Drink of the Week: The Blinker (Dr. Cocktail’s Version)

Dr. Cocktail's Blinker.If there is a more confusing matter in the world of cocktails than the naming of beverages, I haven’t come across it. It’s hard enough that the proportions of such basic drinks as the Martini and the Manhattan are so highly variable depending on which book or bartender you consult. It also doesn’t help that we cocktail writers can’t stop ourselves from continually messing with recipes to the point where two drinks with the exact same name and ancestry may have little in common, give or take an ingredient. At the same time, you might have two drinks with completely different names but which differ in only the slightest way. (Mr. Martini, meet Mr. Gibson.)

So, last week I brought you the original version of the Blinker, or something close to it, and I mentioned that famed cocktail historian Ted Haigh had unearthed this drink. Despite being a true revivalist, Haigh felt the drink needed an improvement, if not an actual update.

For starters, while the original version appears to have called for either bourbon or rye. (I limited myself to bourbon last week.) Haigh’s version is strictly rye. The original also had grenadine as its sweetener. Haigh’s version, which he has since christened “Dr. Cocktail’s Blinker,” contained not just raspberry syrup, but a very particular species of it. This is the stuff that tastes rather like jam, only without any trace of actual fruit, and which some people pour over ice cream. Apparently, it was an old school substitute for grenadine, and it certainly sounded like it was worth a try.

The Blinker, aka Dr. Cocktail’s Blinker

2 ounces rye whiskey
1 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon raspberry syrup
1 lemon peel (garnish)

No surprises in terms of preparation. Combine the rye, juice, and syrup in cocktail shaker. You might want to stir it a bit before adding the ice to make sure the syrup dissolves, especially if it’s been kept in the refrigerator. Then add about a ton of ice and, well, you know the rest. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, throw in the lemon twist. Toast Dr. Cocktail/Ted Haigh, if only because he is the creator of by far the most popular modern day version of the Blinker.

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All in all, I have to agree with Ted Haigh that his tweaked version of the Blinker is superior. Rye is just a hair less sweet than bourbon and noticeably more peppery, and it makes a bracing contrast with the bittersweet grapefruit juice and the just-plain sweet raspberry syrup. For the sake of experimentation, I tried the Dr. Cocktail Blinker drink with bourbon, and it was a no go. Not awful, just not so good. My ryes produced nice but highly varying results. I used Old Overholt (Haigh’s preference), Rittenhouse  (my 100 proof default rye), and slightly more upscale/moderne Redemption rye.

Even more interesting is his choice of the jam-like raspberry syrup over grenadine. I used Smucker’s brand because it was the only choice the supermarket I happened to be in had, and it was fine. It’s a simpler kind of sweetness than a decent grenadine, and I think it really does make a better choice in a drink that’s already buzzing with the contrasting flavors of rye and grapefruit.

  

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Cruising the Mediterranean Sea

ID-10051847 Monte Carlo By M - Pics
Free photo courtesy of FreeDigitalImages.net/By M – Pics

Long ago, the Mediterranean Sea was the lifeblood among ancient civilizations, providing routes for trade and war and also supplying food for its peoples throughout time. Today, the Mediterranean Sea is still a thriving waterway that provides a living for the people in the communities that border it. Sailing or cruising the Mediterranean is quite an adventure. Several cruise ship companies offer itineraries that include ports in Italy, Spain, France and many others.

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Men’s Luxury Denim Handmade in the USA

If you once thought the finest materials in men’s luxury wear was only found overseas, think again. Haxby denim, a new line of men’s luxury denim wear, brings a whole new level of style and fine craftsmanship, and it is made in the USA. By collecting only the best materials from around the world, each pair of denim is cut and sewn in LA and is yet another stylish product in a line known for its magnificence.

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A Trio of Tremendous Poker Movies

poker dealer
When the chips are down, a good old-fashioned card game may be all you need to straighten out your luck

The best poker movies tend to blend action, suspense and of course, actual poker playing, into one enthralling mix that keeps viewers both entertained and excited. It would be foolish to assume that everyone in a general audience consensus would willingly sit through a two hour game of poker, but when you factor in plot lines, love interests and character motives, it makes for captivating viewing. With that said, here’s our top picks that manage to mix bluffing with brilliance.

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A chat with Jay Glazer, Fox NFL Insider for Captain Morgan

Jay Glazer spoke with Paul Eide of Bullz-Eye.com.

Fox NFL Insider Jay Glazer is the man you go to for information. He’s cornered the market on both the NFL and MMA and is the ultimate “information broker” in a sea of imitators.

Here’s a piece of info that Glazer hipped me to: This Friday, September 19th is “International Talk Like a Pirate Day” sponsored by Captain Morgan. Just use the hashtags #CaptainandColaaarr and #TLAPD on social media and Captain Morgan will donate $1 to charity.

We spoke with Jay about working with Captain Morgan, what it was like for him to break into TV as an NFL Insider, and how he broke the New England Patriots “Spygate” scandal.

Does your phone ever stop ringing? Or is there always some dude from some website like me at the other end? 

“No, it’s not just dudes from websites — it’s usually a coach or a player. With all the off-the-field stuff, Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson… this week has been the most difficult week of my career. I signed up to cover football, not be a social commentator. But luckily, Captain Morgan came along at the perfect time to do a really fun campaign. This Friday is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. In honor of that, for everybody who uses the hashtags #CaptainandColaaarr and #TLAPD on social media, Captain Morgan will donate $1 to charity. And if there’s any on-air talent who participates, Captain Morgan will donate $1,000.

I have a charity for military veterans called Purple Hearts Homes that we are donating to. It’s a fun campaign. They came to me and I loved it. Anything to step away from all the other garbage that is going on and let’s have something fun. Sports is escapism – nothing else. We’re there to give you a break from the real world, a break from this kind of stuff. Now sports, your normal escape, is more serious than the thing you’re trying to escape from! I decided yesterday, no more serious stuff.”

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