Posts Tagged ‘Interview’

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.

On Mexican Food and Hangovers – an Interview with RumDood

As the first of hopefully a series of boozing and cooking related interviews Matthew Robold from agreed to answer some quick questions about drinking, cooking and hangovers. I’ve run into the problem here that I could keep asking more and more questions, so I might leave them for another time.

Over here at My Aching Head we love nothing more than a home cooked dinner and a bottle (or two) of wine. What’s your dinner of choice?

I’m a big fan of Asian cuisine.  I cook in my wok a great deal, although lately I’ve been in a big ahi tuna phase and have been making seared ahi steaks, sushi, sashimi, and ahi salads quite a bit.  I’ve been experimenting with using different rums as ingredients in marinades for the fish when I sear it.  So far I’d say a good demerara rum like Lemonhart or El Dorado seems to work the best at matching with the fish.  Something about the smoky richness of the demerara rums just makes it so tasty…although I’ve also enjoyed using Mount Gay Extra Old for the same purpose…and sometimes I skip the marinade and just have a dram with my fish.

I’m interested in Rum, but surely that isn’t the only thing you drink, so what else is in the liquor cabinet?

Well I don’t keep the rum in the liquor cabinet…it won’t fit.  My main fallback when I’m not drinking rum is gin.  I’m a big fan of Tanqueray and Plymouth gins, and a simple gin and tonic is just so refreshing.  I’ve also taken to drinking whiskey more often, and have probably 2 of every style but Scotch.  I keep a single bottle of vodka around for guests, but can’t remember the last time I opened it.  Then, of course, there are the numerous liqueurs, vermouths, tinctures, bitters, etc.

I’m also a big fan of port and pretty much always have a bottle of ruby and 20 year old Tawney at hand, in addition to a few bottles of wine, and a refrigerator door full of beer.

I love a gin and tonic as well. The problem I have is I always suck them back way too fast but I’m always curious what other G&T drinkers have as their garnish. Personally I’m a lime man, but lemon is good and more recently people have been sneaking cucumber into them. Where do you stand?

I’ve never gone wrong with lime.  I mean, it’s such a perfect garnish…you can garnish just about any drink with a lime and it works.  If I don’t use a lime, I’ll usually opt for a lemon twist.  I can’t say I’ve ever had a cucumber garnish in a G&T.  I’ve had a G&T garnished with an orange wheel before, which was interesting.  I think the most unusual garnish I’ve ever seen in a G&T was probably a sprig of mint.

And what do you drink when you are looking to get boozed up?

Rum is still my first choice when looking to tie one one.  Granted, I don’t generally go for the rarer stuff for that purpose.  I’d say my go-to rums for a good bender are Sailor Jerry’s Spiced rum or Appleton Estate V/X.  They’re both very inexpensive and easily replaced.  The Sailor Jerry is good for a rum and coke or mixed with juice…the Appleton Estate is good in anything.

If I really want to hurt the next day, I’ll even through in some J. Wray and Nephew overproof or the Lemonhart 151.

Gah! You actually think about causing yourself pain? I generally let the barman sort that out for me. Do you have a favourite haunt for a few quiet (or loud) drinks?

I don’t necessarily think to myself, “Self, let’s put a hurtin’ on for tomorrow!”, but I’m usually cognizant of when I’m headed down the path to alcoimmolation, and sometimes I really just don’t care because I want the drinks – and zombies are just freaking good.

As for a favorite watering hole, it depends on who I’m with.  My brother and I tend to spend a lot of time in various bars all over Downtown Fullerton – usually in Bourbon Street, Mulberry Street…any bar named after a street apparently.  I also have a buddy that loves dive bars, so if I’m out with him the odds are very high that I’ll end up at the Goat Hill Tavern in Costa Mesa.  Of those bars, only Bourbon Street really has any decent rum in its selection – but when you’re a rum snob, you learn that unless you can get to places like Tiki Ti in LA or Forbidden Island in Alameda really easily, you’re going to have limited options.

And as far as waking up with a hangover, how do you sort that out? Are you a hair of the dog man or a coffee man?

When hungover, I generally maintain a strict regimin of coffee, gatorade, ibuprofin, antacids, and either pizza or Mexican food.  Something about the grease in a taco stand’s offerings or a big slice of meaty pizza just seems to make the world right again.  A burger and fries, animal style, from In’n’Out will also work in a pinch.

I will confess that the “hair of the dog” approach served me well in New Orleans at Tales of the Cocktail this year – though it’s not my typical approach.

I personally am a “hair of the dog” man and if I asked you to whip me up a quick rum-based cocktail that wouldn’t be too harsh on the stomach or the head. What would you give me?

That’s easy.  If I’m going “hair of the dog” with rum, I usually mix up a Dark and Stormy (dark rum and ginger beer), with a few dashes of bitters.  The combination of the effervescence, ginger, bitters, and the blackstrap rum all just work wonders on an unsettled stomach and headache-addled brain.

Ah, I love a Dark and Stormy, maybe with a splash of lime.

Personally, I love heading down to my local coffee shop, ordering a bacon and egg surprise. What about you?

Are we still talking about hangovers?  If I’m hungover and by myself I usually opt for pizza delivery simply because it means I get to stay in the house with the shades drawn and wait for food to come to me.  Either that or I’ll call a friend and ask them to save me with a carnitas burrito.  Carnitas, beans, rice, cheese, salsa, and guacamole really hits the spot when I’m trying to get my feet back underneath me.