Saturday, April 26, 2008

Blogging Tales of the Cocktail: Essential Guide to American Whiskey

Le Mixeur, as mentioned previously, is proud participant in the Blogging Tales of the Cocktail project. Our first contribution is now on display at the Tales blog site. But for your added reading convenience, we have enclosed it below...

Those perusing this year’s list of events at TotC have likely made note of the provocative pairing of Gary Regan and LeNell Smothers as hosts of the “Essential Guide to American Whiskey.”

Those for whom self-preservation and self-dignity are concerns have undoubtedly taken steps to steer clear of this combustible and potentially illegal event.

Those desiring to gain some insight into what to expect from Mr. Regan’s and Ms Smothers’ presentation are advised to view the final scenes of Peter Brooks’ “Marat/Sade.” It will certainly not be the first time the two transformed an otherwise respectable conference facility into their own personal Charenton Asylum.

While anarchy will certainly rule the day, I nonetheless performed my journalistic duty in approaching the presenters, seeking some insight as to what the “plan” might be. Being the true gentleman that he is, Mr. Regan was quick to respond, as such:

“Lenell. This guy sounds like a complete bastard to me. Let’s stay well away from him.”

What ensued was essentially a game of psychological Three Card Monte in which I was the intended mark. One can easily understand the presenters’ reticence to reveal details of their intentions, as this has in the past allowed local law enforcement officials to quash their uprisings before they gained momentum.

However, as my sworn duty to the Tales Blog project, I remained determined to reveal the truth. After analyzing our correspondence documents for 72 consecutive hours, I believe I have cultivated a precise list of what to expect and what not to expect.

DO NOT expect: to be entertained by the wit and banter of the presenters as you sample various whiskeys and learn to make cocktails out of them.

DO expect: lewd and indecent sexual acts performed under at least one of the conference tables.

DO NOT expect: a guided tasting of three bourbons, one wheat whiskey, and one rye, plus use of another wheat whiskey in self-creating a certain beloved mixed drink.

DO expect: excessive peer pressure, applied by the presenters, to shoot copious quantities of straight rye until certain erogenous areas of the body have their interests piqued, as the presenters leer.

DO NOT expect: an illuminating review of common whiskey terms and the opportunity to ask questions directly to some of the world’s foremost experts on the subject.

DO expect: some sort of unseemly parlor trick involving candle wax to be performed.

DO NOT expect: a spirited and informative discussion on the history of American whiskeys – including bourbon, rye, wheat, and corn – from its earliest days to modern experimental techniques.

DO expect: a crude and juvenile debate on whether a “bigger whiskey is a better whiskey…” or if “it’s really about a lengthy finish…and mouthfeel.”

Essential Guide to American Whiskey, presented by Malt Advocate Magazine and the Whiskeys of Heaven Hill, will occur on Friday, July 18 from 4:30 - 6pm at the Hotel Monteleone. Tickets may be purchased here.

Hotel security and NOPD have been alerted.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Tale of a Cocktail

Le Mixeur is grateful to be part of a new blogging project for this year's "Tales of the Cocktail," which will be July 16-20 in New Orleans at the Hotel Monteleone. In this project, many of the top cocktail bloggers from around the world (plus Le Mixeur) will be previewing each of the events scheduled for this year's festival.

We have already completed a preview of Gary Regan and LeNell Smothers' presentation, "Essential Guide to American Whiskey," and the date of its publication s not determined yet. When it is published on the Tales Blog, we will also post it in this space.

We also plan to have a preview of David Wondrich and Allen Katz's presentation, "The Flowing Bowl," ready to be published on the 15th of May on both blogs.

Who knows? perhaps we will do more.

In honor of our involvement in Tales of the Cocktail 2008, we submit here an old family story and the unveiling of a forgotten cocktail from classic New Orleans. We are not sure who wrote this tale, or the validity of some of its claims, but we have no reason to doubt its authenticity. Enjoy...

"There was a tall Acadian, goes by the name Edmond, lived in the nineteenth century in the little nook of wood right where the Nepisiguit River flows into Chaleur Bay. Edmond was over six and half foot tall, very thin, strong. His family been there in that wood since 1714. Thrice great grandfather to Edmond, Pierre, went there first. Pierre sensed trouble when Treaty of Uetrecht got signed, never did like French and English battles over the land, never get along with others in the Richiboctou, was scorned for taking up with Mi'kmaq woman. The Mi'kmaq woman and him left on foot away from this village until they got far from village enough to not know where it was, found them a spot to settle.

They had children, never spoke of Richiboctou. From time to time other wanderers and Mi'kmaq come through, some stayed. A little camp grew there. No one who came to the camp ever spoke of the outside world.

By the time Edmond come along, no one in camp ever knew of outside world, and no new wanderers come around for years. The people thinned out to just a few, Edmond was only child to his parents, and when they died and others died, Edmond was only one left in camp. Edmond figured he'd stay in camp and die there, and this was pretty OK with him.

In winter of 1884 traveler come through the camp for first time probably 20 years. Name was Jean. Came from Beaubassin. He stays with Edmond for a few days, probably four, tells Edmond all about what happens to Acadians, about wars between British and French, about Great Upheaval. Jean's family gone to Louisiana during Great Upheaval, settled there, did very well. Now Jean was back in Acadia, in Beaubassin, likes to take walks.

Jean tells Edmond about Louisiana, Edmond likes what he hears from Jean. He decides he's going there in a month when it gets warmer and food will be grown enough for harvest for the trip.

So one month later Edmond takes apples, turnips, potatoes, satchel of nettle beer he brews, and bushel of field mint to keep his stomach right and for insect bites. He start walking.

And this is what we know for a while. Next thing we know, Edmond arrived at New Orleans one night. Walked into Old Absinthe House, stood at the bar, said nothing. Only a few people there that night. After some time Edmond points at a bottle on the bar, says what's that, bartender says that's something pretty new it's Benedictine. He pours Edmond a glass and Edmond likes that pretty good.

Edmond's satchel of nettle beer is all gone, but Edmond did not drink it all. Says he traded it, man named Gus, in Pennsylvania, for jug of rye. Edmond still has the rye with him and gives it to bartender to pour. The bottle is plain but Edmond says they call it Michter's. The others at the place that night, not so sure about that.

Bartender pours Edmond some Absinthe with just a little shaved ice and water. Edmond sips this and gets an odd look. He thinks a bit, takes the glass and sits in corner for a while, watches bartender close, sees what he does. After some time Edmond comes back to the bar, tells all about the camp at Chaleur Bay, the wanderer from Beaubassin, the Great Upheaval. The others they realize the upheaval been going on now for Edmond.

He takes out from his pouch some strawberries, puts them on the bar, then a branch of rosemary. They ask him where he get these things, Edmond says he hopped a train – never seen one before – to Tennessee. It stopped, he sees little red berries growing from the side of the tracks, a man on the train with him says grab some of those they are good to eat so he hops down and picks as many as he can before train is leaving. The rosemary, Edmond do not recall where he got that.

Edmond he takes out the field mint be brought from Acadia, still looking pretty good. He walks behind the bar and the bartender is OK with this. Edmond drops a couple of these strawberries in a glass and some rosemary, he mashes them up pretty hard. Then he puts in the mint, mashes it too, only much more gentle with this. He pours in some absinthe, some Benedictine, his rye. He puts in some ice, shakes it all up, pours it back into the same glass.

Bartender takes a sip and says that this is good, but this drink is better to strain, with clean ice, and a special thing to add and he shows Edmond his bottle of Peychauds. Edmond sniffs that, nods. Bartender makes another drink the same way but with the Peychauds, strains it over clean ice, adds some soda. Hands it to Edmond. He nods and sits down with it and sips it slow.

Little while later Edmond gathers his things, leaves the rye there, says so long, goes out the door. Edmond has to even bend his neck to pass under the door.

Later, Marquis from down the road come in, asked bartender what's new and good. Bartender makes him Edmond's drink, Marquis says he likes it what's it called, bartender says it's called a Tall Acadian.

And that is how we got that drink. And Edmond never came back to Old Absinthe House."

Today, we make this drink as such:


1 large strawberry, halved
sprig of rosemary
6 mint leaves
1 1/2 oz rye (Sazerac 6 year if possible)
1 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz lime
1/4 oz Absinthe
4 dashes Peychaud's Bitters

Muddle the strawberries, rosemary well. Add mint and bitters and muddle gently. add remaining ingredients plus ice, shake. Strain into hi ball glass filled with crushed ice. Stir, top with splash of soda. Garnish with halved strawberry and an orange twist.

(dear reader: the preceding story was a work of fiction, and not meant to be taken seriously. the drink, however, is real, and can be had, along with many others, at Le Mixeur Quatre)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Mixmo: Just a Good Looking Mixeur who Plays by his own Rules

Mixology Monday was last Monday.

Le Mixeur a oublié...blush blush.

But if Le Mixeur wish to bring a recipe for a Mixed drink into the forum of things, then bring it we will, regardless of the day of the week. Le Mixeur has now successfully participated in one consecutive Mixology Monday, so a little glib arrogance and blatant disregard for the rules of conduct is certainly in order, is it not? How long must we toil, for what period must we pay dues, before finally we are free to express our fruity fancies when we feel so inclined?

Le Mixeur is replete with fruity fancies at the moment, as it is snowing on April 18th and T.Mixeur has not heating oil.

On with the cocktail...

On second thought, not yet.

Here is a poem T.Mixeur wrote, reminiscing on another cold time in life. It was the winter of 1990 in Boston, and T.Mixeur and roommates one day turned the dial on the wall only to find no warm air billowing in as a result. It was quickly decided that failure to pay the gas bill was the culprit, and that no money was available to undo the situation. Five friendly people in a three bedroom apartment plus frequent houseguests were able to produce plenty of body heat, the open stove helped, and T.Mixeur became quite well-acquainted with his union suit.

After a month of this situation, the happy yet chilled clan went down into the basement of the apartment building there at Mass Ave and Tremont to attempt to break through the brick wall that separated them from the storage room of the liquor store that resided on the first floor of the building. This attempt was unsuccessful, but whilst in the cellar the clan noticed a circuit breaker panel, investigated it as if it were an obelisk at the dawn of man, and calmly turned on the breaker switch controlling the electric heat upstairs in the apartment.

Heat returned to the merry homestead, but the group stopped sleeping all together in a warm pile, and bonds weakened, frayed, and eventually split.

Did we mention the prominent role alcohol played in each aspect? The failure to detect the source of no heat, the process of keeping warm, the lack of hesitation to cuddle to the nearest body for heat, and the trip to the basement...all alcohol related.

And thus T. Mixeur's reflections...

Drunk Descending Staircase

It tickle me: the coronuh smella the packie
driffin up inna my m-my daydream, that smell driffin
up LIKE THAT it…tickle me.

Remove a few bricks an chrismas
is EVERY day. they say Boston is a college town
but I don't see it.

cClunkin downstairs in Spsparkleglueboots and
oil paynid hair, a man on the st- the stairwell masdabates for us; our dissinnerest wounds him.

85 pound woman, with me, her escort
transact-t the d-deed and handOVERthebottle.

Between strangers on a train, I am swillsippin.

Fists thru winshields fisticuffs with
emmurgency roomdoctors fistfuls of cash
though 19,
at a jazz at a jazz b-bar on the backada forty bucktip.

strikin a fightin posture,
we search for the bad guy,
and speculate him to be halfa worldaway.

When not descending staircases, T.Mixeur was reading Gandhi and Kant in an effort to develop a cohesive philosophy of pacifism that would bolster a conscientious objector plea should he be drafted to serve in Bush War I.

And now on with the cocktail...

On this cold heatless night in Seattle, this drink will be named after what really kept me warm all those January nights in Boston: my red Union Suit.

Union Suit

1 3/4 oz plymouth gin
1/2 oz orange muscat
1/2 oz Edmond Briottet Crème de Pêche de Vigne
1/2 oz campari
2 dashes Regan's Orange Bitters

stir and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange twist.

This drink is red and warming, like a union suit. Have one and cuddle with your roommates.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Le Mixeur Quatre: Change of Date

We at Le Mixeur are proud to announce that the weekend of May 2-4 will be the third installment of the New England School of Homeopathy's Eight Weekend course in Portland, Oregon.

Unfortunately, the New England School of Homeopathy has thus poached several key participants of Le Mixeur Quatre, including our DJ.

We will therefore be pushing Le Mixeur Quatre back to May 17th, at 8pm.

We will still be graced by the sounds of Tomo Nakayama and friends, hailing from the band Grand Hallway.

Some of us watched Grand Hallway's performance at the Nectar Lounge last Monday night and, well, let's just say that when the show began we were standing on the main floor, yet when it ended we discovered we had somehow come to be perched on high stools in the upper balcony. None of us recall how we got there, and no one seemed to witness our ascendence. But we all recalled a feeling of weightlessness and ethereal whimsy in the preceding period of time.

So join us, please, May 17th.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What's So Special About Peace Love and Mixeurstanding?

Dear ones, T. Mixeur is in fact the Bodhisattva of the Mixeursphere.

In a Mahayana, not Theravada, sort of way.

There was a time, when a young T. Mixeur studied fastidiously the sacred arts and way of Mix, with the opulent vision of one day achieving, Mixana. This vision took speed one evening when, while awaiting a performance of Amadou et Mariam, T. Mixeur had the opportunity to see Murray Stenson.

Describe Murray? "tis hard. Yet Herman Hesse is up for the task...

"He seemed to be smiling gently inwardly. With a secret smile, not unlike that of a healthy child, he walked along, peacefully, quietly...every finger of his hand spoke of peace, spoke of completeness, sought nothing, imitated nothing, reflected a continuous quiet, an unfading light, an invulnerable peace."

And the young Mixeur was entranced.

Yet in silence, to himself, the young Mixeur said this:

"I am going on my way - not to seek another and better doctrine, for I know there is none, but to leave all doctrines and all teachers and to reach my goal alone - or die. But I will often remember this day, O Illustrious One, and this hour when my eyes beheld a holy man."

And then, much later on in time, there was a particular, blessed evening in which the chimerical Mixeur ascended to the threshold of Mixana, just as he had envisioned.

Yet at that moment, the Mixeur paused.

Gazing into Mixana, he reflected on the world, so full of anguish. Life was pain, the world was suffering...but the path to the release from suffering had been found. There was salvation for those who went the way of the Mixeur.

He realized that his own ascendence into Mixana meant nothing until he was joined by all sentient life. He turned away from the threshold of Mixana and returned to Samsara, determined to lead all of creation down the path to where suffering would end.

And then he created Le Mixeur.
And Le Mixeur had Quatre.
And this is what Quatre will do:

Quatre will serve you a drink Mixing finest ingredients from Chile, Bardstown, France, and Portugal, with its base in Vicuña Chile, birthplace of Gabriela Mistral, and ask that when you order it you ask your Mixeur to "Give me your hand," and then become a single flower, a blade of grass, and dance on a hill.

Quatre will paint a story of a Tall Acadian who on his travels picks some wild strawberries, mint leaves, and rosemary, and upon his arrival in Louisiana adds them to some flavorful and aromatic tinctures the locals call rye, absinthe, benedictine, and peychauds.

Quatre will travel across the Danubian Plain and procure many recipes for transcendent Mixes from years past.

Quatre will propel the mysticism of our Red Curtain, with the vinyl spins of Mixeur Kristaps.

Quatre will contemplate the four elements and the veil thin as gossamer distinguishing one from the other, as fire is born and dies in the mouth of Mixeur Josho.

Quatre will end all illusions and right all wrongs while in the rapturous throes of Tomo Nakayama, demiurge of the breathtaking Seattle band, Grand Hallway.

And at some point during this evening of May 3rd, 2008, we will all see this:

"All these forms and faces in a thousand relationships to each other, all helping each other, loving, hating, and destroying each other and becoming newly born. Each one mortal, a passionate, painful example of all that is transitory, yet none of them die, they only change, are always reborn, continually have a new face: only time stands between one face and another. And all these forms and faces rest, flow, reproduce, swim past and merge into each other, and over them all there is continually something thin, unreal, and yet existing, stretched across like thin glass or ice, like a transparent skin, shell, form or mask of water - and this mask is Le Mixeur's smiling face...and this smile will remind us of everything we have ever loved in our lives, of everything that has ever been of value and holy in our lives."

Or is this asking too much?

Thank you, Monsieur Hesse...

Le Mixeur Quatre
May 17th, 8pm.

Le Gra

T. Mixeur

Friday, April 4, 2008

Le Mixeur Trois: Un Mémoire Photographique

Soon to come will be a look forward to Le Mixeur Quatre, but first allow us a wistful and Photoshop altered look back on Le Mixeur Trois, "a qualified success" that occurred without warning or explanation on February 16th, 2008.

les photos par Liz ont été éditées par T. Mixeur...

Le Mixeur...
une création de plaisir culinaire

Lela et Bethany...
une réunion joyeuse

C.Mixeur et T.Mixeur...
Ils roussissent la terre avec
leurs habiletés stupéfiantes!

Beaucoup de Mixers joyeux...
Le spiritueux produit une
exposition d'exubérance déchaînée!

devient timide pendant les expositions d'exubérance déchaînée!

Beaucoup de Mixers brillants...
sont inspirés pour créer
une utopie avec la chanson et la boisson

Le matin après Le Mixeur:
un temps pour repos et lumière

Étreintes et baisers À tous les Mixers...