A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR:
Many never thought that "PortlandIsTheNewAndy" would sink to such lows as to mill through the random idiocy of what has come to be knows as "drink reviews." Look at it this way: If you are to stumble across this page on some random Wednesday afternoon after clicking through the porn links and random blog
button half a billion times, then perhaps we can lay-down some knowledge for you poor bastards out there that can only buy something after it has been reviewed or stomped into an ass-puddle by some nerd and his internet portal. For the rest of you... look at this as a resume piece for writing for GQ... or at least what GQ would be if it would stop wearing pink Lacoste shirts, getting facials, spending $500 on a designer belt, and finally grow some hairy man-balls. Enough of this love note... on with the drinks.-BTHE FIRST PORTLANDISTHENEWANDY DRINK REVIEWCRUZAN ESTATE DARK RUM
First on the list is Cruzan's Estate Dark Rum. I will admit that this relatively inexpensive drink ($15.00 at a reasonable liquor store)
has grown to be a house favorite of mine over the last two years of liquid-legal
self-medication. I will take this humble opportunity to warn those that wish to purchase this fine product from the shelves of an unassuming local liquor store of it's ever-so-clever underhanded plot to take over the world one madcapped drunkard at a time.
Beware of it's classy appearance. The bottle is slim, the labeling is simple, and the warm honey color of its contents tempt the gullet. The "2-Year" label pimp-slapped on the lower portion of the bottle makes the connoisseur cringe. How could a two-year aged anything be worth it's weight in used chewing tobacco? ...And isn't Rum one of those ingredients in uber-gay drinks with cherries and a fucking umbrella? Yes, it is one of the ingredients but that's usually the "light rum"
used with fruity cock-swill drinks and we're not talking about light rum here are we jackass... we're talking about the Estate Dark Rum
. Jesus, pay attention.
Aging Rum for two years is acceptable --It's basically moonshine anyway. The dark rum is indeed more flavorful than a fistful of beets... but instead of swilling it right out of the bottle while sleeping in the doorway of an abandoned building while a rabid dog sniffs your balls in search for a morning meal , I would instead suggest mixing it half-and-half
with iced tea or coke (and that is coca-cola... drinking the rum without the additional powder-keg will definitely "f" you up to the point of hallucination... and really who needs a marching powder hangover at the age of 30? Unless you're a used car salesman... then I guess we just kind of accept it).
Anyway, after a couple of Rum and cokes
or mixing it up with some Rum and iced tea
one might finally understand the amazingly dangerous mentality of a pirate on the open sea. At some point in the night, once the beads of sweat start to gather in small trickles at the break of your brow, a line snaps that allows the willing to no longer be confined by the acceptable do's and don'ts
of modern society. Sometimes it is heard as a soft thud... for others it can sound like the crisp crack of a bullwhip... However, there is no turning back. At this turning point, swinging across the ocean by a sea-salt tattered rope from one boat deck to another --through thick walls of cannon smoke and musket fire-- with a knife in your mouth and a crazed look in your eye sounds like a pretty good idea... And if you feel so inclined to re-create this analogy by the swimming pool please make sure someone else is there to witness it (and call 911 shortly after you split your face wide open with a knife blade).
If you find yourself in the kitchen starring at the Sylvania light gleam coming from the steak knifes for too long, don't listen to the monkey on your back that has firmly sunk it's teeth into your shoulder... gnawing and twisting away at your flesh. Pay no attention to the membrane under your skull that feels as though a fire set by genocidal maniacs has scorched across your brain popping the top of your head off like the cap on a steam pipe. Just add some lime, a few more chunks of ice and try to relax... the raping and pillaging should be done in the comfort of your own home.
In other words, it's a good time.
***** (five star mad pirate drunk)GEKKEIKAN BLACK AND GOLD (SAKE)
Next on the list is one of my favorite little Asians... aside from Kelly Hu. Gekkeikan (try saying that while fitshaced)
Sake (pronounced: sah-kee)
is easily attainable, though not that often purchased for casual drinking at home or in the colorful manic streets and/or bars. I mean, seriously... when is the last time you called up all of your friends on a Friday night and said, "Yo, B, I'm having a house party. Don't worry about food an' shit... but you're going to have to bring your own Sake, beeyatch."
It might happen in Yokohama or Kyoto with all of those brilliant hip-hop Japanese surfers that I saw in Lost in Translation
but it does not happen in reality (It does however happen in Memphis when I throw a party... because when you get down to it, it's Memphis and we will drink whatever the hell you have in the house. I've seen people do shots of Red Wine Vinegar... which brings us back to the point).
Sake is light in color (usually clear - the cheap stuff will have a light yellow tint - either that or I've been drinking pee)
and usually light in taste. You cannot judge the taste by the scent. Gekkeikan Black and Gold is perhaps the best quality inexpesive "rice wine" you can pick up for under twenty dollars. It's best served warm in tiny little Japanese shot glasses or wooden cups. It is also quaintly referred to as, "The Ninja" in our little circle of friends that likes to make up cutesy little bullshit names for all of our problematic drinking excursions. The Reasoning: It's Japanese (actually it's made in California),
it's dressed in black, and it has a tendency to sneak up on you while your sitting at a table -- coming in for a whispered kill stroke when you rise to stand while on your way to the bathroom. You could swear that you've been hit in the neck by a poisoned blowdart after a nice warm karafe of Sake and a belly full of sushi.
However, Sake can be used in a variety of mixed drinks to give you a little taste of the Orient on a lazy Sunday afternoon. One of my personal favorites is the Sake Mohito. A Mohito is a Cuban drink usually served with Rum, sugar, water, ice, and crushed mint leaves. So, replace the rum with sake and you've got your freaking Sake Mohito. There are also Sake bombs which are shot down the gullet in rapid succession with beer or the "Ninja Please"
variation done with Colt 45 Malt Liquor (which I do not recommend. Colt 45 taste like pitbull feces).
After a long evening of throwing down tiny goblets of sake, one is prone to karate chop a random stranger in the neck or flail around an apartment with flying kicks and nunchaku with very little precision and loud Bruce Lee screams -- even though Bruce was Chinese American and not Japanese -- Perhaps you like Toshiro Mifune better? There is very little chance of nursing a hangover the next day (unless you happen to mix it with the aforementioned malt liquor)
so you can feel free to slug away and call a rickshaw to take you back to the pagoda.
****(four star drunk for the sneak attack)HEINEKEN BEER AND (New) HEINEKEN LIGHT
Once upon a time Heineken was a fine "krafted" German beer that won the world over with Jack Nicholson like charisma. Hell, even President Kennedy drank Heineken (of course he also porked everything with two legs)
. Heineken is a man's drink. There are very little women that are fans of the cat pee like taste of this fine German beverage but occasionally you can find the bright green glass bottle in the hands of a girl singing Weezer's Buddy Holly
song emphatically into the open end of a "drown Heiny."
These instances died somewhere around five years ago but with the massive sales of iPods, I'm sure these events will be making the party rounds again very soon. One might ask, "Why in the f#(k would that happen? Weezer's last two albums blew goat balls."
Because us "Thirty to forty-types" (not to be confused with thirty-somethings)
like to re-live the painful drunken moments of our college days when, MTV was truly music television, and found a new fascination with the Fonz.
Now, would the Fonz have poured an ice-cold Heineken down his gullet, wiped his mouth with satisfaction, pumped his thumbs in the air and replied, "AAAAAAAAYYYYYYY"?
Damn right he would. However, Arthur Fonzarelli only lives in TVLand reruns... and the newest of new brews that Heineken has to offer is German-engineered for the current generation of beer guzzlers that likes to watch their figure. Heineken light has been introduced as the dance club drinkers beer of choice. I've seen the commercials... and I've tried the beer. You know what? It ain't bad. However, it's beer. Unless you're drinking something that hits the palette with an earthly, oily froth that is reminiscent of a Monk's brew... beer is simply beer. After three they all pretty much taste the same. By the way, Mr. Heineken... you're not cheap. When you pay $15.00 to get in the club or bar... you don't want to pay $5.00 a pop for a Bud Light, much less $6.50 for a Heineken. It's beer. I might as well take the empty bottle to the toilet, fill it back up with used urine and pop the top back on so that the bartender can re-sell that shit at $6.50 a pop. We just want to get a nice little buzz, have a few laughs, and some prospects for getting laid... not raped via pocketbook.
Ok. It's beer. It's decent. You need an opener to get the top off of the damn thing... Does that mean it's better because the bottle is childproof? I don't know. I'm drunk and confused.
**1/2 (pretentious picnic drunk)THE MORNING AFTER/STARBUCKS CAFE' MOCHA
First of all, let me start out by making my position on this drink crystal clear. I come from the land of long nights, drinking cheap ass coffee from greasy spoons and smoking Lucky Strike (non-filters)-- sharing my time with the toothless rejects of modern society... truck drivers, janitors, broken-down shoe salesmen, construction workers that live paycheck to paycheck, meth freaks, and hairy waitresses that could be "fixed-up"
with no more than a $100 and a cheap bottle of champagne. I've lived a small portion of the Tom Waits
broken circus of dreams, where the veal cutlet can walk down to the end of the counter and beat the shit out of your coffee because it's too weak to defend itself (credit Tom on that one, not me).
I know what coffee is. I know that you don't walk into a mall and spend $4.95 on a powdered concoction that they add hot water to, stir, pour in some caramel flavoring and top it off with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. That is not coffee. I don't wear yellow dyed shorts and Ambercrome flip flops. I don't spend half of my paycheck going to Starbucks because of some dire need to feel trendy and hip. If I'm going to pay five dollars for a cup of something it's going to be a shot of bourbon... and I'm not going to question my sexuality afterward.
Now, with that said... I have recently had a cardboard cup filled with this overpriced "hot chocolate"
purchased for me. The taste is bitter. The rush doesn't come quick enough... and for some reason I want to smoke a clove cigarette with it. It's too bitter, too sweet, too expensive... and then... I had to go to the bathroom in a rush of cold sweats and jittery bowels.
This drink is a laxative. It's that simple. They top it with chocolate swirls and whipped cream to put a nice little disguise on it. Look a man can wear a dress but when you get down to it, once you're through making-out and the lipstick has been smeared, there's a penis involved... and it better not belong to someone else. Now, the drink is a good kick in the pants... literally. However, after all of the clawing the walls and uncomfortable gurgles, heavy panicked breath, and bowl splatter, I rose from my seated position and had the best rush I've had in a long time. I felt a good six pounds lighter, my pants fit better, and my blood seemed to be tingling with a mad flow of caffeinated "high."
I understood why people get this drink. It's a five dollar fix... call it "poop heroin."
The after effects were amazing. However, you go down like a drunken sailor in about thirty minutes. The crash it awful... but for some reason just after lunch you have the abnormal urge to purchase another one. Starbucks is evil. I'm certain that there is some dastardly evil-plot relationship between MapQuest, HopStop, Starbucks, and Tom Cruise. Use this drink as a last resort... because you have to be very close to a bathroom within 15 minutes of consumption. Subway bathrooms are not acceptable... unless you're looking for anonymous gay sex and topical ass diseases. The coffee substance/drink however, does do it's job.
**** (eye opening sobriety)
That concludes our first PORTLANDISTHENEWANDY drink review. More shall come... as I wander the streets in a drunken haze jotting down notes in my Kerouac notebook and pee on your car. Long live the drinking!