AlcoHOLidays | Memorial Day | Kilbeggan Waterwheel

***This post has been sponsored by Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey; a sample was received in consideration for Tuesday’s review as well as today’s recipe share. Other than that, no further compensation has been received and the opinions expressed below are entirely that of the author. No further affiliation with Kilbeggan Distillery is being claimed. And now with that out of the way…*** Memorial Day. Unofficial start to summer. Reason for barbecues and pool parties across the nation. Last 3-day-weekend until Labor Day. Excuse for car lots to piggy-back yet another tent sale with the waving of the red, white, and blue. ‘Oh, yeah,
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AlcoHOLidays | Winter Solstice | Yuletide Cheer

Providing the world hasn’t ended–or isn’t in the process thereof–I thought I’d stray from the culturally expected norm of Christmas and delve a little into the natural change of seasons that happens this time of year at the Winter Solstice. The shortest day of the year, this time marks the official beginning of winter even as the days begin to lengthen towards spring once again. These lengthening days support the idea among ancient cultures (and their modern-day adherents) that the sun god is reborn at the solstice and continues to grow until mid-year when they days start to shorten, again. Of course, it’s
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AlcoHOLidays | Hanukkah | Light One Cocktail

When it comes to honoring other culture’s holy days with something as potentially flippant as a cocktail tribute, you have to walk a fine line between humor and reverence. So I’m going to apologize now for the very bad pun I’m about to make. Most people know that Hanukkah is the Jewish celebration of the night when they had only enough oil for 1 night and yet it lasted a full 8. It is that, as well as the celebration of the re-dedication of the Temple of Jerusalem (which had been previously desecrated on the orders of Antiochus IV) after a several years of war. Because
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AlcoHOLidays | Leif Erikson Day | That Norse Thing

In my original blog schedule, I had today pegged for the upcoming Columbus Day holiday (observed on 10/8 in 2012, the landing was actually 10/12). While I’m not averse to hit on some more obscure holidays over this next year, I figured it made sense to hit up all the US Federal holidays, too. Until I started brushing up on my Columbus Day research, and realized that (obviously) not everyone considered this a positive celebration (several states don’t even observe it). While I don’t think it’s necessarily right that our generation be held responsible for things done by generations (centuries)
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AlcoHOLidays | Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival | Moonrise Reunion

Welcome, friends, to another installment of our AlcoHOLidays series, where we take a moment to raise our glass in celebration for a local or not so local holiday. This coming weekend (September 3o, in the States, September 29, in China) is the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, or the Moon Cake Festival. Like many harvest festivals, it’s ruled by the moon phases, so the dates can shift each year but it’s usually some time in September (the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar, to be specific). During this festival it’s traditional to spend time with friends and
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Cosmic Cocktails | Libra | Tip the Scales

Or, rather, don’t–your local Libra wouldn’t like that very much. It’s no surprise that with a set of scales as a symbol, Libra is the Sun sign of balance. Equity. Justice. When you consider that Libra is also our second air sign (the first was Gemini), you will not be surprised that we have another not-to-be-tied down sign going on here, specifically in the manner of decisions. Whereas Gemini loathe being tied down to anything, Librans are indecisive in everything BUT love–they fall hard, fast, and often and might be a little too eager to rush into permanent relationships. I think
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Dreaming of Summer

Or, well, at least the foods of summer. Especially watermelon. It was all I could think of when I saw that this week’s Alphatini was to be w-inspired and, despite the unseasonableness of the craving it just would not be stopped! Now, true, our summers aren’t exactly the most pleasant and, despite my cold-natured body I do prefer being able to start a fire or put on a sweater rather than sweltering (or running up the utility bill with constant a/c runnage). So I’ll happily settle for this light and fruity cocktail version of summer in a glass. Watermelon Crawl
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Good Evening, Mr. Underhill

My main objective in this week’s Alphatini was a more-or-less savory cocktail; we’ve had a lot of sweet going on and it’s nice to mix things up a bit. Pun unintended. But we’re on the letter U and, well, I was at a bit of a loss since I’d already used my upside-down-cake inspiration. As it so happens, though, I’ve been hard at work on What to Feed Your Raiding Party and this past weekend inspiration struck as I was inking the cover to a Lord of the Rings-style comics chapter I was reminded of the hobbits and Frodo Baggins
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Food Safety: Arsenic Laced Apple Juice

This is disturbing: According to an article in the Food Safety News, Mott’s Apple Juice from China (#&+@ is everything made in China these days?) is laced with more arsenic than our drinking water is allowed to have. According to Food & Water Watch, more than 70 percent of the apple juice consumed in the United States now comes from the People’s Republic of China, where the government has acknowledged a problem enforcing a new food safety law. And The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limits arsenic in public drinking water to 10 parts per billion, a level that has
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Beware the Hag With the Poisoned Apple

Welcome to the first of our new Alphatini series where we take a look at 26 varieties of the classic martini and come up with the best possible version of each, maybe even creating some new ones on the way. ~~~oOo~~~ A is for Apple If we, in our gin-soaked haze, remember nothing else from those early learning years it’s that A is indeed for apple. That big, red, juicy fruit purported to keep the doctor away with one a day, win us extra points with the teacher and even find the first initial of our true love in it’s
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