Most recently published stories in Proof.
Say Hello To Verdejo
Wine cocktails can actually be a very sexy thing, once we take wine coolers out of the equation. When it comes to white wine in cocktails, most of the time the wine used is whatever is available. Next time you are mixing up a cocktail that requires some white vino try wine from Spain.
After 500 Years, Rum Makes A Comeback
Rum's present popularity in America dates back to 1493, when Columbus returned to the new world with cuttings of sugarcane, which were planted in what are now Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica, and Haiti. When the technique of distillation was introduced to the Caribbean islands in the 17th century, the thick, syrupy molasses that is the by-product of converting cane into crystallized sugar was fermented to produce alcohol, and the resulting mash was distilled into rum.
Do Bloody Marys Really Cure Hangovers?
"I pray thee let me and my fellow have A hair of the dog that bit us last night— And bitten were we both to the brain aright. We saw each other drunk in the good ale glass." —John Heywood, 1546
Learning to Enjoy Wine
Wine takes on a delicate, sensual character the moment the bottle is uncorked, and if you have a sharp sense of taste and smell, it will help you become a good judge. In time, you will find out how certain foods can distort the taste of wine while others blend together perfectly.
Whiskey: A Guide and History
Long before the Bloody Mary, the Screwdriver, the Martini, the Margarita, and the Daiquiri appeared on the scene, alcohol lovers were drinking Mint Juleps, Sazeracs, Old Fashioneds, and Manhattans—all of which shared one common ingredient: whiskey. Even today, when so many new cocktails are based on vodka, rum, or tequila, such classics as the Whiskey Sour are shaken and poured from coast to coast. Whiskey remains a constant favorite.
Drinking as Literature
Just joined and will likely be posting mostly book reviews and excerpts from my books. So here is a short story from my newest book. My bio and media links follow.
All About Liqueurs
Liqueurs, those sweet after-dinner drinks, are available in a remarkable range of flavors, including apricot, mint, peach, cherry, coffee, and orange. Proprietary brands, whose exact formulations are closely guarded secrets, are more subtle in flavor and offer more complex tastes. Nevertheless, each has a dominant flavor that defines its particular personality and appeal, which also makes it a useful and intriguing ingredient in mixed drinks.
Is Your Bartender Actually Into You?
Pull up your barstool if you’ve ever been stumped by that age-old question: is the girl or guy tending the bar actually flirting with me, or simply trying to lock in a good tip? Maybe she is just being nice and polite. Maybe those looks he’s giving me aren’t suggestive and I’m totally imagining things. Maybe I should stop smiling so much before I get caught by my wife/partner/best friend who I secretly quite like but haven’t found the perfect moment to say so yet. We feel your pain. And the good news for all those who joined us at the bar is we are here to help. Take a few hearty gulps of our free advice and you’ll soon know for sure if your bartender is actually into you.
How to Throw a Great Wine Party
To most people, the thought of throwing a wine party is both terrifying and impossible; doing it well—or at all—is daunting at best. But armed with these few simple tips, anyone can successfully execute a fun, engaging wine party.
Vodka, the Versatile
Although true connoisseurs of vodka can distinguish between different brands by their aroma, weight and texture, most consumers merely enjoy it for its clean taste and smooth, silky character. Vodka is also noted for its refreshing bite, which makes it a good partner to oily and smoked foods, like caviar and smoked salmon.
How to Treat a Hangover
It hits you like a ton of bricks. Before you’re even fully awake, you hear the alarms in your head going off “YOU DRANK TOO MUCH, YOU DRANK TOO MUCH, DO NOT OPEN YOUR EYES.” Thoughts of regret and shame come to mind, usually followed by a promise to never drink again (yeah, right). Once you get past the self-loathing, brain pounding, and stomach swirling, it seems your only mission in life is to find a way to feel better. Look no further, you are a now a student of Hangover Cures 101: covering prevention, common remedies and some gross ones as well.
Things You Should Never Do In A Bar
Nights tearing up the town when you are young, single (that means anything but married) and not truly adulting is a glorious, fleeting phase. The rules of behavior and common decency at a bar were mere guidelines for conduct, or standards to work towards. After all, you are new to booze, or at least the bar scene. In your young 20s a “night” out often lasted until the wee AM hours, sometimes right up until you had to roll into your first class the following day. You could make out, hook up, excrete bodily fluids in public, strip, throw a punch, whatever. And all of these things were done on a somewhat judgement-free (or quickly forgotten) basis. Any indiscretion, insult or basically any A-Hole-ish behavior could be blamed on adolescence. Ahhh, those were the days.