Thursday, March 04, 2010

Recommended Posts, October-December 2008

Another quarterly round-up....

Guided Tour - recommended posts from the 4th quarter of '08

1) A txt msg bon mot for the week - 6th October 2008

An SMS exchange with one of my regular pool adversaries leads to a quotable line or two on the Zen qualities of the game.

2) Wanted: A New Drinking Companion - 9th October 2008

I rue the loss of almost all of my bar buddies of yore, and lay down the template for new candidates for this important role. [This one has been in the sidebar for ages, but it merits another shout-out.]

3) Great Drinking Songs (11) - 11th October 2008

AC/DC's Highway to Hell, a song I once shouted along so loudly to that I lost my voice.

4) A Sunday poem - 12th October 2008

One of my own, on binge drinking and "binge thinking".

5) Cynthia?? - 14th October 2008

A romantic vignette: a chance 'encounter' in the street reminds me of a much-missed companion from my early days in Beijing.

6) Fragments - 18th October 2008

A few highlights from a particularly productive, particularly surreal evening of text messaging.

7) Happy Birthday to me! - 21st October 2008

A review of my epic birthday party at Salud the previous night, and YouTube clips of Marilyn Monroe and John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett singing birthday songs.

8) A House Divided - 26th October 2008

My essay on the importance of unity of space in a bar (a long overdue supplement to my famous What makes a GREAT bar? post of the preceding October).

9) Sazerac - 27th October 2008

One of my more 'serious' posts: the recipe and history of the classic New Orleans cocktail.

10) Lobotomy - 29th October 2008

A deadly cocktail recipe of my own devising, and the least glorious moment in the invariably inglorious career of my good friend The Bookseller.

11) More text message silliness - 31st October 2008

The Weeble taunts me about the hopelessness of my infatuation with local rock goddess Helen Feng.

12) The Aegrotat - 1st November 2008

Another reminiscence from college days, and the formidable - surprisingly pleasant - cocktail devised by my friend Mr A.

13) Bon mot for the week - 3rd November 2008

Not one but two favourite lines on drinking, from an abandoned novel of mine.

14) Tonight's txt msg highlights - 6th November 2008

More sharp lines from my SMS conversations. (Another good one here.)

15) HBH 105 - 7th November 2008

A 17-syllable paean to gin & tonic.

16) Perversity - 9th November 2008

A short poem to mark The Barstool's 900th Post.

17) Best comment yet on the American Election - 11th November 2008

I find a superb joke advertisement that sums up how most of us feel about last week's Presidential election.

18) More 'cocktails' - 12th November 2008

The things I used to drink as a student....

19) HBH 106 - 14th November 2008

What gets us up in the mornings...

20) I guessed Norwegian! - 16th November 2008

I am cursed/blessed with two uncanny abilities that do me no good at all.

21) Bon mot for the week - 17th November 2008

In praise of excess - Somerset Maugham says it far better than I could.

22) King of Snacks - 19th November 2008

I honour the "pie of 5 kuai", the superb new snack option (though tragically short-lived) on Nanluoguxiang.

23) Swizz - 23rd November 2008

A frustrating gig experience prompts a comparison of Beijing's two main rock music venues, Yugong Yishan and MAO Live House.

24) Some drinks are more dangerous than others.... - 23rd November 2008

Especially the 4th Martini - so much so that I wrote a poem about it.

25) Controversy - 26th November 2008

I get drawn into a lawyerly brawl with my pal The British Cowboy over the vexed question of whether or not Jack Daniel's is a bourbon (it is!). Even more of this here.

26) A fizzlin' Thanksgivin' - 28th November 2008

The worst Thanksgiving dinner ever....

27) Another unsuitable role model - Terry Collier - 29th November 2008

A favourite character from a 1970s BBC sitcom Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?, Terry Collier (played by James Bolam), the ultimate 'bad influence' best friend, has probably been dangerously influential on the course of my life subsequently. This post includes the show's catchy, melancholic theme song, What Happened To You?

28) Burger blues (pt. 1) and (pt. 2) - 10th December and 14th December 2008

I bewail the poverty of burger options in Beijing.

29) The weekly bon mot - 15th December 2008

A particularly good one - from Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

30) Getting Christmassy - A Great Drinking Song and A Great Love Song (13+13!) - 20th December 2008

Gosh, is it really 21 years since A Fairytale Of New York came out? Indeed it is. A nostalgic Christmas treat for my readers.

31) Alas, poor Sammy's - 23rd December 2008

Remembering one of Beijing's great dive bars - sadly short-lived.

32) They do things differently here - 25th December 2008

An amusing diagrammatic representation of how the Chinese organise a party.

33) HBH 112 - 26th December 2008

I rather enjoy the experience of helping to cook Christmas lunch. The sherry probably helped.

34) The Froog Bar Awards 2008 - 31st December 2008

My second annual round-up of the best and worst in Beijing's drinking scene.


The British Cowboy said...

OK - I am ready to tell you why JD is not bourbon. It is the same reason that the tomato is a vegetable, not a fruit. The US legal system has so defined it. :-)

Froog said...

Well, if you want to make a claim like that, BC, you're going to have to supply chapter and verse.

You recall that I scoured the US regulations on the classification of whiskies pretty thoroughly and found that JD fulfills the definition of 'bourbon' on every point.

I think it's more a matter of self-definition by the marketing peeps at JD (and Dickel?): it's "not a bourbon" because they choose not to describe themselves that way. But even there, they don't make a big deal of it: they omit to use the word 'bourbon' on their labels and so on, but they don't lobby vociferously against the use of the term.

The 'not a bourbon' fixation is an invention (a comparatively recent one, at that) of American drink snobs or chauvinistic Tennesseans. I disapprove of it because it has no practical utility, and because most of the arguments advanced to support it are bogus.