Sunday, December 24, 2017

Stone Fence

It’s been a busy year here at the Firewater Lounge, with Cindy and I taking second jobs and having our first high schooler running wildly to and fro, finding time to seriously sit down for cocktail hour with the Lounge Lizards has been pretty tough. But it’s Christmas, and we always find a way to give all the Lounge Lizards something liquid for Christmas. And hopefully, from our glass to yours, you will find a little cheer and love as well.

This year we were showered with gifts from the Jensen family who has been very good to us over the last year. From sharing their tremendously talented and intelligent daughters for more mock trial successes to helping Cindy get her photography into the Wisconsin Artist Showcase to helping with an emergency at one of my crime scenes, the Jensens were there.

The Jensens also sent a holiday basket of goodies to Cindy for some photography that she had shot, so we thought it apropos to share with everyone at the Firewater Lounge because, well, it’s Christmas.

Since the basket contained Martinelli sparkling cider, we choose one of the oldest cider cocktail recipes in American history, the Stone Fence. Tracing its rabble-rousing reputation to the draught which pre-fueled Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys’ victory at Fort Ticonderoga during the Revolutionary War in 1775, the Stone Fence has always been liquid courage in a glass. Potent, yet drinkable, the Stone Fence has always been 1 part whatever liquor you have, 2 parts cider (or hard cider if you are Ethan Allen) and bitters. We most often have them with bourbon; Allen would have used the more available rum.

We’d like to give you two Stone Fence recipes. The first is the classic rum variety; the second is a modern rendition from Black Twig Cider House in Durham, North Carolina. Enjoy. Thank the Jensens for the inspiration if you see them before we do, and, as always, have a Merry Christmas!

Stone Fence (Classic Pours Series)

1 part dark rum (we used Smith and Cross)
2 parts apple cider (we used Martinelli)
1 dash Angostura bitters

Pour rum and cider into a rocks glass filled with ice. Float the bitters on top of the drink to allow the drinker to decide whether they want to stir or drink through the bitters. When Stone Fences are garnished, it is usually with mint or freshly-grated nutmeg; since it’s Christmas time, we chose the nutmeg.

Black Twig Stone Fence

1 part gin (we used Vikre spruce)
2 parts apple cider (we used Martinelli)
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Same routine as a traditional Stone Fence. This time, though, the garnish is a clementine swath.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Las Vegas, Nevada

Vegas has traditionally been a thought of as a drinking Mecca. The Strip obviously has its share of retro-1950s bars, swanky nightclubs, tiki lounges, and skydeck havens, but if you are looking for a good cocktail without all the glitz, head north to the old Vegas downtown. All you will need is to travel to the single block of Fremont St between North Las Vegas Boulevard and South 6th Street. Here you have seven highly-rated bars at your disposal: the fireplace-laden Griffin, the piano bar Don’t Tell Mama, the twin industrial-vibed Vanguard and Therapy, the classy speakeasies Commonwealth and Laundry Room, and the eclectic Tim Burton-esque Park on Fremont. Now, we had the family in tow, and for some odd reason, everything goes in Vegas EXCEPT children in bars (because exposing them to bars is WAY worse than exposing them to the mostly naked showgirls on the walking outside on the strip, right?). Anyway, it was morning, and most places are closed for bunch drinking, except for Park on Fremont, which was our destination anyway because of their misty patio that welcomes both late summer drinks and children.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Atlantic City, NJ

I just noticed that the last three cities in our Around America series was Dallas, Dubuque, and Durango. It would be a good idea not to do another city that starts with ‘D,’ otherwise this list will start to get stale or downright challenging (especially since I totally missed bartime at Williams & Graham by minutes last time I was in Denver!). So let’s take you back out East. We are going to make you hungry too, because, just before we hit the beach, we stopped for lunch at the Vagabond in Atlantic City, New Jersey.