Drinks
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For all its faults, American consumer culture ushered in post-World War II made the promise that luxuries would be available to everyone. Cars raced off the lots and television sets virtually lept off the shelves but the unsung victory was won at the supermarket. Ingredients for a cake, something people had to scrape together for special occasions for generations prior, were readily available on fully stocked shelves in every supermarket and grocery store in the nation. more
We love easy cocktails. Maybe two, three ingredients max, stirred in a glass or shaken over ice. more
Something is refreshing about the word Rosé, the way it rolls off the tongue evokes images of linen clothes and leisure. more
What we think of as culture is rarely outright created, rather it evolves from a variety of existing cultures and influences. Tiki culture is no different. It is the ultimate pastiches of ancient superstitions of far-flung islands, surfer wisdom and the collected lore of all seafaring men brought under an umbrella in post-World War II America by a veteran named Ernest Raymond Gantt, better known as “Don the Beach Comber” or just “Donn Beach”, and partially lost again to history to be reconstructed by a whole slew of beach bums, bar owners, Hawaiian shirt enthusiasts, corporate entities and superstars like Kenny Chesney and Jimmy Buffett.  more
I got a cocktail smoker for Christmas. It is a fairly simple set of tools. Wood chips are loaded into a metal mesh cutout in a wooden top that covers the glass and a small hand torch is used to light the woodchips. Smoke then cascades down into the glass and infuses flavor into the liquor. more
Way back in 2021 it appeared that the espresso martini had its fifteen minutes of fame. Bartenders worldwide let out a sigh of relief when that wave crested as having good espresso on hand proved to be more trouble than it was worth. more
If you have been reading this column for any length of time you know I love rum and hate hot weather. more
I remember a Bacardi commercial from when I was in high school where a bartender muddles mint to the beat in a Miami club. He stops momentarily and the beat stops and the lights come on and patrons look around confused. Our strapping bartender smiles and the beat picks right back up as he drives his muddler back into the glass. more
“Lovely day for a Guinness,” reads the old Guinness ads with a toucan balancing an iconic glass of the stuff on his beak. more
It is almost October and the long slog through the South’s summer weather is not over. Not even close. While the rest of the country prepares to hunker down bracing for cold weather, we reach for another cold beer after mowing the lawn, again. Instead of liquor jackets around a fire, most Mississippians could reach for a life jacket if the urge took them. more
Gustavo Arellano, a self-proclaimed nerd, columnist and author of the books “Ask a Mexican” and “Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America” argues he traces the … more
To beat that deep summer heat we turn to certain staples, often from south of the border. The Mexican beer Cerveza, like Dos Equis, is cold and is best straight out of the bottle God put it in, maybe with a lime wedge jammed down the neck. Refreshing! Many more will turn to the margarita, frozen or on the rocks, which is always refreshing. more
Like a law of physics, things slow down in the summer, which means it is the perfect time to take up a hobby after months of quarantine. And there is no better way to fill the time than learning new … more
Sitting at a bar in Jackson that shall remain unnamed as I hope to enjoy this privilege again, my girlfriend asked the bartender for a specific drink she had enjoyed with the owner’s family on several occasions. more
I was first introduced to mulled wine the Christmas after my sister, Audrey, returned from a study abroad in Germany for her senior year of high school. She regaled my dad, Gene Dent, with a German … more
This summer, Quentin Tarantino unleashed his ninth film onto the world, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, to a mix of high praise and scattered controversy. The film is the highest-grossing non-sequel original story of the summer having grossed more than $239.8 million worldwide as of late August and joins film classics such as Argo, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and La La Land as one of the top-grossing movies about Hollywood and the movie industry. more
The grass is cut and you now have a lazy late afternoon to kill and you don’t want to get yourself all worked up from carving fruit and shaking ingredients; it is already hot enough outside and you just finished mowing the lawn and your hammock is calling. more
At MM Shapley’s Restaurant in Ridgeland, July 2018 represented a homecoming of sorts for Mary and Mark Shapley. They opened the restaurant in 1985, quickly becoming a staple in the area. In 1998, the Shapleys left the restaurant business in order to raise their two daughters. Twenty years later, the opportunity presented itself to re-enter the business and the couple took the plunge. more
Spring is famously about rebirth. In the cocktail world, this means a freshly blooming crop of ingredients and bright flavors. more
Winter offers the ultimate opportunity for two, seemingly contradictory, moods. On the one hand, the biting cold can bring people together. more
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