MxMo XVII: Buckets Full of Blog Love

I know, I know, “Blog Love” is kinda touchy feely. But it seems folks have gotten the point — the entries are still rolling in, and it looks like this one’s a blowout.

But it ain’t midnight yet, at least not where I am. And for a Mixology Monday devoted to celebrating the work of other bloggers, I have a few glasses to raise to folks who’ve helped guide my way.

Back when I first started blogging, I only had a few models to follow. Sure, there were tons of blogs around, but given my interests, there were only a couple I actually read on a regular basis. One of those was Looka!, part of Chuck Taggart’s larger site, The Gumbo Pages. I was reading Chuck’s blog before I even knew what a blog was, and when I decided to start up my own little endeavor, I paid a lot of attention to the way Chuck went about keeping his site current and interesting.

Part of the appeal of Chuck’s site, of course, was the drinks. His tastes are similar to mine — we both favor the obscure and the vintage, and neither of us shy away from cocktails with funky old amaros or floral herb-bomb liqueurs.

One of the drinks that caught my attention early on was the Fancy Free. To be totally accurate, Chuck wrote about this on his static site about food & drink before mentioning it on his blog, but the drink’s simple recipe and its use of maraschino liqueur and two types of bitters appealed to my innermost cocktail geek. I don’t make this drink very often, but when I do, I do so with great pleasure.

Fancy Free

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
  • 1-2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1-2 dashes orange bitters

Stir well with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Not long ago I finally had the pleasure of speaking with Chuck for the vintage ingredients article that appears in the current issue of Imbibe, and he and I will appear on the Lost Ingredients panel on Thursday at Tales of the Cocktail, and, appropriately, on the Cocktails and the Blogosphere panel on Saturday, where we will serve this drink.

And to put a few more glasses in the air:

* Jimmy Patrick has, in my humble opinion, one of the most inspiring cocktail blogs out there. His posts are sporadic, but Jimmy has a true touch of artistry with the drink. One of his early Mixology Monday posts on the Stinger had me mixing up batches of homemade mint syrup, and any time he’s messing with a new ingredient like St. Germain, I sit up and pay special attention.

* I’m loathe to mention this, as given the number of nods he’s receiving today his head may no longer fit through the door, but Jeffrey Morgenthaler was riffing on the Hotel Nacional cocktail and actually came up with a not-too-bad drink he calls the Nacional. And by “not too bad,” I mean absolutely outstanding — a daiquiri with apricot brandy added (good stuff, mind you) and a couple of dashes of peach bitters. Damn.

* Rick at Kaiser Penguin always manages to make me feel humble when I see his outstanding photos. Here I’ll be, feeling all proud of my little tiki drink with its not-too-mangled mint sprig dangling over the side and a smooshed cherry sinking down into the ice, then I click on Rick’s site and vavoom! I feel like I’m mixing in Hicksville.

I’d like to go on through everyone else who’s provided me with inspiration, but life is short and I have a roundup to get to work on. Head back over here on Tuesday to see how it all worked out.

3 Responses to MxMo XVII: Buckets Full of Blog Love

  1. Gee, Paul, I don’t know if I should hug you or just go cry myself to sleep on my huge pillow!

    Amen to your take on Jimmy Patrick. His blog was one of the first I started reading regularly, and I’m honored to be able to call him a friend these days. I’m always thrilled when I find one of his warm, helpful emails in my inbox (“Dude, your database crashed a few minutes ago and I can’t get to your site, go call your host!”) but I’m even more excited when I come across a new post of his.

    If there’s anyone out there who hasn’t been to Jimmy’s Cocktail Hour, do yourself a favor and go through his archives. And then drop him an email and tell him to write more. Sheesh.

  2. I’m sitting here trying to write a comment that isn’t gushing to excess about how wonderful it is to be part of this cocktail community. I’m not succeeding. The near endless stream of new cocktails, interesting techniques, and rich writing are going to leave me in a heap of alcohol-soaked joy.

    Thanks Paul for the kind and amusing words. I’d like to third your nod to Jimmy and Jeffrey. Their sites are inspiring and unique.

    Finally, a big thanks to you for all of the hard work you put into organizing MxMo and keeping it alive and well.

  3. (blush)

    I’m without words, as usual. To be mentioned by Paul, in the same breath as Jeff and Rick. Unreal. Thanks for the kind words.

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