September 7: Amari
Perhaps you think us gauche for posting so many far-fetched cocktails featuring such low-brow spirits as vodka, rum, or whiskey. Nay, we are truly far classier than those drinks may suggest. This week we bring you the utmost in civilized drinking. We shall not get drunk—rather, we shall sip restorative liqueurs to sooth our hearts and minds before nestling into our antique arm chairs for an evening of Burroughs, Salinger, and Greene.
Amari, to drink
6-24 bottles of amari, arranged neatly in a row along mid-century modern coffee table
1 small sipping glass, preferably cut crystal
1 Moleskine notebook
1 fountain pen
Pour 1/2 ounce of first amaro into sipping glass. Sip, take note of bitter characteristics in notebook. Critique the level of sugar in notebook. Finish sample.
Repeat until sufficiently educated.
August 30: A True Hair of the Dog
We’ve been cruel here at Hair of the Dog. We’ve offered up so many decorous libations with nary a hair of the dog in sight. It’s like we’re forgetting our own name. So in the spirit of curing what ails you (and knowing you’ll be a little sloppy when stepping into work post Labor Day), we present the ultimate Hair of the Dog: a brunch smoothie.
1 waffle, preferably deep fried, preferably from Brown Sugar Kitchen
2 pieces of fried chicken, deboned, preferably cold leftovers from Miss Ollies
2 tablespoons pure Vermont maple syrup, grade B (duh)
2 eggs (free range organic), scrambled in 2 tablespoons butter or bacon grease
2 slices bacon, preferably from Fatted Calf or the Local Butcher
1 can Campbell’s tomato juice or Bloody Mary Mix
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1. Travel around the East Bay and San Francisco to assemble ingredients. Wear sunglasses and a hoodie as necessary.
2. Come home. Take a nap.
3. Dump all ingredients into a blender. Hopefully you have a Vitamix. Blend.
4. Slurp with a straw and try not to vomit.
August 23: The Smoking Bottle, a Back-to-School Special
It’s nearing the end of August, and that means two things—the Bay Bridge is shutting down for a week and it’s time for …. BACK-TO-SCHOOL preparation!
While many focus on selecting the finest threads and hottest new notebooks (we’re gonna bring back the Trapper Keeper this year), we at Hair of the Dog like to set our sights on the best in clandestine high school cocktails. And even if you’re not in high school, you know you can’t resist the call of the secret water bottle.
“I swear it’s just Gatorade, mom!”
The Smoking Bottle
1 opaque water bottle
Contents of liquor cabinet
Small pitcher of water, for replenishing stock
Cranberry juice, grapefruit juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, or apple juice (or a mixture)
1. Later tonight, after your parents/husband/wife/domestic partner goes to bed, sneak to the liquor cabinet. Pick lock if necessary.
2. Select no less than 7 and no more than 10 different types of liquor from the cabinet. You’ll need to pour small amounts from many different bottles in order to avoid suspicion.
3. Pour 1/2 ounce each of chosen liquor into your opaque water bottle. Replenish liquor bottles with 1/2 ounce each of water. Again, this extra water will help you avoid suspicion.
4. Top off water bottle with juice of choice. Be sure to add enough juice to mask the revolting taste of your choice in booze.
5. Shake bottle until smoke appears. The smoke indicates maximum potency.
6. Quietly sneak out of your bedroom party and head to the neighborhood rager. Watch out for cops and don’t drink and drive.
August 16: Sex on the Beach
I’ve been at the beach all week; and while there’s been too much rain to get much of a tan, I’ve still had time to gulp down several cocktails a day. When at the beach, one must drink as beach-goers do. This means I’ve limited my alcohol intake to one beverage and one beverage only:
Sex on the Beach.
Of course, a sex on the beach wouldn’t be a worthwhile cocktail without some skin-on-skin action, so I made sure each drink came tailor-made with an anonymous couple rolling around in the sand.
Sex on the Beach
4 ounces vodka
2 ounces peach schnapps
1 1/2 ounces creme de cassis
5 ounces orange juice
5 ounces cranberry juice
1 hot couple for garnish (preferably from the front of an Abercrombie and Fitch store (Hollister will do in a pinch))
Beach (must be warm)
1. Pour booze and juice in cocktail shaker. Add ice to fill the shaker. Shake drink by bouncing up and down seductively.
2. Head down to the beach with hot couple in tow.
3. Demand that hot couple roll around at the shorebreak. Coquettishly pour half of the drink at their feet so that it laps at their toes.
4. Quickly chug the remaining drink. Join in on the fun.
August 9: Hot Toddy
It’s August in the Bay Area—time to turn on your heater! Yes, while everyone else in the Northern Hemisphere is donning their bikinis and working on a tan, we’re bundled up in our winter’s finest hoping for a glimpse of the sun above the fog.
To best replicate the sweat pouring down the faces of our friends in New York, D.C., and Alaska, pour some burning hot, spicy, alcoholic liquid down your throat. If this doesn’t make you break into a sweat, I can’t help you.
Summer Hot Toddy
2 Thai red chilis
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon honey
4 ounces habanero-infused bourbon (we need high gravity drinks to get us through the cold season)
1 cup boiling water
1. First, put the chilis, lemon, and honey in a big ass mug. Take the back of a wooden spoon and muddle until the chilis have split open and start to emit their spicy aroma. Stick your nose in the cup and sniff hard. Are your eyes watering? Good.
2. Pour the bourbon into your mug and stir until the honey dissolves. Bonus points if the spice is making you cough.
3. Add boiling water and chug immediately.
4. Sweat, cough, cry. Afterwards, enjoy your buzz.
August 2: Pirate’s Chest
This week we were inspired by two things: America’s Cup and pirates. Because when there’s a large sailing event going on, we naturally think of smelly men who want to ransack your Berkeley bungalow.
(And it turns out we weren’t the only ones to make this connection. The America’s Cup pavilion has its own pirate bar, The Bar of AAARRRR, complete with eyepatches and human skulls.)
Pirate’s Chest Cocktail
6 ounces Navy-strength rum (Don’t be shy. Real pirates have epic alcohol tolerances.)
2 large sugar cubes (Or sugar cane leftover from making brownies)
2 ounces ice cubes
1 pirate’s chest, preferably a famous one with dreadlocks and a fake accent
1. Pour all ingredients except for the pirate’s chest into a dirty wooden stein, small barrel, or cocktail shaker.
2. Seduce pirate and force him to lay on your bar table, shirtless or semi shirtless.
3. Pour drink over pirate’s chest.
July 19: Scorpion Bowl
Fun fact: Tiki bars were invented in Oakland. Er, well, they were invented in a part of Oakland that is now located in an Emeryville hell-hole. To go to the original tiki bar, you have to navigate through Ikea, Target, and Pixar studios, and then hike out in to the weird marina area. Good luck getting home.
I’d rather go to the less-original, but still in Oakland tiki bars. Or else just make a tiki drink myself. It is summer after all.
For the über-original tiki experience, make a REAL scorpion bowl:
1. Drive south until you get to Death Valley. Step out of car and collect as many scorpions as possible without getting stung. Try to keep them alive and happy as you drive back home. (Hermit crab cages work well.)
2. Find your biggest bowl. Bonus points if it is tiki-themed. Pour in 1-5 ounces of the following liquor: gin, dark rum, 151-proof rum, light rum, and vodka. Add of the boring stuff: an ounce or two of grenadine, a cup each of pineapple and orange juice, the juice of a few lemons, some pineapple chunks, and a few maraschino cherries.
3. If you get tired of all this measuring, just dump the contents of your bar into the bowl and add some juice.
4. Carefully transfer scorpions from cage to bowl.
5. Light the mf-ers on fire.
6. Drink through extra-long neon straws.
July 12: Blood and Sand
The second week of July sure is a let-down.
After the booze and barbecue-fueled burst of patriotism over the 4th of July weekend, we’re all sad to return to ordinary, work-fueled life. Yet the dullness of this week is certainly no excuse to stop drinking. Nay, mid-July is the perfect time to drink our feelings.
All happy hours this week will consist of at least two Blood and Sands:
1. Secure some top-notch Scotch. This is no time for American whiskey. Dump an ounce into your cocktail shaker.
2. Add a little less than an ounce each of sweet vermouth and cherry herring (Yeah, we’re not sure what that is either).
3. Dump in some ice. Stir aimlessly while reminiscing about last weekend’s hike on the beach in Point Reyes.
4. Lovingly admire your sand-filled hiking boots. Accidentally dip the rim of your drinking glass in said sand-filled shoes.
5. Strain Scotch mixture into sand-rimmed drinking glass.
6. Remember that this drink is supposed to be garnished with an orange peel.
7. Find an orange at the bottom of the vegetable crisper.
8. Begin to peel orange over the filled drinking glass. “Accidentally” let peeler slip and slice a small cut on your pointer finger. Blood may drip into drink, adding additional vitamins, minerals, and umami.
9. Optional: cry a few tears into glass.
10. Drink rapidly.