Posts Tagged ‘booze’

Time out with DrinkPlanner

Recently we sat down for about 3 months with DrinkPlanner and asked him a few questions about his site, about himself and about what he drinks. Certainly the most interesting thing about him is his uncanny ability to uncover the most random drinking inventions known to man. I hope you enjoy the interview.

So DrinkPlanner, if that really is your name, why did you start DrinkPlanner? It’s definitely a noble cause but do you think one man can make a difference to the worlds drinking?

It was originally conceived to be strictly a drink specials site, and there wasn’t going to be any writing on it at all.  After several early permutations and lots of talking, we decided to add a blog to it (mostly because I’m really whiny when I want something).  It was just going to be a place to post videos and reblog stuff from other sites, but once I started writing it really took on a life of its own and things have taken off from there.  I’d always enjoyed writing, and as you can tell I’m a fan of drinking, so it just sort of happened.
Can one man make a difference?  Maybe, but I feel like my mission is more to rally others to be better drinkers, try new things, and stop being scared of being proud of drinking.  Drinking is awesome, and you shouldn’t let anyone make you feel bad about it.

I notice there are still a few drink specials on the site, what’s the deal with them? Are they still current and are you still “doing” that?

They are, for the majority of them, current.  As I said, the site was originally conceived as a drink specials site, so that’s why they’re there.  We definitely keep in contact with as many of the bar and restaurant owners listed, and are adding new ones on a regular basis.  With the way the economy is going people are very interested in finding deals on quality drinks, so we do our best to make sure everyone knows where the best deals are.   Hopefully we’ll be able to continue to branch out and serve more areas so everyone can benefit from that part of the site.

I love the review side of DrinkPlanner, sometimes I wonder where you find the stuff you write about. Where do you find it?Some of it is sent to me by people who want me to review their products.  I don’t make any guarantee of a positive review or anything, I review each product based solely on whether or not I like it, and if I would recommend it to someone else.  If I’m not honest in my reviews, then what are they worth, right?  Some of it is just booze I happen upon while browsing through the liquor store and find interesting, so I pick up a bottle.  There’s one store in particular near me that sells single bottles of beer, which is fantastic for someone like me who only needs a bottle to do a review (and for people looking to try out something new).  I feel like the more varied my drinking experiences are, the more things I try, the more I can bring to my site and to my overall drinking experience.  I get more knowledgeable and my readers get a more informed opinion from someone who’s done more than drink rum and cokes their whole life.  Everybody wins!

I’m interested in knowing what a little bit quieter night out for you is like? We know you love smacking the sauce hard, but what do you do when you don’t want to wake up with a sore liver?

Oh I’m absolutely fine with just relaxing, watching a movie with friends or…I don’t know, bowling?  While I’m definitely passionate about drinking, I’m more than content to let it simply enhance whatever it is I’m doing, it doesn’t need to be the main event all the time.

I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for dining out, what about yourself? And what about wine? Are you a red wine or a white wine man?

I eat out pretty regularly, but I’m something of a creature of habit, so I don’t get out and try new things as much as I should.  I’m more interested in the total experience.  If I’m with good friends, having fun, enjoying a few drinks, and the food is only mediocre…I’m totally OK with that.

I’m actually a White Zinfandel guy.  It’s like…finally, a wine for me, you know?  KIDDING, I’m definitely a red wine guy.  White’s are alright, I’m just so generally unimpressed with chardonnays and pinot grigio and sav blanc that I haven’t yet branched out into some of the less common grape types which I’m sure are some of the more interesting ones.  I have been trying new red varieties lately, definitely digging Malbecs and some of the new Portuguese wines coming out, and I’ve got a syrah/mourvèdre/viognier blend sitting next to me that I’ve been meaning to try. 

There are a heap of good cocktail blogs introducing people to new cocktails and ingredients but do you know of any good wine blogs that cater to the average punter?

Definitely.  Since our site covers not just cocktails, but beer and wine as well, I like to keep up on all of it.  The one I read most regularly is Joe Power’s site Another Wine Blog.  He’s just a regular dude from Texas who happens to be into wine and food, and has a very down-to-earth style that I really relate to.  I’ve also been known to listen to the Winecast podcast when I have the time.  I also enjoy the ever bombastic Gary Vaynerchuk over at Wine Library TV, because while he’s crazy and larger-than-life in his own way, he seems to come from a very honest place, and I totally respect that. He knows his craft and has a serious passion for it, and while it’s can be a bit much to watch 2 or 3 episodes in a row, I think what he’s saying is great for the wine industry and booze in general.  Get to know what you like, explore new things, and develop your palate and you’ll increase your love for the spirit.

Tell me what’s your favourite drink when you are trying to get smashed? I know you love whiskey, but is that really at the top of your list when you are trying to get smashingly drunk?

When I’m really trying to get face-numbingly hammered, it’s all about making something that’s easy to drink while still being high in alcohol content.  Straight whiskey is great, but I prefer to take my time with it rather than pound it, so it’s not as effective when I’m going for the gold.  I don’t necessarily have a go-to drink, but it’s probably going to be rum or vodka mixed with something.  Really, whatever is around depending on where I am.  Beer is ok, but it just requires drinking SO MUCH of it that I simply can’t drink that quantity of liquid, alcohol or otherwise.  Pretty much the techniques I lay out in my Guide to Getting Hammered have all been field tested and approved by me.

You definitely have a lot of good drinking “techniques”, what about curing a hangover. How do you deal with a heavy head in the morning?

I’m in the process of putting together a complete guide to beating a hangover, so I don’t want to give too much away just yet.  I will say that most people underestimate the value of water when they’re trying to beat (or prevent) a hangover.  It’s the one thing your body needs most, to clean things out as well as rehydrate.  Can’t be said enough, DRINK WATER!

Well we’ll definitely read that when it comes out. Thanks a heap for your time and keep up the good work.

Martinis: 8 Random Pieces of Trivia

This is going to come across badly to the purists, but a Martini isn’t a particularly “nice” drink, gin, vodka and especially vermouth are all, straight, generally offensive to the palate. In my time working behind a bar I’ve discovered that the drinkers of Martini’s are a not dissimilar to the drinkers of Champagne. While the drinkers may like the taste, and can definitely distinguish between the quality of the drinks, most of the drinking is about making a statement about who they are. Now, as a barman you can’t let that bother you, and one thing is for certain regarding the Martini, people that drink them love them and those same people tip well.

Tipping here in Australia and New Zealand is not an organised affair as it is in other locales, people are not required to tip and generally don’t unless there is a good reason to. This means that if someone orders a Martini your best smile, wit and banter should be on show, so as to convert this chance into some cold hard cash. If you are still with me, the purpose of this post is not to describe a recipe and process for making a Martini, that is for another time and another post. The purpose is to provide some tips for conversation with your potential tipper. Some of these are unsubstantiated, others may be wives-tales and others may be completely made up by me right here, nonetheless they should work for some good conversation.

  • Martin’s aren’t supposed to be shaken, they should be stirred. This is because shaking them bruises the gin working with that, you could shake a vodka martini because you can’t bruise vodka.
  • Further to the previous comment, I think it’s probably bullshit – that is the whole bruising of gin.
  • There is a study that suggests shaking gin activates more antioxidants in it, and this might be a reason why James Bond is so healthy. (from Wikipedia)
  • It’s unlucky to have an even number of olives in a Martini, so you should have 1 or 3. Never 2.
  • James Bond likes his martinis dry, very dry, shaken not stirred.
  • Hawkeye from MASH liked his martini’s about as dry, stating that the perfect recipe was to pour a glass of cold gin while looking at a picture of the inventor of vermouth. To translate, that’s a cold glass of gin with an olive or 3
  • A martini with a cocktail onion is called a Gibson
  • Methyphobia is the fear of alcohol

DrinkPlanner’s guide to getting hammered

While we here at My Aching Head are generally more interested in the finer points of boozing it up – good food and booze I do have a sweet spot for less subtle tactics. Some of those tactics here are perfectly summed up by the DrinkPlanner in his guide to getting hammered, in fact I’d go so far as saying some of it is pure genius. The idea that a drinking game is there to supplement your steady drinking are truly the words of someone who has done the hard yards. In any case, you could go worse than following these directions to getting well and truly boozed.