Analog Cocktail Diary

My first cocktail diary

About 18ish months ago, I got the wild hair (or is it hare?) idea that I might like to start a craft distillery.  This first   thought was followed by an annoying second thought;  Hey Dummy!  You don’t know anything at all about spirits.

It’s true.  I didn’t know anything.  I didn’t know the difference between a liquor and a liqueur;  let alone the difference between a Rye and a Bourbon.

So, I thought I ought to get myself educated.  Thus began an informal project at my local regular eatery/drinkery “The Hi-Life“.  I approached my regular bartender (one Kathleen Manley) with the question “Would you be willing, once a weekish, to make me a cocktail representative of a given spirit?”.  She liked the idea and so we began in the upper left corner of the bar back .  Intending to work through it left to right just like reading a book (avoiding the coconut rums and razzleberry vodkas).  We had a great time (well I did anyway) and got about half way through the rack before I felt like I needed to start exploring on my own.

So here I am.  I’ve been exploring Cocktails with some level of enthusiasm for the last year or so. Enough enthusiasm in fact that I started looking for apps for my phone to keep track of what booze I have in my bar, what cocktails I can make with said booze and most importantly to keep track of successful and less than successful experiments (long sentence that). I found a great app (after buying ALL of the others) called “InMyBar”. It does everything I wanted it to do and more, but in the end, handling my iPhone with sticky fingers around all that liquid made me fussy and who wants to be fussy when you’re making cocktails?

The next idea was to go analog and keep a note pad in the bar that I could just jot notes in. I found just the thing at a craft fair in the form of a spiral bound journal made from the carcass of an old hard cover book. This particular notebook tickled my funny bone with a title of  “Little Talks with Jesus”. Aptly named I decided. (These notebooks are awesome if notebooks are your thing. Check them out at Anyway, I started entering all sorts of info in this little book and pretty soon; it was worthless. I couldn’t find a damn thing even when it was staring me in the face.

What to do? This morning, it dawned on me:

I have a blog that’s just sitting there waiting for a reason to exist.
I have a computer in the kitchen (well, actually, Dana has a computer in the kitchen).
Usually, when I’m making cocktails, people are hanging out near by just waiting for instructions like “Fetch me a lemon!” or “Look up the recipe for The Last Word – it’s on my blog”.
Is it perfect? I doubt it. It’ll probably end up being a mix of blog and working notes in “Little Talks with Jesus”. Only time will tell but at least I’ve finally found a use for my blog!


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