After a night of binging with their bosses Japanese businessmen neck down genki energy drinks to prevent futsukayoi, the ‘two-day drunk’. Found at local convenience stores these tiny potions contain essential amino acids like Isoleucine as well as B and C vitamins. Barring genki, a salty bowl of miso may do the trick.
One day I’d like to wander the streets of Kyoto hammering my brains out on sake and shochu. I imagine getting so blind wasted that I’d be talked into that one dreaded pastime our nations share – the uncomfortable, slurred, drunken mess of a horror show that is karaoke.
Finally, after my boozed and belligerent quest was over, I would awake somewhere strange. With the shame of my destructive mini-Kaiju night slowly sinking in I’d open my eyes to find myself atop the highest reaches and the howling terror of ‘Monkey Mountain’!!!
Now imagine a lot of bacon, browned butter, three kinds of chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla and more all baked into rich, decadent chocolate chip cookies! That’ll get you to the moon and back. Understandably you’ll get thirsty on your trip. There are no cops in space so you should take wine. I took the 2004 Rocky Creek Cabernet Sauvignon on my voyage and I would do it again if I could only find another bottle…
The Rocky Creek is a large strawberry jam punch to the nose. The charming astringent qualities that follow remind me of my sister’s nail polish remover, which always left quite an impression. As a lawn-mowing kid I learned to love the smell of gasoline. I thought it was a sign of mental illness at the time but I’ve grown to embrace it, and thank the Seven, ’cause this wine is the raddist!
Dark, sour cherries also play a role here but the primary experience this wine offers is a hefty spoon of strawberry jam right down the length of your tongue.
My mother made those cookies and they were phenomenal. The chocolate and bacon created a sort of toffee nut experience that played off the wine perfectly. A true treat!
Music is my life. It’s my identity and is responsible for virtually every friend I have. Mike Weller and I are the founding members of A Crowd of Small Adventures. The past five years have seen us hurtling forward, bound together in some death struggle tipping over tables and knocking glasses off counters in the vast and glorious halls of space and time. We are the Lewis and Clark expedition with slightly less venereal disease and we are friends.
Mike and I share a certain inquisitive nature. Both being songwriters and tinkerers of a sort. His latest project was homemade ginger ale and a proposal was made to fix a cocktail using his delicious brew. A few shakes of bitters and ten pulverized grapes later and we enjoyed one of the best cocktails I’ve ever had. Be it music or drinks, Mike Weller makes the things I do better.
Bitter Grape Recipe:
4.5 oz. Vodka
4.5 oz. Ginger Ale
4 Shakes Angostura Bitters
Muddle 5 grapes in each chilled glass. Squeeze 1.5 fresh limes, shake with vodka and bitters, strain into glasses. Add ginger ale. Garnish with a slice of lime.
It’s a thoughtful yet refreshing drink for the summer. Enjoy with a friend!
Finally, the wait is over! The IPA Brittany Cole and I set out to brew a few weeks ago is complete and we have enjoyed the fruits of our labor. I am in possession of eighteen 12 oz. bottles and two 22 oz. bottles of our Lovecraft Ale and it gladdens me to report on its quality.
When setting out on this project I maintained that it was about the journey – an experience of learning and friendship building. If in the end we had constructed a brew worthy of our mutual respect for alcohol than it would be a bonus. Basically I was afraid we would make a crummy beer so I safeguarded myself against it. This is how I live my life. Never comfortable creating, always nervous until the project is finished, be it music or martinis. But once again my fears were dashed by the presence of a knowledgeable peer. For the greatest creative endeavors are collaborative and I have great friends!
On the nose Lovecraft Ale has slight nut and honey notes. Almond skin and orange rind meet you on tasting followed by pine nut. If these elements seem abrasive or too angular I can tell you they are wonderfully smooth and refreshing with fruit on a scorching summer afternoon. It’s a well balanced yet unchallenging beer built for enjoyment.
A final note on my brewing experience with Brittany Cole: In home brewing not only is there the possibility of completely unique and charming creations, there is the guarantee of high yields of beer. I gifted my father a six-er and I still have more cold ones than I can drink in a week. And that’s saying something.
I have many fond memories of drinking beer with Brittany Cole over the past five years. These were tiny moments but they stuck with me. While seemingly everyone else was quaffing cheap, tasteless beer (a practice I still enjoy and encourage) Brittany was unique. To the many concerts and house shows we attended she brought large craft beers. And better yet, she would share! This was around the time that I was developing my own interest in quality alcohol. Still a few years away from my true love of wine and fixed drinks she helped plant a seed in my mind. Quality drinking, and more importantly, doing so to build friendships and to share knowledge has become one of the most rewarding aspects of my life.
Recently I was educated in the process of beer making and again I find myself indebted to the lovely Brittany Cole. After she gifted me a guidebook, a brief brainstorming meeting, and a trip to Vegas Homebrew for supplies and some helpful advice from Steve, we were ready to brew our hop bomb of an IPA!
Here are a few photos that capture a small portion of our beer making process:
Removing the grains from the wort.
Brittany quickly cools the wort in an ice bath, preparing it for the yeast.
Brittany checks the original gravity, giving us a rough guess at final alcohol content. It's high!!!
Wort is added to carboy, then yeast. Jackson mixes it all together!
Fermentation lock in place. Carboy is resting in cool water to control temperature. Now we wait...
For now Brittany and I must endure the near unbearable wait for the crucial beer making process of fermentation! I will have an update in a week or so once the bottling has been completed then a final piece once our IPA is ready for tasting. Until then we must wait…
I came across this short film a day or two ago and fell in love. I’ve tried a few of these techniques over the years but once the bottleneck breaks in your hand you really have to decide if the risk of drinking shattered glass is worth it. All the same, It’s a wonderful and fun film!
Pickled hot carrots are a simple pleasure. A refreshing treat found at most taquerias and a great snack with a chilly beer in the summertime. On a whim I decided to whip up a batch.
My errands consisted of nabbing the ingredients from Sunflower and tacos at Las Famosas de Jose on the return voyage. A pretty standard day that ended with my house smelling, not unpleasantly, of vinegar and onion.
After consulting a half dozen recipes and this being my first jaunt into pickling I kept it simple. After blanching the carrots I added equal parts water and apple cider vinegar, 1 cup each, 1 chopped yellow onion, a full 12 oz. jar of jalapeños with juice and a few bay leaves. An old Claussen pickle jar seemed a suitable vessel for the witches brew that would be my next week’s snack food.
The carrots turned out splendidly. Spicy refreshing and simple. Enjoy with your favorite lager or an Italian sub!
Here is a short film I recently produced music for and acted in. It was a submission to this years 48 Hour Film Project. It won Best Film, Best Director, Audience Choice Group B, Best Special Effects, and Best Graphics! I’m the guy holding the rabbit with elongating arms.