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Thoughts, stories, ideas, recipes, cheers, and more... What else did you think you would get for a $1 tip?

For those of you looking for something on the more sophisticated side you have my apologies. This blog unfortunately mirrors the author (yours truly.) Some of the humor is not for everyone but I liked it and it's my blog so there! My patrons sometimes ask me where I come up with some of this stuff. I am glad to tell them my mind is a lot like Canada. It is sometimes a bit cold, there are a few dark corners, some of it down right confusing and even a bit dirty but there is also a lot of neat stuff up there. So I hope you all enjoy this blog! ... Cheers!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's a Great Martini Charlie Brown!

As I sit here typing I have It's a Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown playing in the background. An American classic much like the holiday itself. Something about seeing Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin brings me back to when I was a kid watching Charlie Brown with my Mom and Dad. Funny enough the same questions my Pop had then still resonate with me today. Where are all the parents in this little group? And what parent in their right mind allows their kid to be out all night and eventually fall asleep shivering to death wearing shorts in late October in a pumpkin patch? How the hell does Sally get her hair to stay that way? Lastly was Peppermint Patty the first ever cartoon lesbian?

All of this Great Pumpkin talk brings Pumpkin cocktails to mind. That's right on Halloween night the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch and delivers pumpkin cocktails to all the boys and girls who want a drink... or something like that. Anyway here are a couple pumpkin cocktails and a couple others for all hallows eve!

Pumpkin Carver
1.5 oz. - Orange Flavored Vodka
.5 oz - Maple Syrup
Splash of Ginger-Ale
1 oz. - Pumpkin Liqueur
1 Squeeze Fresh Lemon juice
Shake over Ice and Strain
Garnish with apple chips

Pumpkin Spice Martini
1.5 oz. - Spiced Rum
1.5 oz. - Pumpkin Spice Liqueur
.5 oz. - Triple Sec
1 egg white
3 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
Shake over Ice and Strain
Grated nutmeg for garnish

Pumpkin Eater Martini
1 oz. - Citron Vodka
1 oz. - Pumpkin Spice Schnapps
.5 oz. - Amaretto
.5 oz. - Irish Cream
.5 oz. - Half and Half Cream
Shake over Ice and StrainRim glass with nutmeg

Smashing Pumpkin
1 oz. - Gin
1.5 oz. - Pumpkin Spice Schnapps
1 oz. - Sour Mix
Serve over ice
Rim glass with cinnamon sugar

Candy Corn Shot

1 Part - Irish Cream
1 Part - Vanilla Vodka
1 Part - Butterscotch Schnapps


Monday, October 24, 2011

Flaming Banana

So as we have previously discussed in a previous lesson about Flaming Dr. Pepper Shots, fire + liquor = AWESOME! There is nothing that makes a bartender look like more of a rock star than lighting a drink on fire. We also know that guys in general aside from inventing fire (ladies just give us this one.) We love to play with fire as well. Case in point "just the tip? Please?" ... I know not the same but I digress.

The bottom line here is all of us no matter our age love a good flame. Ask any guy you know to build a fire and they get a look on their face that says "Oh hell yes! You want fire? You get fire!" Just be sure to specify the size of said fire or else what you could be left with will be the makings of a Hollywood feature. And why not? Fire is medicinal, it brings people together and the list goes on and on. I mean seriously when was the last time you made smores and got a little tipsy by the stove? Even better remember back to when you where a kid and you would steal your Grandmother's magnifying glass usually set aside for reading her prayer book in the morning. Your friends would hover over your shoulder to watch this misappropriation of glass and sunlight to create pure ant hell as those little suckers burst into flames! Well now your older and I'm betting dollars to doughnuts if you were to bring out the magnifying glass yet again your real friends would once again join in this cruel display.

*If anyone from PETA is reading this and wants to write me to complain... I don't give a flip! Seriously save your ink it will be only wasted on me.

Well here I am just a few years older and none the wiser giving you the Bananas Foster Martini a couple ways but still the same tasty FIRE. (I'm currently picturing Beavis and Butthead, "Fire! Fire!) The first one is my own recipe and the second is one I found that uses 99 Bananas. Why Bananas Foster because you get to light it on fire and it is darn tasty! Just be sure to have the fire extinguisher near by.

Bananas Foster

1 oz. - Vanilla Vodka
1 oz. - Whipped cream vodka
1.5 oz. - Banana Liqueur
Splash of Spiced Rum
.5 oz. - Caramel Irish Cream
Rim the glass by first using caramel then cinnamon sugar
Shake over ice and strain
Garnish with a slice of banana dipped in caramel
Top with Bacardi 151
Now light that bad boy up!

Bananas Foster #2
2 oz. - Dark Rum
2 oz. 99 Bananas
Splash of Caramel Vodka
Slice of fresh Banana
Shake over ice and strain


Monday, October 17, 2011

Just a Little Rant... About the Bible.

I really do wish that my cell phone had a record feature I could use to record conversations mostly in part because I forget more than half of the crap I say and some of it is actually good stuff. That was exactly the case this morning when I was talking about the Bible. Yes I chose the good book as the focus for my rant. I realize that I was already in great need to repent for so many sins and now with this particular post I am more than likely placing myself in more hot water or the express lane to hell, but I had a 5 Hour Energy and a coffee chaser and away I went. I am going to try and recreate this rant because I thought it was funny and that is all that matters. If you don't think it is funny then go get your own damn blog and make yourself laugh. Now I am going to warn you this is going to take a few twists and turns so just hang on in there and enjoy the ride.

I was reading the bible the other day which is completely out of character for me as I was raised catholic and we read the church bulletin and read stories from Gospel. I would say there is fewer than 10% of Catholics have ever even cracked a Bible. The last time I did prior to this time was as a joke I stole one from the hotel room I was in (sorry Holiday Inn) to give as a signed copy to a friend as a joke. "Best wishes - signed: J. Christ P.S. - Dude knock it off already I can see you even if you are under a blanket and it could make you go blind." The theft of the Bible is just small blip in my hotel theft career, does anyone ever really buy towels anymore? I digress. So there I was reading the Bible because 1) there was nothing good to read and had a bit of free time and 2) I already read the shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste containers. Well I learned something! Did you know Jesus had a younger brother? His name was James. OK can you immense pressure on this kid? I mean let's face it there is already a bit of pressure to live up to your older sibling unless they are a complete mess but this kid had to live up to Jesus! I can picture the two of them taking a hike through the woods together James following his brother close-by because that is what younger brothers do and they encounter a lake. Jesus walks right across without even thinking. James, damn near drowns! Then later in life James is at a high school party without Jesus and the party runs out of booze. Everyone turns to James and asks if he is just going to stand there in his sandals and not change some water over into wine like his brother.

My next issues deal with the story of Lazarus. It is clearly outlined that heaven is suppose to be a utopia. A great destination which brings up a side question. Why if it is such a great place is it a gated community? Is it like a beautiful suburb of Detroit? Or like the Golden Gate Bridge is to San Fransisco and Oakland? Moving on. Lazarus was a good man and upon his death slated to go to Heaven this great place a wonderful prize for living a clean life. Along comes Jesus and raises Lazarus from the dead. Now it is said to prove his powers but the Bible also clearly states we must all have faith. So was J.C just having a day and wanted to be a dick to Lazarus? What the hell did Lazarus ever do to Jesus to have him yank him from this beautiful reward?

This falls under absolute logic. Follow me here a moment. Absolute logic is if the first statement is true and the second statement is true the next statement must also be correct.
Example: God is love. (true) Love is blind (true) Therefore err-go Stevie Wonder must be God!

Then there is the way the Bible makes it abundantly clear that we as humans are not to alter the human body in any way shape or form. Tattoos are not allowed, piercings are also frowned upon thus making all tattoo artists Satan incarnate I am guessing? What does this make the surgeons of this world?

You see my major problem here is that the Bible itself was not just written as a collaboration. But it was written by men and not women. Think about this for a moment. Never-mind the classic fish tale as the fish keeps getting bigger with every rendition of the story. Ask any man how tall he is and he will always tell you 1 - 3 inches taller than reality. My Australian friend Bruce use to refer to this as the "American Metric System." A Basketball player would get on the plane to play in the Australian Basketball League at 6'10" exit the plane at 6'6". Ask any woman how much she weighs it will be inevitably be at the very least 10 lbs. less than the actual weight. This leads me to believe that a D.M.V. employee is the most lied to individual on this planet. You see if the Bible were to be written by a group of men and women I can tell you the word according to John, Mark and Corinthians would definitely be contradicted more than once by the Bible according to Janet, Michelle and Divas.

Men and women provide each other with a set of checks and balances. Thus the reason all men have a single friend who thinks he is the nipples of the strip of bacon and has not seen the inside of a vagina in decades. That guy just ain't right in the head because he grew up with a mom that told him through high school he was special and all the other boys and girls are jealous of his good looks and that is why he has so few friends. The same guy that makes air pistols in the mirror and winks at himself just before he leaves the room to go out to the bar. Matt Rounds if you are reading this I am talking about you.

If women had a voice in this the stories would have been so much more detailed and less left to the imagination. Case in point listen to any group of guys talking about a night they got lucky and had a one night stand and then the same story out of a woman trying not to sound like a whore and still telling the story.
Guy: "We went out to the bar the other night and I met this hot blond with a huge rack. We had a few drinks and she was wasted. She said we could go back to her place and a slap and tickle later a good night was had by all."

Girl: "So last night I had a wicked bad day at work. Nicole from accounting was a wicked bitch when she... (fast forward.) I got Sheila and Deana to go out to the club. We pre-gamed at my house while I painted my toes to match my fingers because I was going to wear peep-toe heels. You know the supper cute ones with the pink bows on the back. Deana wore the ... (fast forward.) We got to the bar and I was already a little buzzed and I only had a grape and pita bread for lunch and my first drink was a margarita... (fast forward.) I met this guy his name was Dan and he is from Springfield... (fast forward.) He grew up in... (fast forward) His mom's name is the same as my grandmother... (fast forward.)" I already have carpel tunnel and I haven't even gotten to the part where she talks about how his cock curves to the right and how he knew how to kiss that spot behind her ear that made her change her mind not to have sex that night because she wasn't wearing one of her "sex panties" that night.

Where is the woman's perspective? So many more details are needed! So fewer questions and much less interpretation left to idiots like me! Who knows what really happened, Maybe Mel Gibson knows (Passion of the Christ?) Jim Baker claims to know but seriously you expect me to listen to that slow talking donkey?

Lastly does wearing a crucifix pendant or tattoo help save your soul at all? Half the people I have encountered that have them are some of the worst offenders. So here's to hoping it works! Or is it just a horrible reminder of what happened in the past. Sort of like meeting Abraham Lincoln wearing a pistol pendant. OK seriously my wrist hurts and I haven't shaken a single martini. So go to the bar and feel free to discuss this among yourselves. I must now go take a shower and say a boat load of Hail Mary's in hopes to save a small portion of my soul before I go to sleep or even better that I wake up tomorrow.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Catching a little shine!

So looks like the word is out about some of my infusions! The article about my Lobster Vodka Bloody Mary went viral. Here are some links to some recent love I have seen:

Fuzion Bartending Oh how we missed you! Hope everything's well with everyone! Now how about some LOBSTER [insert your favorite drink here]?! Yes, it's going to be made with Lobster Vodka. Bartender Charles Nedzbala made it happen! The trick is infusion.
Here are some tips to follow to create your exotic cocktail fantasy, whatever it may be... Bartending just got a lot more FUN. Cheers

The Happy Hour Guys Lobster martinis? Skittles martinis? Hm. The lobster martini sounds intriguing.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Martini

Is there anything more perfect in this world than cheesecake? I mean it has both cheese and cake!!! The only way to make it better is if it where beer flavored cheesecake. Comedian Jim Gaffigan says "pie can’t compete with cake. Put candles in a cake, it’s a birthday cake. Put candles in a pie, and somebody’s drunk in the kitchen." With that said I was looking for something a little different for autumn and being the fat kid that I am and my eternal love of cheesecake gave me this little number. In looking for pictures for this posting I found out the two gentlemen I have been having a ongoing torrid almost sexual affair with Ben & Jerry have just come out with a pumpkin cheesecake flavor. I think I will be rushing out to 7-11 to pick up a pint of this beautiful concoction and a box of condoms and possibly a pack of smokes to make my night complete! So I present to you:

The Pumpkin Cheesecake Martini
1 oz. - Vanilla Vodka
1 oz - Pumpkin Schnapps
Splash of Cinnamon Schnapps
1 tblspn. - Pumpkin Pie filling
1 oz. - Sweetened cream
Shake over ice and strain
Rim glass with cinnamon sugar
Garnish with a puff of whipped cream


Saturday, October 15, 2011

This dude is hilarious... It's funny because it's true!

A few things to say here... First of all this guy is hilarious and speaks the truth. Be nice to your bartender please! He/ she controls all the booze and might be able to pull a string or two as well.

Also check out how this guy makes a martini. He spills half the ingredients all over the table!


Friday, October 7, 2011

A Tip of the Cap to Steve Jobs

Let me start this particular post by saying a few things. First I have never been much of a "Mac guy." I have always owned PC's with exception of my first ever Apple 2C computer. However I can acknowledge sheer genius. Second this was hatched after a few of us got to talking about the life and death of Steve Jobs and what the future will hold for Mac.

This lead to talking about apples, which lead to apple picking and good places to find good apples. This lead to apple pie and of course it's messy yet equally as delicious cousin apple crisp. Of course this spawned a debate over the best hard apple cider. Next came a what the heck is that stuff segment of our ADD throttled conversation when I spotted out of the corner of my eye a bottle of apple rum and just how long that stuff was been there and what the heck to do with it. After a couple shots of the apple rum we finally rounded third where the conversation turned to how to make the best Apple-tini. Down the home stretch we came with other good apple cocktail recipes not forgetting the Washington Apple of course. A simple segway into the trees changing colors, pain in the ass New York drivers during what we New England folk call "leaf peeping season" and quickly moving on to everyone's common hatred of the New York Yankee's! What Derek Jeter and A-Rod's love child would look like but finally how amazing a player he would be. Of course how sad they all were about the collapse of the Sox and how great it was to see the Yankees choke in the playoffs again. Crossing home and back around to where we started with the how much profound effect Steve Jobs has had on this world. This ADHD moment was brought to you by... Tag your it! Wanna go ride bikes? Hey look shinny object!

Lastly I totally pulled this first recipe out of my ass and passed it off in front of my customer as though I knew this one all along. Lucky for me it came out pretty great and so I present to you a few sweet and a little sour with thanks to Eve, Sir Isaac Newton and now Steve Jobs for all they have done with and for apples everywhere. May he rest in peace as we all raise our glasses and give him thanks.

Southern Apple Martini
2 oz. - Apple infused Vodka
1 oz. - Southern Comfort
Splash of Sweet Vermouth
Splash of Cranberry juice
Garnish with a cherry.

The Washington Apple Martini
2 oz. - Crown Royal
1 oz. - Apple schnapps
Splash of Cranberry
Garnish with a apple slice

Caramel Ap
1 oz. - Vodka
1 oz. - Apple schnapps
1 oz. - Caramel Irish Creme
Drizzle caramel inside the glass.
garnish with a apple slice

The Italian Apple-Tini
2 oz. - Apple infused vodka
1 oz. - Sour apple shnapps
1 oz. - Ameretto
garnish with a apple slice


Fortifem Ultra Martini Lounge

October 6 in The Portland Press Herald: Go Magazine

Bar Guide: Swanky lounge offers classic martinis, cocktails
By Elisa Doucette

Bartender Charles Nedzbala makes a ultimate cosmo at FortiFem Martini Lounge in Portland.
John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

There was a time not so long ago when martini lounges were as popular in the Old Port as brewpubs. Then they slowly started disappearing.

FortiFem Martini Lounge, next door to partner establishment 51 Wharf, is looking to bring that era of upscale sophistication and classic drinks back to the city by the sea.

The atmosphere at FortiFem is the pure definition of swank. To enter the front door, you have to get through an iron gate designed to create a small outdoor patio space where people can step out if they need a breath of fresh air. This is an easy task during the week or early evenings, but on weekends, a bouncer stands at the gate checking IDs and enforcing a dress code.

Inside, you will find a low leather sofa running along the two side walls and around the corners of the front of the room. Metallic mesh curtains hang from the ceiling, and long, white, gauzy curtains hang perpendicular to the walls, effectively portioning off areas of the sofa into more intimate sections.

Ceiling lamps and lighting fixtures alternate colors for a Vegas-lounge experience. The lounge is small, accommodating about 30 to 50 people on any given night.

Cocktails and martinis are the name of the game at FortiFem. A martini ($12), in its purest form, is a cocktail made with gin, vermouth and a garnish and was once referred to by H.L. Mencken as "the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet."

At FortiFem, all cocktails fall under the "martini" header on the drink menu, and there are some delicious ones from which to choose. With the seasons changing to the crisper autumn air, I was excited to see a Manhattan made with Maker's Mark at the top of the list ($12).

FortiFem also excels in the creation of mixed drinks to inspire a fun night out on the town. One of the most popular, an Orange Kiss made with Grey Goose Orange and cr? de cacao ($12), is ordered practically every 10 minutes on Friday and Saturday nights. If you're looking for less expensive drinks, you can always visit on Monday or Tuesday nights, when martinis are $6. You can also order most of the liquors neat or on the rocks for less than $10.

Beer is served only by the bottle. The selection is good, with domestic darlings such as Michelob Ultra and Sam Adams Lager and local favorites including Allagash White and Shipyard Export. With the exception of Bud Light ($4), all bottled beer is $4.50.

FortiFem also has a great wine list. Featuring 10 whites and about a dozen reds, wines are available both by the glass ($6 to $8) and bottle ($22 to $59). There are a handful of sparkling wines as well. Celebrate a special occasion with a glass of Prosecco ($8) or a bottle of Moet ($149).

Food is an essential piece of the happy hour puzzle, and FortiFem offers most of its appetizers for half off from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Try the Sandwich Spirals ($11.95), which offer cured turkey, ham and swiss; genoa salami and jack cheese; or turkey, bacon and ranch on flatbread, rolled and sliced into bite-sized post-workday deliciousness.


WHERE: 45 Wharf St., Portland; (877) 653-7678

HOURS: 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily
PARKING: The lounge is located on Wharf Street in the center of the Old Port, so parking is available either at metered spaces on nearby streets or at one of the public lots or garages. (Ladies, be careful on those cobblestones!)
SPECIALS: Happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. offers half-off appetizers, martinis and beer.

PEOPLE WATCHING: In the early evenings, you'll find young professionals looking for an upscale place to relax after work. Things are turned up about five notches on the weekend with a
DJ, a professional scene photographer and a dress code.

BARSTOOL COMFORT: Very tall, thick wooden ladder-back stools with cushioned leather seats. If you are 5-foot-5 or under, you may have to jump a bit to get into one.

GUILTY PLEASURE: Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Martini (Pinnacle Whipped Vodka, Godiva and strawberry puree, $12)

Elisa Doucette is a freelance writer who lives in Saco.