Friday, May 28, 2010


Now that we're nearing the summer, every decent television show is wrapping up their season.  It's time to turn to other pastimes as we all do when the summer rolls around.

Every year I hope to read a little more, though I always find it difficult to read books in the face of all the periodicals to which we subscribe.  I did however recently finish a book that I recommend.  It's called "Safe From the Neighbors," by Steve Yarbrough.

"Safe From the Neighbors" is a story about a local-history teacher in a small Mississippi town, the affair he has with a fellow teacher, and the relationship between the 1960s Civil Rights movement, his family, and those around him.  Yarbrough manages to weave historical anecdotes into the modern melodrama of the main character's life, all told in the first person.

It's a pretty short novel - maybe around 300 pages or so.  Yarbrough manages to make good use of the space. When you finish that last page, you'll wonder how he fit the story into such tight quarters.

And, after reading some of the story's sadder plot developments, you'll need a stiff drink.  What do you know - we're drinking one today!  It's called the Rosemary cocktail, equal parts bourbon and dry vermouth.  Simple to make, and strong.

This recipce can be found at's cocktail section


1 1/2 oz bourbon
1 1/2 oz dry vermouth

Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice cubes.  Stir well.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

For this cocktail, I'm using Woodford Reserve bourbon whiskey and Martini and Rossi Dry Vermouth.

The website for this cocktail says that the Rosemary is also called a Dry Bourbon Manhattan (dry of course because it's made using dry vermouth). 

Admittedly, this is not my favorite use of bourbon, particularly good bourbon.  The dry vermouth doesn't add flavor to the bourbon that compliments its sweet tones in the same way that a normal Manhattan's sweet vermouth might.  Know too that I often find Manhattan's to be on the sweet side all their own, and to use sweet vermouth sparingly. 

Here however, the bourbon is drowned out by dry vermouth, losing a bit of its flavor profile without a complimenting component.  Think of a piece of pie, whose sweetness was zapped by an addition of a certain amount of flour in the place of sugar.  The dry vermouth has the same dulling effect, in my opinion.

So I don't love the Rosemary, but I do love bourbon.  Maybe next time, I'll just stick to a Manhattan.

Have a great weekend folks...enjoy the holiday!

For more drink links, random musings, and my attempts to be witty, check us out @IMakeDrinks on Twitter.


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