• Drinking Games

      This summer the American movie culture has added a new drinking movie to the list. Beerfest is about a bunch of beer drinking dudes that vow to win the international drinking games held in the Munich underground during Oktoberfest. While the movie has the obligatory sophomoric humor, plenty of nudity and, well, lots of drinking, it also reminds us of that age-old pastime, drinking games.
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  • The Original Sin… Pomegranate

      If you’ve ever broken open a pomegranate you might ask yourself, “Why would anyone want to eat that?” Granted, it’s not the most appealing fruit to American palettes that prefer large volumes of soft homogenous flesh in their fruit. The inside of a pomegranate contains hundreds of smaller flesh covered seeds and resembles a tumor gone bad rather than a fruit.
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  • A Tonic To Cure You

      On a hot summer’s day one usually thinks of beer to drink. While in America, an ice-cold beer is the summertime beverage of choice, in the rest of the world beer is properly served at a warmer temperature and is less refreshing to those seeking the coldest thing down their gullet. On the other hand, most liquor doesn’t come to mind of being able to quench one’s thirst during a 100-plus degree day. But it can.
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  • Yarrrrrrrr

    Grog is Groovy, but Bumboo’s Better
      The Golden Age of Piracy occurred during a short 15 year span in the early 18th century. From this era we have the stereotype of pirates today worn by millions of children on Halloween. Characters such as “Calico” Jack, Anne Bonny and Blackbeard come from this time and the resurgence of interest in pirates today has a lot to do with the popularity of Hollywood’s depiction of the swashbuckling seas (a few sexy pirate actors helps too).
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  • Michelada

    One more hangover cure for the cabinet
      If you could rank career types in order of their group’s ability to drink I believe journalists would be at the top. And if there is one subgroup of journalists that could drink the most it would be the members of the alternative journalism crowd. For years I have been part of this elite group of miscreants and at this year’s convention held in Little Rock, Arkansas there was little evidence to disprove my theory.
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  • Virtual Drinking

      They are called MMORPs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing games) and the biggest one of all is World of Warcraft that claims over five million online players. Players range in age from seven (as in my own son who I let play on occasion when I'm not hogging the computer) to seniors. Judging by the banter on the live chat portion of the game I would guess the statistical bell curve peaks out in age somewhere in the late teens or early 20s. This means a large number of players are definitely under the legal age of consuming alcohol.
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  • Minty Fresh

      As I wander around my spring garden the irises are in bloom, the poppies are beginning to pop and the mint is, well, taking over everything. And when mint is taking over everything, there's only one thing any sane man should do ... make mojitos.
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  • Absinthe, Part 1

    The myth of the green fairy
      Mention absinthe at a bar in hushed tones to fellow tipplers and you'll get wide eyes and discussions of its mind-altering effects. This spirit, its sales banned for almost a century in the United States and only recently made legal again to produce and sell in parts of Europe, is making a comeback.
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  • The Finest Martini Ever Made

    The legend of the 10-minute Martini
      I have spent hours testing different methods to determine the best martini. Then, I chanced upon a bartender in Boise, Idaho who had made what I consider the perfect martini. And it is neither shaken, nor stirred. It is marinated.
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  • The Starlight Fades

    You can't judge a bar by what's written between the covers
      For years I've been reading about Harry Denton's Starlight Room (formerly and from another era the Starlight Roof) that overlooks Union Square in downtown San Francisco atop the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. The write-ups always describe it as a high-class joint, a tuxedo and gown kind of place with exquisite cocktails and dancing, all with one of the most incredible views of the city from it's 21st floor location.
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  • Snapping up the Schnapps

      The origin of the word "schnapps" is German, and means a clear distillate derived from fermented fruits and grains with no extra sugar added. Basically, it is a form of European moonshine, with the fermented sugars coming from leftover pulp of juiced fruit.
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  • Love Potions

    The myth and reality of arousal
      While there is no doubt that alcohol can be called a very powerful aphrodisiac, its magic comes through a lowering of inhibitions, not stimulation. Unfortunately, the old adage that a "10" could alternatively be a "4" and a six-pack is a lot truer than some of us would like to admit.
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  • I'm getting' Noggin for Christmas

      Eggnog is a staple of the holiday season. From Thanksgiving to Christmas it's in the grocery store dairy section, usually only leaving the shelves as it expires in January. But that isn't real nog. It's not the real McCoy.
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  • Whisky vs. Whiskey

      On any chilly evening, there's nothing more satisfying--if you don't count sharing a sleeping bag for "warmth"--than a slug of whisky. Or are you drinking whiskey, with an 'e'? It depends upon the origin of your bottle, and even then, it may not be so easy to get the spelling right.
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