Category Archives: The Drink Slinger Story Time

Random Rambling

Invasion of the Vending Machines

Fellow Drink Slingers Beware:   We are being replaced by vending machines in the state of Pennsylvania!

Yes, it’s true, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (2nd only to the State of Utah for Panties in a Wad-level stringency of liquor laws,) has developed, approved and launched two wine vending machines which are currently being tested at grocery stores.  If sales prove to be successful, the state plans to roll a total of 100 of these babies out by this fall.

If you are old enough to remember cigarette vending machines (if you don’t, then you are  too young to be reading this blog,) perhaps you recall all the hoopla over unregulated tobacco sales to minors which ultimately was the demise of the pin ball pull lever cancer stick dispensers.  Pennsylvania skirts this controversy first by installing a driver’s license swipe mechanism on the vending machine then backing it up with a instant video verification provided live by a member of the state’s control board.  And just to ensure they’ve completely covered their tee-totaling asses, the machines are outfitted with breathalyzers into which the now verified over 21 patron must blow less than 0.02 or below 1/4 of the legal blood alcohol limit.

I’d like to see them install one of these babies at Don’s Place package store.  It would be like a free breathalyzer game, more popular than billiards or even Photo Hunt!

It’s the End of the (Beer) World as We Know It!

Last month a small Scottish brewery by the name of BrewDog announced they had developed the world’s strongest beer.  The beer, titled “The End of the World” debuted at a whopping 500 Euros per bottle and was encased inside the carcass of a dead animal.  (See disgusting photo for details.)  Fortunately BrewDog only made 12 bottles of their super beer “The End of the World” as it was edged out of the competition this week by Dutch brewer ‘t Koelschip who launched their 110 proof brew “Start the Future.”

Unlike it’s taxidermy-loving rival, “Start the Future” is sold in glass bottles for about 30 Euros each.

Bloody Mary- Breakfast of Champions

By Leigh Pujado

Only a crackpot genius could concoct a beverage combining vodka and tomato juice with a bunch of odd flavorings then convince people that it was not only tasty, but a great way to start one’s day.  So where did the cocktail we now know as the Bloody Mary originate?   I like to tell our tourists that it was invented at the Green Parrot by John Vagnoni’s mother, (which is about as accurate as the historical information gleaned from a Conch Tour Train conductor.)

I conducted a little research on the famous hair of the dog drink using highly reliable sources like “The Internet” and the staff at Don’s Place.  Conflicting reports place the Bloody’s inception either in the 1920’s or somewhere between 1978 to 1985, the David Lee Roth years of Van Halen.  Most folks credit actor/comedian George Jessel for coming up with morning hangover beverage of vodka and tomato juice, which at the time (the roaring 20’s) was an easy sell considering the only other morning remedy was chugging a beer floated with a raw egg and pepper.

Then one of drink-slinging history’s most famous mixologists, Fernand Petiot began toying with the cocktail, adding pepper, salt, lemon and Worcestershire sauce.  Rumor has it that Petiot served these vodka-laced tomato treats to Hemingway when he worked at Harry’s American Bar in Paris, then later to Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio when he tended bar at the St Regis Hotel in New York.

Which reminds me, it seems to be fashionable for bars to claim “Hemingway Drank Here.”   I’ve seen the claims all over the world, believe many to be true and am still not impressed.  Hemingway was a well traveled, raging alcoholic.  The World was his bar.  But I digress.

Anyway, the drink used to be called a “Red Snapper,” as the name “Bloody Mary” was too risque for the times, but by the 1950’s, the uptights had let their hair down enough to allow the rightful name, Bloody Mary, into common bar vocabulary.

(I wonder what they used to call a “Sex on the Beach?”  “Fornication in the Sand” sounds plausible.)

These days, people put everything but the kitchen sink into their Bloody’s.  Here in Key West, I am partial to several versions.  Bartender Bob down at Schooner Wharf makes a tasty classic with just enough horseradish to put hair on your chest.  And who doesn’t love the handmade Bloody’s at the Parrot complete with a hot pickled green bean…..just the way John’s mama used to make.

The Bartender Hates You #10

Hangover by Billy Collins

Here’s a funny poem by former Poet Laureate, Billy Collins.  Each Winter he graces our island, presenting his work during the Key West Literary Seminar.  He read this poem last year and brought the house down on our nerdy little herd of literature geeks.

Hangover by Billy Collins

If I were crowned emperor this morning,

every child who is playing Marco Polo

in the swimming pool of this motel,

shouting the name Marco Polo back and forth

Marco Polo Marco Polo

would be required to read a biography

of Marco Polo-a long one with fine print-

as well as a history of China and of Venice,

the birthplace of the venerated explorer

Marco Polo Marco Polo

after which each child would be quizzed

by me then executed by drowning

regardless how much they managed

to retain about the glorious life and times of

Marco Polo Marco Polo

For those customers who question your product knowledge….

The Drinkslinger Blog’s biggest fan: David

Mister David Evans of Mobile, Alabama, retired Marine, Engineer  and frequent Key West visitor is a big fan of this blog.  David drinks Bud Light, carries around a plastic Captain Tony’s cup everywhere he goes and tells stories with no fewer than four metaphors.  And although there are no hills in Alabama, David is the Drinkslinger’s favorite Hillbilly!