Posts from April 2006

'10 ways to stay on a bartender's good side' according to Bianca Antonacci in the San Francisco Chronicle

In 'Five drinks that bartenders just hate to make' published in the 'San Francisco Chronicle' on April 6, Bianca Antonacci gets bartenders to share with her the drinks and twists on drinks that drive them nuts. I would add to her list, frozen drinks. I kinda disagree with her on Mojitos. It is true that they are time consuming but I know many bartenders who like it. The part of her article I like best is the following '10 ways to stay on a bartender's good side':

" 1. Wait patiently. Don't snap, whistle, wave money, tap your glass on the bar or scream "Hey, bartender!" when he obviously knows you are there.
2. Always tip at least $1 per drink. If you tip really well you may find yourself receiving some free drinks. Tip for those, too.
3. Keep your hands out of the cocktail tray. If you want a cherry, ask. Putting your hands into the garnish contaminates everyone else's drink.
4. "Please" and "thank you" are common courtesies.
5. If there are two bartenders, never order your drink from both to see who makes it first. Few bartenders will let you "return" a drink.
6. Don't act drunk and over-animated. By law, bartenders are not supposed to serve you when you are thoroughly inebriated.
7. Don't walk into a bar right before last call and order complicated drinks. This may be the No. 1 pet peeve of bartenders.
8. Always know what is in a drink if it is an obscure one. The bartender may make it if you know the recipe.
9. Don't ask the bartender to "stiffen" your drink. It is rare that a bartender will under-pour the booze in your cocktail. If you want more, ask for a double.
10. If you can't be with the drink you love, baby, drink the one you're with. Try not to order one of the drinks bartenders hate to make when the bar is busy. Either go somewhere else, or be satisfied with something simpler."

    I would put these 10 rules as articulated by Bianca under must know 'etiquette'.

A ride on the 'Little Yellow Train' (in the Pyrenees Mountains) sounds good on a sunny day

With a warm and sunny day dawning on us here in the good old US state of New Jersey, I was thinking of summer days when my parents and us kids hopped on the 'petit train jaune' Trainjaune2 in the Cerdagne part of the Pyrenees for a day trip one place or other.

Even if it provides a sometimes bumpy ride, the scenery is worth it and even on occasion jaw dropping.

'Falanghina' a different white, my discovery for Wine Blogging Wednesday #20

I have to confess that I drink mostly reds, except for muscadet with my (raw) oysters and if I could afford them I would treat myself to white burgundies. Let's get back to the topic at hand. For Wine Blogging Wednesday #20, Wine for Newbies prompted us to explore the world of white wines beyond the usual Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
I tasted a few whites I did not know beforehand. My choice is 'Falanghina del Taburno' (the grape is falanghina) produced by Cantina del Taburno in Benevento, the least populated province of the region of Campania (main city: Naples). Located at the foot of Mount Taburno, hence the name. Tasting_room This area has been producing wines for about 2000 years and Aglianico might be the best known local grape.
The 'Falanghina' that I tasted was a 2004 vintage. The wine displays good fruit and a nice nose, is full bodied, complex with a long yet subtle finish. It is good company for pasta with seafood and seafood dishes and mild cheeses. It can also be offered as an aperitif.
The grapes are harvested early October. It is an excellent value as it can be found for around $13.00. A regional fair dedicated to 'Falanghina' takes place every year at the end of September in Sant'Agata dei Goti, a good time of the year to visit Europe.

I could not find a good picture of the label so instead I chose a photo of the Cantina del Taburno's tasting room to illustrate this piece.

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Thinking of 'April in Paris'...Check Arnaud Frich photo gallery of the City of Lights

While on one of my explorations I discovered Arnaud Frich's photos and was especially enthused by his wonderful shots of the city of lights, Paris. The picture I showcase here is of Fontaine Medicis in the Jardin du Luxembourg. Fontainemedicis_1

I associate this place with the idea of a quiet walk and taking a breather on one of the park's benches to browse through a favorite book. Thanks to Arnaud Frich for allowing me to use his photos. Visit his site to see all 11 pages of photos he took of Paris.
This theme also connects neatly with one of my favorite jazz albums, April in Paris by Count Basie. So if you are thinking of what to do with your tax refund, a long week-end in Paris with your better half is a nice romantic getaway, these pictures might inspire you.

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'Viva Tequila' tells us how Tequila is made

Some of my best friends are bartenders and they can come up with some 'mean' drinks. Tequila is sometimes part of the mix and even though I rarely indulge in a cocktail, Viva Tequila taught me a few things about this liquor. Cabezas This picture of blue agave from which Tequila is made is part of a detailed piece by Ian Chadwick written in 2004.
I found out about 'Viva Tequila' on Coudal, always a good creative source.

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'Meerendal' Durbanville, Pinotage (2004/ South Africa) offers intense flavors

It is always a treat to discover a wine that surprises and intrigues you. The 'Meerendal' Durbanville Pinotage (2004) from South Africa did just that. Pinotage The Estate was founded in 1702. This red wine displays tobacco, chocolate and wood flavors. Because of its character I recommend it as a good food wine. It worked well with barbecue chicken and Roomkaas Gouda cheese.

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Going Abroad...Fodor's Travel Wire provides Tips on Car Rental, Etiquette and more

When I plan a trip, I always look for useful advice that might save me time and most important, headaches. Fodor's Travel Wire provides very useful help on how best to rent a car, clothing, etiquette and more while traveling abroad. Not to forget, they also list a number of bargain flights and packages.
My personal approach to travel is when I get to my destination, I try to find places frequented by the locals. It gives you a more authentic experience. Walking around and sometimes getting lost brings a sense of discovery.

"Career Intensity' (David Lorenzo) a good read if you suffer from work dread

Visiting In Bubble Wrap today for some enlightenment, I discovered Career Intensity by David Lorenzo. The book Careerintensity will be published in May. As Mr. Bubble Wrap himself puts it it could be called 'Stop working for the week-end'. How do we channel our energy and passion(s) into work that we enjoy, is productive and financially rewarding, that is the question?

It could all be about growing by learning everyday.

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