Spirits | A Continuous Lean.

Adventures in Ireland with John Jameson.

Mar 17th, 2013 | Categories: Cocktails, Spirits, Travel | by Michael Williams

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Dublin on St. Patrick’s day is something everyone should experience exactly one time. That was my feeling anyway, and when the people of Jameson Whiskey invited me to experience things firsthand, it seemed there was very little deliberation to make. St. Patty’s St. Paddy’s day in Ireland seems to carry the significance of every major holiday rolled-up into one day (or in this case, one weekend) of madness. As it turns out, there also happens to conveniently be a bank holiday on the Monday following the festivities this year, which provides a nice and quiet day of, ummm well, reflection. Many seize the holiday as a chance to dress up in ridiculous outfits and act crazy (my preferred method of dealing with that sort is to run in the opposite direction), but the folks at Jameson took the opportunity to demonstrate a finer touch and showed off the more enlightened side of St. Patrick’s day.

The program in Dublin entailed seeing some of Dublin’s most interesting libation destinations (Vintage Cocktail Club and the Bar With No Name to call out to good ones) and spent an afternoon with the incredibly talented artist & sign painter David Smith. We also might have had a whiskey or two.

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The Bull Shot: Where Vegans Fear to Tread

Jan 20th, 2013 | Categories: Cocktails, David Coggins, Firenze, Spirits | by David Coggins

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This is an age of cocktail enlightenment—savvy drinkers aren’t surprised to discover artichoke infused vodka or persimmon bitters in their glass or a shiso leaf as garnish. They venture forth seeking vision and innovation, the eccentric and the unfamiliar. Yet it’s a classic cocktail, of all things, that causes consternation among the imbibing faint of heart. We speak of course of the endangered Bull Shot.

Why is this downright nourishing drink more difficult to find? In a phrase: beef broth. Yes, the Bull Shot is essentially a Bloody Mary that substitutes goodly beef broth for tomato juice. So rare is this historic concoction that on a recent trip to Florence we were overjoyed to find it listed at Harry’s Bar (not the endangered Venetian original, but, after more than 50 years on the bank of the Arno, nothing to scoff at).

At Harry’s, upon ordering, the broth arrives from the kitchen and the barman takes it from there. Where does that Bull Shot take you? Well, it’s a hearty daytime drink, unusually good when you told yourself you were going to take a day away from liquor. It’s downbeat but reassuring—like an old cardigan, like Chet Baker.