Saturday, April 30, 2011

This is why you shouldn’t try and steal beer

or at least wear a belt

More better living through drinking

Alcohol linked to lower heart risk

BOSTON, April 29 (UPI) -- Both moderate and hazardous drinking are associated with decreased risk of coronary heart disease compared with abstinence, U.S. researchers say.

Researchers at Boston University Medical Center assessed the 12-month prevalence of coronary heart disease in individuals who drank alcohol and others who abstained.

The researchers used data from the 2001 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions study of 43,093 people, which identified 16,147 abstinent individuals, 15,884 moderate drinkers and 9,578 hazardous drinkers -- exceeding World Health Organization male and female weekly limits -- and 1,484 alcohol-dependent subjects.

The study, published in the American Journal of Addictions, found both moderate and hazardous drinking were associated with decreased odds of coronary heart disease when compared with abstinence, but the risks of coronary heart disease were not significantly different between alcohol-dependent and abstinent participants.

However, the study has limitations including a lack of socioeconomic variables for adjusting for confounding due to tobacco use and drug abuse; quitters who left the study because of illness, unhealthy hazardous drinkers dying earlier than the healthy ones, and unmeasured factors such as exercise and diet, the study says.

Read more:

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Ultimate Guy Gift


I totally get this one.

So many times, women think they are getting the perfect “I love you gift” for their significant other. You know the gifts- flowers, a sweater or tie, books or even the dreaded “Romantic Dinner”.

Now I just want to go on record that these things are not bad…..but they really highlight the differences between men and women.

Sometimes a guy just wants to sit in his “Man Cave”, watch his favorite team and have a beer.

Enter Beer Bouquet.

After three easy steps on-line, you can have shipped to your significant other a Bucket (with his favorite team logo on it) full of peanuts and beer, plus a custom message.

While the starting price of $49.99 might seem a little steep, I would bet that he keeps that bucket far longer than any of the aforementioned gifts, and he will ALWAYS remember where he got it.

Bucket Logos covers the big the Big 5 (Hockey, Basketball, Baseball, Nascar and Football) and the also have Ultimate Fighting (do you notice this Glenn?), Seasonal (St. Patrick’s and Valentine's Days) and they even show support for our Armed Forces. Outstanding.

Beer BouquetCurrently, it appears they have 18 different beer companies to choose from (including Guinness and two Non-Alcoholic Selections) plus a variety pack.

This is such a cool idea, I have to applaud the genius who thought up the idea. I know a few people that will be getting them from me.

Keep up the great work.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fighting Cock, Bulleit, and Dan Akroyd

I have a love of the brown. A complete, unabashed, poop-your-pants in excitement love. And by “the brown” I mean whiskey. Scotch, Bourbon, Irish Whiskey, Tennessee Whiskey, even CANADIAN whiskey- It matters not. I just love it all. And while I can enjoy the complex flavors of scotch, from the peatiness of an Islay to the saltiness of a Speyside and the finely nuanced balance of a Highland; I must admit that my favorite whiskey is indeed the Kentucky Bourbon. Oh, I am not denigrating the other browns. It would be like asking a Sheik who his favorite gal in the harem is. They all have a beauty that is their own, but he has a special fondness for that redhead…

Now I would not call my love of whiskey an unrequited love. Whiskey loves me much in the way that Ike loved Tina. Fun in the beginning, but without a doubt morning finds me curled up in a fetal position pooping blood. There is something that is bracing about the first glass, calming about the second, and addictively self abusing about the third. But this blog is not about lamenting of the evils of whiskey, but about exalting its glories.

(good when mixed)

So a bit ago I was in the need of a bourbon. I decided to hit the store, unsure as to whether I would splurge on a $30 bottle (Think Woodford or Bulleit), buy the old $15 standby (Jim Beam is my go to man. A dependable man not unlike George Clooney), or buy something cheaper that is palatable when mixed (Think Evan Williams. He is the Dan Akroyd of whiskey. You can’t beat it or him as an ensemble, but you would never give either a solo leading role.) I decided to be a middling cheap bastard and grabbed the white bottle of Jim Beam. Yup, ol’ dependable. I started to leave the whiskey aisle, when a flashy bottle caught my eye.

Fighting Cock Bourbon!

It was moderately priced ($20) and packed a whollup (at 103 proof, it is even more potent than Wild Turkey). Now how in the world can I pass up a bourbon named after deplorable abuse masquerading as sport! If there was a bourbon named “Seal Clubbing” or “Cat Juggling” I suppose would be all over those too. Sometimes I think I am not a very nice person. But I gave a dollar to the Salvation army guy, so its all ok in the end.

How was it? Potent. Drinking it straight burned a bit. Mixing it with diet coke created a sickly sweet and strong drink. I suppose I am just too weak for the Fighting Cock. I would probably buy this again for a party to make my guests drunk and pliable, and the bottle for sure makes a great conversation piece. But sipping it straight on ice? Meh. I did it. I drank a good portion of the bottle that way. I wouldn’t recommend it though. This is a mixing bourbon. But at $20 a bottle, it makes for an expensive mixing bourbon. One of the ironies of life, eh?

My second whiskey I want to give a shout out to is Bulleit Bourbon. It is your typical $30 small batch bourbon. It calls itself a “frontier whiskey” because it comes in a rustic looking bottle and at 90 proof it packs a stronger whollup than your typical liquor without being stupidly overpowering. If I am to buy a sipping bourbon and want to spend $30, 3 out of 4 times this is what I grab. If you even think about mixing this bourbon, I will step on your face. Neat or with ice please.

Its flavor is slightly spicy with the barest hint of vanilla overtones. Neither is overpowering though and the flavors seem both natural and real. Its 90 proof punch can be compared to a good natured tousle with an Australian. You maybe get a few bruises, but nothing is permanently damaged and the fight was all in good fun.

Drinking Fighting Cock is more like fighting with an angry closeted redneck. He thinks that you embody all that is evil in the Big City, and you are the cause of both his recent layoff at the plant and his unexplainable feelings for men. The only way he can avenge either it to beat the first guy with hair gel and an IQ over 80.

Over the holidays I picked up a bottle of Bulleit and drank the entire thing with a good college buddy and my brother in law. We blew through it over a period of perhaps 3 hours. Sure, we weren’t moving too quickly in the morning but we were in good enough shape for a big lunch of Churrasco. All you can eat steak, served on swords by Brazilian cowboys? YES PLEASE. And the caipirinhas helped take the edge of nicely. But that’s another blog entry.

Cheers – TommyG

Quote of the Day

“It takes only one drink to get me drunk. The trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteenth.”

George Burns


Well that didn’t take long. S&B Contributor and MySideoftheBar Writer Randy sends me Alcohol by Brad Paisley.

The circle is now complete.

You and Tequila

As often happens here at S&B, the stories come in in batches….so after the new song “Whiskey”, we now have Kenny Chesney & Grace Potter singing “You and Tequila”.

I wonder what will be the country song (I told you I was turning into a convert) that finishes out the trifecta.



I just want to say that I am not much of a Country Music fan (Johnny Cash isn’t Country….he is a class by himself), but I have been swayed to other styles before……and slowly I am being swayed.

Perhaps it is the fiddle stirring my inner-Irish, maybe it’s the subject matter of this song….or hell, I think it’s because this is a damn fine song.

Check out Jana Kramer and her new single – “Whiskey”

Let me know what you think.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Quote of the Day

I've got a great cigar collection - it's actually not a collection, because that would imply I wasn't going to smoke every last one of 'em.
-Ron White

Don’t go Kung Fu Fighting in the Isle of Wight

Political Correctness. I hate those words.

Today, PC has taken control, and while 99% of the population think it has run it’s course and become a hassle, sadly there are laws all over the world that now enforce it.

Case in Point – Enter Simon Ledger, pub singer in the Isle of Wight, who was singing “Kung-Fu Fighting” and was arrested for offending two Chinese people who were walking PAST the pub. Two people who were offended by a snippet of a song that they heard as they were walking down a boardwalk.

At least Mr. Ledger has sense of humor for posting the following on his FB page-

"If the lad who phoned the police is reading this, WHAT IS WONG WITH YOU? Sorry, what is wrong with you?"

Of course, that is until he gets further charges against him.

Check out the story after the video and chime in your opinion in the comments section. Do you think Political Correctness has gone to far? What’s next, banning Hong Kong Phooey?

Nicked for singing Kung Fu Fighting in front of Chinese pair

A PUB singer was arrested for alleged "racism" after belting out the chart hit Kung Fu Fighting as two Chinese people walked past.

One of them complained to cops, who later nicked stunned Simon Ledger - in a Chinese restaurant.

Simon, 34, often performs the song in Sandown, Isle of Wight. He said: "I hadn't even seen these two."

Now he fears he could get a criminal record.

Cops sprang into action and arrested Simon despite the fact that he regularly features the 1974 No1 in his act at a seaside pub.

Simon, who has performed on TV with Michael Barrymore, was doing a spot with a pal at the town's Driftwood Beach Bar on Sunday afternoon.

All went well until he began the Carl Douglas disco classic, with its famous Chinese-sounding riff.

Simon said: "We were performing Kung Fu Fighting, as we do during all our sets. People of all races were loving it. Chinese people have never been offended by it before.

"But this lad walking past with his mum called us w*****s and did the hand sign before taking a picture on his mobile phone.

"We hadn't even seen them when we started the song. He must have phoned the police.

"They phoned me when I was in a Chinese restaurant that night. They arranged to meet me and I was arrested.

"I thought it was a joke but they were serious. They seemed pretty amazed but said the law is the law and it was their duty. It's political correctness gone potty."

Simon added: "There are plenty of Welsh people at our shows - does it mean I can't play any Tom Jones?"

Bar owner Sean Ware said: "The song is in no way racist and nor is Simon. There is no way he would abuse anyone.

"He didn't start the song just because Chinese people were walking past. He had already started playing it."

Simon, who is on bail until today, wrote on Facebook: "If the lad who phoned the police is reading this, WHAT IS WONG WITH YOU? Sorry, what is wrong with you?"

A police spokesman said a 32-year-old man of Chinese origin had claimed he was subjected to racial abuse.

He added: "Police are investigating an allegation of racially-aggravated harassment. A man from Shanklin was arrested on suspicion."

Hops, Hops and HOPZ

I was originally going to run this review on Easter, but I couldn’t find the cable to my digital camera (again), so even though I lost out on the Hops joke….I think I made up for it in a pretty good day.

A few days ago, I received some of the new HOPZ cigars from Teds Cigars. Ted’s has been around since 1996, and I am sure you have seen their flagship product in your local cigar shop, The Maker’s Mark Cigar.

SAM_0432I’ve tried the Maker’s cigar before, so I had rather high expectations going into this review. I was particularly excited, because my wife had also picked me up a 6-pack of New Belgium's Ranger IPA. I sensed a pairing made in heaven.

The Cigar-


Shipped in a glass tube, the 6 X 50 Toro (Cameroon Wrapper, US Connecticut binder and Dominican Republic filler) looked good, solid leaf that was not to veiny. Opening the tube didn’t reveal to much of a hops nose, but there was something there. I don’t know if it was the Centennial hops as advertised, but the cigar smelt fresh. I particularly like the glass tubes, as I can keep the cigar in my humidor, without the oils/scents permeating and lingering into the wood.

Lighting was easy, as the draw on the cigar was very smooth.

The initial 3rd of the cigar was much lighter than I expected. While I could definitely get the floral tastes, it was not as overwhelming as I expected. Slightly sweet and creamy, there were also undertones of the outdoors that I associate with pine.

After a good 5 minutes, the cigar began to open up and I could really get not only taste of hops, but also its telltale flowery aroma with hints of cedar.

It was at this point I started pairing the Ranger IPA, and the true nature of this cigar came to light.

Score – 3.5

The Beer-

Ranger IPA

Appearance- Clear, Golden Orange in Color with small foamy head. The head held well almost all the way through the drink.

Nose- A nice pungent hoppy aroma that dominates the nose really got my taste buds flowing. Hints of fresh cut grass and citrus round out the scent and were very enjoyable.

Taste – A little drier than expected. The light complexity of the beer covered a Fruity (Orange and sourness of Grapefruit) palette, combined with a crisp, heavy hops taste (with minimal maltyness). There was a slight piney and citrus aftertaste that I usually associate with an American IPA, and while the “Pineyness” lingers, it did not distract from the beer.

Score- 3.5

The Pairing -

What is particularly interesting about this combo is how well they worked together. Traditional cigars are said to perfectly match with Scotches and Brandy/Cognacs, and I think HOPZ Cigars are going to expand that horizon by saying flavored/infused cigars can now tailor themselves to a new market.

By pairing HOPZ with an IPA, we are enhancing the flavors of the beer with the subtle nuances of the cigar and vice versa.

Not only did the flavors then jump out at me from the Cigar (enhancing/bringing out the hops infusion), but the beer actually took a step forward and took on another level of complexity. By pairing these two above average products together, you actually improve the overall experience.

While I rated both a 3.5 standing alone, I would score the pair as a solid 4.

I can really see this type of marriage as something that could introduce Beer Drinkers to Cigar Smoking, especially if Ted’s expands their range to include other beer types (I’m thinking roasted malt infused with a Guinness Stout pairing).

I realize that Cigar Purists are not going to to be big fans, but they need to realize that innovative ideas such as this expand the market and allow other people exposure into a world that might otherwise been closed off to them. Not only do I think this is brilliant on many levels, I applaud Ted’s for partnering with some of the best of breed when it comes to flavors (Maker’s Mark, Gran Marnier, Dumante ect…).

These are both excellent products and I look forward to the upcoming Missouri Beer Festival, where I can sample this cigar with even some local IPAs.

Great job to both vendors.

PS- For those of you wondering what is in the bags, that is the 3rd “Hops”, my newly arrived Hops Rhizomes. Stay tuned as I blog about the growing process.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This Day in History- April 26, 1865

boothDiscovered hiding in a farmer's tobacco shed, John Wilkes Booth is shot in the neck by a complete lunatic. Dying and paralyzed from the neck down, he whispers: "Tell my mother I did it for my country." As his hands are held up to his face, Booth mutters "useless... useless..." They are his last words.

More than just a cigarette dispenser

I love Archie McPhee products. Not only do they make me laugh out loud, but I can buy them online and I don’t have to go into Cool Stuff in CoMO, where I am accosted by the sales team.12140__35634_zoom

In fact, I have a pack of “Just Like Dad” Candy cigarettes right here on my desk for the follow-up to James’ initial interview.

Definitely check out their site. I make nothing from it, they are not a sponsor….but there is definitely something for the kid in all of us.

Great Job Guys.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bad News for Beer Drinkers?

Beer drinking ups gastric cancer risk

A new study has found that heavy beer drinkers who have a specific genetic variant in the cluster of three genes that metabolize alcohol are at significantly higher risk of developing non-cardia gastric cancer.

Study results also showed that the same risk is also elevated (but not as significantly) for heavy beer drinkers who do not have the variant, known as rs1230025, and for non-drinkers who have rs1230025 or rs283411.
"This is a classic gene-environment interaction," said Eric Duell, senior epidemiologist in the Cancer Epidemiology Research Program at the Catalan Institute of Oncology in Barcelona, Spain. "Having both of these risks - heavy beer consumption and rs1230025 - appears to be worse in terms of gastric cancer risk than having just one or neither."
Duell and colleagues conducted a comprehensive analysis of alcohol consumption and gastric cancer risk in the more than 521,000 people aged 35 to 70 years old who participated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study from 1992 through 1998.
The researchers evaluated the type of alcohol consumed (i.e. wine, beer or liquor) and the location and grade of cancer. Total consumption of 60 grams of pure ethanol/alcohol from all beverage types combined carried a 65 per cent increased risk. (One 12 ounce beer contains about 13 grams of pure alcohol/ethanol.)
However, this association was confined to beer. Results showed that drinking 30 grams of pure ethanol/alcohol or more a day from beer was linked to a 75 per cent increased risk of developing gastric cancer. Wine and liquor was not associated with gastric cancer risk, Duell said.

Monday Quick Hits Vol2

Here we are again, with the latest installment of the Monday Quick Hits, stories or experiences from over the weekend that I was just to lazy (or they don’t warrant) to write a whole blog post about.

The first one I want to speak about is in regards to Bennigan’s and recent my poor experience there. It made the Vol1 of the Quick Hits, and I wanted to say that the Manager has reached out to me and was thankful for the feedback. We had made arrangements to re-try Bennigan’s (as guests of the Manger), but were unable to connect….and this was 100% my fault. I do plan to revisit in the future (after Baseball and Soccer are done) and will let everyone know how it goes.

Next we have more on “The Royal Wedding”. I originally thought I could cover the wedding with ONE POST, but then two new stories came out this weekend that both shocked me and made me laugh.

The Daily Mail is reporting that beer has been banned from the festivities. WHAT??? Ban Beer? The article has some real nuggest of info -

  • “Let's face it, it isn't really an appropriate drink to be serving in the Queen's presence at such an occasion.”
  • “while the younger royals enjoy a pint from time to time, neither Kate nor William is a big beer drinker so they decided to leave it off the menu.”
  • Miss Middleton has never particularly enjoyed drinking - preferring to sip one small glass of wine.

imageSo let me get this straight, beer isn’t good enough for the Queen and Ms. Middleton doesn’t enjoy drinking? There goes the fate of the free world, plus I doubt Windsor Knot will be sending any cases soon.

Which leads me to my next story (also involving the Royal Wedding), where again the Daily Mail reports on a Mr. Cameron Reilly, a member of the Scots Guards, and his opinions of Ms. Middleton, London and Jews.

  • Bearskin, 18, called her 'posh b****' and 'stuck-up cow' on Facebook after perceived snub
  • Said he fantasized about shooting Jews while on duty
  • Described London as a 'Paki holding cell'

article-1380100-0BC1D9F900000578-487_634x550Of course, this wouldn’t be Smokes and Booze material unless he was a little off. With a quote of “He's a big boozer and not what you'd call a thinker. He downs Buckfast fortified wine and likes raucous nights out.” and pictures of him kissing a bottle of Vodka….he does us proud.

Finally, I want to give a shoutout to a great local bar, but one that only a few of you can frequent. The bar in question is at the VFW Post 280 in Columbia MO. Stepping into this bar is like stepping into any other bar around the US. There is a jukebox, a pool table and shuffleboard. TVs play sports and they even have free popcorn. What makes this bar special are the people that frequent it. These are the men and women that “have been there and done that”. Some are older, veterans of WWII, Korea or Viet Nam. Others are of my generation, Gulf War 1 or the countless conflicts since (and still ongoing). Walking in, you feel an immediate sense of belonging and everyone there is very accepting. An added bonus, as a private club, it’s one of the few bars in Columbia you can smoke in. This isn’t a place you’ll write home about, and it’s not all flashy….but honestly, I don’t think I (or any of the other patrons) would have it any other way….as long as the beer is cold and keeps on flowing.

If you are a veteran, you should check out VFW.Org and see what they have to offer in your community. You earned it.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Nature’s Wonder Cocktail (Recipe)–Happy Earth Day

I was trying to think of something unique to do on Earth Day.

I had already blogged about my Earth Day Liquor VeeV, but the night was just starting and I was wondering if there was something I could do to follow it up.

Enter Mother Nature. Today some serious storms came through Mid-MO (and is still going on) and it literally came right down our road.


Of course I was outside, watching how amazing nature can be, and then came the hail.

James and I bagged some up to put in the freezer for his Uncle to see, when I had the bright idea…..lets make a real natural drink.SAM_0430

So, enter my concoction -

Nature’s Wonder

  • 1oz VeeV Açaí Spirit
  • 2 Pieces of Hail
  • Enjoy the thunderstorms going overhead.


Md. AG goes after Blast and Colt .45

Md. Attorney General Doug Gansler Wants Blast by Colt 45 Alcoholic Drink Taken Off Market:

Here we go again. As we blogged before (HERE), the Government is trying to step in and stop what consumers can legally purchased.

Happy Earth Day and VeeV Spirits (Review)

Before I get to deep into this, I’m sure everyone is thinking “What, Ed is concerned about the environment?”.

veevWhile I am not a tree hugger by any means (and I am sure some of you have heard my recycling stories from Germany), I do think people can be responsible. Should it be mandated by the government? No. But if everyone took ownership, things would be much better across the board (not just being Green either).

So I was really excited to get a bottle of VeeV, because I applaud their message and like the uniqueness of the product.

As the first spirit made from the Açaí berry (pronounced ah-SIGH-ee), VEEV enters the mark place as not only a unique brand, but one that takes conservation rather seriously….here are a few examples-

  • Veev distilleries are the only ones in the world to get their energy renewable wind energy and they use a 4-Column distillation process that uses 200% less energy.
  • They are the Industry’s first Certified Carbon Neutral Spirits Company.
  • To reduce the carbon footprint, all of the other ingredients (other then the Brazilian Acai berries), are locally produced.
  • $1 for every bottle sold is donated to Rainforest Preservation.

In honor of Earth Day, VeeV is running several promotions on Facebook.


Stepping away from the company and focusing on the spirit - The main ingredient is the Açaí berry, which resembles a blueberry, is a product from Brazil and has been touted on Oprah as the “Number 1 Super Food”.

I found it interesting that no-one had made a liquor out of this (I thought mankind had made booze out of anything imaginable), so I was particularly keen to try.

Tasting (as always- Neat)

  • Color- Crystal Clear
  • Nose- Extremely Tropical and Fruity. Hints of Orange and Almond round everything out with a slight alcohol undertone.
  • Tasting – A smooth, creamy mouth-feel compliments the fruity flavors. The “Orange” definitely come forward, but leaves a hint of acidity and sourness (lime). I particularly like the way the Nose and Taste combine with the alcohol to rise from the palette back through nasal passage so you re-experience the “taste” through the sinuses.
  • Finish - The thickness of the liquor leaves a somewhat oiliness (although not in a bad way) that allows for flavors to linger. It combines with a honey aftertaste that I found particularly pleasing. I also experienced a woody flavor that I am unaccustomed to with clear spirits.

As for mixers, I could really seeing this mixing well with orange juice (a unique twist on a screwdriver) and the company has many cocktails listed on their site, in particular….the Super Fruit Sangria which I plan to make once the rain stops.

Superfruit Sangria

1.5oz VeeV Açaí Spirit

1.5oz Red Wine

.5oz Strawberry Puree or Pomegranate juice

1oz Cranberry Juice

Fresh Seasonal Fruit

Shake ingredients well and transfer to brandy or or rocks glass. Garnish with Seasonal Fruit.

Overall, I was really impressed with the complexity of the flavors in this product. I would rate it a solid 4 stars and recommend to all my friends. When you throw in that they practice what the preach with regards to the environment….this is a no brainer. Buy this liquor.

Big Thanks to VeeV for allowing me to review this product, and Happy Earth Day to Everyone

If you live in MO- You’ll get this song

With the weather the way it has been lately, this song is pretty fitting.

Also, I have seen this band 3 times in concert…so sad they have broken up.

I suggest a shot every time you hear “Gotta kill the pain”

A Royal “Boozy” Wedding

You knew it was only a matter of time before there was a post regarding the royal wedding.

I’m “Lucky” enough to remember the last one, when Prince William’s Father (Prince Charles) married Lady Dianna. I remember my Mom being fascinated by it, my regular (cartoons) TV shows being interrupted, Nancy Reagan attending…..but most of all, I recall thinking Charles married out of his league. Sure, he was all set to be king (how’s that working out for him now?), but she was definitely the looker of the two. And her memory is probably going to be better remembered for her charity work and the way she died.

Oh well.

Flash forward 30 years and now we have another wedding. Luckly, this time we have the internet….a wonderful thing that exposes all things booze to commemorate this event-

First, it’s no secret that I am a Whisky man…so we have the English1715278745 Whisky Company producing a commemorative decanter containing whisky aged in a red wine cask. What makes this distillery interesting is that Prince Charles opened it in 2007. This date, 4 years earlier, coupled with the quote “It has got remarkable quality and has nearly sold out, but we are getting some more in the next few weeks” tells me that either the maturation process is lacking or they outsource their whisky and this is just another marketing ploy. At £65, I shant be buying any.

Next up, we have Macallan jumping onto the Royal Commemorative Bandwagon. I will say up front that I like the Macallan line and at least they have a precedent for this. They produced a special bottle in 1981 that was a blend of two casks…both from the birth years of the newlyweds. This quickly sold out and is very collectable to this day.

This time around, they will be creating a blend bottled on April 29th from two casks (a 1996 and 1999). Bottled at 46.8%, “the single malt gives abundant wood spices combining with orange zest, floral and barley to produce a creamy overtone”.

This one could be interesting, but at £150, a little out of my price range.

Meanwhile, on the Cocktail front - the great folks over at Pusser’s Rum (an S&B Favorite HERE and HERE) have two cocktails using their fine rum-


Also, we have the “Official Cocktail of the Royal Wedding-

The Regal CV Cocktail- A mix of Chambord Flavored Vodka, cucumber, fresh organic raspberries and fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Over at The Martini Diva Blog, we have the

Royal Coconut Martini- 1ox Gordon’s Gin

  • 1tsp. Coconut Cream
  • 1oz Curry Infused Coconut Milk
  • 1 Tbsp Lavender Honey (to taste)
  • 1/2 oz Earl grey tea (Cold)
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • 1tsp Curry Powder
  • 1/3 C. Sugar Crystals
  • 1 Tea Biscuit
  • Candied Tudor Rose Petals

Yes, she calls this a Martini and you will have to go to the blog itself to see how to put it together. First, because I am to lazy to type all the instructions and secondly because TheMartiniDiva has copy written the image she has it imbedded on (really?). Personally, this seems like something I would see on Sex in the City (IF I ever watched the show), so I won’t be making it anytime soon.

alg_royal_virility_beerFinally, we have the best marketing deal of the whole shebang. Sent to me by constant reader (and long time BoozeBuddy) Glenn – Royal Virility Performance Beer, a beer laced with Viagra. I think anyone marketing to the wedding really needs to step back and see how this is done. Remember how I said that now we have the internet…..this is how you play to going viral. Well done Brewdog Brewery. We blogged about you earlier this year (Sink the Bismark), but this time you win the 2011 Smokes and Booze Marketing Award (as soon as Glenn does one up) for this great idea. Keep up the great work.

In closing, I’m sure there are 1000s of other Smokes and Booze items out there pertaining to the wedding. If you run across anything, just post it in the comments section below. We can all use a laugh.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Kid Rock steps up again

This past Saturday, Kid Rock stepped up again and showed why he is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists.

It’s not because of his music, although I do enjoy quite a bit of it, but instead because of his actions.

In this world where performers want to make a political statement for this candidate or that, it is refreshing to see someone push that aside and focus on the people making sacrifices.

First he recognized Vietnam Vets, now we have Aaron Brank and Dale Strain entering the picture.

Neither Strain or Brank had tickets to Saturday’s show at the Machine Shop in Flint Michigan, but they put on their uniforms anyway and hung around the backstage area. It didn’t take long and they were brought back and were meeting with the singer, where they discussed several things, including touring….both Kid Rocks (and how he gives free USO Shows) and theirs (they deploy in July to Afghanistan).

The soldiers treated to an excellent concert and were further humbled at the end of the show, when (during the last song “Born Free”) when Kid Rock shouted “God Bless you for your service” and lead the crowd in a cheer for them.

Needless to say, as a former veteran myself, I am happy to see these young men have an evening to enjoy themselves and receive the recognition and support that they (and all other service members) deserve.

Here is a big S&B Thank You to Messrs. Brank and Strain for helping keeping America free, and a special thank you to Kid Rock for showing this skeptical old fart that there is some good still in the entertainment industry. You are 2-0 in my book.


The United States of GOOD Beer

Submitted by Reader and Long Time Friend Jenn, she correctly points out the original story (United States of Beer) had some poor quality stuff showing.

She stumbled across this awsome map and passed it along. Give it a click and see if your state’s representitive beer is a good call or not.

Let us know.



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Circle is now complete

It took a little longer than I thought it would, but the Little Kids and Booze Trifecta is complete.

Here and Here are the first two parts, now this time we are at Chili’s.

Come on people, if you order a chocolate milkshake and get THIS (see picture below), you should realize you didn’t get what you ordered.

Also, while I get children are smaller and lower tolerance for alcohol, I seriously doubt (given how weak Chili’s makes their drinks) that the child was DIAGNOSED for AOD, but was instead treated as a precaution. What was the BAC?

Parents, when taking your kids out to dinner….TRY their drinks prior to giving them to them. Show some responsibility.


Chili's serves alcoholic beverage to 4-year-old, mom says

4714667CHICAGO (WLS) - A little girl was diagnosed with an alcohol overdose after being served an alcoholic beverage at a Southwest Side restaurant, according to a CBS 2 report.

Tyree Davis tells CBS 2 that she and her 4-year-old daughter Brooklyn were having dinner at a Chili's at 1750 W. 119th Street in Morgan Park on Sunday when Brooklyn ordered a chocolate milkshake but instead, was served a mudslide alcoholic beverage.

Davis realized the drink contained alcohol when she drank it herself after her daughter complained the drink did not taste good.

Davis called police who responded to the restaurant and told Davis to take Brooklyn to the hospital after she began to doze off, according to the report.

So far, Chili's Restaurant has not responded to the incident.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Quote of the Day

“My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them.”

-Winston Churchill

More on Sir Winston can be found HERE


Tolkien and Beer

I’m going to go out on a limb here and name JRR as the Official Author of Smokes and Booze.

I’ve been reading the Hobbit and LOTR series almost longer than I can remember. Mike introduced me to the books (while I nudged him to Forrester and the Hornblower novels) when we were kids, and we have spent countless hours discussing these books and their meanings.

bilbo2From the great Rankin and Bass Cartoon in 1977 to the upcoming Hobbit feature, I’ve been captivated by the world of Middle Earth.

James’ first movie (yes, I even bought him a ticket for us to have seat for his carrier) was the Fellowship of the Ring Midnight premier.

I’ve enjoyed tales of Pubs and Inns, Pipeweed and Beer, and even Miruvor.

I cried when I saw they omitted the Scourging of the Shire from the Movies (obviously due to Peter Jackson inexcusable killing of Sauruman).

You could say I am a Tolkien Geek.

So, to hear Professor Tolkien say (in his own words) how he enjoys a good beer and smoking……man, that is icing on the cake. It even makes the line in Fellowship (the movie) even funnier, when Merry says “It comes in PINTS”.

Anyway, here is the vid- Jump to the 11:20 Mark if you just care about the beer and smoking, but the video itself (and the 2nd part of the series which is also below) is worth the time.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Greatest Arcade Game EVER

Do you like driving style arcade games? Do you like Beer? Do you have an extra $6K laying around? Then allow me to introduce the Octane 120 Pro Beer Arcade.


From Fox News-

Who said you can't drink and drive?

Not only does the Octane 120 Beer Arcade Machine ($6,000) support it, it even includes a kegerator behind the rear seat — with a secondary tap in the dash — so you don't have to pull over to get a refill.

Other features include leather wrapping on the fully adjustable, force-feedback steering wheel and on the seat, metal gas, clutch, and brake pedals, a Full HD projector up front, an integrated gaming PC with 200 racing and arcade video games and PS3 connectivity for good measure, a conveniently placed cup holder, and the ability to swerve with impunity.

Read more:


Quote of the day

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day. – Greg Pine

Friday, April 15, 2011

Car runs on Bourbon

I admit I LOL

Kentucky Man Invents Car that Runs on Makers Mark

LOUISVILLE - 62 year old Mickey Nilsson of Bardstown Kentucky, finally found a way to make his tinkering hobby pay off. Inspired by the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Nilsson transformed a collection of “junk” into a motor vehicle that does not rely on foreign oil as it’s fuel source. His car is entirely powered by Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey.

“I was always a fan of Caractacus Potts (the Dick Van Dyke character) from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” said Nilsson. “He was pretty good at re-purposing junk. Always admired that”. Nilsson had his fair share of junk too. Most of it was just rusting when last October he had a knock at his door.

“Them two knuckleheads from that TV show American Pickers (Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz) stopped by here trying to steal from me. Offering me $200 for my old still. Said I had no use for it since making moonshine was illegal. After that smart-mouthed remark, I shot at em” declared Nilsson. “Although I did sell the chubby one with the beard an old oil can for $40 before they ticked me off.”

The visit did motivate Nilsson. “After I’d run them off, I kept thinking about what they kept saying to me, ‘what are you going to do with all this stuff, you might as well sell it to us’. Well that left me pondering. Folks around these parts do a lot of pondering, so it wasn’t really nothing new for me as I ponder about something almost everyday. But this time my pondering gave me an idea, watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

Inspired and motivated by the film, Nilsson spent the next 6 months, in his workshop turning his one-time still and collection of junk into a whiskey sipping motor vehicle. “The car will run on almost any bourbon, but she really purrs on Maker’s Mark” said Nilsson.

With Maker’s Mark currently at an average selling price of $24 a fifth it’s likely most owners of the new vehicle would fill her up with Old Crow or even Old Grand Dad. Either way, it’s still a pricier fuel option, but before long it may be a bargain. Gasoline prices have been skyrocketing, jumping 50% in the past year. This week the cost for regular gas eclipsed milk and the popular Arnold Palmer Iced Tea-Lemonade beverage per gallon.

The Obama administration has recognized Nilsson’s achievement as “the type of ingenuity that makes this country great. With brilliant minds such as Mr. Nilsson at work, we will soon purge our dependence on the middle east for oil”. But they cautioned our nation still has a large number of winos so securing access to the fuel tanks on these vehicles will be essential, especially in certain urban neighborhoods.

A deal to produce a consumer version of the Nilsson concept car was brokered Wednesday with automobile manufacturer Nissan. Nissan expects to release the vehicle to the public by 2014. Currently referred to as the Nissan Nilsson, several names are being considered for the new model. The Nissan Alky, the Lush or the sporty sounding Inebriator.

Nissan hopes to add a new feature to this model that will incorporate a breathalyzer that will actually generate a small fuel reserve for drunk drivers who run out of gas, ah um, bourbon.

Tommy Gee’s Hot Toddy Recipe

So for the second part of the week I have had a sore throat, and last night I decided to make myself a hot toddy to drink in the bathtub. Let me tell ya, drinking in the tub or shower is a wonderful experience in and of itself; try it sometime after mowing the lawn. Just take a nice cool corn adjunct lager (like a PBR, Stag, Olympia, etc) into the shower while you clean off. There is nothing quite like it. So along the same lines, drinking a hot toddy in the tub when you are sick is a Dionysian escape from the pain of illness.

When I went to my pantry I could not find my honey--so decided to substitute molasses instead, and I think it made the drink even better! (And when I went to pick everything up afterwards, there was the honey bear staring at me IN FRONT of the empty spot in the cupboard where the molasses was. I had to reach past the honey to get to it! Was it luck or divine intervention that led me to this discovery? Either way I was winning!) My recipe below:

Tommy Gee’s Hot Toddy

  • Hot water (8-10 oz)
  • 1 Earl Grey tea bag
  • 2 ts molasses
  • Lemon juice (one wedge, or a couple of squirts from a plastic lemon)
  • 1 oz bourbon

AHHHHH. The pain in my throat went away instantly and all the day’s worries melted from my shoulders. I have to note though that modern medical science does not support treating colds with booze because doctors are annoying little shits who hate happiness. That, and drinking booze leads to dehydration and irritates the throat which I suppose is not so great for you in the long run.

<Ed Note> Interestingly, his Hot Toddy varies from mine (From back in 2009). Molasses, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Trump Vodka–You’re Fired!

Donald Trump sues Israeli co selling "Trump Vodka"

Trump claims that H. Pixel International Trade is using his name without authorization.

14 April 11 19:04, Tzameret Pernat

Donald Trump was recently surprised to discover that an Israeli company, H. Pixel International Trade Ltd. is using his name and registered trademark "Trump" without his consent and authorization, according to a petition for a temporary injunction filed with the Tel Aviv District Court yesterday.

Trump learned of the vodka from an employee who visited Israel and told him that she saw large advertisements for the vodka, which included Donald Trump's image. She also saw a website, Trump Vodka that used him in its domain name, which included his pictures and links to the Trump Organization. None of this had Trump's authorization.

The court filing states that, during an attempt to talk with Pixel International Trade, it was learned that Pixel had signed an agreement with a US company, which provided Pixel exclusive distribution rights to Trump Vodka in Israel, as well as rights to produce the products and launch advertising campaigns. However, Trump says in the petition for an injunction that, in 2010, the US company stopped producing vodka under the Trump trademark because the company failed to meet the threshold requirements.

Trump states that the license of the US company which marketed the vodka was revoked, and that its transfer of rights to Pixel was not authorized. Trump says that the US company was never authorized in any case to transfer its rights to a third party or subsidiary.

As for Pixel, Trump said that on the basis of the original license, Trump Vodka was to be produced at a Dutch distillery, which Pixel did not use. Trump says that, consequently, he cannot know whether the vodka produced in his name is of the proper quality.

Trump claims that despite extensive correspondence between his representatives and representatives of Pixel International Trade, the necessary documents were not provided to him for considering a possible collaboration. He further claims that his representatives had contacted the US company, which explicitly said that Pixel International Trade had never received permission to change distilleries, produce new vodka, or launch an ad campaign.

The petition for an injunction reveals interesting details about how Trump authorizes use of his name for commercial purposes. The petition states that although Donald Trump is mainly known for his real estate business, he authorized the use of his name for a US television show on education for technology ventures. Products with the Trump trademark include clothing and men's fashion accessories, Trump Vodka, Trump Mineral Water, the "Trump" magazine, Trump Home Furniture, Trump Model Management, Trump Steaks, Trump Chocolate, and Trump Tea.

Trump's name is commercially protected in 80 countries, and he owns over 700 trademarks.

Pixel International Trade said in response, "This petition is baseless because it was not accepted by the district court with ex parte status after hearing Trump's attorney speak on her own behalf. Pixel Trade acted and acts legally pursuant to valid agreements, and it will continue to market the beverages its produces in the future, as it has done successfully until now. Pixel is not a party to the dispute between Trump and other parties in the US, and its name was included in this matter in a way that will be corrected shortly."

Trump Vodka Launch Party Arrivals DwqXwaRg8iul

Whisky Power

Here is to all the Environmentally Friendly S&B Fans out there. I do think £60.5 million for powering 9000 homes is a bit much, but I would imagine the majority of the funding is setting up the equipment and that the 9000 number will go up.

Still, here is to Speyside for thinking Globally.


Power plant that runs on whisky waste wins funding

WASTE from more than a dozen distilleries is set to be turned into power for up to 9,000 homes after an energy developer secured funding for its £60.5 million project on Speyside.

Aim-quoted Helius Energy - in which Perthshire investor Angus MacDonald holds a 19 per cent stake - finalized financing for the scheme after signing up Dutch lender Rabobank, which joins existing backers Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland

Lloyds and RBS will supply about £42.4m of debt for the project to build a combined heat and power (CHP) plant at Rothes, in Moray, while Rabobank will take an equity stake.
Solid residue, or "draff", from local distilleries will be taken to the site and burned along with wood to provide up to 7.2 megawatts (MW) of electricity, which will be used to power local homes and to run and animal feed production process. Steam created will be used to evaporate liquid residue - or "pot ale" - into a syrup, which can then be used to make animal feed.
At present, waste from Speyside's distilleries is taken to the animal feed plant in Rothes, which burns gas to evaporate the pot ale. Helius said its project will cut out the production of about 46,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year.
The CHP plant will be built next to the existing animal feed factory, which is owned by the Combination of Rothes Distilleries (Cord), a joint venture set up in 1904 to process whisky waste.
Cord handles by-products from 16 Speyside distilleries. It is owned by a consortium of Edrington Group, Chivas Brothers, Glen Grant Distillery, Inver House Distillers, Diageo Distilling, BenRiach Distillery and John Dewar & Sons
Engineering work has already begun and construction is due to start within 12 weeks. The plant is scheduled to be commissioned during the third quarter of 2012 and fully operational during the first half of 2013.
The CHP project will create about 100 jobs during construction and employ about 20 full-time staff once operational.
Under the financing agreement unveiled yesterday, Rabo will take a 44.7 per cent stake in the company set up to complete the project, with Cord retaining a 5.3 per cent share and Helius holding the remaining stake.
Alan Lyons, Helius's chief financial officer, told The Scotsman: "This deal shows there is still funding available for biomass CHP projects. We are in early discussions with funders to develop our much bigger project at Avonmouth in Bristol."

Alaskan Duck Fart

I want to know who comes up with drink names? I also want to know who does drink videos and complains so many times throughout that he doesn’t like Whiskey?

Oh Well, a great looking “Layered” drink.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Quote of the day

How solemn and beautiful is the thought that the earliest pioneer of civilization, the van-leader of civilization, is never the steamboat, never the railroad, never the newspaper, never the missionary – but always whisky! -Mark Twain

City Council rejects smoking ban

Finally there is hope for a town in MO.

I realize some people do not like cigarette or cigar smoke and they feel they should be able to go to a restaurant/bar and not have to inhale it.

HOWEVER, they do not own the establishment. They have no other investment, other than their time and the money they spend. In essence, they are “renting” under certain conditions, and those conditions are set by the OWNER….ie the person taking all the risk and responsibility of running the establishment. If the owner wishes to exercise his private property rights (no different than owning a home and smoking around guests that visit) and thinks he can make a living, be profitable and stay open by allowing people to smoke, then so be it. If you do not like it, go somewhere else.

Meanwhile, if you are a worker and you do not wish to work around smoke….find a job elsewhere. Working at a bar/resturarnt is not a right, but a priviledge. If you set the conditions of no smoking, and the owner rejects your offer, then you don’t get the job. If you take the job KNOWING that they smoke there, you made an educated and informed adult decission. Live with it.

Great job for the City Council of Webb City for realizing that personal property rights override the “Will of the People”. Especially when only a little more than 400 people in a population of more than 10K turn out out to vote on a measure.

Webb City council rejects smoking ban

WEBB CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Although Webb City voters supported a smoking ban, the city council voted against implementing the ban in the southwest Missouri city.

The council voted 5-3 Monday night against the ban.

Webb City residents voted 452-348 on April 5 in favor of the ban. Mayor John Biggs said the vote was only a straw vote to guide the council.

Opponents had argued the ban infringed on the rights of citizens, particularly business owners. Proponents say smoking is a health issue even for non-smokers .

The Joplin Globe reports that the ban would have prohibited smoking in public places or places of work. Smoking would have been allowed in buildings used by dues-paying members and stores that primarily sell tobacco.

If you’re going to be arrested, do it in style

PC Man Lights Cigar, Sticks Around After DWI Accident

A Port Chester man didn't flee like most others after a drunk-driving accident this morning on Willett Avenue.

Instead, he climbed out of his car, lit a cigar, and greeted a responding officer warmly when police arrived at 12:05 a.m. The officer asked Mattiello what happened, but the 48-year-old Port Chester man was mumbling, as well as unsteady on his feet.

According to the other driver, Mattiello had crossed the double yellow line as both drivers were heading east on Willett Avenue. The other driver didn't realize Mattiello was trying to pass, and the cars collided when the driver began to make a left turn, Lt. James Ladeairous said.

Diogene Mattiello, 48, of 54 Leonard St., was charged with misdemeanor driving while intoxicated. Neither driver was injured in the collision.

Another Restaurant Goof

Stories are pretty cyclic here at S&B. Yesterday seemed very Vodka oriented (HERE HERE and HERE), then there was Booze in Sports (Here Here Here and Here) and of course, who can forget our Liquor and Porn week (HERE HERE HERE and HERE) that ended up in us reviewing Ron De Jeremy Rum.

Well, we have another unusual string of stories coming up, and I have a feeling that the more publicity this gets, the more we see.

The stories involve children being served liquor accidentally at restaurants.

This all started with a 15-month old being served margarita pre-mix at Applebee’s. Now we have a 2.5 year old getting a “Tropical Sangria” at Olive Garden.

I personally think these kind of mistakes happen every day across the country. What I also think happens are parents check the drinks and say “Wait a minute” and send them back (probably ending up getting their dinner free).

What is happening now, are the lazy parents who are more interested in socializing and their own meal, ignore what their kids get and don’t notice their children have been served booze.

I said it before and I will say it again……check the cups. This is just as much the parents fault than the restaurants, but the restaurants will settle out of court to prevent bad publicity. The amount of liquor in a little sippy cup is not going to hurt you…..after the jump, check the picture of me drinking beer when I was two. I don’t feel any bad effects.

Little kids and Booze Trifecta is in play

Boy Gets Alcohol at Restaurant

LAKELAND, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Lakeland mom says toddler got drunk at popular restaurant.

A central Florida mother says her toddler got a little tipsy after accidently being served alcohol at a popular chain restaurant.
Jill Van Heest took her two and half year old son Nikolai to dinner at the Olive Garden on Highway 98 in Lakeland on March 31st.
The boy ordered orange juice and his mom says he drank most of what was in his child's plastic cup when a waiter came to the table. "We're eating our meals when the waiter came over and said there's been a mistake, I need to get you a new one and took the glass and kind of scurried away," Van Heest said.
She asked him what was in the cup and was told Tropical Sangria, a mixed drink of orange juice, pineapple juice and white wine.
Van Heest spoke to the restaurant manager. "He was very sympathetic, very apologetic, but no real explanation as to how it happened, just that it was a mistake," she said.
The mother says Niko was acting strangely and misbehaving throughout the dinner. "He was visibly drunk. His eyes were dilated, they were red. He was now getting loud."
She decided to take him to the Emergency Room and Lakeland Regional Medical Center to get checked out. Doctors there told her they couldn't immediately determine how much alcohol was in the boy's system. The gave him an I.V. of fluids and released him after a couple hours. Van Heest doesn't believe there will be any long term health affects and her son appears back to normal.
A spokesperson for Olive Garden, Rich Jeffers, gave FOX 35 News this statement about the incident:
"We take the responsibility that comes with serving alcohol seriously. This was an extremely regrettable accident caused by the failure of an employee to follow our strict operating procedures.
We take this situation very seriously, and we are especially grateful that the child involved was not seriously harmed. We have absolutely no tolerance for failure to follow our operating procedures and we took swift, appropriate action to deal with this situation. We are also taking immediate steps to reinforce our standards.
We offer our sincerest apologies to the family of the child, and to all of our guests, whose trust we work so hard to earn. We recognize that trust has been jeopardized by this isolated event, and we are focused on ensuring our guests experience the high standards of service that they've come to expect from us."
Van Heest has contacted an attorney and requested Niko's medical records to determine the exact level of alcohol that was in her son's system. She hopes the restaurant will make changes so a similar accident doesn't happen again.

Read more:


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Brewmaster Pees in Beer Glasses

Considering that Goose Island Brewery just sold out to InBev/Anheuser-Busch, maybe the Brewmaster was practicing serving AB Products.

Brewmaster apologizes for bar pee

CHICAGO, April 12 (UPI) -- The brewmaster of Chicago's Goose Island brewery apologized for urinating into beer glasses while standing on a bar during a birthday party.

Brewmaster Greg Hall, 45, whose family's Goose Island brewery was recently purchased by Anheuser-Busch for $38 million, said he was highly intoxicated Friday when he stood on the bar at Bangers & Lace and urinated into two beer glasses, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.

Hall said his memory of the incident is incomplete due to his intoxication level, but he admitted it happened.

"I did what I did and I take responsibility for it," he said.

"I feel awful. I wouldn't stand [for] it if someone did it at my place or if one of my people did something like that."

Matty Eggleston, the Bangers & Lace bartender who cleaned up the mess, said he does not accept the apology.

"It was disgusting, vile and revolting," he said. "We all do dumb things; that went to a level that was pure insult."

However, Bangers & Lace co-owner Matt Eisler said the establishment is taking "the high road."

"You can imagine we're not happy, but an apology has been offered and we'd like to move on," he said. "It's too bad because it started off as a cool night with a bunch of people from Goose coming to our bar to drink beer."

Read more:

New Meaning to a Smoking Guitar Riff

It’s gotta be better than the one in Amsterdam

While we were in Amsterdam, we stopped by the Vodka Museum (towards the bottom of THIS PAGE). It was lame and really nothing more than a sales pitch to get you to buy Vodka vs any history.

This one looks more interesting….Road trip to Moscow!

PS- Hey Voda Magazine, did you know that Vodka may come from “Voda”, Russian for Vodka?

­Moscow Museum of Vodka

Although vodka’s origins still remain unknown, it is argued that this bread wine, as it was initially called, appeared in Moscow in the 15th century, while the word “vodka” may have come from “voda” or “water.”

At the Moscow Museum of Vodka, you can learn all about the drink’s 500-year history.

Few foreigners and even Russians know that during the times of Catherine the Great, virtually every nobleman produced vodka on their estate and had their own vodka brand; or that before the late 19th century, vodka was not bottled – instead, it was actually sold by the bucketful.

The legends also say that the perfect alcohol content of vodka (40 percent) was discovered by prominent Russian chemist Dmitry Mendeleev.

However, specialists say, it had more to do with taxes: since distilled spirits were taxed on their strength, 40 was the ideal number to simplify the calculations.

Apart from learning more about history, a visit to this museum brings insight into Russian drinking culture and traditions.

“We have one peculiar custom in Russia that was introduced by Peter the Great: the ‘punishment drink.’ If you’re late for a party, you’re punished by having to down a shot of vodka. Only, if it was Peter’s party, it was a whole goblet – sometimes, guests even fainted because it was too much!” tour guide Mira Yagofarova told RT.

While you explore the world of vodka, you can also have a shot.


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