Category Archives: BIRTHDAYS

24 Hours In Buffalo — Savoy & Vera Pizzeria

The reason I went to Buffalo over the weekend was to get myself some quality craft cocktails for my birthday.

My first stop though was for a quick beer, as I detailed in my last post, but the plan for the evening was very much about craft cocktails. We checked into our hotel and got gussied up for Halloween, then headed first to Savoy for a drink and Vera Pizzeria for dinner.

Savoy’s Beet Around The Busch:

  

My wife had a non-alcoholic cocktail which the bartender shook up and topped with ginger beer.

The first drink I had at Vera was a cocktail called Dill Breaker:

  

My second drink at Vera was a cocktail called Vice Admiral:

  

By the time we got to Vera it was very dark out, and the house lights were low (for Haloween I’m guessing) — and so I brightened the above pictures as best I could. Apologies for all the graininess, but I’m happy I at least got a pic at all for the blog. I easily could’ve left my phone at home and just enjoyed the atmosphere and overall experience. 

Our meal was excellent and the staff members at Vera were knowledgable and friendly. I finally got to try Amaro Di Angostura and the bartenders were kind enough to chat with me about their Fernet-Branca on tap!

The two cocktails I had are on Vera’s new Fall 2015 cocktail menu:

The Dill Breaker:

  

The Vice Admiral:
  

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Filed under AMARO, BEET, BIRTHDAYS, BRANDS, BUFFALO BARS, BUFFALO RESTAURANTS, DESTINATION COCKTAILS, DILL, HOLIDAYS, PISCO, RYE WHISKEY, WHISKEY

24 Hours In Buffalo —Resurgence Brewing

My wife and I went to Buffalo over the weekend for my birthday.

It was a whirlwind trip, and we managed to pack a ton of stuff in throughout the course of only 24 hours.

The first stop we made was a first-time destination for us. 

We were on the 90 approaching Buffalo and wanted an early afternoon snack, but had no particular place in mind. 

I’d seen friends post pictures of a place called Resurgence Brewing on Facebook so we dialed up OnStar on a whim and took a chance on it:

  

We had such a good time at Resurgence on Saturday that we decided we’d end our weekend there as well, and we did!

When we left Buffalo on Sunday afternoon, we stopped again so I could try the Sponge Candy Stout — and I ended up winning a beer stein as part of a fundraiser being held at the brewery.

  

I love that I’d never had this brewery’s beer before nor had I ever been to this brewery, yet it ended up being the beginning and end to my weekend — a sort of bookend for my birthday. And both visits were exceptional in their own unique ways:

SATURDAY

I had two beers on Saturday, the WNY Fest and the Oktoberfest.

We also had two snacks while at Resurgence on the first day, a chip-and-dip with a peppers-and-cheese sauce as well as an order of pretzels which came with its own trio of other dips.

Perfect food for a beer-drinking afternoon, but grab plenty of water — most of those dips were spicy.

Saturday was Halloween and we were too early for the brewery’s costume contest (and we weren’t in costume yet), but one of Resurgence’s staff members was an excellent Ace Ventura.

Before leaving, I bought a six-pack of Resurgence’s IPA (which I still have yet to try) — and on our way out we sat by the outdoor fireplace which the brewery has in its closed-off backyard. It was a great way to spend a beautiful October afternoon.

SUNDAY

After brunch at Cecelia’s and a quick beer at Blue Monk, we bought sponge candy at Watson’s and then headed back to Resurgence for the brewery’s Sponge Candy Stout (pictured at bottom):

 
Top left is the Oktoberfest and top right is the WNY Fest.

Both days had their own unique energies at the brewery — Saturday was all abuzz with holiday joy and twentysomethings playing brewery games (cornhole, Connect Four, Jenga). On Sunday there were people there for the football game and also to support the fundraiser happening. 

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Filed under BEER, BIRTHDAYS, BREWERIES, BUFFALO BARS, BUFFALO RESTAURANTS, CRAFT BEER, NEW TO ME

Mary Lee And The Nancy Drew

STARS AND SPIRITS

Cocktail: The Nancy Drew
Inspiration: Actress Mary Lee Wooters
Base Ingredients: Rum
Why today? Mary Lee was born Oct. 24, 1924.
Origin: Did this drink exist before the 30 Rock episode?
Cocktail Groupings: Old Hollywood, Actresses & Calendar Cocktails

Actress Mary Lee Wooters was born Oct. 24, 1924.

She was a big band singer and B movie actress from the late 1930s into the 1940s, starring mostly in Westerns.

I usually know something about the actresses I post about here, but I had to do a little reading about Mary Lee — and also about the Nancy Drew cocktail.

Mary Lee’s first screen appearance was in the Warner Brothers Nancy Drew… Reporter (released Feb. 18, 1939). In the film she played the character Mary Nickerson, the younger sister of Nancy Drew’s boyfriend, Ted Nickerson.

About This Drink:

The Nancy Drew is a simple drink, just rum and ginger ale with lime juice — which makes it a sort of buck/mule.

Ingredients:

  • 1 part white rum
  • 2 parts ginger ale 
  • Splash lime juice

Preparation:

Build in a rocks glass filled with ice, and garnish with a lime wedge.

A VARIATION:

The blog A Crimson Kiss gives a recipe for a slightly more “craft” version of this drink:

  • 2 oz aged rum
  • 1 oz ginger syrup
  • 3/4 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 oz coconut cream
  • Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice; shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with a few dashes of Angostura bitters.

Thirsty For More!? Click These Links:
—Nancy Drew and “The Hardy Boy
—Another post about 30 Rock

All The Stars & Spirits:
There are dozens of cocktails named after actors and actresses, and I’ve written about a few of them here:
•Charlie Chaplain — (Link)
•Clara Bow — Link)
•Fay Wray — (Link)
•Ginger Rogers — (Link)
•Lauren Bacall — (Link)
•Lillian Gish — (Link)
•Mary Astor — (Link)
•Mary Pickford — (Link)

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Filed under BIRTHDAYS, COCKTAIL RECIPES, OLD HOLLYWOOD, RUM, STARS AND SPIRITS

Happy Birthday, Lillian Gish!

STARS AND SPIRITS

Cocktail: The “8 East 83rd” Cocktail
Inspiration: Actress Lillian Gish
Base Ingredient: Rye Whiskey
Why today? Gish was born Oct. 14, 1893.
Origin: Nicholas Horton — Bar Noir, Beverly Hills
Cocktail Groupings: Old Hollywood, Actresses & Calendar Cocktails

Once upon a time the actress Lillian Gish was on par with the likes of Mary Pickford.

Today is the actress’s birthday. She was born Oct . 14, 1893.

She’s far from forgotten today, but in terms of a cocktail legacy there’s no actual drink named after Lillian Gish.

However, a California bartender did create something in 2012 as an homage to the actress — and the drink received a write-up in The LA Times. I’ve copied the recipe below comes from that newspaper article:

The “8 East 83rd” Cocktail
An homage to Lillian Gish

By Nicholas Horton
Bar Noir, Beverly Hills

INGREDIENTS
•1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey
•1 ounce simple syrup
•1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
•2 1/2 ounces Earl Grey tea

PREPARATION
Mix ingredients in a shaker and serve on the rocks in a tea pot.

Thirsty for more?
There are dozens of cocktails named after actors and actresses, and I’ve written about a few of them here:
•Charlie Chaplain — (Link)
•Clara Bow — Link)
•Fay Wray — (Link)
•Ginger Rogers — (Link)
•Lauren Bacall — (Link)
•Mary Astor — (Link)
•Mary Pickford — (Link)

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Filed under BIRTHDAYS, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, OLD HOLLYWOOD

Happy Birthday, Lauren Bacall

Today is Lauren Bacall’s birthday and I wasn’t expecting to find a cocktail named after the actress, but then I stumbled across this gem posted by a WordPress site called Wine Cocktails.

  
We’ve got a nice rose at the bar where I work, so I’ll definitely be trying this out later tonight.

Maybe if I get time I’ll search online later to see if there’s a Dark Passage cocktail. 

  
From what I can tell from Wine Mixology’s post, this cocktail is an original drink that two of their contributors came up with earlier this year — and I hope they don’t mind if I re-post their recipe. But for anyone reading here On this blog bout this drink for the first time, please click over and check out the original post!

From Wine Mixology:

This cocktail is a play on three classics with its own distinctive twist. One classic is obviously Lauren Bacall herself – the sultry actress of the Golden Ages of motion pictures. This cocktail also puts a twist on the classical gin and tonic as well as the “Greyhound” with its splash of grapefruit. It is very refreshing without being too heavy in body. 


INGREDIENTS

  • 2 oz Pol Clement Rose Sec (French Sparkling Rose Wine)
  • ½ oz Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin
  • ½ oz Triple Sec
  • 2 oz Organic Pink Grapefruit juice
  • ½ oz Honey Syrup (1/2cup honey; ½ cup boiling water, stir)
  • Top glass off with Tonic
  • Grapefruit and basil for garnish

PREPARATION

Fill a Collins glass with ice and add in the rose, gin, triple sec, grapefruit juice and honey syrup, and then top the remaining room left in the glass with tonic water. Garnish with grapefruit and basil.

Still Thirsty For More?

—Got a minute-and-a-half!? Here’s a cute, quick video on how to make the Lauren Bacall.

Update:

I’ll be updating this post later tonight after I take a picture of my Lauren Bacal drink I’ll be making.

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Filed under BIRTHDAYS, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, COCKTAIL RECIPES, GIN, GRAPEFRUIT, OLD HOLLYWOOD

Happy Birthday, Clara Bow!

Today is actress Clara Bow’s birthday!

She was born July 29, 1905 in Brooklyn and went on to become a star of the screen in Hollywood. 

She died in 1965 at the age of 60.

Her role in the movie It earned her the nickname “The It Girl,” and for many Bow came to personify the roaring twenties.

  

More movie work info:

She appeared in 46 silent films and 11 talkies, including hits such as Mantrap (1926), It (1927) and Wings (1927).

She was named first box-office draw in 1928 and 1929 and second box-office draw in 1927 and 1930.

Want to know more about Clara Bow? Click here.

Thirsty for a drink? Read on…

  
About This Cocktail:

The Clara Bow cocktail was created at Rye House in New York City in 2009. There are also other recipes for Clara Bow cocktails online, but this appears to be the first. I found out about the drink from the site Serious Eats.

Ingredients:

•​1 1/2 ounces bourbon
​•3/4 ounces lemon juice
•​1/2 ounce grenadine
•​1/2 ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur
​•Mint leaves

Preparation:

Shake all ingredients over ice and then double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with mint — or mint and a cherry as I did.

Also, in the Rye House’s recipe on Serious Eats, their Clara Bow is made with Bulleit Bourbon.

  
Still Thirsty For More?

— Read the Serious Eats piece on the Clara Bow cocktail.

— Here’s another site that mentions the Rye House’s drink.

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Filed under BIRTHDAYS, BOURBON, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, COCKTAIL RECIPES, OLD HOLLYWOOD

Remembering Hemingway

Yesterday was Hemingway’s birthday, and we celebrated it appropriately at the bar where I work:

  

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Filed under ABSINTHE, ANNIVERSARIES, AUTHORS, BIRTHDAYS, CHAMPAGNE, LITERARY DRINKERS