Posted by Jeff Burkhart on December 2, 2013
CLASSIC COCKTAILS are a national craze, and the 80th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition (Dec. 5) is garnishing history like a candied cherry.
Read more at: American Way magazine
Posted by Jeff Burkhart on November 7, 2013
Etiquette for the civilized drinker, and some other thoughts…
Tuesday November 19
7 PM Free
Terrapin Crossroads San Rafael
100 Yacht Club Drive
The Marin IJ’s popular Barfly columnist Jeff Burkhart, will give his take on
cocktails, culture and class, including selected readings from his new book,
Twenty Years Behind Bars, the spirited adventures of a real bartender
Bring your copy for him to sign or purchase copies at the event.
Be there or beware, what you learn could keep you out of his next column!
“Have you checked out [insert hipster bar name here]?” asked an old friend stopping by for a late night drink.
“I have not,” I said, noting that working all night shifts doesn’t often allow for much nighttime carousing. Early morning carousing perhaps, but then that is a different story entirely.
“What did you think?” I asked.
“They are really into what they are doing,” she said.
German psychologist Erich Fromm argued that there were essentially two types of freedom; the freedom from making decisions; and the freedom to make decisions. A thought that occurred to me sometime after the two women approached the bar at almost precisely the same moment.
SHE CAME AT me directly out of the late afternoon sun. With the sun higher in the heavens our little below world gets illuminated in very unusual places. It was as if her head was a fiery ball of reddish cotton candy and her face a mere shadow. Because of the angle of the sun I couldn’t tell if she was 24 years old or 84 years old.
IT WAS AS ordinary as any ordinary night in the bar business could be. Shakespeare might have made much ado about nothing in his famous “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” but I fear the Bard would have been bored to death with the reality of that Wednesday night — two late-40-something women too gussied for a weekday night and one lone liquor rep.
HOSPITABLE IS the word that defines the bar business. Hospitality industry, we have all heard it. The word hospitable itself is easy enough to define: Friendly and welcoming to strangers or guests.
It was with this idea in mind as I approached the couple hovering two or three paces behind where people normally hover when they want to order drinks.
I GLANCED UP from my conversation, subtly, and then made my excuses before heading down the bar. It wasn’t that I had one thing in particular to do, more like a few particulars.
I call it the pub crawl, and unlike a boozy self-indulgent trip involving every bar in a given area, a bartender’s version involves a slow wander down a particular bar — without personal beverages — to make sure everyone is enjoying himself or herself. On my slow wander I passed a couple engaged in conversation.
Posted by Jeff Burkhart on September 25, 2013
The celebration and later commemorations of Ludwig I’s 1810 wedding (then as Crown Prince) are now known as the beer festival named Oktoberfest (this year running from Sept. 21 to Oct. 6)
However in 1844 Ludwig faced rioting over a tax, ironically also on beer
Story by Friedrich Engels, reporter (later co-author of the Communist Manifesto with Karl Marx in 1848)
May 18, 1844 issue of the Chartist weekly The Northern Star,
THE BAVARIAN beer is the most celebrated of all kinds of this drink brewed in Germany, and, of course, the Bavarians are much addicted to its consumption in rather large quantities. The government laid a new duty of about 100s ad valorem on beer, and in consequence of this an outbreak occurred, which lasted more than four days. The working men assembled in large masses, paraded through the streets, assailed the public houses, smashing the windows, breaking the furniture, and destroying everything in their reach, in order to take revenge for the enhanced price of their favourite drink.
Posted by Jeff Burkhart on September 2, 2013
Vote for the Kali Ma Vindaloo Bloody Mary in Absolut vodka contest!