Drink of the Week: The Dream Cocktail

the Dream Cocktail. I’m starting to write this post on the night of what sure appears to be an enormous victory for a political party that is very much not my own. So, you know I can use a drink. The only problem: I don’t actually drink while I’m writing these.

Still, talking about drinking can be more fun than actually drinking, and the Dream Cocktail is kind of easy to write about because it seems as if almost no one else has. I dug up this obscurity in my trusty Savoy Cocktail Book and, for once, I have no stories to tell about the drink’s origins or much anyone else. On line I’ve found exactly one post about the original version (kind of) and one odd but intriguing variant.

Still, I have to say that I think the the Dream cocktail is, at the very least, worth sleeping on. It’s not at all bad and, if you get it just right, it can be mildly awesome. Let’s begin.

The Dream Cocktail

2 ounces brandy or cognac
1 ounce orange curacao or Cointreau
1/4 teaspoon absinthe

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Shake vigorously, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Toast the Sandman, bringer of dreams and cool early 1990s horror/fantasy comics written by Neil Gaiman.

****

I tried the Dream Cocktail not only with curacao and Cointreau, but with Grand Marnier, which didn’t really blend like I’d hoped. I had the best luck, however, when I switched out the inexpensive St. Remy brandy I was using for some really high end Ile de Ré Fine Island Cognac I had left over from past adventures in tandem with my not-at-all expensive DeKuyper curacao. The blend of simple orangey sweetness and sophisticated cognac-y grit was just the thing to take the Dream Cocktail over the top into the land of Morpheus.

  

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Product Review: Braun Series 5 Electric Shaver

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If you grew up in the 1950s when the electric shaver was a relatively new technology, a fringe lifestyle choice, how would you feel about how electrics have evolved?

Because to me, the new Braun Series 5 Electric Shaver had everything I look for; it is the net result of 60-plus years of electric shaving “growth” and adaptation.

To find out, I sat down with a 62-year-old man and we went at each other, point/counterpoint style.

62-Year-Old Man Point:

I tried a standard head-on razor early in my shaving career. My beard is thin (I’ll never be confused with my ape-like college roommate affectionately known as “Brillo-Man”) and my skin, baby soft – in a word, sensitive. My dad had a razor like that, and who doesn’t want to imitate his dad? I found his type of shaving experience painful at best. Put simply, I was scared thanks to a painful experience years ago.

34-Year-Old Man Counterpoint:

The new Braun Series 5 Hi Tech 5090cc men’s shaver with “Intelligent Clean and Charge Station” is a far cry from the brutish “Dark Ages” era of shaving in the ’50s.

I opened the packaging and found a sleek head-on razor. I fired it up immediately and it sounded sophisticated – like the hum of a BMW. When I brought it to the underside of my chin, it was outstanding. The head can be moved 10 degrees in either direction for ease of reaching those hard spots. It was effective and not difficult to manipulate. Nothing to be afraid of, sir.

62-Year-Old Man Point:

I liked how easy it was to disassemble the Braun to clean. Popping the head off for cleaning was simple and it all snapped right back into place after. I was impressed because, back in my prime, you couldn’t take an electric apart to clean it.

34-Year-Old Man Counterpoint:

I told you you’d like it, you baby gorilla!

62-Year-Old Man Point:

Take it easy. One thing I was nervous about was the power. Was there enough to get the job done without ripping hair out? Yes, there was. The battery also kept its charge for 10 shaves without recharging, and it never made the telltale sound an electric makes when it’s low on juice.

34-Year-Old Man Counterpoint:

Uh oh, we’re starting to agree; the premise of this review is shot. I liked the power as well, and worth noting, the Braun Series 5 comes with a recharging station and cleaning station underneath. Though you could easily take it apart to clean, as mentioned previously.

62-Year-Old Man Point:

It’s a great electric, but almost too powerful. Most guys wouldn’t appreciate the Series 5′s sophistication or require its technology. One gripe I have is that the cartridges of cleaning fluid last only four weeks under most shaving conditions. It reminds me of that piece of $#!& printer I bought that requires me to have all five cartridges of ink full in order to operate.

34-Year-Old Man Counterpoint:

You know how I know you’re a 62-year-old man? You used the word “gripe.”

For more information, visit the Braun Facebook page or send them a silly hashtag via their Twitter account.

  

Drink of the Week: Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat.Happy Halloween!

And, because I actually want you to enjoy this holiday devoted to all that pleasurably perturbs us, I’ll spare you my original selection for this week, the Aqua Velva. That very blue creation was the source of the best joke in David Fincher’s fact-based creepfest, “Zodiac” — which would have been fun to talk about as I’m old enough to have had childhood nightmares about encountering the all too real Zodiac Killer. The only problem is that gin, vodka, Sprite and blue curacao taste horrifying together and I’m not here to terrify your tongue!

It was pretty much too late for me to switch gears and finally take on the Zombie — which I know I kind of owe you guys — but I was lucky that a well-timed publicist’s e-mail brought along a very tasty treat from the clever people behind Laphraoig 10-Year-Old Scotch Whiskey and I still had my last free bottle from them on hand. They have once again come up with a really delightful drink that creates a lovely counterpoint comprised of a sweet taste we all remember from childhood and the very adult pleasures of a very smokey Scotch.

Trick or Treat

1 1/2 ounces Laphroaig 10-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
3 ounces apple cider (or, really, apple juice)
1 ounce fresh lemon sour (1/2 ounce lemon juice, 1/2 ounce simple syrup)
Lemon slice (garnish)

You can build this one in a more slender style Tom Collins-like glass or, as is my preference, a double sized rocks/old fashioned glass. Start with plenty of ice, and add each ingredient precisely in order. Believe it or not, it’s important.

This means, you’ll start out with the very smokey, very evocative, Laphroaig Scotch over your ice. Next, the apple cider or juice. (I say this because there appears to be no real difference between the two, if you’re talking non-alcoholic beverages.) Finally, dump in a one-ounce solution of 50% fresh lemon juice and 50% simple syrup…do not stir, shake or otherwise mix in any way. The laws of physics will give you all the mixing you need on this one. Also, give this one a second to get cold and cold. It’s better that way. Sip and salute the scary movie performer or actress of your choice. This week, I’m feeling a bit Karloff.

****

I experimented with this drink to see if I could depart from the Laphroaig recipe at all. I’m sure they’ll be relieved to read that I really couldn’t. Shaking it rendered it dull and ordinary. Switching out the single malt for a decent Brand X Scotch rendered it equally bleh.

Once again, it’s clear the Laphroig people understand counterpoint, as their smokey, very unsweet beverage really blends nicely with the simplest, sweetest of all-age liquid pleasures. I’d really forgotten how much I love apple juice, not to mention how much weight I’m likely go gain from knocking back too much of the stuff straight this week. It’s basically just fruit sugar water, but what sugar water!

Of course, it’s best with the Scotch and the other stuff. I drank this alone, but I imagine it would be even better with a friend. I’m sure the late Mr. Karloff would agree.

  

Root Bizzle Monthly Tie Club

Root Bizzle Ties

As trends come and go, it’s important to keep your wardrobe current, and with accessories like ties, it’s easy to keep up with the times with a stylish look. With that in mind, we checked out the Root Bizzle Monthly Tie Club, which makes it easy to regularly update your tie collection with the latest styles and designs.

You can change your look with a new tie, particularly if you wear suits to work consistently. Also, skinnier ties are back, so many of us need to update our collection. In certain professions, you may want to stick to the wider ties at work, but then a skinny tie can change your look considerably for a night on the town.

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The Top Negotiation Tactics to Use When Buying a New Car

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Buying a new car is exciting, but it’s important not to get carried away. After all, you don’t want to end up with something that you don’t really want – and you do want to end up with a good deal for yourself. For more information on buying a new car, you can also talk to organisations who specialise in financing car purchases, of which Dreamloans in only one such example. Below are a few of the top negotiation tactics you can use when you buy a new car.

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