Thursday, May 28, 2009

Don't Try This at Home

Sometimes things just don't work out. You come up with an idea that seems to make sense (say, sending a gerbil to the moon), may even be easy to implement (ie buy homemade rocket kit; stick gerbil in homemade rocket; light rocket), but the results just aren't what you were hoping for (ie flaming gerbil is imbedded in neighbor's roof, which is now also on fire). Thus was my experiment with coming up with a cocktail that would utilize the blueberry infused bourbon I made a couple of weeks ago.

Inspired by a recipe for blueberry infused bourbon and associated drink I saw in Imbibe magazine (I didn't have all of the ingredients for the drink in the magazine - anyone have a bottle of Benedictine just sitting around?), I had made a Blueberry Manhattan when my friend Ana came over for drinks and dinner the other night. I thought that was very good, but it was a little sweet, and the blueberry flavor didn't really come through. So I wanted to make something that would showcase the blueberry taste (otherwise why make the stuff in the first place, right?) and also add a little complexity to the flavor.

Looking through my cocktail books, I came across a recipe for a drink called a Rattlesnake. A bourbon based drink, but it added some lemon juice, egg white, and a dash of Pernod. Sweet, sour, bitter, creamy - sounded like the complex flavor profile I was looking for, and the blueberry / lemon / anise flavor I thought would be really nice complements for one another. I didn't have Pernod (sounds like I need to go shopping), so instead I planned to use some Le Tourment Absinthe (especially since it just called for a dash).

I placed all of the necessary ingredients in a Boston shaker, shook it vigorously, and strained into a rocks glass over ice, garnishing with a slice of lemon rind. Looked really promising - nice froth from the egg white, and the color was a really pretty bluish pink. Smelled good too, although more lemon came through than anything. So then the taste, None of the blueberry flavor, nor even the bourbon flavor, came through. The lemon was very up front, and the absinthe just made the whole thing taste "off." Figuring I needed to adjust the proportions, I made two other versions, increasing the bourbon content and lowering the lemon and ansinthe proportions. Still not all that good. At this point, having consumed three strong cocktails, I was in no condition to be doing unbiased critical evaluations of anything, so I bagged it.

Maybe I'll try the cocktail with the Benedictine in it (I think my father-in-law has a bottle). But as far trying to craft my own unique cocktail recipes, I think I'll hold off, make cocktails from "proven" recipes, and just work on creating some sort of fire retardant suit for a gerbil. R.I.P. AstroGerb v.1.0 - never forget :'(

Blueberry Infused Bourbon

1/2 pint of washed, whole blueberries
bourbon (amount will depend on size of the infusion container)

Place whole blueberries in a container which can be sealed air tight. Fill container with bourbon to at least completely cover the blueberries. Let sit in a cool place for approximately three weeks. Then drain bourbon through a coffee filter into as serving container, discarding the fruit. Keeps for 2 to 3 weeks.

Blueberry Rattlesnake

1 1/2 measures of blueberry-infused bourbon
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp simple syrup
1 egg white
few drops Pernod (I used Le Tourment Absinthe)

Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake very well. Strain into a rocks glass and add more ice.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Food magazines are so hit and miss. I used to get Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, and I think a couple of other food magazines, and in any given month, I might be able to pull two recipes from all of them combined that looked worth trying. Of those recipes, I would put, at most, one in my folder of "keeper" recipes every 6 months. But every few years one of those magazines would be stuffed with awesome recipes or food / drink ideas from fonrt to back. The June 06 Food and Wine is an issue like that - tons of great grilling suggestions, recipes, and wine picks. In their grilling section, I found a recipe for this refreshing cocktail - the Portonic.

Named probably because it's easy to describe if you're several barbeques into a long Memorial Day weekend ["ummmmm.....that drink with the port....and looking at my hotdog funny? You want a piece of thi..." (cue sound of drunk man falling into a kid's sandbox)], it's a great party drink because it's so easy to whip up as many as you need. White port is harder to find than regular port, but it's worth seeking out. Not as overly sweet nor as strong as a regular ruby or tawny port, it's great for mixing. In this cocktail, the bitterness of the tonic water cuts that sweetness even more, making for a very drinkable cocktail that's right at home at an upscale cocktail party or a backyard gathering of drunken pickle vendors.


2 oz white port
2 oz tonic water
1/2 oz fresh lime juice

Fill white wine glass with ice. Add port and lime juice, and then add tonic water. Garnish with a lime peel on a toothpick, or with a sprig of mint.

Frozen Banana Daiquiri

Exotic, tropical drinks always seemed very intimidating to me (not to drink, of course - drinking them is painfully easy.) Between the combinations of fruit, fruit juices, somewhat exotic liquors, and having to know whether the garnish was an umbrella, a chunk of fruit, or a shrunken monkey head, it all seemed like just too much info to bother processing just to make a drink. Zombies, Stingers, Blue Hawaiians, Daiquiris - more than happy to drink them if someone else was making them (and REALLY more than happy if someone else was buying), but I wasn't going to fool around with all that fussy stuff.

A daiquiri is the OPPOSITE of fussy - in fact, it's so simple, the only really fussy thing about it is its name. Created in Cuba at the end of the 19th century, and made fashionable in the US during the 1940's when rum was much easier to come by than gin, vodka, or whiskey (because of open trade policies with Latin America), a daiquiri is white rum, lime juice, and sugar. Period. It really doesn't get to much simpler than that. For my version, I just happened to have two bananas that were about to go south, so I threw those in as well for some extra flair and made a frozen version. This is a super easy drink to make and, given its simplicity, a really easy drink recipe to remember (which is probably why it became so popular - most drunks can remember how to put three ingredients together in a glass regardless of how many drinks they've had prior.) The non-frozen, non-banana version is shaken with plenty of ice and strained into a cocktail flute - the frozen version is blended with plenty of ice and poured into a margarita glass.

Frozen Banana Daiquiri

2 oz white rum (I didn't have any, so I used Appleton Estate)
1 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 ripe banana

Put all ingredients in a blender. Add ice to blender (to half full for one drink.) Blend until smooth. Poor into a margarita glass and garnish with a lime slice.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ginger Peach Martini

One of the things I like about making cocktails (and making beer for that matter) is that essentially all you're doing is cooking - you have the latitude to determine the recipe, the quality of the ingredients, the proportions. And nothing dictates the quality of your ingredients better than if you make those ingredients yourself. For this cocktail, I took inspiration from a great ginger martini they make at the Oval Room in DC (right near the White House), and from the bottle of peach infused vodka I had decided to whip up last week (and didn't know when I was going to use).

Despite the fancy sounding name - and even the two home produced ingredients - this is incredibly simple to make. And the resulting cocktail is gorgeous - that pink color in the drink is solely from the peach skins coloring the vodka during the infusion process.

Ginger Peach Martini

3 measures peach infused vodka (see recipe below)
1 measure ginger syrup (see recipe below)
1/2 tsp of fresh lime juice

Pour vodka, syrup, and lime juice into a pint glass. The add a handful of cracked ice cubes to the glass (important to add ice only when you are ready to start making the drink). With a bar spoon, stir the drink evenly for about 30 seconds (the volume of ice should be reduced by about a quarter as it melts off). Strain into a cold martini glass, garnish with a lime twist.

Peach Infused Vodka

375ml (roughly) of vodka (Stoli)
one slightly under ripe peach, sliced

In a container which can be sealed air tight (even better if it's a pretty bottle or decanter) and which will hold roughly 375 ml of liquid, place the peach slices in the container. Pour vodka over peaches, making sure that all the peach slices are covered with the alcohol, and seal. Make sure to use an almost, but not quite, ripe peach, as a ripe peach will deteriorate faster in the vodka and won't infuse its flavors as well. Place in a cool spot not hit by direct sunlight for about a week, or until the peach slices start to look a little bit darker than when they went into the container. Strain out the vodka through an unbleached paper towel. This can be done either into the serving container, or, if you want to use the container the vodka was being infused in, remove and discard the peaches, quickly rinse the inside with water, and pour the vodka back in. Vodka should last at least a month.

Ginger Syrup

2 cups organic milled cane sugar
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups of fresh ginger root, sliced (no need to peel)

Bring all ingredients to a boil, and then reduce hit to simmer until liquid is reduced by a third, about 45 minutes. Take liquid off heat and allow to cool to room temp. Strain into a sealable container, discarding ginger. Refrigerate. Syrup will keep for about three weeks.


A margarita is the party-throwers best friend. People have all kinds of preferences when it comes to drinks - "I don't like bourbon." "sweet drinks really make me gag," "you put an umbrella in my drink and I'll punch you in the face," and on and on. But a margarita - I don't think I have ever heard anyone say they didn't like a margarita. And it's an added bonus that they are super simple to make (although surprisingly easy to screw up.)

In my estimation, there are really just three rules to making a very good margarita: DON'T use a mix; use the best quality ingredients you can afford; and make it COLD. Do all three of these things in unison, and the only thing holding you back from a perfect drink is the wrong proportions.

Proportions are relatively flexible with this drink - some prefer some more tequila taste, some prefer more lime. My preference is to have a one to one ratio of tequila to triple sec, and then about 3/4 of lime juice. Like I said - quality ingredients make a difference. Triple sec is good - Cointreau is better. Jose Cuervo is OK if you're in a bind - a 100% agave tequila like Patron Anejo is WAY better. And lime juice better be from a lime - a bottle of Rose's Lime Juice should never come within 100 feet of a margarita.

And as for cold - as the Boston Shaker explains in his demonstration on How2Heroes ( ) - you shake a margarita until the shaker gets so cold your hand hurts - and then you shake it some more.


2 measures tequila (100% pure agave anejo)
2 measures Cointreau
1 1/2 measures fresh lime juice

Prepare margarita glasses by rubbing a lime wedge on half the outside rim of the glass. Roll the wet side of the glass in kosher salt (don't get salt in the glass or on the actual rim . Place ice in a shaker. Pour ingredients over the ice and shake vigorously until extremely cold (about 30 seconds). Strain into prepared glass, garnish with a lime slice.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pisco Sour - v.Dos

So having failed (relatively speaking) at my first attempt at making a Pisco Sour, I decided to try the Wikipedia version of the recipe, which called for limes, egg whites, bitters, and simple syrup in addition to the pisco. I utilized the agave nectar in place of the simple syrup because I was just too lazy to make some real simple syrup (and I had a couple of beers after work, so I wasn't in the prepping mood). Knowing I had the right ingredients, I tried again at making a decent example of this drink.

This time I think I succeeded. The egg white was the real difference - without that, I don't think you have a drink anywhere near as good. I had never really used egg whites in drinks before - both because of a concern about killing myself (highly over dramatized - if you have fresh eggs, there is almost no chance of any type of botulism issue), and because I wasn't really looking to mix up cocktails that called for eggs most of the time anyway. But the egg white not only gives you a nice frothy head on the drink, but it gives the drink a creamy, velvety texture definitely not present without it. It's a texture really foreign to citrusy cocktails normally, and that makes it even better. The key is to really shake the hell out of it - straining it into the glass brings the froth level down some, so you want to be sure to build up a lot in the shaker to ensure a good amount makes it into the final product.

Pisco Sour

2 parts pisco
1 part lime juice
1 part simple syrup (agave nectar)
1 egg white
bitters (Angostura, or home made)

Add ice to a Boston shaker. Add pisco, lime juice, agave nectar, and egg white. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Strain into an old fashioned glass. Add two to three drops of bitters to top.

Juice King

Check my awesome juicer - rightfully named the Juice King. Suz bought this years ago at a thrift store (I think) and it has gotten sporadic use over the years. But I use it a lot now, and it really does get every available drop of juice from everything from key limes to grapefruit. Perfect design - completely functional, does exactly what it is designed to do, and does it flawlessly. Not sure why these things aren't still in production.

Pisco Sour - Part Uno

Pisco is a grape-based brandy, almost exclusively referenced as part of the Pisco Sour. It's a drink I heard described as being pretty awesome - not quite a whiskey sour, a little more refreshing than people might typically find a whiskey sour to be. I picked up a bottle of pisco recently, and then accessed a recipe for Pisco Sour on an iTouch app I downloaded for drink recipes (seemed reasonable enough).

I should have known when the recipe called for "1 to 2 Tbsp of sugar" in a drink to be shaken over ice that something wasn't quite right. Of course, I should have known enough not to make the drink using that ingredient - sugar won't dissolve in cold liquids on it's own very much if at all, so, not surprisingly, the first pass created a drink with a lot of sugar crystals in the bottom of the glass and left behind in the shaker. Also not surprisingly, the drink came off truly deserving of its "sour" title. The only other ingredients I had been given for the drink were 2 measures of pisco and one of lemon juice, so what I got was a whole lotta lemon pucker.

Realizing the error of my ways (and drinking the first drink anyway - I'm not an idiot, after all), I decided to substitute some agave nectar for the raw sugar. Agave nectar is awesome stuff - like a simple syrup, but with a little extra herbiness in with the mild sweetness. Despite what you might think, it doesn't taste anything like tequila - it's a pretty neutral sweetner, and you can get it in its all natural version. This yielded a MUCH better drink - proper sweet / sour balance, definitely drinkable and refreshing. Winner, I thought, and pretty simple.

Turns out, it's a little TOO simple.

Looking up pisco on Wikipedia, the drink recipe (and history) called for: pisco; limes, not lemons; egg white; bitters; and simple syrup instead of "sugar." That would definitely yield a more complex drink - the bitters would definitely add a layer of flavor complexity, and the frothy egg white would give it some texture lacking from my version. I might stick with the lemon - although I think I used all my lemons last night, so if it means skipping a run to the co-op, I'll use limes.

So, tonight I'll try Pisco Sour v.Dos - and I'll look for a better iTouch drinking app.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Moscow Mule

Hard to believe, given how ubiquitous it in in bars and in drinking culture in the U.S., but at one time vodka was not the principal "clear spirit" consumed in America - that honor fell to gin. It wasn't until the late 1940's that vodka really started to take hold as the spirit we know it to be today (it has also been argued that the rise of vodka signaled the decline of the cocktail culture in general, "watering down" American's appreciation for spirits with flavor or unique character.) The drink credited with starting the American love of vodka is the Moscow Mule.

Created in 1941, it was the invention of a bar/restaurant owner out of Los Angeles, an American vodka company representative, and a producer of ginger beer. Created in Manhattan (over a number of drinks, it actually didn't take off until (like most things) it became popular with the movie star crowd in LA in the late 1940s. As part of the marketing of the drink, you were supposed to drink it out of a copper cup - not sure what the significance of that is, but I assure you that it tastes just as good in a highball glass. As with most vodka drinks, the alcohol notes are non-existent, and this is a great party drink because it's very easy to adjust the proportion of ginger beer (or vodka for that matter) to account for individual taste. Use a good, strong ginger beer so the ginger flavor isn't overpowered by the lime (and for god's sake use a fresh lime - bottled lime juice is an abomination.)

The Moscow Mule

1 part vodka (Stoli)
1 part lime juice
ginger beer

Fill a collins glass with ice. Add vodka and lime juice and stir for 15 seconds. Add ginger beer to top off. Add a slice of lime to garnish.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

(Not So) Petite Fleur

Sometimes drinks just don't work out. You have the best of intentions - good ingredients, combination seems reasonably likely to be yummy, pretty easy to make. But then something is just off - there's something that's just too much, not enough, or just terrible. This cocktail was an example of the former.

A Petite Fleur is a rum based drink. I expected something refreshing and citrusy, but with the sugary caramel tastes that you can get from rum. All I got was a mouth full of alcohol burn - I think the proportions were off in the recipe (which called for a two to one ratio of rum to Cointreau and grapefruit juice). Below I have what I would consider the ideal recipe for this drink - something where the tastes of the spirits can come thorough and not just knock you over the head with their potency.

Not that I didn't drink the original version of course - even a bad cocktail is better than no cocktail at all.

(Not So) Petite Fleur

1 measure rum (Appleton Estate)
1 measure Cointreau
2 measures fresh grapefruit juice

Fill a shaker with ice and combine ingredient. Shake for 30 seconds, then strain into a chilled sour glass.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Gemini

Martha Stewart gets a bad rap, in my opinion. The woman may be a control freak, bitchy beyond reason, and involved in elaborate but horribly covered up securities fraud, but she does know how to do the finer things in life. We started getting "Martha Stewart Living" as a replacement for a magazine that we really like that went under. Initially, we thought we had just gained one more thing to recycle every month. But there's some good stuff in there - maybe I don't need to know how to knit my own plastic bag holder, but I can use a good grilling tip - or cocktail recipe - any day, and I ain't picky about the source.

The Gemini is a great example of something from the Martha Stewart brand - relatively simple, but with top notch ingredients, and somewhat exotic. The key ingredient to this cocktail is St-Germain, an elderflower liquer that tastes like....well, it tastes like a whole bunch of things at once. Grapefruit, lemon, lime,'s all over the place. But it's REALLY good - definitely worth it as an addition to those "weird" liquers that pile up in the back of your liquor cabinet. But this one is so good, you might actually break it out every now and again. This cocktail would be GREAT as a substitute to a mimosa or bellini at a brunch (especially for those that like grapefruit juice).

The Gemini

4 ounces fresh grapefruit juice, strained to remove pulp
3 ounces St-Germain liquer
2 ounces vodka (Stoli)
ice cubes
Prosecco (any sparkling wine will do)
2 grapefruit-rind twists

Mix juice, St-Germain, vodka, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into two chilled glasses. Top each with Prosecco. Garnish with grapefruit twists. Makes 2 cocktails.

New Yorker

Scotch never struck me as a drink for mixing. Since really learning to love and appreciate scotch, I couldn't think of any other way to enjoy it than with some ice (heresy to some), a little water, and good company (which sometimes might just be myself - but there's nothing wrong with that.) So when I started looking at recipes that called for scotch as a mixer, I didn't quite get it - why would you even use it as a mixer? Why use this stuff that is wondrous by itself, mixing it with other things to cloud all of that inherent goodness?

I then realized I was over thinking it - it's a freakin' cocktail for god's sake. So I tried the New Yorker, and understood. The scotch brings an earthiness to drinks which might otherwise be all fruity and "citrusy." And as a mixer, a lot of the signature scotch flavors are softened s that, if you're not into the peaty, boggy flavor of a fine scotch blend, all the edges get smoothed over, becoming a player in a much yummier whole.

Blah blah blah - drink is good. Have one - especially if all you got is scotch laying around and you don't know where the hell it came from since you never really liked scotch in the first place.

New Yorker

2-3 ice cubes, cracked
1 measure Scotch whiskey (Dewar's)
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon confectioner's sugar
finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
lemon zest spiral to garnish

Put ice in cocktail shaker and add scotch, lime juice, and sugar. Shake until a frost forms on the shaker (about 30 seconds). Strain into an old fashioned glass. Sprinkle the grated lemon zest over the surface and decorate the rim with the lemon zest spiral.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Maiden's Prayer

Sometimes, you just want something simple. Not a whole lot of preparation, not any real skill involved in whipping together something to drink - this is about relaxing, being refreshed, and having something yummy, right? This drink fits the bill - gin, cointreau, and orange juice. Can't get much simpler than that. And it's definitely yummy - the herbyness (it's a word...I think) and slight bitterness of the gin offset the tanginess of the orange juice and sweetness of the cointreau. I was going to lament using Beefeater's gin, instead of Tanqueray (which I didn't have), Plymouth (out of that too), or Bombay Sapphire (which I had, but it was all the way in the back of the cabinet and I didn't feel like fishing it out). But the straightforward nature of Beefeater's serves this drink just right. The qualities of the higher end gins would just be overshadowed by the other ingredients.

Maiden's Prayer

2 measures gin (Beefeaters)
2 measures Cointreau
1 measure orange juice

Fill a cocktail shaker 3/4 full with ice cubes. Pour all the ingredients over the ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Monday, May 11, 2009


The first drink I made with the intent of blogging about it was a true classic - a Manhattan. This bourbon or rye whiskey based drink is everything a cocktail should be - easy to make, but maddeningly difficult to master. The ability to craft a perfect one (or the lack of that ability) can have profound consequences for anyone aspiring to be called a true Bartender (reference Fat Tony's lamentations about being served a flat, flavorless Manhattan.)

I prefer the rye version of the drink - it's a little more dry than the bourbon version...and I like rye a lot. So there's that. But if you want to tell whether a new watering hole is going to be worth your time, or if a neophyte referring to themselves as a "Bartender" with a capital "B" is the real deal, order a Manhattan. You'll know straight off whether you'll be back, or whether the schlub behind the bar should be swimming with the fishes in the East River.


2 1/2 ounces rye whiskey (Jim Beam Rye, but I prefer Rittenhouse)
1 1/2 Tbsp sweet vermouth (Martini and Rossi)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 small strip orange peel
1 maraschino cherry with stem (I leave these out)

Chill a cocktail glass by filling it with ice and water and let sit (I don't freeze my glasses - creates an unbalanced temperature in the drink...and my freezer isn't that big).
Fill a cocktail shaker 2/3 full with ice. Pour in whiskey and vermouth, then add bitters. Close shaker and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds. Dump the ice and water out of the glass, and strain cocktail into it immediately. Twist the orange peel between your fingers to release the oils , rub the orange part around the rim, discard the peel. Garnish with cherry if you're into that sorta thing.

Surf Rider

My second cocktail (posting about it first - suck it up) was a tasty citrus and vodka based drink called a Surf Rider. As with most of these drinks, what I choose to make is driven by what I have on hand. Alcohol isn't a big problem (I have a pretty wide variety) but mixers are more of an issue - I just don't have elderflower cordial sitting around. So this was pretty simple to make, and very refreshing - tartness from the lemon, sweetness from the orange juice, a little bitterness from the sweet vermouth, and the kick from the vodka. Definitely an option for relaxing on the deck - add a bunch of ice to thin it out a bit (or seltzer) and it becomes a great summer drink.

Surf Rider

4-5 ice cubes
3 measures vodka (Stoli)
1 measure sweet vermouth (Martini and Rossi)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
juice of 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon grenadine (Rose's)

Put the ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Pour the vodka, vermouth, fruit juices, and grenadine over the ice. Shake until a frost forms on the outside of the shaker. Stain into a sour glass - garnish with twists of orange and lemon zest.

Redirection of Purpose

As predicted in my first post to this blog, I haven't exactly been updating it on a frequent basis (I think four time in 6 months qualifies as "infrequent"). I think mostly for the same reasons I stopped updating my old site - not really much to talk about. Since I didn't have any structure or purpose to posting, there wasn't anything driving me to do so. While in Whole Foods the other day, I picked up a copy of Imbibe magazine to pass the boredom while I waited for my hippie check out girl to figure out how much a kiwi costs. Scanning that magazine, I think I found my purpose and structure.

Anyone who knows me knows I enjoy drinking. In my early years, I probably fit the same mold as most college-age guys - drink lots, drink cheap, and drink often. Now that I am a mature (um..), professional (okaaay...), adult (maybe..) father of one (definitely), two out of those three drivers have changed: I don't drink as much in quantity anymore (it was truly a revelation that a single well made cocktail, glass of wine, or craft brewed beer usually generated a lot more pleasure than six crappy beers (I am looking at you, PBR)); I don't drink the really cheap stuff if I can help it (nothing wrong with a Bud Light on a hot day in the parking lot at a football game - just not my choice to drink with dinner, or at a bar with friends); I do, however, continue to drink often - usually once a day, typically a glass of wine or beer with dinner, maybe one after my daughter goes to bed. So in addition to my interest in consumption, I gained an interest in production - about 6 years ago I started making my own beer, which I love to do. And I have always had an interest in cocktails - how they are made, the history of a particular drink, the sometimes exotic ingredients or spirits, etc. And I obviously have an interest in parentheses (but that's another issue.)

So from all this I figured why not try and write about my interest in imbibing - whether that be beer, wine, coffee (which I also love), spirits, cocktails, whatever. It's something I have an interest in, and at worst no one reads it and I still have some good drinks along the way. I will try and post something new every day - but realistically I'll shoot for a minimum of once a week. Don't expect literary brilliance (it should be pretty obvious by now that's not possible) or even necessarily insightful comments on the subject matter.

This is a guy writing about what he drinks.