January 1, 2006
Well, another new year has come, and another New Year's celebration has come and gone. If you're feeling anything remotely similar to how we're feeling right now, you're probably looking for hangover cures. Also, if you're feeling the way we are, the last thing you probably need to see is a cobra pickled in a bottle of whiskey. Well, we're feeling hung over and surly, and we found one for you anyway. Happy freakin' new year.
December 28, 2005
Face it...some day you're going to have to polish off a large amount of vodka in one sitting. Maybe you move to Poland for work. Maybe you're challenged to a drinking contest by a large Eastern European man. Maybe you're having lunch with Ted Kennedy. Whatever the situation, read on to find out how to avoid getting too drunk as you pickle your liver on Crankshaft ...just in time for New Year's!
Continue reading: "Drink Vodka Like a Russian"
December 26, 2005
We haven't updated the site in a little while, so you may be wondering where we've been. No, we weren't on a bender or in the drunk tank, but it has been a crazy few days. Our Internet connectivity went POOF on Thursday, and since we'd let all the interns go home on furlough for Christmas, we haven't been able to make any updates. We've wandered through the snow for days like Yukon Cornelius, searching for Internet, and we've finally found it. It's a Day-After-Christmas Miracle!
We hope all of our readers had a joyous holiday season, and we'll hopefully be back to updating the site with some regularity. We got our hands on some excellent toys over Christmas, from a Beer Belly to a batch of Shotgun 2.0 keys to a Bottle Blaster, along with a few other surprises, and we'll do full reviews in the coming days. Thanks for reading, and we look forward to driving you to drink in the new year!
December 16, 2005
Drinking. Smoking. Screwing. We don't smoke anymore, and none of us are exactly Casanovas or Lotharios, but...don't be shocked here...we do enjoy a tipple every now and again. That's why we love this book. Instead of vilifying folks who like to take a drink, it's all about "a martini before and a cigarette after," if you know what we mean. It includes stories by Bukowski and Buchwald, Mencken and Miller, Thurber and Twain, and a bunch more besides. And there's useful information in there too...from how to survive an office holiday party, to the etymology of the cocktail to the joys and dangers of the Green Death (and no, it's not absinthe).
Whether you're shopping for a loved one's vices, or want to exercise a few of your own, this book is worth picking up. You can buy it at Amazonfor $11, but you'd better act fast because they're running low on stock.
November 24, 2005
Our favorite time of year has finally arrived. Welcome to those precious few months where you can stuff yourself with food and drown yourself in drink and no one will even bat an eye. But remember - if you're driving, don't drink, and if you're drinking, don't drive.
Of course, if you're staying put this year, there's still time to turn today into Wild Turkey Day...
November 20, 2005
Title: Whiskey: The Definitive World Guide
Author: Michael Jackson (not that Michael Jackson)
Hardcover, 336 pages
Typical Price: $40, but currently available at Amazon for $26 - Buy It Now
There's a whole big world of whiskey out there, and it can be overwhelming for the novice or intermediate drinker to choose among the different varieties. Will I like scotch, bourbon, rye, Canadian, or Irish whiskey? And among those, what brand should I buy?
We picked up Michael Jackson's book a couple weeks ago, and we've been flipping through it a lot lately. It's got tons of information on the history of the liquor and information about the different types by region, plus it offers tasting notes on the major brands of each region. As we learned from the Instant Expert's Guide to Single Malt, whiskey is a very subjective experience and one man's favorite drink is another man's toilet water. But it is nice to be armed with some comparisons when you do your own tastings.
From the Amazon product description:
The occasional tippler may be intimidated by all the nuances of fine whiskey; after all, there are just so many variables to consider. What is the local climate and geography of the distillery? What the kind of grain is used, and how is it prepared for fermenting? What is the shape of the still? What kind of oak is used for the cask, and how long is the whiskey aged? Jackson's collection of essays and photographs will teach newbies how to answer all of these questions, but it will gratify the most obsessive enthusiasts as well. Every step of the process gets its own explanation, and there are even essays on food pairings and cocktail recipes. The bulk of the book, however, is taken up by an almost encyclopedic compendium of distilleries from all over the planet, including Germany and Japan. Individually, each section is informative; but taken together, the sheer amount of information may make novices feel overwhelmed. This is not to suggest that Jackson's "definitive world guide" is to be avoided. Rather, like the drink it celebrates, it's best in small doses. So here's what you do: buy a bottle of your favorite scotch, rye or bourbon, and another bottle of one that intrigues you. Read about each distillery, then check out Jackson's brief and informative section "How to Nose and Taste." Then pour two fingers in a highball glass, put on some relaxing music, and enjoy the spirit of the spirit.
This is a nice, big hefty book that will look great on the coffee table of any whiskey enthusiast, and we know we like to take it down and thumb through it before our trips to the liquor store. We thought it was a good deal for less than $30 at Amazon too, and we recommend that any whiskey drinker who wants to know more about the intricacies of the beverage buy a copy
(or at least receive it as a gift, hint hint).
November 11, 2005
...But you're all drinking responsibly, right? Yeah, we didn't think so...
A couple weeks ago, we did some scientific research on how to beat a hangover. While it had lots of excellent advice and included scientific terms like "vasopressin" and "congeners," we realize that we didn't give you the information you need to truly beat a hangover.
For one thing, we didn't include a control group that was forced to lift weights and solve Japanese puzzles. For another, we obviously tested the wrong hangover remedies. Luckily, humorist David Nelson took one for the team and has come up with a full-on hangover remedy guide that will help you find the cure that will bring you physical, mental and social acuity, including cabbage, coffee and voodoo. We can't tell you what the most scientifical hangover cure was, but we decided to share our favorite moment from the experimentation.
Here's something you probably didn't know about beating a hangover by eating cabbage:
Bottom Line: I swear to god, I don't even really like cabbage, but I think it did clear my head a little bit. However, the trade off is not worth it. Between the liquor working its way out of my system, the pizza I had the previous night, and the cabbage, I didn't move my bowels, they moved me.
Read the full experiment at Points In Case
October 20, 2005
The Instant Expert's Guide to Single Malt Scotch
Vital Stats: 68 Pages of information on single malt scotch, from malted barley to mouth
Author: Kevin Erskine
Publisher: Doceon Press
Typical Price: $8.95 at Amazon
Initial Thoughts: When it comes to the world of scotch, we've always been on the outside looking in. Because of our scotch inexperience we never felt confident enough to go out and buy a bottle of the good stuff, and because we weren't confident we remained inexperienced. That's not to say we didn't enjoy a nice glass every once in a while, on a recommendation or a whim, but single malt scotch wasn't something we were comfortable buying.
That's why we read Kevin Erskine's book from cover to cover the moment it arrived in our mailbox. It's a slim book, but chock full of all kinds of information, including things you would expect like whisky basics to how and where scotch is made. The book is filled to the rim with interesting facts we'd never encountered before about the origins of scotch, and a discussion of distilleries by region. One of our favorite pieces of trivia was about the symbiotic relationship between scotch and bourbon (here's a hint: it has something to do with the barrels they're aged in).
Continue reading: "Instant Expert's Guide to Single Malt Scotch Review"
October 15, 2005
Learn how to avoid a hangover, and what to do to feel better if you're already hung over.
There are very few things that are worse than a hangover. It's hard to tell which is more debilitating, the headache or the nausea. You keep asking yourself "How could I feel so good last night, and be so miserable this morning?" The best way to avoid a hangover is, obviously, to avoid drinking or drink responsibly, but some days that doesn't seem to be an option. Believe us, we know how you feel after last night's Screech rum debacle.
To help you (and us) through the battle with hangover demons, we found information at howstuffworks.com about what you can do before, during and after drinking to minimize the hangover impact. There were nine or ten pages of scientific gobbledygook about things like "vasopressin" and "congeners," but we were too hung over to read them so we just skipped to the overview.
Continue reading: "How To Beat The Hangover Blues"