I just got back from Cuba, and finished reading Islands in the Stream. In the book, Hemingway enjoys a Tom Collins, with his own spin on the drink. For a car trip from his Finca to Havana, he has his house man fix him a Tom Collins a la Hemingway:
2oz London dry gin, 3/4oz lime juice, 2-4oz coconut water, 2-3 dashes angostura bitters. Bonus points if its a roadie, wrapped in a paper towel, held in place with a rubber band.
If you’re unfamiliar with a traditional Tom Collins, Hemingway’s version basically substitutes lime for lemon, and adds coconut water. While reading the book, I was unconvinced that gin and coconut water would pair well. I like both individually, but they don’t sound appealing together. However, after I finished the book, and I was going though, To Have and Have Another, I saw the recipe again, and decided to give it a try. My first impression is that the lime (instead of the traditional lemon) is a substantial improvement. However, its the coconut water that really sets the drink off. Its very subtle. At 2 to 4+ ounces, the coconut water does not overpower the other flavors, and is really in the background. I also find that it makes the drink much more refreshing. If one were to enjoy just one cocktail all day, I don’t think it would matter much what was in the drink, but if going on a marathon drinking binge a la Hemingway, especially if in the tropics out on a boat, a little coconut water goes a long way. For the uninitiated, coconut water is nature’s sports drink. Its has more potassium and electrolytes than gatorade, without the bane of Hemingway’s existence, excess (added) sugar. This summer, if you’re out on the stream on the flying bridge of your fishing vessel, out on an adventure, at the pool, or just chillin at home, try fixing up the Hemingway Tom Collins.by rsiv with
I grilled a salmon using coals and a fish flipper only. I like to season salmon with jerk/baking spices, peppers, and butter. Add a brazilian dark lager and you’re in business.
Saw another Nat’s game with the old man. Good times.
And a got hooked on a new way to enjoy chicory coffee. Ice, milk, pour the concentrate, and you’re done. Its the most convenient, best tasting coffee I’ve ever had. The chicory is slightly sweet, so there is no need for sugar. I’ve tried it plain, and with water, but for my money, con leche es el mejor. Perfect for the summer.by rsiv with
I invited some friends over to my parents place for the USA v. Portugal match. I bought the fixins for some drinks, and some kebabs, and tivo’d the matches just to be safe.
We decided to start with a glass of Madiera, light up a cigar, and retire to the hot tub.
It was a beautiful day, and not overly hot. I grabbed a grilling beer from the World Cooler, and got the grill hot.
The food turned out great. Then it was time to watch the game. I fixed up some white port and tonic, cut a few lemons, and we turned on the projector. It was an awesome game, and despite the group’s small size, but perhaps because of the group’s predilection for booze, it was a very enthusiastic viewing. We all went pretty bananas for the US goals.by rsiv with
What a game for La Roja today. Vamos Chile!
I came across this very comprehensive WC guide, which has things to know, whats new this time around, stuff to buy, and links to even more guides:
If you’re in the DC area, The Washington Post has lots of info about where to watch, and it keeps getting updated here. More info below:
More on the World Cup: Where to find fans of your favorite team | The area’s best soccer bars | World Cup happy hours | Tips for first-time fans | World Cup TV Schedule | All Washington Post World Cup coverage
For USA v. Ghana, I went to Laughing Man in DC (official American Outlaws DC Chapter bar), and it was insane. The problem is that you need to get there over an hour early just to get in. Another tried and true bar is Summer’s in Clarendon. In Falls Church, I may try Dogwood Tavern or Ireland’s 4Ps, both of which are showing WC games, and have lots of TVs.by rsiv with
I’ve been busy enjoying the weather, and the lead up to the World Cup. The other day, my boy RyRy told me about instacart, and how they just teamed up with Magruders (Magrubers for Ry). I can now get home delivery of booze from the best liquor store in DC, which is a game changer (and very dangerous for my wallet and health). I gave it a try the day I found out about it, and was sipping the best gin and tonic I’ve ever had just a few short hours later.
We watched my home video footage of Cuba the other night, and enjoyed some Cuban-ish sandwiches, mojitos, and cuba libres.
I also had steak, stogie, and sauce night over at RyRy’s. For the uninitiated (which is everyone who is not in my inner circle as we invented it), S^3 is when you get the guys (and sometimes gals) together to grill out and enjoy life. Ryan hosted, and made some killer pork chops. I fashioned some extra julep straws, and brought the julep fixings. The mason jar has some mixed berry moonshine. Now call up your buds and have your own S^3.
We also went to another Nats game. Go Nats!by rsiv with
Being in my early 30s, there are only so many restaurants I can say I’ve been patronizing for 30 years. Peking Gourmet Inn is one such restaurant. In its 30+ years of operation, not a whole lot has changed. My wife and I went for our anniversary, and got the essentials: A Suffering Bastard (or a few), Fried Dumplings, Peking Duck carved table-side, and Szechuan Beef Proper. Peking Gourmet Inn must have caught the tail end of the Tiki craze when it opened because its polynesian-style drinks are delicious and potent. They are a little sweet, but I imagine this is how they were preferred back when tiki was king. Two suffering bastards will make even a seasoned drinker buzzed. The 5 Suffering Bastard Challenge will put down even the most resilient frat boy in his prime (I, and my friends, would know). The food is excellent. The menu does not change, and foodies might be disappointed, but I don’t see how one could complain about delicious comfort food provided in large portions. Visiting Peking Gourmet Inn is like going back in time. The cocktails are strong, the army of servers are in smart uniforms and eager to please, and you can count on having a reliably pleasant dinner. The wife and I had a great anniversary dinner. We got to see what Chinese Zodiac Sign our future child will be. We’re still enjoying the leftovers, and we hope to enjoy Peking Gourmet Inn for another 30+ years.by rsiv with
I went to total wine to get some beer for Father’s Day, and ending up getting just about enough beer to fill a World Cooler (trademark me) to get us through all the games until Sunday. I had a Brazilian beer (Xingu, a delicious black lager), and then some tequila (shown above) for the first two games. The first game I got to watch with my dad was Spain v. Netherlands. What a game. Then, instead of beer, we went with Sauv Blanc for Chile v. Australia. The choice in drinks had more to do with convenience/taste preference than which team we were rooting for.
After a break for some La Caraqueña and a caipirinha, and a trip to the butcher for some 100 day dry aged bone-in ribeye, we got back to soccer.
I added some more ice to the World Cooler, and then gave my dad some of his Father’s Day presents.
The ball shown above generates power during play, and then can be used as a reading lamp after. For every one you buy, they donate one to kids who do not have power, and therefore, no light to read by at night. We kicked it around until we were sufficiently embarrassed, and then enjoyed some more matches and beer. On the actual day of Father’s Day, we started with some milky, opalescent, absinthe. We salted the steaks, and got the grill hot. France and Argentina had games that day, so the wine was flowing (La Albiceleste are my #2 team).
The steaks were insane, and good times were had by all. After Father’s Day, my boozing streak came to an end when I was at the dentist, and then working, while Germany played Portugal. I had some white port and tonic ready, but was too busy to enjoy any. I wish I’d seen and boozed though that game, but Nigeria v. Iran would have ruined the streak anyway. The wife and I were able to get to Laughing Man in DC for the American Outlaws viewing of USA v. Ghana. It was so much fun/so crazy, we might go back for USA v. Portugal.by rsiv with
The World Cup has begun. Last night’s game between Brazil and Croatia was exciting, but Brazil did not look to be in top form. I would imagine there were a lot of first time World Cup watchers from the US, but I’m concerned that after last night’s officiating, there won’t be many repeat watchers. If you didn’t catch the game (spoiler alert), the ref missed a Brazilian dive in the box, and awarded a penalty shot that completely changed the momentum of the game in Brazil’s favor. Check out this article about diving and American viewership here. It touches on the basics of what I just described, but really only scratches the surface of how players are incentivized to dive, and how FIFA is just letting it happen. Further, Americans will not learn to live with diving. I don’t know if its American pride, or what, but Americans will not be able to get past the diving issue. I don’t think the cheating aspect of diving is the issue. For example, we love juiced up MLB players that drop ball after ball over the fence. The difference is that steroids constitute cheating that makes one better. Diving/simulation is cheating that makes one look weaker/worse. Americans will watch diving in the World Cup and wonder why the rest of the world enjoys watching shameless effeminate foreigners pretend to be injured. I don’t know what the best solution is, but I know the issue could be resolved via fines, instant replay, etc. I hope FIFA does something, and does it soon.
Now for the more fun stuff. Lets start with the US group schedule:
6/16 USA v. Ghana (I’ll be at laughing man in DC with the American Outlaws)
6/22 USA v. Portugal
6/26 USA v. Germany
Other games I wouldn’t miss in the next few days:
Today/Friday: Spain v. Netherlands 3pm EST. Saturday: England v. Italy 6pm. Monday: Germany v. Portugal 12pm.
If you’re a US fan looking for another team to get behind, my first suggestion is to look to your family tree. My wife roots for Italy, and I hate Italy, which makes the games more fun. My roots are Scottish, English, and Irish, so I should probably root for England, but I don’t. As a contender, I like Argentina. I’ll have my Maradona jersey on and a Quilmes in my hand for the matches. As an underdog, I like Chile. When I was in Chile a few years ago, I hunted down a Camisa Roja in Santiago, which was more difficult than one would expect. Both are American (South) teams, and I like when the europeans get taken down a peg. They have all the best leagues, and the euro cup final, but when South American teams win the world cup, it proves that they aren’t the big dogs after all.
For US coverage, ESPN is good, but I like this blog.
For an interesting prediction bracket, check out this site.
For books to read during the cup, check out this one, and for the die-hard, this one.
Enjoy the matches, and good luck!by rsiv with
If you’re dad is happy to get a Brooks Brothers tie for Father’s Day, more power to you. I once got my dad a pink shirt and tie that remained in the packaging for 5 years. I regifted it to him over and over, and it became a running joke. Maybe learn from my mistake. Here are a few gifts that I’ve given/received and have gone over well.
If you still want to go tie, how about a bow from Robinson and Dapper?
If you’re dad is an occasional golfer and doesn’t have a GPS, he might like a golf buddy. My dad is retired and golfs all the time, so a full GPS makes sense for him, I use this just for quick yardage when I’m able to get out.
If you’re stuck in a tie rut, a handsome umbrella might fit the bill.
While we’re on a blackwatch kick, how about some golf draws.
An instant read thermometer is a great tool for the chef/bbq-er.
My number one Father’s Day pick is the Weber Smokey Mountain. Easy to learn, delicious results, you can enjoy it with him over a beer.
As a father to be, I thought I’d say what I’d want as well. I may be the guy who has everything, but I’m easy to buy for. A bottle of Blanton’s or a nice scotch, and a cigar sampler is all I need.by rsiv with
I chose to read Islands in the Stream while I was in Cuba because of Hemingway’s real life connection to Cuba, because we were able to visit Hemingway’s home in Cuba, and because most of the book takes place in Cuba. While was I was Cuba, I only got through the first section, which did not take place in Cuba, but it was an enjoyable Island read none the less. The book’s protagonist is perhaps the most autobiographical of any of Hemingway’s main characters. Its an interesting window into Hemingway’s later life. He does not even change the name of his home in Cuba in the book, and the main character frequents many of Hemingway’s favorite watering holes while not hunting Germans. If you’ve not read Hemingway before, I don’t suggest starting here. If you’re read some of his more popular works, this is a great read for the Hemingway fan. If you’re looking for a light summer read, this probably isn’t for you. If you don’t mind a dark story of love and loss, told in the manly context of fishing, fighting, drinking, carousing with prostitutes, and hunting Germans (but also snuggling cats), this book will put some hair on your chest.
Also, all Hemingway books are best enjoyed with the companion book: To have and have another. I made several of Hemingway’s cocktails for Memorial Day, and enjoyed one at La Floridita.by rsiv with