Tuesday, November 25, 2014

BoozeQuest: The Singapore Sling

I usually order Vodka Collins when I go to bar.  But when I got tickets to The Magic Castle in Hollywood, I thought I'd go for something fancier -- the Singapore Sling.

If you've never been to The Magic Castle, it is a private club for magicians and their friends that is nestled in the hills of Hollywood.  Inside is a multi-story mansion with gothic d├ęcor and a bar around every corner.  They have a few showrooms where you can see magic shows, and you have to dress up and bring a lot of cash because everything is over-priced.  I especially like going because -- for some reason -- I'm always picked as the magician's unwitting volunteer to assist in a trick or two.

I get a group of five of us to go and after saying "Open Sesame!" a wall slides open and we're in the club.  We head directly for the piano lounge and get the waitress' attention. The cocktail waitress shortly returns with our drinks.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Kitchen Options

Which one would you choose?  Lemon/watermelon, tomato/grass, or more watermelon or more watermelon?  Tough choices...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"Va Va Voom" Star of the Day

Donald O'Connor
Donald O'Connor was born on August 28, 1925 in Chicago, Illinois, to a family of circus performers.  He entered the family business in the family's vaudeville act, becoming a featured dancer in low-budget musicals.  Ten months after O'Connor's birth, his 7-year-old sister Arline was struck by a car and killed. O'Connor's devastated father died of a heart attack weeks later.

During the Great Depression, the surviving O'Connor's traveled from city to city, performing for food if necessary.  His mother had become extremely overprotective of her remaining children, seeming never to completely recover from the shock of losing her daughter and husband.  Donald enjoyed being on stage, which served as escape from his domineering mother.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

BoozeQuest: Shots & Chasers

I'm going to San Diego with Gina for the weekend to gamble my paycheck away at an Indian Casino.  The casino has a very traditional, Vegas feel.  I feel a little old school atmosphere warrants more flexibility and adventure.  So this weekend's drink, no -- theme -- is going to be Shots and Chasers.

I arrive at the casino Friday and head straight for the bar with Gina.  We order a tequila shot and beers.  The bartender - the smart, savvy businessman that he is - upsells us to a higher caliber of tequila.

Round #1:  1800 Tequila shot, Budweiser chaser
Gina and I toast to our luck and down the shot.  It's so smooth that it goes down quickly and I don't even need the lime.  The bartender gives us a "Good luck, ladies," and we're on our way to the slots.  We decide to head to the cheap penny slots - to keep our money for booze.  The slots are more like games in the penny section; if you hit a certain combo they bring up a bonus round where you make picks and play a mini-game.  We find two machines next to each other and I stick in a 20 dollar bill.

Monday, November 17, 2014


"Don't judge me, although Phil, Bob, and Frank are gossiping about me adding sugar to my 'Four Roses' cocktail.  But I can't help it...I just love that added sweetness.  'Four Roses.'  When you don't care what those pipe-smokin' judgemental bastards think."

Thursday, November 13, 2014

TBT: "Va Va Voom" Star of the Day

It's Throwback Thursday so I thought I'd keep on the Van Johnson kick and repost our previous "Va Va Voom" Star of the Day post from 2006, for those of you who missed it.  Enjoy!

Van Johnson
"Va va va Van!" Van Johnson had just started a 7-year contract with MGM in 1942 when he was in a major road accident which left him with a metal plate in his head. Ineligible to serve during WWII, the studio used his all-American boyish looks to become America's war film hero. He was usually opposite June Allyson (I love "The Bride Goes Wild") or Esther Williams (my personal favorite is "Thrill of Romance"), two 'all-American girls' that made movie-goers flock to theaters.

In the 1950s, as middle age and a heavier build set in, he was limited with his roles. MGM also began to crumble, and his film career has been irregular since 1960. His career in the 70's and 80's has consisted mostly of stage work which has kept him under the Hollywood radar.

Although his personal life has been racked with turmoil -- from undergoing treatment for skin cancer to rumors of homosexuality -- Van will always remain timeless and pure on the silver screen. His movies will keep him charming, handsome, and as a great symbol as "the all-American" hero of Hollywood, fighting for our country in World War II.

Update: Van Johnson passed away on December 12, 2008.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Crushing on Van Johnson

Today we are crushing on former Va Va Voom feature, the sweet all-American boy, Van Johnson.
Just look at our fresh-faced cutie-pie with his flannel all ready for fall!  Adorbs.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Veteran's Day!

Thank you to all our servicemen and women, past or present!

Booze Quest: The Mojito

I decide to give the Mojito a try when Gina and I meet some friends for a Girls' Night.  My friend Summer says they make the best Mojitos at this place.  I've had a good Mojito before, so I'm up to the challenge.  I find the group in a back room taking up a big booth, and I settle in between Summer and Missy.

Drink #1:  First round.  It seems more minty than I'd like, but it's still good.  The bartender muddled the mint leaves well, and it's garnished nicely.  Overall presentation is good, but the flavor could improve.  Meanwhile the girls are having a real detailed conversation about male genitalia.  I'm going to need another drink.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Coming Soon

The word is out: Disney has announced that the title of the newest Stat Wars film is "The Force Awakens."
Principal photography wrapped today and the film is expected to release December 2015.  Can hardly wait. 

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Cocktail Recipe Du Jour

While I finished getting dressed, here's a quick drink recipe for you to try -- great as an after-dinner cocktail.

The Locust
In your cocktail shaker, pour:
1/2 oz. White Creme de Cacao
1/2 oz. White Creme de Menthe
1 1/2 oz. cream

Shake and strain in to a stemmed, chilled glass.
Float 1/2 oz. of Bacardi 151 on top.

...And if you hold the 151, you have a Cricket.


Tuesday, November 04, 2014

BoozeQuest: The Flirtini

I go to my friend Sasha's house for a barbecue.  She is especially excited that I came because she wants me to make drinks.  (This has become one of my biggest problems now: you go to a party, they hear you went to Bartending School, and they want you to make the drinks.  What happened to just being a guest?)  I agree to make drinks for her because I'm what you may call a Giver.  But agree to do it on one condition: everyone has to give me lots of tips.

I decide to make the debatable Flirtini.  I say debatable, because the drink became known during two different seasons of "Sex and the City."  Apparently in one season the drink was made one way, and in the next it was made a different way.  So sometimes it's made with primarily pineapple juice and champagne, but I decide to make them the other way: with the addition of Raspberry Stoli. (For the detailed recipe, go to my post on the drink called Cocktail Recipe du Jour.  After making a batch for about 4 or 5 people, I pour myself one.