October 2nd, 2008

The Debate

There’s a big debate happening tonight. People all over Boston are asking themselves, ‘Do I go to the grand opening of Drink, or wait a few days/weeks until the hoopla dies down?’

Oh, there’s the vice-presidential debate, too. Which leads to yet another debate: ‘Do I stay home and watch what might be the most memorable 90 minutes of the 2008 presidential race, or go out and avoid a potentially cringe-worthy evening in front of the TV?’

These are tough choices.

If you decide to go out and watch the debate, there is a debate-watching party tonight at the Hong Kong in Harvard Square. It is sponsored by the group Drinking Liberally, whose motto is “promoting democracy one pint at a time.”

While you’re wrestling with the weighty matters of the presidential campaign, the financial crisis and whether it’s too soon to check out Boston’s newest bar, take a few minutes and have a laugh at this, um, instructional video (Jeffrey Morgenthaler posted this on his blog well over a year ago, but I saw it just yesterday). The bartender in it claims that she is making a Mint Julep. Her perkiness, confidence and utter lack of a clue are positively Palinesque.

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11 Responses to “The Debate”

  1. MC Slim JB

    She’s from Bricks Nightclub and Sunset Lounge in downtown Miami. CitySearch Miami describes it thus: “With three rooms and five bars totaling to 10,000 square feet, it’s a no-brainer that Bricks is a true downtown hot spot. The kinetic lighting system, exclusive to South Florida, and zebra and tiger print couches lining the walls in the VIP lounge, decorate the main room. The Jade outdoor patio is occupied with oversized patio furniture while the upstairs sky lounge offers private cabanas and large plush couches with views of the Miami skyline.”

    Let’s see: that’s limes, sugar, and Rose’s muddled, then good bourbon, sour mix, and Sprite? Mmmmm, Julep-y! But she otherwise seems to have the Miami bartender’s essential assets.

  2. Todd

    Palinesque. Nice…

    So before the shooting starts let”s explain righ here and now that there’s not more chance of getting the various Julep schools to agree on fabrication of this most delectable of drinks, than we have of getting a proud Atlanta great-grandmother to concede General Sherman a nice, gentle, well-meanig, big boy…(Baker 61)

    I would think ALL schools whould have this woman’s picture on the most wanted board….”Wanted Dead or Alive” (Bush)

  3. MC Slim JB

    Forgive my Yankee ignorance, but there’s more to a traditional julep than mint, sugar, bourbon and ice?

    I mean, I know that soda-pop concoction that the eminently perky Ms. Andrea is making is non-canonical, but I hadn’t heard of competing Julep schools. I thought the julep was one of those relatively staid, tradition-bound drinks. Is it simply a matter of proportions, or are other ingredients introduced?

  4. Todd

    just a few of the points of contention:

    1. vessel of delevery… glass – silver or pewter mug
    2. garnish – cherry – no cherry
    3. mint – brused – water boarded
    4. mint – strained – left in
    5. mint- red stemmed – non red
    5. ice – cubed – crushed

  5. ljclark

    Yeah, all of these ring a bell with me except for the cherry (!?). For me, all arguments about the proper method of making a mint julep melt away after reading Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr.’s letter instructing a colleague in the art of this cocktail. He starts, “A mint julep is not a product of a formula. It is a ceremony … a rite that must not be entrusted to a novice, a statistician nor a Yankee.” http://www.civilwarhome.com/mintjulep.htm

    WARNING: Reading this letter provokes an immediate, irresistable yearning for a mint julep.

  6. Lis Riba

    This reminds me of a 1934 quote by Irvin Cobb (which I heard Chris McMillian recite at Tales of the Cocktail):

    In the name of the julep I have seen high crimes and flagrant misdemeanors committed.

    In one Corn Belt city, which I shall not name here because probably it’s enough ashamed of itself already, I have stood in horror and with seared eyeballs have seen a julep converted into a harsh green tea by the sacriligious use of peppermint sprigs — not mint, peppermint! But if one’s fancy inclines that way, why not just swallow a mothball and be done with it?

    Along the Eastern Seaboard — north of Baltimore, of course, because they know better there — I have been affronted by an architectural mostrosity, containing such foreign substances as flavoring extracts, canned goods, artificial coloring, grated cinnamon, and almost anything else that wasn’t nailed down. Any person who would call that a julep — and these savages actually did — would be sufficiently ignorant to think Cincinnati is a new form of chewing gum.

    And once, in Farther Maine, a criminal masquerading as a barkeeper at a summer hotel, reared for me a strange structure that had nearly everything in it except the proper constituents of a julep. It had in it pineapple, orange peel, lemon juice, pickled peaches, sundry other fruits and various berries, both fresh and preserved; and the whipped up white of an egg, and for a crowning atrocity a flirt of allspice across that expanse of pallid meringue.

    When I could in some degree restrain my weeping, I told him things. “Brother,” I told him, between sobs, “brother, all this needs is a crust on it and a knife to eat it with, and it would be a typical example of the supreme effect in pastry of your native New England housewife’s breakfast table. But, brother,” I said, “I didn’t come in here for a pie, I mentioned a julep; and you, my poor erring brother, you have done this to me! Go”, I said, “go and sin no more or, at least, sin as little as possible.”

  7. ljclark

    Ha! And General Buckner’s letter was written three years later. Maybe he went to that same Maine hotel, hence his admonishment not to entrust the mixing of a mint julep to Yankee.

  8. JR

    “Don’t forget to add your Sprite!”

    Ye gods.

  9. pinky g

    Best video ever!!! From the sour mix to the boobs right down to the flaccid mint. An instant classic.

  10. Bill Fletcher

    That is no more a Mint Julep. Than a Bourbon is a Vodka. Branch water ,sugar,spring mint (the small leaves) AND NORMALLY Bourbon is all that is required. Although the original Mint Julep was most likely made with rye whiskey and was originally made in Virginia. A proper Mint Julep is invigorating as well as intoxicating. Too bad that such a fine drink is being bastardised by the bartenders in Florida.

  11. MC Slim JB

    If I wasn’t being crystal clear, when I called Andrea’s julep “non-canonical”, I meant “a heinous abomination”. One more reason why South Florida should never be confused with The South.

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