Archive for January, 2012

Cocktail Corner: Daiquiri

January 19, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s a story I’ve told many times, but I suppose it’s worth telling again; the reason why I decided to abstain from drinking rum for the past five years is because of a single instance in which a series of rum and Cokes one night nearly made me keep my promise of swearing off drinking for life. It was only recently that I bit the bullet and added a bottle of dark rum to my mini-bar. I now have a new appreciation for this tropical spirit though. It’s more versatile than I ever realized, certainly more so than tequila. There’s also a number of classic, history-filled drinks that use rum as its base. One of those drinks is the daiquiri, a cocktail that has interesting 100+ year old Caribbean origins.

The original daiquiri is really just a rum gimlet.


2 parts light rum
1/2 part lime juice
Dash of Simple Syrup
Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled martini or margarita glass.

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Adventures in Home Brewing: Making an ESB

January 16, 2012 3 comments

Your humble narrator brewing beer with a smile.

Yesterday, just days before the birthday of my lovely wife, I decided to try and brew a take on one of her favorite styles – the ESB (extra special bitter). Despite receiving a brewing kit for my own birthday some five months ago, I still had not put my own equipment to use. So my plan was to invite over the fine folks of the Bartlesville Beer Club to help brew the first beer ever created at the Barlass house. Little did I know, before we began, that the day’s festivities would turn into a plastic melting, propane exploding, home brewing adventure.

Before I go into the gritty details of yesterday’s less than smooth brewing experience, I figured I would share a little knowledge about the somewhat obscure beer style known as the ESB. The term extra special bitter was actually an invention used by the historic Fuller’s Brewery out of London. Fuller’s ESB, introduced in 1969, was just a stronger spin on the typical English bitter. A bitter style beer is more or less a British term for what we here in the States call a pale ale. The funny thing is that compared to modern brewing trends in America, the bitter is really not very bitter at all. Instead, bitters or pale ales tend to be more malty than hoppy.
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Cocktail Corner: Dry Martini

January 11, 2012 Leave a comment

The martini is both one of the most popular cocktails of our time and also one of the least understood. There are a number of variations on the original martini (which interestingly enough was made with sweet vermouth), from fruity adaptations to briny vegetable concoctions. Today though, I’m going to talk about the currently more famous dry martini. The recipe that I’ve provided below is my personal take on the dry martini. Though some martini enthusiasts may be offended by my liberal use of vermouth, the truth is that a martini is not a martini without vermouth.

A crystal clear martini wading in the glass that bears its name.

Dry Martini

3 parts gin
1 part vermouth
In an ice filled shaker add gin and vermouth and stir. Strain the mixture into a martini glass. Garnish with olives and a lemon twist. For a dirty martini add a small bit of olive juice to the mixture.

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Creating a Peppermint Porter

January 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Yesterday, for the first time since late summer, I helped partake in the brewing of a beer. You tend to forget how amazing the sweet aroma of malted barley cooking on an open fire really is until you’re able to enjoy it in a small brewroom filled with the astringent fumes of carbon monoxide. The beer that the BBC (Bartlesville Beer Club), decided to put into action yesterday was a McClung family recipe that featured the odd pairing of porter beer and peppermint. The general consensus, before the beer was sealed up to go through the ravages of fermentation, was that the peppermint porter had a pretty awesome tasting wort. It will be a month or so before the fruit of our labor will be ready for consumption, but the excitement is palpable.

Truth be told, this stuff is mainly just alcohol.

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Cocktail Corner: Jack Rose

January 6, 2012 Leave a comment

My thriving fascination with mixing drinks is a fairly recent obsession. On a whim one day I purchased a cocktail shaker. Though my attentions were to create a classy mini-bar for my newly rented house, it ended up setting dormant in the cupboard for some time. That little black plastic shaker gave me an itch though. Knowing that it was setting, never before used, in my kitchen cabinet; I now had motivation to add more liquors and liqueurs to my collection, which at the time consisted of nothing more than a lonely bottle of Jameson. Soon my ambitious attitude turned into an obsession to have a mini-bar that was just as well stocked as any bar in town. Along the way, I purchased a unique cocktail recipe book and scoured the internet for interesting concoctions that I could mix for my wife, my house guests and myself. So now I’m going to use the Cocktail Corner section of this site to provide these recipes, and their back stories, to my thirsty readers.

Jack Rose

Everything you need to make the perfect Jack Rose

Jack Rose
2 parts applejack

1 part lime juice
1/2 part grenadine
Shake with ice and serve neat in a martini glass. Garnish with a cherry, a lime slice or even an apple slice.

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