A while back we got really into a couple new books we picked up on food and drink pairing, and we've really enjoyed how those books have broadened our horizons. If you're looking for a quick online tool that will get you to a similar place, check out Food Pairing - not only do they offer foods with flavor pairings, but you can do the same thing with various and sundry liquors.
From bourbon to tequila and various liquors in between, figure out what's going to taste best whether you're matching up food or trying to impress your friends with spectacular drinks. The American Bourbon chart above is a bit tough to see, but it offers some flavors we would have never thought of, including cinnamon, roses, and popcorn. The closer to the center, the better the pairing, so keep that in mind as you're using it, and go nuts! (Preferably roasted peanuts with bourbon, apparently).
Well, you can say what you want about us, but you can never say we backed down from a challenge. For those of you who have no freakin' clue what we're talking about, we here in the Liquor Snob offices made a vow when we first heard about the Pickle Back that if our readers wanted us to try them, we'd do it on St. Patrick's Day. For the record, we found the entire idea to be obscene, but the emails and Facebook messages we received convinced us we should think otherwise. Then, when we read the pickle juice in a Pickle Back can help avoid a hangover, we were all in.
Those of you who think were were just going to toss back a single shot of whiskey with whatever dill juice was lying around our fridge, however, are sorely mistaken. When we say we're going to do something, we do it, so we made an event out of it. We decided to find a Pickle Back winner among four different contenders - pickled egg brine, half sour brine, kosher dill brine, and the crap floating around in a pickled beet jar. Our findings are below, and while we aren't going to put this into our everyday drinking regimen, we have to admit people are on to something...if you find the right pickle juice.
Oh, and you might notice something odd about our pictured shot glasses - we decided to break out our Quaffers to cut down on the possibility of carpal tunnel from doing so many shot/chaser combos in a 10 minute period. And now, on to the show:
As you know, tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, one of the biggest amateur hour drinking nights of the year. It's when the folks who only trot out their binge drinking on big holidays head out to the bars, put on a stupid hat, and pretend to be Irish. These folks aren't worthy to shine Shane MacGowan's tooth, but that doesn't mean we want them to feel sicky-poo from green beer on Thursday morning.
We know St Patrick's is mid-week this year, but all the same we put together a digest of our favorite advice for how to beat a hangover.
Before You Drink
Eat: Eat something that has vitamin B and C such as fruit. If you are going to an after hour party, you should eat early dinner before you go to the party or eat while you drink. The fructose in foods will help absorb alcohol.
Don't mix it up: Make it a beer night, or a wine night, or a vodka night, but don't make it an "anything goes" night. For one thing, you'll end up drinking too much. But let's face it; most drinks don't mix too well with each other. Your body is going to have a hard enough time handling that rum without you throwing in some gin.
Keep a large bottle of water by the bed you're crashing/sleeping on. When you'll wake up during the night or in the morning, you will be craving for water, but the headaches or someone throwing up in the bathroom will keep you from getting up or walking to get your water. Water by the bed is comfortable and makes the morning a lot more pleasant.
Before Bed: Take two aspirin with a full glass of water - The prostaglandin inhibitors in the aspirin can decrease hangover severity. In the Morning:
Take two more aspirin with a full glass of water - This has been shown to minimize headaches as well as decrease inflammation from leftover prostaglandin. Take (a) multivitamin: Replenishing C and B vitamins in particular can help get rid of the rest of the toxins.
That's right, we quoted ourselves - what're you going to do? It's our blog. And we know you'll forget most of this advice by the time you're in the trenches with food dyed miller lite (the most Irish of all drinks) but if you lay the groundwork before you go out you should be able to at least avoid yuking on your boss's shoes. Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Do you want to learn more about whisky? Of course, we all do. That's why Mark Gillespie's WhiskyCast is great. You can listen to it while you do other things - work, brush your teeth, or drink whisky, for example. And now, you don't have to be tethered to your stupid computer to do it - with the introduction of the WhiskyCast iPhone app.
In addition to Gillespie's tasting notes, the WhiskyCast app will let listeners access the four most-recent episodes directly from their iPhone or iTouch without the need to download and sync their player to a computer. The application was developed by JacApps, a division of Jacobs Media, which has built similar applications for numerous radio stations and has a unique knack for programming iPhones to play streaming live audio.
When was the last time you thought about taking a drink? If you're thirsty, you reach out and take the glass, and you put it to your lips. But what if drinking didn't come that easily? What if taking a shot or sipping a beer took a whole lot more planning? We recently found this article where a young woman with quadriplegia explains how she goes about taking a shot. It's eye-opening, the heroic measures it can take to get a simple buzz, and we thought it was cool enough to share.
First, make sure the bartender doesn't fill up the shot glass right at the brim. Second, you have to make the big decision: Should I use my mouth, or spend about 3 minutes trying to pick it up with my limp hand and try to precariously hold it? (I guess it depends what kind of a rush you're in to start drinking). Usually, since I think it looks AWESOME, I like to use my mouth. Pick it up tightly with your lips, use the back of your hand to balance it, and throw your head back and drink.
[via Disaboom] Well done, Tiffiny. And for those of you out there who think that doesn't sound too tough, we recommend you try the exercise in the following video to put things in perspective.
We wish we could be linking to Rumdood under better circumstances, we really do, because he knows a ton about his namesake. We're linking to him now because he has put together some really nice resources for readers who want to help Haitians in the aftermath of the earthquake, but who aren't sure how. We've already donated our $10 to the Red Cross by texting "HAITI" to 90999 - he had some other great ideas too.
There's not much we can say right now so we're planning to put our money where our mouths are.
Tis the season for temporary self-betterment, or in the parlance of our time...New Year's Resolutions. We know a lot of people who make them, but we don't know too many who actually stick to them. A lot of resolutions, at least in our circle of friends, have to do with drinking (mostly along the lines of "As God is my witness, alcohol will never pass these lips again" on New Year's Day...until they're at the bar for the hair of the dog).
We're a bit late with this (shocking we know) but we've put together a list of manageable ways to stick to your resolutions this year...assuming you've even made it this far. Check out our tips for turning over a new leaf without breaking a sweat below.
Don't Make Any Resolutions at All: This is our usual tactic. Why? Because we're damn near perfect as it is, and we don't want to make the gods angry.
Don't Be Afraid to Caveat: The addition of exceptions make your resolutions much more flexible and workable. "I'm going to stop drinking" makes you a stick in the mud. "I'm going to stop drinking...more than 18 beers...during the week...unless chicken wings are involved" makes you a paragon of flexibility.
Support Your Friends: Did your buddy make a resolution to go to the gym every day, and actually do it? Show up at his house with three pizzas and a beer ball to celebrate his willpower. When he politely refuses because he's trying to lose weight (or whatever), he'll still let you stay to eat your pizza and drink your beer while watching his giant flat screen television. If he doesn't, gently remind him that next year's resolution should be to "not be a dick."
Set Reasonable Expectations: It's really easy to quit something you don't do very often, or at all. Tell your friends you're going to stop trying to invade Australia when you play Risk. Or that you're going to stop cutting your toenails in their kitchen sink. Alternately, tell them you're going to stop buying them rounds and see how long they support that.
Have any other ideas for how to create and stick to your half-assed resolutions? Let us know in the comments below.
If you're anything like us, the word "webcast" makes you want to head for the hills. As cubicle- and office-dwellers for the last decade or so, we've been to our share of these things, and they're usually relatively dry affairs, and by "dry" we mean there's no booze. Not so the one we've been invited to next week - there will be, and that booze will be scotch. It will be scotch, in fact, that comes out of this box:
The affair in question, with the jaw-busting title of "Johnnie Walker Black Label Centenary Journeyman Blending Webcast with Master Blender Andrew Ford," is entirely about blending scotch, not sitting around drinking it. But guess what you do with scotch after it's blended? That's right! Fedex dropped off our blending kit today, and we're not usually ones for unboxing posts and booze porn (y'know, like food porn but with liquor) we just had to share what we got. More pics after the jump.
Great! Just what we need is another iPhone app aimed at getting us drunk. We realize that might come across sounding sarcastic, but we really mean it. There aren't enough electronic ways to get us drunk. The latest is the Drinkspiration from Absolut - 400 drink recipes, and no...they're not all for vodka-based drinks.
Try vodka, gin, rum, brandy, whisky, and tequila-based cocktail recipes, depending on your mood, location, popularity, color, and time of day. We like the GPS function too, where you can check out what people are drinking based on location...a little big-brothery but why wouldn't you want to share what you're drinking?
Check out the video below, and download the app at iTunes.