Monthly Archives: January 2015

Comics & Cocktails #2 • Constantine Chugging From The Bottle

What comes to mind when someone says John Constantine? Is it that he’s always quick with a quip? Or is it his holy trinity of cigarettes, booze and black magic?

That’s right, it’s time once again for what I’m trying to make a regular series of posts on the blog: Comic Books and Cocktails!

Last time I posted a picture of Darkseid drinking brandy from a snifter. Today I’m writing about John Constantine, and more specifically, the “Hellblazer” Annual #1 titled “The Bloody Saint”:

Season one of NBC’s “Constantine” is close to wrapping up, with 10 episodes having now aired.

“Constantine” is based on the DC/Vertigo book “Hellblazer” and stars Matt Ryan as John Constantine, a Brit with one foot in our world and the other in the supernatural realm.

The show has been an enjoyable one so far, with the writers taking storylines straight from the comics — such as John exorcising demons and butting heads with Papa Midnite.
It’s a great show, and I don’t know if a ton of people are watching it.

Cast members have come out and said that the hasn’t been canceled yet, but NBC hasn’t ordered any more episodes after the initial 13. There still is a chance for a second season, but it seems like the show is walking a fine line.

Don’t know much about John Constantine? Don’t let that stop you. This show’s a nice, easy introduction to the character as well as the darker side of DC.

So if you’re in need of something to watch, choose “Constantine” for the time being — because everything from “Flash” and “Arrow” to The Walking Dead” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” are guaranteed more seasons. But I don’t know where “Constantine” stands.

Do you know of a panel in a comic where a character is boozing it up? Shoot me an email at with the details. I’d love to include it here on the blog.

•#1 — Darkseid Drinking Brandy (Link)


Filed under COMIC BOOKS, COMICS AND COCKTAILS, Uncategorized

Happy Birthday, Félix Kir!

Born on this day in 1876, Canon Félix Kir was a French Catholic priest, a resistance fighter and a politician.

His name, “Kir,” also now lives on as the name of a wine & liqueur cocktail (and also the drink’s many variants).

Here’s the drink as shown on the International Bartenders Association‘s website:
People were already drinking the “Kir” in France before Félix Kir, but he served the drink so much that it became associated with his name:

A local drink, then locally known as ‘blanc-cassis,’ consists of white burgundy wine, traditionally Aligoté, mixed with Crème de Cassis, a sweet, blackcurrant-flavored liqueur. Kir habitually served this local drink to delegations and so the drink itself is now known internationally as Kir.

Recipes online (such as The International Bartenders Association) recommend using 1/10 crème de cassis, but French sources typically specify more. Recipes from the 19th century call for a for blanc-cassis blend of 1/3 crème de cassis, but modern tastes find such proportions cloyingly sweet, and modern sources typically call for 1/5.

Hungry for more info? Check out these sites I cribbed from, such as The Kitchn and Cuisine Collection

•About Félix Kir•
•He was born at Alise-Sainte-Reine on the Côte-d’Or.
•He entered a small seminary at Plombières-lès-Dijon in 1891 and was ordained 1901. He then worked as a parish priest.
•During the occupation of France during World War II, he took an active part in the French Resistance, helping with the escape of 5,000 prisoners of war from a camp at Longvic. He was arrested and condemned to death, but he was released because of his status.
•In 1945 he was made a knight of the Légion d’honneur and was elected mayor of Dijon and to the French National Assembly.
•He remained mayor of Dijon up to his death in 1968.

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Comics & Cocktails #1 • Darkseid Drinking Brandy

Here’s the first of what I’m going to try and make a regular series of posts on the blog: Comic Books and Cocktails!

Why comic books and cocktails? I love both!

So what will these posts entail? Well, they’ll always be one of two things — either a panel from a comic book related to booze or a recipe inspired by comic book characters.

And to start it all off, here’s a picture of Darkseid living the high life:


Such a creepy dude. And the content of this specific issue is actually quite bizarre. The panel comes from Action Comics issue #593, entitled “The Suicide Snare.”

Here’s the full page:

See that VCR in the background? Well, Darkseid’s about to show Mister Miracle a video of his wife in a porno. No, really. That’s the plot of this comic. Check it out here at this link.

I thought Darkseid drinking brandy from a snifter was strange enough, but the plot to Action Comics #593 gets even stranger — with Superman captured and forced to work on set with Mister Miracle’s wife, Big Barda.

But I digress… More about booze and less about the book!

What Is Brandy?
•Brandy is a spirit made from distilling wine.
•Brandy generally contains between 35-60% alcohol by volume. That can mean it’s anywhere from 79-120 U.S. proof.
•The term “brandy” also denotes liquors obtained from distillation of pomace (pomace brandy) or mash or wine of any other fruit (fruit brandy). These products are also named eaux-de-vie.
•Now in terms of its name, the word “Brandy” comes from brandywine, derived from Dutch brandewijn, “gebrande wijn” — or “burned wine.”
•Some brandies are aged in wooden casks, some are colored with caramel coloring to imitate the effect of aging, and some brandies are produced using a combination of both aging and coloring.

What About Cognac?
•Cognac is named after the town of Cognac in France.
•Cognac is a variety of brandy, produced in the wine-growing region surrounding the town from which it takes its name, in the French Departements of Charente and Charente-Maritime.

Do you know of a panel in a comic where a character is boozing it up? Shoot me an email at with the details. I’d love to include it here on the blog.

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It’s Sailor Jerry’s Birthday!

Tattoos, booze, brawn and broads.

It’s Sailor Jerry’s birthday today and, as such, I’ve found myself falling down a rabbit hole of sorts — scrolling through Internet pics of all the things associated with the man: hula girls, black leather, white cotton, sepia-colored rum and all the staples of the “American Traditional” school of tattoo which we’ve come to associate with the brand.

It’s the sort of sequence of images that inspires one to want to skip work and go off adventuring.


Sailor Jerry was born as Norman Collins on Jan. 14, 1911.

There’s a decent-sized bio written about him on the Sailor Jerry site, but in short: the man was in the navy, lived through World War II, had a love for the Pacific, got the nickname “Jerry” from his father and later settled in Hawaii where he set up shop.

Yes, but what about the rum?

When Collins died in 1973, he left his shop and artwork to his two protégés, Ed Hardy and Mike Malone.
In 1999, Hardy and Malone partnered with a small independent Philadelphia clothing company to establish Sailor Jerry Ltd., which owns Collins’ letters, art, and flash, and produces clothing and other items in what’s now known as the Sailor Jerry style.

Sailor Jerry Ltd. also produces a 92 proof spiced Navy-style rum. The bottle features a typical Sailor Jerry hula girl on the label. As the bottle is emptied, additional pin-up girls designed by Sailor Jerry are visible on the inner side of the label.

What is Navy-style rum? Here’s a link to a primer. In short, Navy-style rum is rum modeled after the darker, more full-bodied rums associated with the British Royal Navy.

The Royal Navy was famed for its custom of providing a daily ration of rum to sailors, as far back as 1655 when the British fleet captured the island of Jamaica. Rum traveled aboard ships far better that French brandy. As a matter of fact, where grape-based spirits of wine and brandy eventually went bad in the heat of the tropics, rum seemed to improve as it aged in the barrels aboard ship.

Sailor Jerry’s rum is distilled in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It takes its influence from Caribbean rum, which sailors would spice with flavors from the Far East and Asia to make it more enjoyable to drink. In 2010, the original formula was changed to include a less sweet taste.

Locally, I’ve seen Sailor Jerry a few places, but I don’t remember ’em all. We don’t stock it at the bar where I work, so in his memory today I’ll have to make a stop at The Wine Cellar for a shot of the rum. Maybe a mixed drink too. We’ll see where the day takes me.

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Predicting The Future: Booze In 2015

The nail is in the coffin! The year 2014 is dead — dead, dead, dead!IMG_6110

But before it was buried and put to rest though, a number of sites online took a minute out from writing retrospectives to look ahead at what we might see in the coming year.

What will be the big trends of 2015? I’ve got a half-dozen links posted below. And there is some overlap of ideas between them, especially when it comes to simply pointing out the extension of trends which already hit the ground running in 2014.

Still, there are quite a few interesting ideas proposed in these lists:

• — Link
•Details — Link
•TechTimes — Link
• — Link
•The Spirits Business — Link

And then there’s this
• International Food & Restaurant Consultants — Baum & Whiteman Report

I separated the above link from the others because it is largely a report about food. That said, there is also a lot in the report about bars and booze. It’s a 19-page document, not a web list like all the other lists. And there’s a lot of interesting ideas and predictions proposed.

Can’t handle 19 pages? Here’s an article about the report:
•Gothamist — Food Trends In 2015

Everyone wants to be ahead of the curve.

Me? I can’t wait to be completely blindsided by something awesome this coming year, whether it’s just a new flavor, product, brand or technique — or whether it’s something that turns the whole industry on its ear.


Filed under 2015, LISTS, TRENDS