Bob Thompson: He Made Music to Sip Martinis By

To embrace the swinging bachelor lifestyle touted in Playboy magazine in the late 1950s and early ’60s, you needed a few accessories to set a properly free-spirited, licentious ambiance. They included a cocktail shaker, a turtleneck to wear inside your button-down shirt and the just-invented Lutron dimmer switch to turn the lights down low. You also needed some records that would show off the utter aural magnificence of your top-of-the-line hi-fi, and that’s where arranger, composer and bandleader Bob Thompson came …

Warm Holiday Drinks

It’s late December, the kids are on their best behavior and Old Man Winter has been camped outside for a few days. It’s also a time when family get-togethers can have you stressed out, your bones are chilled to the marrow and a beverage offering a bigger kick than coffee is really what you need to make all right with the world. What better way to relax than with a winter themed drink? Mulled wine is one of the easiest …

A Thanksgiving Honeymoon

When it comes to cocktails,  I see major chain restaurants mixed drinks  (Chili’s, TGIFriday’s, etc.) as the liquor equivalent of department stores around this time of year. We’ve just past Thanksgiving and are entering the Holiday season, but in department stores the lights, ornaments and holiday baubles have been on the shelves since before Halloween. The stores choose to focus on the “big” Holiday rather than allowing customers to enjoy whatever holiday is coming up. It doesn’t seem like they …

Warm Things Up with a Hot Toddy!

We had some chilly weather over this past weekend and it got me ready for those great warm cocktails that shake the chill from your bones. The great thing about warm drinks are their versatility. When it comes to serving up a warm beverage, only your own imagination and ingredients on hand can hold you back. The most recognizable hot beverage is the hot toddy. I think just about every has, or at least knows of, a recipe for the …

A Little Winter Spice

Some of the flavors that I tend to associate with cold weather drinking are those that I associate with baking. In fact I call these flavors “baking spices.” What I’m referring to are the common flavors of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. While these flavors can and are used year-round, there is just something about the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg coming from the kitchen when the weather is frosty and snow is on the horizon. One of my favorite sources …

Time for a Little Hanky Panky (The Cocktail, That Is)

We’ve already talked about making a proper Martini and if you’ve read that article, the recipe in today’s article will look familiar. The Hanky Panky is almost identical to a martini made with sweet vermouth but with the addition of one extra ingredient. While the martini has its own history, the Hanky Panky also has its own fantastic tale. One of the United State’s biggest losses during Prohibition was of bar men. And please note, I’m not being sexist when …