50 Shots of America–Oklahoma

The countdown has now begun, folks, as we’re making our way through the final 5 in our cocktail tour of the United States we’re also just now getting to the territories that reached statehood in the twentieth century! ~~~oOo~~~ OOOOOOOOOk-lahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains… (C’mon, tell me that’s not the first thing you do when you hear Oklahoma. It is the state song, after all, so I guess it’s meant to be just that memorable.) Originally the Indian Territory–home to both native settlements as well as where the displaced tribes of the southeast were packed off
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50 Shots of America–South Dakota

More than 75% through our drink-by-state tour of the United States, today we stop by South Dakota for a trip through the Black Hills… ~~~oOo~~~ There’s still that 50/50 chance that today’s state is actually number 39 and not 40 as it shows up in most lists, but we’ll not rehash that old tale again. Instead, let’s focus on what makes South Dakota a state apart from it’s northern kin. Home to Tom Brokaw and Laura Engalls Wilder, the Mount Rushmore State sports those famous stone visages in the Black Hills–so named for their appearance, from a distance, covered with
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50 Shots of America–Nevada

Now that the move is complete and the bar is fully unpacked, it’s time to return to our drinking tour of America with state number 36: Nevada (which is Spanish for snow-covered, named after the Sierra Nevada mountains). Originally part of the Utah Territory, the predominantly non-Mormon section that is today’s Nevada broke off from their eastern brethren in March, 1861, became a state on October 31, 1864, (just squeaking in with enough time to help re-elect Lincoln as President and doing so by telegraphing their entire state constitution fromCulver City to Washington, DC), and did some re-drawing of their
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50 Shots of America–Maine

Have a drink with Louie the Lobster (a leftover party favor from my 30th birthday party where he and his buddies were Crawfish Impersonators–it was a Bayou-themed party) The Pine Tree State became the 23rd state of the Union on March 15, 1820, as part of the Missouri Compromise in order to balance the number of slave and free states. Before that, Maine was part of Massachusetts. Edna St. Vincent Millay, the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, was a native of Maine and wrote one of my favorite poems ever (and I’m not much for poetry)
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50 Shots of America–Indiana

The Hoosier State became the 19th state of the Union on December 11, 1816. It was in their constitution that the first state-funded public schools were called for, even if it took over 30 years to follow through with the plan. What is a Hoosier? I still don’t know, I’ve read so many possible explanations. But Abraham Lincoln (moved there when he was 7), James Dean and David Letterman are examples of famous ones. When I think Indiana, I think Indianapolis and the Indy 500. It’s the largest single-day sporting event in the world and just underscores the state’s place
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Sips & Shots–50 Shots of America: Massachusetts

In 2005 I took my first plane ride ever up to Plymouth, Mass., to learn the new accounting system my company purchased. (Actually, we flew into Boston–late–and drove to Plymouth by way of Rhode Island… whoops!) At any rate, we didn’t get a chance to do much sight-seeing (one of these days I *will* visit Salem) but we did make it into town to see Plymouth Rock. Or, you know, what’s left of it. If you haven’t had the opportunity to gaze on this pebble of our Nation’s history (we’re talking about the site of the second permanent English settlement
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Sips & Shots: Vermouth

So, this past week I actually completed the coursework and tests for my BAC: BarSmarts Advanced Certification and, having assured my mother than no, I am not planning to become a bartender (not that there’s anything wrong with that), I gotta admit: I learned some stuff! Granted, I enrolled in the course for precisely that reason. When I started this Friday blog feature I thought I had a pretty decent grasp of the basics, only to find out how much I had absolutely no clue I didn’t know. And I still have quite a ways to go, but the BarSmarts
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Sips & Shots: Pomegranate Snark

A while back–maybe a year or so, that’s pretty long in Internet-years–I was part of a conversation among friends which resulted in the following question: If you had a drink named after you, what would it be called? Now, this was back when I was a bar novice. I stuck to rum & Cokes, Kahlua & cream (or the stand-by Amaretto Sour), avoided vodka at all costs and didn’t know there were more than 3 or 4 types of rum. And by types, I mean regular (white), dark, spiced and 151. Maybe I didn’t even qualify as a novice, yet,
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Sips & Shots: Gin!

Growing up, the only gin I was interested in was the card game of the same name, which Mom and I would play in the evenings on a regular basis. When I reached the legal drinking age, it was one of the liquors I figured I’d never like. After all, it smelled like the tree by the neighbors door and who wants to drink a tree? Until an old boyfriend (he of the dirty martini, which I still don’t like) introduced me to the tart goodness that is the Gin & Tonic. Oh, my, but it was love at first
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