Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Doug McCauley is Getting Married

Email From Doug M.:

Dear Friends, I'm happy to annouce that Dr. Nicole Hubbell and I are engaged to be married! The date is May 27th 2006. It will be a small (family only) wedding, and then we'll be having a large reception Aug. 12th in Springfield after we return from our honeymoon. I'll have more details soon. Doug M.

Congratulations, Doug! We wish him and Nicole the best. I haven't gotten to talk to Doug for a while, so I didn't quite see this coming. Of course, that's what everyone said about Sarah and me, too! I also have not met the bride, but Sarah has and approves.


Ted Kilgore's Manhattan Perfecto

If you're a regular reader of Malt Advocate (and who isn't!), you will see our friend Ted's Manhattan Perfecto recipe featured on page 22 of the 1st Quarter, 2006, issue. This cocktail (which I have not had the chance to try yet, but I'm gonna) is Ted's variation on the Perfect Manhattan. “What's that?” I hear you saying. I'll let the article's author, Gary Regan, explain:

See, the word perfect takes on a different meaning when you're talking cocktails. It refers directly to the vermouth in the recipe, and has no bearing whatsoever on how wonderful the drink happens to be.

This phenomenon rears its head most notably in the Rob Roy and the Manhattan. Order the drinks with no descriptors, and a good bartender will make them with sweet vermouth. Order a Dry Rob Roy, or a Dry Manhattan, and the bartender should reach for the bottle of dry vermouth, instead. And if you call for a Perfect Rob Roy or Perfect Manhattan, equal amounts of both vermouths should be employed in the drink.

The whisky in a Rob Roy is Scotch, by the way. A Manhattan contains rye whiskey, although the rye often gets substituted with Bourbon or even Canadian whisky (hmph). Note the different spellings: American and Irish — whiskey; Scotch and Canadian — whisky.

Ted's variation on the Perfect Manhattan adds Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur. I've never had this, but Regan calls it “dry, nutty, and peppery.” Sounds good! The recipe calls for rinsing the glass with the liqueur:

Take the glass in which you're going to serve the Manhattan Perfecto (hopefully it's chilled) add the half-ounce of maraschino, then tilt the glass so the liqueur coats it from lip to stem, and rotate it slowly until the entire interior is coated with the maraschino. Now discard the excess liqueur, give the contents of the mixing glass a quick extra stir, and strain the drink into the glass.

Here's the full recipe in all its glory:

The Manhattan Perfecto
  • 2 ounces straight rye whiskey (Ted recommends Michter's, Van Winkle 13 year old, or Old Overholt. Gary Regan suggests Sazerac Rye.)
  • 3/4 ounce Dry Vermouth
  • 3/4 ounce Sweet Vermouth
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1/2 ounce Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, to rinse the glass
  • 1 lemon twist, as garnish
  • 1 maraschino cherry, as garnish
Fill a mixing glass two-thirds full of ice and add the whiskey, both vermouths, and the bitters. Stir for approximately 20 seconds, pause to rinse a chilled cocktail glass with the maraschino (see above), then strain the drink into the rinsed glass. Add the garnishes.

Mmm, I'm parched.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Four Point Oh!

Kathryne’s third quarter grades came — straight A’s! GPA: 4.0. You rock, girl! It also looks like she might have a change of venue for school next year. More later.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Walking Talking Sleeping

Holland 04-03-06
It is an exhilarating experience to see Holland developing and advancing. She began taking her first tentative steps a few days ago, at around 10 months, and now she is teetering her way around the house. I was a bundle of nerves at first, gasping and trying to catch the baby every time she fell. I still get pretty tense at times, but I am getting better. Although she still falls down, she is much better at catching herself, instead of falling head first toward the edge of the coffee table. The more steady Holland becomes, the less nervous I am.

We're having fun watching Holland get smarter, more playful, and more interactive. She imitates me when I clap or pat my knees. She puts toys together in ways that I show her. And she knows what certain things are, like "book". She says a few words, like "dog" and "hello". She has several teeth. She gives kisses and hugs. Amazing.

None of this sounds particularly impressive to anyone else, of course; it's all just normal baby development. When it's your child, though, it makes your heart soar when they learn something new. Sarah and I marvel at how God miraculously created us to learn and grow and love.

And now, for the big news: Holland is sleeping at night! She hasn't quite gone eight hours yet, but she has had several six to seven hour nights. Even when she does wake up, she doesn't demand to nurse. She normally goes right back to sleep in a couple of minutes with minimal rocking. That alone makes life much easier for Sarah. Whew.