video is her own statement on those tragic events. At the end of the video, Madonna is seen running back to her apartment and in to the arms of her daughter who is waiting for her at home. The striking video ends with Madonna holding her daughter, looking deep in to the camera singling the line "And now, I find, I've changed my mind...this is my religion." The following videos are the original video shot by Walter Stern followed by a live performance of the song from her Confessions Tour in 2006. Enjoy. xoxox.
I have featured Joe Holmes' photos on my site several times. I always love his photos because they are of my favorite place on earth, NYC. Joe's photos are always spot on and capture NYC just the way it always is - sinful, obscure, varied, colorful, dismal, sexy, dirty, religious - a myriad of contradictions. The following are few shots, out of his gigantic collection, that caught my eye on my most recent trip to his site. Check them all out at your leisure at the following site - joesnyc.streetnine.com.
In honor of my good buddy Alice, I wanted to share some cool quotes on cats. I was NEVER a cat person prior to adopting Alice. I was strictly a dog person - or so I thought. After adopting Alice I realized just how super duper cute and amazing a cat can be. Alice has definitely warmed up to me and my boyfriend. She has always been sweet but she has really grown more affectionate and friendly. She makes us laugh daily and really brings us a ton of joy. If you are considering getting a cat - STOP THE CONSIDERATION - get one! The joy they bring out weighs any amount of work you'll have to do. Trust me.Check out all my past ALICE posts HERE. xoxox.
Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow. Jeff Valdez
Dogs come when they're called; cats take a message and get back to you later. Mary Bly
In a cat's eyes, all things belong to cats. English Proverb
Cats regard people as warmblooded furniture. Jacquelyn Mitchard
When the mouse laughs at the cat, there is a hole nearby. Nigerian Proverb
It's funny how dogs and cats know the inside of folks better than other folks do, isn't it? Eleanor H. Porter
A kitten is chiefly remarkable for rushing about like mad at nothing whatever, and generally stopping before it gets there. Agnes Repplier
There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats. Albert Schweitzer
Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe they are God. Unknown
Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a function. Unknown
In ancient egypt, cats were worshiped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this. Unknown
If a dog jumps in your lap, it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same thing, it is because your lap is warmer. Alfred North Whitehead
I’ve mentioned before, in other Midweek Libationposts, that I love to use fresh seasonal fruitin my cocktails and make the most of whatever is available at the local farmers market. This week is no exception. Take advantage of the ripe juicy pearsthat are beginning to become available and give them an Asian twist. Presenting the Pear Sake Martini, a think and luscious cocktail, ideal as an aperitif or early evening drink.
The heart of the drink is a good pear puree. This can be made from scratch or purchased like juice from a good retailer. I like to make the puree from scratch and then freeze any that is left over. Peel and core several ripe pears and cut them into cubes. Cook the fruit as you would cook apples to make applesauce, simmering the cubes in a little water and sugar until the fruit is soft and tender. When done, push the fruit through a sieve to get out any unwanted seeds or fibers and to create a silky smooth fruit puree. Store in the refrigerator.
Some readers will not be familiar with Sakeas a cocktail ingredient (apart from its role in a Sake Bomb - a drink made by pouring sake into a shot glass and dropping it into a glass of beer). Sake is a delicate Japanese alcoholic beverage (and not a wine as is commonly thought) made by fermenting rice in a process similar to that of making beer. It is relatively inexpensive and complements the earthy undertones of the fresh pear perfectly. Sake can be found in many liquor stores and Asian markets.
To make a Pear Sake Martini, fill a clean cocktail shaker with ice, add 2 measures of good quality gin(e.g. Tanqueray), 1 measure of good quality chilled Sake, and 2 measures of your fresh pear puree. Ginger infused vodka or Absolut’s new pear flavored vodka would also work as a base spirit for this drink. Shake the ingredients vigorously and strain into a well chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a wafer-thin sliver of fresh pear and perhaps a dusting of ginger powder. Enjoy!
Thank you, as always, RJHfor another wonderful cocktail! If you have missed any of the past Midweek Libations, you can catch them all HERE! Drink up! xoxo.
If you live in New York (or possibly even visited) you are familiar with the various posters on the subway asking you to be vigilant and keep an eye out for suspicious activity. We can all do our part to stop terrorism blah blah blah. Additionally, the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) has produced what they call SubTalk. SubTalk consists of many different things. You can find various SubTalk posters on the trains as well as in the stations across the five boroughs. SubTalk ranges from poetry to art work to advertisements for MTA sponsored events around the city. However, generally, SubTalk consists of poorly written verbiage telling you to not run on the stairs or lean up against the doors when the train is moving. TheCleverest.com have created their own take on these numerous posters that are a common sight for New Yorkers. Check all of them out at the link above. One of my favorites is below. Enjoy. xoxo.
If you can't see the fine print above, click the image to see a larger version! Cheers!
Madonna has had plenty of folks poking fun at her over the years. She has been the brunt of jokes for as long as I can remember. While some are down right rude and cold, there are some that, because they are so witty, funny, and well done, should be forgiven. The old saying goes that "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em". One of the great things about Madonna is that she has always been able to make fun of herself as well. She has made fun of herself endlessly in interviews and various special clips and so I didn't think there was anything wrong with featuring a duo who have made Madonna parody an art. Madonna has been the focus of an offbeat English show called French & Saunders for a long while now. The sketch show is written and performed by Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. You may know Jennifer from her amazing work on the global cult hit Absolutely Fabulous. Dawn is just as talented and brilliant. They have poked fun at Madonna for yeeeeears now. They did hilarious spoofs on Madge's Truth or Dare movie, they joked on Madonna's release of children's books and didn't let a little thing like making out with Britney Spears go unnoticed. Check out the following clips. They are too funny to be missed. Happy Madonna Monday! xoxox.