Would you say that buying it, opening it, emptying the 1978 beer into a sink, sanitizing the can, and then somehow transforming it into a usable beer-drinking vessel with the assistance of local DIY craft consultants is:
Andy’s Beer came out in several different designs and colors, none of which were particularly attractive, striking, or unique.
I beg to quibble. I think this can is extremely attractive, striking and unique, and I am — if you need reminded — a highly trained visual artist. It is unique and striking because it dares to say what all other beers only think: “I am Andy’s beer.”
Also, in terms of attractiveness, I would like to point out that Andy’s Beer appears to come in many exciting pop-art shades of green, yellow, blue and orange. Q.E.D.
This comment comes from S. 12th’s post this week about summer cocktails, prompted by a question from our reader Katherine in Minneapolis’ hog-slaying bigger brother to the east, Chicago. The commenter is none other than our old pal from the Minneapolis secretarial pool Dani, who lit off for China several years ago in search of intrigue and adventure, and has recently reported back to the north metro area with a full CV and what I understand is a totally smoking hot boyfriend. Not bad!
Sorry I’m late and with a non-summery drink question. You told me once about a delicious drink that I would like because I like White Russians, but it was made with Bailey’s and bourbon and I think called Kentucky Something. I just remember that it was great.
We should be prepared in case there’s a cold snap left in this spring.
Though the “Kentucky Something” is a fine name for a drink, the cocktail Dani has in mind is the Kentucky Eyeroller. This is truly a favorite of S. 12th in colder months, though it can be pressed into service year-round.
It’s a Sturdevant original, as it was first mixed in Nate’s test kitchen, back in that shotgun house he and Brother Danny once shared in Clifton. It is as follows:
1 part Frangelico
1 part Bailey’s (or cream)
1 part bourbon
Put it all in a shaker, then pour it over ice in an old-fashioned glass.
Without cream, it’s apparently called a “Manhattan for Rome.” Who wants to drink that, though? It doesn’t even make sense. Wouldn’t that be a “Roman Manhattan”? Why would you skip the opportunity to use the word “Roman,” which opens up all of the exciting possibilities for making hilarious jokes about “Roman Hands” with your bar friends? People just disappoint me so much sometimes.
Anyway, it’s called a Kentucky Eyeroller, because whenever I’d order one in a bar here in Minneapolis, I’d excitedly exclaim to the bartender, “We drank this shit all the time back in Kentucky!”, and the bartender would mutter, “Alright, whatever, buddy,” and roll his or her eyes.
So thanks to Dani for the memory. Bartenders: add the Kentucky Eyeroller to your menu immediately!
Sergio and I went to Matt’s last night for some Lucys and beers. He gave me a dollar for the jukebox, and asked me to talk about the three songs I chose on camera. So I did, and this is it.
Distant readers, if you’ve ever wondered what sitting in a bar would be like and watching me shovel fries into my mouth and yammer on about Otis Redding, I am afraid you tragically have your answer now.
I was at a Christmas party with Nate last month for his work. He’s a prep cook at a very progressive, independently owned restaurant/catering business, and the owner was festively mixing up a really delicious peach-and-bourbon cocktail of her own creation for everyone. She called it a “Democrat.”
So Nate and I had one. We toasted the traditional toast*, and both had a sip. Nate looked up from his glass, wild-eyed, and exclaimed, without a trace of irony, “These Democrats are fantastic!”
It was then we looked at each other sadly, realizing this was perhaps the last time in human history that that particular phrase would ever be uttered aloud sincerely. And that was over the holiday! When we still had a supermajority!
I’ll find the recipe for the Democrat and post it shortly. It’s really a great cocktail — sweet, but not cloying, and surprisingly potent. You, too, can sip one at happy hour and make hilarious, bitter remarks like “Wow, this Democrat sure is taking care of business,” or “Ah, yes — you can always count on a Democrat.” You know, things you would never have the opportunity to say out loud otherwise.
* Nate usually insists on “to the power and the glory,” because he’s such a Graham Greene man.
Here is a photo of me that was used in a Crown Royal print advertising campaign appearing in the November 1964 issue of Esquire magazine. The original ad copy has been lost, unfortunately, so I leave it to you the reader to leave suggestions for new, appropriately swingin’ ad copy in the comments section.
Best entry gets a special secret swingin’ door prize mailed to them from S. 12th World Headquarters!
Mel Tormé, “Comin’ Home, Baby,” 1962. Very chic, understated little song.
I’d always expected Mel Tormé to be a stage name, a butchering of a far more formidable Eastern European name. Sort of, but not entirely — his parents were Russian immigrants named “Torma,” and the “a” became an “e” at Ellis Island. Mel’s parents retained the spelling and added the accent mark, and he was born Melvin Howard Tormé in Chicago in 1925.
After a weekend meeting with a key member of the S. 12th Senior Advisory Committee, we’ve decided to name the Blood and Sand the official cocktail of S. 12th (both the tumblelog and the house). A Blood and Sand:
1 ounce blended scotch
1 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice
¾ ounce cherry brandy
¾ ounce sweet vermouth
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass; garnish with a cherry.
In the glass, the blend of cherry brandy and vermouth form a perfect base for the stubborn flavor of scotch, the scotch’s aggressive smokiness keeps the sweet flavors in line, while the orange juice soothes all the various rough edges, making everything work together in the glass.
That’s all true. It’s a really complex mixture of flavors that one wouldn’t expect to work together. It’s also closer to the sort of cocktail one associates with very nicely decorated east coast hotels and snappy banter written by Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich, which is to say: not every cruddy bar just has cherry brandy around lying around, only the good ones. Plus there’s the added hassle (cough, cough) of making a bartender mix a Blood and Sand for you, even though, like, come on, a bartender’s job is to mix drinks together. I’ve never understood why some bartenders get so irritated about being forced to mix drinks more complicated than a whiskey and soda. Is this just a mark of a bad bartender? Or a busy bartender and I’m just a jerk for asking? (Bartenders: please leave comments below.)
The article above has some solid historical insights into the cocktail’s origins. I first came across it in a 1957 edition of The Standard Bartender’s Guide that Sergio and Emily sold me at their yard sale. The article linked to above it traces it back to the 1930s; it was named for the popular Valentino bullfighter film of the same name. The film itself was based on the 1909 novel Sangre y arena by Spanish novelist and filmmaker Vicente Blasco Ibáñez.
Incidentally, there is not a single title in the bibliography of Vicente Blasco Ibáñez that would not also make an oustanding name for a cocktail. A Maja Desnuda (Woman Triumphant) or Papa del Mar (Sea Pope)? Make my Sea Pope on the rocks, barkeep.