Monday, May 10, 2010

Week of May 9, 2010

Welcome back my friends!

After a nice long weekend out of town with the extended family, it's nice to be back home.  We were in Florida from Thursday to Sunday, and my time down south ran the gamut, from pure family time to visiting old friends, from family friendly beach scenes in Deerfield Beach and Boca Raton to the more urban and hip South Beach, Miami.

I don't know what to make of Florida.  I like the state, but I find it hard to identify with at times.  I love beaches, but don't love commercial beach areas, overrun with t-shirt stands.  I suppose no one does. 

Still, when I think of Florida, that is what first comes to mind, commercial beaches.  So too do retired folks (my grandparents travelled to Florida in the winter back in the day).  Neither commercial beaches nor retired folks make for the most desirable destination, for me anyway.

I know this is unfair.  As often discussed with JB, there are likely many places in Florida that would be right up my alley, I've just not found them yet.  My visits to the state are few and far between, and admittedly, the spring break visits are only prime examples of my and my friends' sophomoric behavior, and not the locale to which we ventured.

By comparison to the t-shirt shilling beach areas, I visited a friend's condo in South Beach.  His place reminded me of a nice hotel one would stay at, with a gorgeous view of the city (and beautiful sunsets).  Miami appears to be a fantastic place to live and work.  It's the rest of the state that's hard to figure out. 

Florida's sun is nice.  The warm weather in the winter is lovely.  The summer?  Probably not as much.  It's too hot, even for Floridians. 

I suppose this aimless rambling leaves me wondering whether there is a place in Florida for me outside of Miami.  Maybe not.  Just as I would probably not live 30 minutes outside of my current city, perhaps the same holds for living in Florida.  Once outside the gates of the main city, the cultural hub, I believe I'd be as lost as Jack and Sawyer are in the Pacific (that was my quick shout out to Lost fans).

Soundtrack this week:

The National High Violet - the new album drops tomorrow.  I posted a link to The New York Times streaming audio of the album on my Twitter feed a couple weeks ago.  Hopefully you were able to listen to their new work.  I think this is one hell of a disc, from front to back.  The National are dark, moody, but overwhelmingly soulful.  Listen to the 9th track, entitled "Conversation 16", and tell me you don't get chills when Matt belts out "I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I am evil."  Put this one on the short list of my potential favorite albums of 2010. 

What we're drinking this week:

After having taken the tail end of the week off, we're back this week with three stellar cocktails.

Tomorrow: French 75 - it has gin, it has champagne...sign me up!  As previously mentioned, this cocktail has been heavily featured in print of late.  Good thing too, it's an excellent cocktail.

Wednesday: Ring of Kerry - Irish whiskey, Bailey's and Kaluha.  Sounds good, right?  And, it's named after arguably the most beautiful part of all of Ireland, the southwest coast.  I'll hunt down some photos I took while there, so you can see the area, if you've not had occasion to visit yourself.

Thursday: Venus - Some gin, some Cointreau, and fresh raspberries.  Umm, yes please.  I think I'm most excited about this drink, as you shake the cocktail the raspberries before straining the contents into a glass.  Sounds unique and delicious. 

Friday, we may pull in one more cocktail if we have time.

One last note:  We had some really good questions sent in last week, and I may pull together a mailbag in the next week or so.  Our e-mail is amateurmixologist(at) - feel free to write with comments or questions, and we'll try to get to all of the questions in the mailbag post to come.



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