Archive for June, 2011

I’ve thrown a couple of cocktail parties based off of a story I heard about FDR during WWII. I was watching the News Hour, and Doris Kearns Goodwin was on as a commentator discussing Iraq and President Bush and whether or not he had cleared enough brush at Camp David – or something to that effect. She brought up FDR and said that one quality that made FDR so great was his ability to detach himself from the situation, and come back to it refreshed. As the story goes, in the middle of WWII he had all his advisers move in to the White House and for one hour every evening they would convene in the parlor and have themselves a drink. The only rule was that they couldn’t talk about the war. I can’t be certain, but I could swear that Goodwin said that even Churchill for a time lived in the White House as well. When I lived in Davis I tried organizing what I thought a modern version of that would be. They were pretty successful as a way to break up the week.

Here are the rules:

  1. no beer or wine
  2. no blended drinks
  3. no shots
  4. no getting belligerent
  5. please bring a friend
  6. please bring a bottle of something
  7. and the main rule to honor the tradition was that you couldn’t talk about what tied you with another person there. For example, if you were classmates, you couldn’t discuss the class you were taking together. If you worked together, you could not talk about work.

As for the reasoning behind the other rules, no beer and wine  simply because it’s a cocktail party, do you really want to be that guy? Go have a kegger, or have your own wine and cheese thing. Blended drinks just made conversation more difficult. Shots and getting belligerent are just uncouth. Friends are always nice, but not having to supply all the booze is nicer. The last rule was the most important, and the hardest to enforce. But after it was explained, most people tried to honor it.

For further reading on FDR and drinks, Modern Drunkard has a lovely story.

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Perhaps too long to add to my Bartlett’s,  but a great argument for why serious bartenders and home enthusiasts should consider experimenting.

“The subject of sherry actually has a great relevance to the barrel ageing debate. Oloroso sherry is a marriage of wine and spirit that is aged in cask – in fact the same ingredients (in principle) that are used to make a Martinez or a Manhattan – spirit, wine and bitters. On that basis, I think it’s hard to dismiss the very concept of barrel-ageing cocktails, as some do, when the same theory applies to such great effect in the production of sherries? ”

~Tristan Stephenson




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  1. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
  2. The Dodos – No Color
  3. James Blake – James Blake
  4. Explosions in the Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
  5. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
  6. Jill Scott – The Light Of The Sun
  7. Destroyer – Kaputt
  8. The Weeknd – The Weeknd
  9. James Carter – Caribbean Rhapsody
  10. TV On The Radio – Nine Types of Light
  11. Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde

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“Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.”

~Will Rogers


I had heard this one before, but recently saw Jon Stewart quote it during his recent appearance on Fox News Sunday.


Please FOX, don’t have them take down the video.

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Olly Moss

Awesome new artist!

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Reggie Watts

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