86 and the Rules of Drinking

I came across the 86 Rules of Boozing the other day and thought you'd get a kick out of them. Quite a few had me chuckling and a few others had me reliving some bar moments I would rather have forgotten, lol! (P.S. #65 is my favorite!)  I've posted a few of my favorites below.

The title and number of rules is probably inspired by the term 86 which means to eject and bar from entry for violating a drinking establishment's rules and/or bad behavior. The origins of the term most likely come from an infamous speakeasy at 86 Bedford Street in Greenwich Village called Chumlee which had no address on the door and several secret exits. When the police showed up to raid the speakeasy guests were known to "86 it" or get the hell out before they got arrested.

1. If you owe someone money, always pay them back in a bar. Preferably during happy hour.

5. Buying someone a drink is five times better than a handshake.

6. Buying a strange woman a drink is still cool. Buying all her drinks is dumb.

8. When the bartender is slammed, resist the powerful urge to order a slightly-dirty, very-dry, in-and-out, super-chilled half-and-half martini with a lemon twist. Limit orders to beer, straight shots and two-part cocktails.

12. Never, ever tell a bartender he made your drink too strong.

13. If he makes it too weak, order a double next time. He'll get the message.

14. If you offer to buy a woman a drink and she refuses, she does not like you.

15. If you offer to buy a woman a drink and she accepts, she still might not like you.

16. If she buys you a drink, she likes you.

20. Drink one girly drink in public and you will forever be known as the guy who drinks girly drinks.

24. After your sixth drink, do not look at yourself in the mirror. It will shake your confidence.

28. If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to drink in a bar. Go to the liquor store.

30. Never complain about the quality or brand of a free drink.

33. The only thing that tastes better than free liquor is stolen liquor.

35. Learn to appreciate hangovers. If it was all good times every jackass would be doing it.

40. If you have ever told a bartender, “Hey, it all spends the same,” then you are a cheap ass.

41. Anyone on stage or behind a bar is fifty percent better looking.

42. You can tell how hard a drinker someone is by how close they keep their drink to their mouth.

47. Nothing screams 'nancy boy' louder than swirling an over sized brandy snifter.

52. Your songs will come on as you're leaving the bar.

54. Never lie in a bar. You may, however, grossly exaggerate and lean.

55. If you think you might be slurring a little, then you are slurring a lot. If you think you are slurring a lot, then you are not speaking English.

56. Screaming, “Someone buy me a drink!” has never worked.

64. The people with the most money are rarely the best tippers.

65. Before you die, single-handedly make one decent martini.

75. Beer makes you mellow, champagne makes you silly, wine makes you dramatic, tequila makes you felonious.

79. If you are 86’d, do not return for at least three months. To come back sooner makes it appear no other bar wants you.

83. The bar clock moves twice as fast from midnight to last call.

84. A flask engraved with a personal message is one of the best gifts you can ever give. And make sure there’s something in it.

86. You will forget every one of these rules by your fifth drink.




Make your next Old Fashioned with Honey!

Having recently been having a love affair with making honey simple syrups, I thought I'd give a go at using my honey simple syrup in the most classic of all cocktails, The Old Fashioned.

Glad I did, give it a try because I think you'll like it as much as I did.




2 Ounces Rye Whiskey* (or Bourbon)
2 Tsp. Honey**
1 Tsp. Warm Water
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Garnish: 1 Orange slice, 1 Homemade Bourbon Cherry

Add the honey, warm water and bitters to an old fashioned glass then stir until the honey has dissolved. Fill the glass with ice cubes and add your chosen whiskey. Give this a quick stir then twist the orange slice over the cocktail to express the oils and juice then drop it into the drink. Garnish with the cocktail cherry and serve.

*I used  Bulleit “95” Rye Small Batch Frontier Whiskey.

** I prefer to use locally sourced honey when making a plain honey simple syrup.




I received a sample bottle of Clyde May's Alabama Style Whiskey for a promotion and, like I always do, popped that bottle open and took a sip. Nice way to jump start your day, trust me. Later that afternoon I went back in for a closer experience. The nose was spicy with a hint of fruit, then caramel and chocolate chimes in and surrounded my palate with a very nice soothing note.

After that hit of chocolate I decided I was heading into having a Manhattan and, since National Chocolate Day was coming up, I decided I'd go the chocolate route by adding a bit of creme de cacao and replacing the standard Manhattan bitters with some chocolate bitters. I skipped the cherry garnish and added a hit of orange by twisting some orange peel over the top.

Quite a nice and easy cocktail but with a satisfying complexity and perfect for the start of fall.


2 Oz. Clyde May's Alabama Style Whiskey
1/2 Cinzano Rosso
1/4 Oz. White Creme de Cacao
2 Dashes Chocolate Bitters

Garnish: Orange twist

Tap the bitters over ice in a chilled Old Fashioned glass.
Pour in the Cinzano Rosso, Creme de Cacao and whiskey.
Stir gently.
Twist some orange over the top, drop in then serve.




When I received this bottle of Nemiroff Honey Pepper Vodka I was imagining a flavor infusion of honey with black peppercorns for some reason. That might have been because here in Arizona we call any hot pepper a chile or a chile pepper, not just a pepper. And to be honest, if I hadn't gone to the website and checked out what this vodka was made from, I would still be under the impression it was a mild black pepper because the heat from the chile pepper is extremely subtle, literally almost not there until the finish. Mostly I enjoyed a heavy honey flavor with a tinge of fruit and a bit of herbal flavors in the background, then the heat came as a surprising and pleasant afterthought. The honey gives this vodka it's color and I suspect it also gives it body. There was an almost aged whiskey-like mouth feel that surprised me. If I was allowed to say only one thing about this vodka, it would be that it had substance.

I felt the vodka carried its own weight in the flavor department and decided that a cobbler style cocktail was a great way to feature that flavor without interfering too much. I also wanted to accentuate the fruit flavor a bit more so, instead of using simple syrup, I used a strawberry liqueur as my sweetener while sticking with the addition of the traditional orange slices of a typical cobbler.


2-1/2 Oz. Nemiroff Honey Pepper Vodka
1 Oz. Fragoli Strawberry Liqueur 
2 Orange Slices, quartered
3 Small Strawberries, sliced

Garnish: Orange Slices, Strawberries, Metal Straw

Muddle the orange and strawberry slices with the strawberry liqueur in a chilled highball glass.
Add the Nemiroff Honey Pepper Vodka, stir.
Fill the glass with crushed ice, stir.
Garnish and serve.

My thanks to Baddish Group and Nemiroff Vodka for the chance to try out the Nemiroff Honey Pepper Vodka.



The SPUMONI MARTINI Cocktail Recipe

August 21st is National Spumoni Day and, because I enjoy creating cocktails for all the arbitrary food holidays (and I had a bottle of Dumante pistachio liqueur), I gave Google a peek to see if there was anything called a Spumoni cocktail. Spumoni is a molded Italian ice cream dessert from Napoli made with layers of chocolate, pistachio and cherry gelatos mixed sometimes with whipped cream and candied fruits and nuts. It was the inspiration for our American Neopolitan ice cream combination.

Considering this, I expected to see either nothing at all or something with those flavors involved. What I found instead were several references to an equal parts Campari, grapefruit juice and tonic recipe and a few that subbed in Midori for the Campari.

Say what?  What is "Spumoni" about that? (I know, you probably don't care, you just want a cocktail, but this kind of booze minutia intrigues my trivia addiction so bear with me - or just skip to the cocktail recipe.) Turns out, not much. Evidently, Suntory made a canned cocktail called "Spumoni" made with those ingredients that was popular in Japan at one time. Why they called it Spumoni is anybodies guess, unless it was fizzy from the tonic so they referred back to the Latin word spuma which translates as “foam” with the plural being spumoni. A Spumoni Cocktail made with Campari, grapefruit juice and tonic can still be found in bars there.

The Japanese version actually sounds pretty refreshing, albeit a tad bitter for American tastes, and it would make a nice apéritif, but, let's face it, it's got nothing to do with Italy's Spumoni ice cream. That combination of chocolate, pistachio and cherry was what I was looking for when the word Spumoni was involved and that was what I was going to have to drink on National Spumoni Day. Plus I had that Dumante staring me down.


2 Oz. Dumonte Pistachio Liqueur
1 Oz. White Crème de Cacao
1 Tsp. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

Garnish: Luxardo Maraschino Cherry

Shake the ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish and serve.

Eat a cherry then take a sip and enjoy this cocktail version of Spumoni.

National Spumoni Day is August 21st.




This is the time of year we start getting plump, juicy fresh berries into the markets. That makes it one of my favorite times of the year despite the desert heat and raging monsoons we are subjected to here in Tucson.  I just get out to the markets early in the mornings, before the clouds start to build over the mountains, grab the best baskets of raspberries, then hurry home to beat the flash floods and await happy hour.

Come late afternoon the monsoons have usually arrived and I am safely tucked dryly away sipping on a berry cocktail.  For today it will be this one:


1 Oz Raspberry Vodka
1 Oz Chambord
1 Oz Heavy Cream
10 Fresh Raspberries

Garnish: Fresh Raspberries, Lemon Twist

Muddle the raspberries in the bottom of a chilled cocktail shaker.
Fill shaker with ice then add the remaining ingredients.
Shake until chilled then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Twist the lemon over the top, drop in the garnish with the berries and serve.

National Raspberries and Cream Day is celebrated every August 7th.



The PIÑA COLADA - A Classic Tiki Cocktail Recipe

"Life is about balance. The good and the bad. The highs and the lows. The piña and the colada."
~ Ellen DeGeneres

There is no cocktail that more associated with Tiki or tropical locales and balmy days than the classic Piña Colada. There is also no less complicated Tiki drink recipe out there.

It's hard to mess this one up but you can take it to near perfection by using fresh ingredients, a good rum and being exacting with the recipe ratios.


1 Part White Rum
1 Part Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut
6 Parts Fresh Pineapple Juice

Garnish: Pineapple Wedge, Cocktail Cherry

Mix together your rum, coconut cream and pineapple juice in a blender. 
Add 1 cup of ice and blend until smooth.
Pour into a chilled hurricane glass.
Garnish and serve.

You can read about the history of the Piña Colada and try some fun Piña Colada recipe variations here.

National Piña Colada Day is July10th.


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