Monday, November 26, 2012

If you're going to have a 130-year old piano serve as your bar... might as well fill it to the brim with good stuff!

A friend of mine who lives and works (and drinks) in Asia (hey Steve!) recently posted a nice shot of bar that had an impressive array of potions and medicines. As I was looking at it, however, while I wouldn't say I was unimpressed, I got the feeling that my home bar had as much, and possibly more, liquor as the bar my friend was drinking at. Although my bar lacks diversity within ingredient categories (for instance, I normally don’t stock more than one gin, or vodka, or such at one time), it makes up for this in sheer breadth of scope and overall quantity. (After all, this is a bar, at my house, not an establishment open for business.) Anyway, here’s the bar stock just before the holidays, so you can judge for yourself. As much as booze and jazz go together, after this entry, I’ll stick to drinking booze and writing about jazz.

Hard to see everything, because the small bottles disappear under the front rim of the piano, but they'd be obscured by bigger bottles if you put them in the back.
Very back row, left to right: Romariz Colheita Port, Vintage 1963 (in the wood box, same age as me – I was told it would be best after it was 50 years old, so we get to drink it after my birthday next year), Choya plum wine, Crystal Head vodka (in the skull right under the light, personalized and signed by the distillery owner, Dan Ackroyd), Hibiki 17-year single malt whiskey, peach brandy (in Paul Masson re-purposed brandy bottle), Tuaca, Cherry Heering, Grenadine, Benedictine, Bombay Sapphire gin (x 2 - a man needs his gin), Jack Daniels (x 2 - a man needs his JD), Cointreau, Gran Marnier (x 2 - a man needs know), Jack Daniels single barrel whiskey, X.O. brandy (in repurposed bottle, so I forget the brand, but I think it’s nothing too special – which is to say, it’s not the Suntory I bought in Japan over the summer because I drank that already), small bottle of Navan vanilla liqueur (I think) that came with one of the Gran Marniers.

A little better to get the scope of 47 bottles, but still, wide enough that  the camera can't focus in on every single bottle (still can't see the small ones down front, either)
In the three crystal decanters (at right): Sandeman dry sherry, Sandeman ruby port, vodka (no idea what brand, but it’s cheap stuff, probably Smirnov)

Back row of the bottle well (L-R): Bols blue curacao, Bols blackberry brandy, Bols crème de Cacao, cherry brandy, apricot brandy, Kubler white absinthe, Lucid green absinthe (x 2 - a man...never mind), St. Germain elderflower liqueur

Middle row (L-R): Campari, Applejack, Aperol, Calvados (that’s three apple drinks in a row), Kahlua, Old New Orleans spiced rum, Bacardi dark rum (in  re-purposed Old New Orleans bottle), Bacardi white rum (also in Old New Orleans bottle)

Front row (L-R): Angostura bitters, Sauza agave tequila, Pepe Lopez triple sec (thereby closing out the Mexican section of the bar), Laphroig single malt, Alize Coco coconut liqueur, Wild Turkey rye whisley, Bailey’s Irish Cream (x 2 - my woman, Mrs. S, needs her Bailey's), Calvados (extra)

So, that’s 47 bottles of booze by my count. Anybody thirsty besides me?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

How things happen…sometimes

As part-time subscribers to several symphonies within driving distance of our home, we often get notifications (emails) about upcoming events before they've been announced to the general public, and usually these are accompanied by offers (opportunities) to purchase advance tickets ahead of the crowd. Not all of these concerts and events have appeal for us, but for the ones that do, we are usually pretty quick on the uptake when it seems our calendar is open on a given date.

This past week, the Nashville Symphony hit Mrs. S’s inbox with a Chick Corea/Bela Fleck concert next March. She comes in the room, tells me about it, and I’m like, Hell yeah! After she called me over to pick out tickets, we were $165 lighter and booked for a March 22 trip to Nashville.

Mrs. S kind of started wondering about why I was so anxious to try and see Chick Corea, especially with Bela Fleck, who we've already seen once. I showed her my chunk of Chick CD’s and she wiki’ed and Googled him, and was just as excited as I that we are going to see him. Still, I told her, if you ever see we have a chance to see him with Gary Burton, you don’t even have to ask me – just book it and I’ll cancel everything to go to the concert.

The next day, the Alys Stephens Center magazine,The Center, containing an article that Mrs. S and I agreed to appear in, arrived in the mail. One of the first concerts of the new season is, believe it or not, ChickCorea and Gary Burton. I was all over the email the next day, and managed to secure (I think, maybe, no confirmation yet) our usual contributing members’ seats in the front row. I am needless to say, ecstatic. Mrs. S asked if we wanted to sell out Nashville tickets, but I kind of don’t think so. We’ll see how we feel after the Birmingham concert.

And that’s how things happen…sometimes.