Lightly Toasted: Chronicles of the Friday Night Cocktail Club Blog at

Lightly Toasted: Chronicles of the Friday Night Cocktail Club

Oct. 1, 2009 11:51 am 
Updated: Oct. 12, 2009 7:41 am
…and other things I don’t advise. There’s an animal called the Syrian hamster. It loves booze. It’s inclined that way out of habit. At the end of every summer, this little guy (whose name in Arabic apparently means “father of saddlebags”) grabs up all the fallen fruit it can find, and… MORE
art by richard
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Sep. 25, 2009 11:36 am 
Updated: Oct. 9, 2009 7:02 am
That title's not a boozing reference. It’s a reference to how I was smashed into on my bike yesterday morning by a larger, metal-ier vehicle. A minivan, actually. I’m fine, but as I was flying over the minivan’s hood, gliding into that surprisingly elastic space that stretches out… MORE
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Sep. 20, 2009 4:50 pm 
Updated: Sep. 20, 2009 5:01 pm
Over the long Labor Day weekend, the Friday Night Cocktail Club made preserved brandied peaches. My job was to wait  around until most of the preparation was complete, and then swoop in and float some brandy over the tops of the gently cooked, jarred fruit. The r MORE
Brandied Preserved Peaches
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Peach-infused simple syrup
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Peachy Old Fashioneds in mustache glasses.
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Sep. 11, 2009 5:12 pm 
Updated: Sep. 14, 2009 12:13 pm
Four hundred years ago this year the Dutch sailed to Manhattan -- and bought it with the spare change from their ash trays. Their new island became known as New Amsterdam. Later the Dutch would lose it to the English, who quickly changed the name to New York (Broadway = Brede Weg). Later still,… MORE
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My favorite rye whi$key
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Taco truck outside the liquor store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where we bought the Hudson Rye.
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Delicious food at Marlow & Sons, plus a free sip of Hudson Rye from the very friendly server. Thanks
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Aug. 27, 2009 5:27 pm 
Updated: Sep. 1, 2009 10:45 pm
You’d think the world of cocktails would be a lawless place where just about anything goes. Yet the more I learn about cocktails, the more I realize something: there are rules, people; there are very serious rules!  Typically, I find myself in violation of something sacrosanct. For… MORE
kitten stirring martinis
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Aug. 21, 2009 2:38 pm 
Updated: Aug. 24, 2009 1:37 pm
It's well known that a person should never drink a tall coffee and a large glass of orange juice immediately before climbing onto an airplane. I'm aware of this, even as I ignore it, at great peril. Unfortunately, the coffee is never optional with me. I use it to keep myself out of bed in… MORE
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Aug. 15, 2009 8:48 am 
Updated: Aug. 17, 2009 10:58 am
The best salmon I ever ate was smoked in a tiny shack out on the Olympic Peninsula. It was king salmon, smoked in an old oil drum over wet alderwood, in Makah, a small fishing village on the Reservation of the same name. I'm talking about salmon that someone had placed in the smoker only… MORE
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Aug. 7, 2009 2:13 pm 
Updated: Aug. 13, 2009 5:13 pm
I guess I don’t understand people who are always learning things the easy way. It seems kind of show-offy to me. Personally, I learn by means of a steady stream of “teachable moment” humiliations and personal catastrophes, the harsh memories of which prevent me from repeating them. That's the… MORE
Aug. 1, 2009 6:30 pm 
Updated: Aug. 16, 2009 6:30 am
I count on Seattle summers being short and sort of a joke. Their brevity and my inability to take them seriously make them easy to live through without any A/C in the house. If you live in parts of the country where folks suffer real summers, you probably think the notion of a Seattle heatwave… MORE
Jul. 27, 2009 11:25 am 
Updated: Jul. 31, 2009 9:23 am
Honestly, I’m trying to move on. But I just cannot get away from the topic of crazy state liquor laws.   In the paper this morning, I read where a completely harmless vintage advertisement for a bicycle company has given the Alabama Beverage control board fits of the vapors. The ad… MORE
This image presumably *not* banned in Alabama.
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About Me
My wife and I and our two devilish kittens live on Capitol Hill in Seattle. A few years ago, I got a masters in gastronomy. I'm a food/wine writer. I’m also blogging about cocktails.
My favorite things to cook
We cook fairly simple dishes using fresh local ingredients that we pick up at the Seattle farmers market. My favorite thing is making a nice slow-braised or long-roasted something on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I like cooking with wine (in the dish and in the glass...and in the cook).
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom never liked to cook, but she did well despite herself. Her mother, my omi, was from Munich and made delicious rouladen, sauerbraten and other traditional German and American dishes. Always bins and bins of home-baked cookies at Christmas. Wonderful rye bread. And beer. Opa would say, "Brotzeit ist die beste zeit."
My cooking triumphs
We’ve made the signature timpano dish from The Big Night a couple times. And for Thanksgiving 2007, we made Turducken. My wife and I are always volunteering to cook the big holiday meals with the family. We mix a signature cocktail, and get down to it.
My cooking tragedies
I made Thanksgiving Dinner for myself once when I was snowed-in in Denver. I nearly burned down the neighborhood.
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