Don’t Drink and Fly was uploaded to Flickr

West Loop.

Sign reads: “Alcohol consumption on these premises will result in immediate termination.”

embiggen by clicking

I took Don’t Drink and Fly on October 06, 2013 at 04:10PM

West Loop.

Sign reads: “Alcohol consumption on these premises will result in immediate termination.”

A Battle With the Brewers on Pine Ridge


I have two thoughts regarding this horrific article as reported by Nicholas Kristof:

Pine Ridge, one of America’s largest Indian reservations, bans alcohol. The Oglala Sioux who live there struggle to keep alcohol out, going so far as to arrest people for possession of a can of beer. But the tribe has no jurisdiction over Whiteclay because it is just outside the reservation boundary.

So Anheuser-Busch and other brewers pour hundreds of thousands of gallons of alcohol into the liquor stores of Whiteclay, knowing that it ends up consumed illicitly by Pine Ridge residents and fuels alcoholism, crime and misery there. In short, a giant corporation’s business model here is based on violating tribal rules and destroying the Indians’ way of living.

It’s as if Mexico legally sold methamphetamine and crack cocaine to Americans in Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez.

Pine Ridge encompasses one of the poorest counties in the entire United States — Shannon County, S.D. — and life expectancy is about the same as in Afghanistan. As many as two-thirds of adults there may be alcoholics, and one-quarter of children are born suffering from fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

In short, this isn’t just about consenting adults. Children are born with neurological damage and never get a chance.

(click here to continue reading A Battle With the Brewers –

The Longhorn Saloon - Main Street, Scenic, South Dakota

The Longhorn Saloon – Main Street, Scenic, South Dakota

First, Anheuser-Busch aka InBev has long been a sleazy corporation. You don’t give large amounts of corporate donations to scum like the Heartland Institute unless you are a willing tool of Republican agenda, and Anheuser-Busch is a willing tool of the GOP.

More Beautiful Desolation
More Beautiful Desolation

Second, and this is just wild speculation, what would happen if the Pine Ridge Reservation legalized booze sales, but vigorously controlled the sale? Stop selling to obviously intoxicated people, have a quota for how much beer a particular household could purchase in a month, and so on. Try the drug legalization model, in other words, like Switzerland or The Netherlands do (did?). Of course, the slightly-over the county line store would have to be removed, or incorporated into the plan. But isn’t this just as feasible as a public shaming of corporate scum like InBev?

I don’t doubt alcoholism is a big, big problem on the Res, but perhaps there are other ways to tackle this problem. Heroin junkies in Vancouver are allowed to shoot up, but only under watchful eyes of public health officials.

Just days after Canada’s Supreme Court smacked down the ruling Conservative party’s attempts to close Insite, the cutting-edge walk-in safe-injecting clinic in Vancouver, comes the latest volley from harm-reduction advocates north of the border. Over the next three years a new trial will test whether giving heroin addicts access to free, clean opiates can be an effective way to stabilize hardcore users and ultimately entice them into drug treatment.

SALOME (Study to Assess Longer-term Opiate Maintenance Effectiveness) grew out of the earlier NAOMI (North American Opiate Maintenance Initiative) study. whose conclusions were similar to those of similar trials in Switzerland, Germany and other highly evolved nations: “Heroin-assisted therapy proved to be a safe and highly effective treatment for people with chronic, treatment-refractory heroin addiction. Marked improvements were observed including decreased use of illicit “street” heroin, decreased criminal activity, decreased money spent on drugs, and improved physical and psychological health,” as NAOMI’s authors wrote.

Unlike the earlier trial, the focus of SALOME is not on heroin prescribing. With the Conservative government’s panties already in a bunch over injecting rooms, a less controversial alternative to handing out heroin had to be foundt. The solution?  Hydromorphone (trade name Dilaudid), a legally available painkiller whose effects are almost indistinguishable from heroin—not a surprise given that it is synthesized from morphine. “There’s less of a stigma, less of an aura, around hydromorphone, and it’s legally available,” said British Columbia’s medical health officer, Perry Kendall. “In Switzerland and Germany, they don’t have a problem with treating people with heroin, but here we do.”

(click here to continue reading Junkies Get Free, Clean Heroin Alternative in Vancouver Trial | The Fix.)

What do you think? Could this work for alcohol too? Of course, this is idle speculation, and as long as the GOP is around, public health initiatives will get short shrift.

Cocktail hour redux

Cocktail hour redux
Cocktail hour redux, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

A (better) photo of my delicious Manhattan

Old Overholt Rye Whiskey, Angostura bitters, Cinzano “Rosso” vermouth
shaken over ice cubes for 20 seconds before pouring into a cocktail glass. And slurped down.

Screw that funky (music white boy) cherry thing. No seriously, Maraschino Cherries are not part of my everyday repertoire.

Shot with my Hipstamatic for iPhone
Lens: John S
Film: Pistil
Flash: Off


I probably shouldn’t have made a third one1, but this week2 has been exceptionally stressful, and I need a bit of a respite from worrying about situations I cannot completely control the outcome of.

  1. but they were so damn delicious!! []
  2. actually, this entire month []

Reading Around on December 18th through December 23rd

A few interesting links collected December 18th through December 23rd:

Hometown Distilleries in a Beer City

I’d not heard much mention of either of these local businesses, but I’ll have to investigate the matter further.

Er Umm Have a Drink

The phrase “Chicago distilleries” tends to elicit visions of cinematic gunfights and bullet-pocked Cadillacs — not hyper-educated Gen Xers surrounded by 60 pounds of raw ginger. Welcome to the new era of boutique spirit making in Chicago.

Your local guides are Sonat and Robert Birnecker and Sonja and Derek Kassebaum, the young couples who own and operate the area’s only two artisan distilleries, and whose meticulously made spirits have been called “impeccable” and “second to none” by local tastemakers like Kyle McHugh and Charles Joly.

At first glance, the Koval Distillery (owned and run by the Birneckers) and North Shore Distillery (the Kassebaums’ outfit) could not be more different. Koval, in Ravenswood, is proudly urban, while North Shore’s operations sit well outside the city, in north suburban Lake Bluff. The Birneckers’ stars are luscious, intense liqueurs in flavors like rose hip and ginger; the Kassebaums specialize in subtle, sophisticated riffs on old favorites, including vodka, gin and aquavit.

But take a closer look and you’ll find the two companies run along parallel paths: the proprietors are dedicated, with a single-minded fervor that borders on the evangelical, to the promotion of choice local ingredients, to spirits produced in small, fastidiously monitored batches, and, most emphatically, to reintroduce Americans to that oft-forgotten inalienable right: the freedom to get sauced on booze made in your own backyard.

[Click to continue reading Chicago News Cooperative – Koval and North Shore – Hometown Distilleries in a Beer City –]

Cocktail Lounge BW

North Shore, in Lake Bluff, is known for Distiller’s Gin #6

Distiller’s Gin No. 6 is extremely smooth, with a complex blance of citrus, spice and floral notes. We create No. 6 (90 proof) by infusing our grain-based spirit with hand-selected botanicals from all over the world, along with fresh lemon zest and lavender blossoms.

If you have never tasted this gin, or you think you don’t like gin, we strongly recommend trying No. 6 neat (straight) before mixing it into a cocktail or martini. This will allow you to smell and taste the complex nature of this gin. We know you will be amazed at how much you like this gin.

[Click to continue reading North Shore Distillery – Award-winning Distiller’s Gin No. 6 – Modern Dry Gin]

Koval makes several kinds of spirits, including an intriguing-sounding rye, something made from levant spelt, pear brandy, and other tasty items.

Koval Inc. is the first boutique distillery located in Chicago. Its founders, Robert and Sonat Birnecker, gave up academic careers to bring the distilling traditions and techniques of Robert’s Austrian grandfather to America. Certified both organic and kosher, Koval holds itself to the highest standards of purity and craftsmanship. Koval avoids the common industry practice of outsourcing the production of neural grain spirits for rectification, making all of its products from scratch. Each step of the distilling process, from the “mashing” to the bottling is carefully monitored to insure that only the best spirit reaches your lips.

[Click to continue reading Koval Distillery – Koval Distillery]

Sign me up for the tour!

Reading Around on September 21st through September 23rd

A few interesting links collected September 21st through September 23rd:

  • » Blog Archive » Why You Should Protest That Tucker Max Movie – “Earlier today, I made a comment that we all should ignore Tucker Max and the movie adaption of his book, I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell.

    The very spot-on Whet Moser corrected me over Twitter, as soon as I said it, and he backed his reasoning with this post:

    Tucker Max Hates Fun.

    You all should read it right now.

    And after I finished reading it, I realized what a horrible, stupid, unreasoned response I made, thinking that the right response to misogyny is to be quiet and hope it goes away. It doesn’t and it never has and it never will. I have known that since I was a teenager, and discovered feminism, and identified as such”

  • lust Monster 1965.jpg
    [Lust Monster, 1965]

  • Inside Google Books: LIFE magazine now available on Google Books – starting today, visitors to Google Books will be able to search and browse even more magazines on Google Books. We’ve partnered with Life Inc. to digitize LIFE Magazine’s entire run as a weekly: over 1,860 issues, covering the years from 1936 to 1972. Most of us are familiar with the term “American Century,” but chances are few of us have been able to read Henry Luce’s defining editorial in its original context, a 1941 issue of LIFE. You’ll be able to find and read Leonard McCombe’s iconic cover and photo essay on a Texas Cowboy and Richard Meryman’s famous last interview with Marilyn Monroe. You can find a 1968 cover story on Georgia O’Keeffe
  • First Draft: Party On, Boris – He [Clinton] also relayed how Boris Yeltsin’s late-night drinking during a visit to Washington in 1995 nearly created an international incident. The Russian president was staying at Blair House, the government guest quarters. Late at night, Clinton told Branch, Secret Service agents found Yeltsin clad only in his underwear, standing alone on Pennsylvania Avenue and trying to hail a cab. He wanted a pizza, he told them, his words slurring.
  • Pinup_WWII.jpg
    [WWII pinup]

Reading Around on March 17th

Some additional reading March 17th from 15:24 to 15:41:

  • eG Forums -> Making Limoncello – Take the peels of one dozen lemons + 1 lime microplaned off. … Place the peels into an airtight container (I use a large screwtopped jar) and cover with 1 bottle of 100 proof vodka (I use 100 proof Smirnoff). …Place the jar in a safe place (on top of my refrigerator works for me!) for at least two weeks, giving it an occasional shake and sniff to check on it. You’ll be able to see the vodka turning bright yellow as it pulls the flavorful oils from the peels. When the peels no longer look colorful and the vodka doesn’t seem to be gaining any more visible color or scent, it’s done. Filter through a coffee filter or cheesecloth into a large bottle or jar and press down to remove all the vodka and oils that you can from the peels. Add a 1:1 simple syrup (I usually start with 2 cups water to two cups sugar, boiled lightly until completely dissolved and syrupy and cooled off) and then thin further with approximately another 750 ml bottle of your favorite regular vodka.
  • Limoncello

  • The Webtender Forums: Re Limoncello like mama used to make <by Dom Costa> – The traditional way of making limoncello is to slice off the topmost layer of lemon peel, avoiding the bitter white pith as much as possible. If there is any pith on a slice, scrape it off with a knife or spoon. An extremely sharp vegetable peeler works best. (If you use a fine grater , avoid the temptation to shave off every last bit of colored peel, because you’re likely to end up taking some pith along with it. In other words, it’s best to give up on the colored parts of the peel that are in any “valleys” in the surface of the lemon.) Once you have your lemon peel, steep it for a couple of weeks in 95% grain alchool. You can tell that the flavoring elements have been thoroughly leached out when the peels have lost their color. Filter well the infusion , and add ( cold) sugar syrup you prapared in advance ( 500gr sugar in one litre hot watwer), let stand for a a week, put it in the freezer, ready to drink.