• Location: SconnieGirl
  • Last bite on earth: Herb-crusted lamb chops, garlic mashed potatoes, and good crusty bread with Irish butter. A glass of wine. And dessert? Cupcakes from yum! bakery. With a glass of trippel.

Which Is The Best Pumpkin Beer?

Oh, Pumking . . . you have my devotion.

Drinking the Bottom Shelf: Arbor Mist Frozen Wine Cocktails

I'm with @mao1213 - Milwaukee is highly underrated. And as we all know, drinking is practically as natural as breathing in Wisconsin. Although that sun/gorgeous weather thing can be a shake of the dice come October.

What Beer Is Right For A Wedding?

@curiouser - I LOVE the Unity Brew idea! I may just jack it for my own wedding!

Malted Chocolate Milkshake

Yes!! More love for malteds! :) And any of you that can get your hands on it - Cedar Crest's "Chocolate Malt" is the best ice cream ever. Eat it straight out of the container, or throw it in a blender with just a bit of milk (and extra malt powder, if you're like me). Delicious!!

Hangover Helper: Breakfast Sandwich on Homemade English Muffins from Model Bakery, St. Helena, CA

A McDonald's sausage & egg McMuffin has been a Hangover Helper on more than one occasion. This version looks a million times better, which I will take to mean it will INSTANTLY banish any ill-effects of over-indulgence, including cotton mouth, rolling stomach, and under-eye bags.

Drinking the Bottom Shelf: Crabbie's Alcoholic Ginger Beer

"I like real beer way too much to replace it with root beer." Truer words have never been spoken.

This sounds like my dream summer drink - sweet without being cloyingly so, a big ol' ginger WHOMP, carbonation, and not-quite-enough-ABV to wipe you out after 2. I usually go for G & Ts, but a little ginger-hop in there would not be a bad thing.

I must find a way to import this to northern rural Wisconsin. NOW.

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

In & Out, since I've never been . . . or anything that isn't a fairly standard burger/cheeseburger. I'm from WI; we hold certain things dear! But, it would be nice to branch out a bit.

Ask A Bartender: What Do You Drink Behind the Bar?

Earlier in the day/in a shift, a virgin bloody Mary, because I was usually hungry. Later in the shift, either club soda with a TON of lemons & limes, or diet Sprite with bitters. Sometimes diet Pepsi with grenadine if I needed a sugar rush.

After my shift? Typically Johnnie Walker Black, 3 ice cubes.

5 Refreshing Beers for Warm Weather Drinking

Oberon . . . so wonderful!

Others: New Glarus's "Totally Naked" - perfect summer brew (in my eyes), and always makes me think of baseball, since it's released around the same time as Opening Day. Best enjoyed tailgating at Miller Park. :)

Surly's "Bitter Brewer" and "Hell," which reminds me I need to pick up a whole lot of Surly when I'm in Minnesota again.

Ask A Bartender: What's Your Least Favorite Drink To Make?

My least favorite drinks to make: either those drinks where the customer doesn't REALLY know what's in them (e.g., they had "Drink X" at Bar A; they came to my place & ordered "Drink X" by name . . . I made it for them, only to find out that Bar A had really mis-named their drink; I found this often happened with Tequila Sunrises (I know, I know), or when people could TELL I was nearly in the weeds & would order a round of frozen drinks, all of different flavors. We only had one blender - we weren't set up to make 'frou frou' drinks. I will do my best to give the customer what they want, but please don't be upset when your order takes a bit longer than the guy at the end that ordered a round of bottled beer.

The worst, though, is the rudely-ordered drink. Don't yell at me from across the bar, don't snap your fingers at me, and definitely don't huff at me when I nod my head to you to signal I know you're waiting, and I'll get to you when it's your turn. You are not any more important than any other customer waiting, and treating me like a dog that isn't paying attention doesn't really make me want to get to you any sooner.

Gin for making infusions

I guess it kind of comes down to whether you want this infusion to be noticeably "ginny," or only faintly so. If you want a more in-your-face gin flavor for a decent price, I'd suggest New Amsterdam. Gordon's makes a bottom-shelf-priced in-your-face gin, but it's not nearly as well-balanced as New Amsterdam.

Burnette's gin is pretty inoffensive and is super cheap. If I didn't KNOW I was drinking gin when I had it, I might have confused it for vodka. It just doesn't have much of that botanical bite that gin is known for.

Where to Drink in Dublin: An Irish Bartender's Guide to Pubs and More

Ireland: I want to go [back] to there! I haven't gotten NEARLY enough time in Dublin, and must return for pub-research purposes!

Hungry at night

I'm usually up then anyway, and I tend to go the cheese crackers route. Lately,though , I've been on string cheese (slightly melty)-in-a-tortilla, dipped in hot sauce kick. It's my sub for chips & salsa. Get me started on that, and I eat WAY WAY WAY too much.

If I've been sleeping & wake up so hungry I'm actually in pain, it's a glass of milk - just enough to stave off hunger until morning and allow me to go back to sleep.

Bottom Shelf Beer: Trader Joe's Boatswain IPA and HLV

"I realize that beer's not a necessity, even on a sunny day"- WHAT?! How DARE you even question the necessity of beer on a sunny day!

I can't decide if I'm more disappointed in that statement, or in the fact I have yet to possess a $17 bill.

Kitchen Apprentice: Midterm

Really really really enjoying this column!

Up Drinks

A martini, to the dry side.

Where's Your Favorite Place to Drink Outside?

The Memorial Union Terrace in Madison, WI. It's magical.

Union at Dusk

How Do You Pay the Bill at Restaurants?

I'm more of a pay-your-own-share girl myself. There are days when I am the person that orders a salad, an app for an entree, and only water. And then there are days where I want an app, I want the expensive steak entree, and I want a Scotch or two. In either case, I am more than willing to pay what I owe; I don't want others to subsidize my expensive meal, and I don't want to pay $40 when I ordered $18 of food.

Most times, things seem to work out just fine, but probably because my friends and I all tend to be in the same boat. Also, as a former server, I will vouch for the theory that requesting separate checks at the beginning of a meal is FAR easier on staff than getting the total and then asking that it be split. At least acknowledge & abide by that . . . and don't be afraid to throw your server a bit extra for honoring your request.

Eyewitness Booze Investigation: Bushmills Irish Honey

Just bought Bushmills Honey.

My teeth STILL hurt . . . but I feel like this is too lovely to be mixed. How to make it more drinkable?! I feel like cutting it with club soda would keep too much of the sweetness, but cutting it with sour would take it far in the other direction, but not in a good way.

Any other suggestions for this?

What's Your Hangover Cure?

Being hungover = Cheeseburger Day.

The quality/size of the cheeseburger needed to counteract any hangover is directly proportional to just how un-human I feel. Teeny bit of a hang over means all I really need is one cheeseburger from McD's . . . that'll set me right soon enough, provided it's paired with a Diet Coke (fountain only) and followed up with Gatorade & water.

Raging hangover means I need a full-blown bar burger. Bacon helps. Add water, Gatorade, and a small handful of Aleve, and we're set. If it's really super-horriffic, I need a chocolate malt with that burger.

And while all of that might be horrid for me and also my remedy of choice, I have to admit that the best, most effective hangover cure was running a 5K the morning after. DID NOT WANT, but I felt a billion times better after.

Eyewitness Booze Investigation: Bushmills Irish Honey

@ESNY1077 - hahahahahaha!

I haven't had Bushmills since touring the distillery in 2008 . . . may have to give this a whirl. I don't generally do sweet drinks, but my current go-to is Jameson & club soda. Could use a change up soon.

Riddle Me This: 2 New Flavors of Skittles

@ajmill1978 - THIS!!!! This is how I eat Skittles, but with a twist.

Skittles get separated into as many whole groups of 5 as possible (one each of red, orange, yellow, green, and purple). Then I start making as many large groups as possible. I eat them starting with those lone oddballs, then working up through larger groups. I ALWAYS save the full-5 groups for last, and I HAVE to eat them in rainbow order.

No, I haven't yet been diagnosed with OCD.

From Behind the Bar: On Gender

@Dina - This. A thousand times, this.

@nycpunk1 - It can be fun for a while, if people respect that there are boundaries. In my experience, far too many people (men) didn't think there WERE boundaries, and thought it was just fine to make any & every comment that came to their alcohol-hazed brains. It gets old in a hurry.

Drinking the Bottom Shelf: NOHO Hangover Defense

I may have to stock up on this stuff. It might be a good "favor" for my impending nuptials with Mr. Sconnie. (P.S., glad to see we're not the only ones hoping to finance our wedding in the same way & are at approximately the same stages of planning!)

Kitchen Apprentice: The Sunday Brunch Crunch

Totally loving this column!! Your writing is very vivid, and I, too, felt the heat!

SconnieGirl hasn't written a post yet.

That's the Spirit: Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel

When it comes to brown spirits, black is the new black. In a continuation of the whiskey industry's current infatuation with black-branded spirits, Jameson has launched their Select Reserve Black Barrel. The Black Barrel's base is a higher than usual proportion of Jameson's pot still whiskey, aged to around 12 years instead of the normal 5 to 7. Small batch grain whiskey rounds out the blend. So what does special plus special equal? And is it worth the extra bucks to go black? More

From Behind the Bar: My Cocktail Costs How Much?

What we offer for sale in bars and what people pay for are often two different things. We list food and beverages on a bill of fare, but what we can't write down is the bulk of the experience. Things like service, cleanliness, vibe, notoriety, and a host of other intangibles are all vital to success. The trick is figuring out how to monetize them. Someone asked me recently how the price of a cocktail is determined. It's an interesting question. Let's take a Manhattan, for example. More

Cocktail 101: How to Stock a Home Bar

Every well-stocked home bar starts somewhere, and most start with a bottle or three of booze. If you're just getting started, you might be wondering how to...well, get started. Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to detail a couple of approaches you can take to provisioning your very own watering hole. More

From Behind the Bar: On Cocktails & Superheroes

My daughter wants to be a butterfly for Halloween. No, a rabbit. Okay, a butterfly rabbit, which would be a nice follow-up to last year's Fairy Princess Elephant. She's three, so we haven't yet had to ride the "When I grow up, I want to be...." roller-coaster, but I imagine it will be something along the same lines. I look forward to long conversations comparing the relative career benefits of crime-fighting-archeologist-ballerinas and pterodactyl-playwrights. My own career choices were equally hyphenated when I was a kid. More

From Behind the Bar: On Hospitality

Think about the last time you were in a bar where you were not known, and the bartender reached out and shook your hand. How often will a mixologist look up from the execution of his "mixology" when someone new bellies up? The phrase most necessary, but least often heard, in cocktail bars is "How are you enjoying your drink?" More

Sponsor Post: Design Your Dream Kitchen and You Could Win It!

Merillat's Step-by-Step Kitchen Planner is designed to help homeowners envision their ideal kitchen design before spending a penny. Drawing on the cabinet-brand's 60+ years of cabinetry building and design expertise, this online tool makes it easy to mix and match cabinet door styles with different finishes and hardware. Since a kitchen is more than just cabinetry, the Step-by-Step planner lets you visualize the whole kitchen, including countertops, flooring, paint and other design elements—before ever stepping into a showroom. More

Provençal White Bean Dip

While in Napa recently, I found and loved a white bean dip at Thomas Keller's Bouchon in Yountville, which came served with pain epi. It was creamy, mild, and mellow, but not bland at all. And it had a distinct advantage over butter—I could slather on as much as I wanted without guilt. More