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Wednesday Shakespeare: Anon, Good Nurse

Wednesday Shakespeare: Anon, Good Nurse

Today I’m finishing up my Wednesday Shakespeare series in the same place I started it, with a character from Romeo and Juliet. It will always be my favorite tragedy, despite the fact that there are others that deal with far weightier issues. The idea of love and the lengths to which we’re willing to go to try to make it work, no matter what, will always tug at me. Does that really surprise any of you? I would think that’s a firm “no” at this point. The character of Juliet’s nurse is rather involved in her lady’s

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Monday Booktails: The Bicycle Thief

Monday Booktails: The Bicycle Thief

Since we are still freezing here on the East coast and expecting yet another Nor’easter this week even though it’s late March, I deliberately searched Sasha Petraske’s Regarding Cocktails book for a drink that would look and feel like spring. I landed on a highball called the Bicycle Thief because the ingredients list was irresistible to me. Anytime there’s gin, Campari, and grapefruit juice involved, I’m all in. The recipe for today’s cocktail was shared by bartender Zachary Gelnaw-Rubin who met and worked for Sasha Petraske at Little Branch, located in the West Village in NYC. He shares his memories of Petraske’s life lessons, particularly in the realm of men’s fashion, but also comments that “Sasha’s greatest contribution was his decency – not just in service and hospitality, but in human conduct in general.” Sentiments like these are repeated again and again throughout the book. Gelnaw-Rubin collaborated with his colleague Abraham Hawkins from Dutch Kills, another Petraske speakeasy-type bar in Long Island City. The Bicycle Thief is tart and bitter from the Campari, grapefruit, and lemon combo, which makes Bluecoat gin the perfect base spirit to go along with these components because of its strong juniper and citrus forward flavor profile. The simple syrup brings balance and just enough sweetness, and the club soda adds a refreshing effervescence that really had me wishing I was sipping this drink out on the deck in the shade. This Bicycle Thief is named for a classic 1942 Italian movie that tells the story of a poor father who is searching everywhere in post World War II Rome to find his stolen bicycle, without which he will not be able to work to support his family. Gelnaw-Rubin created a variation of this drink called the Tarzan Cocktail that swaps out the grapefruit juice for pineapple. Oh, don’t even get me started on that one! Cheers everyone. Happy Monday!

Bicycle Thief

1 oz Bluecoat gin
1 oz Campari
1½ oz fresh grapefruit juice
½ oz lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup
Club soda for topping off

Combine all the ingredients except the club soda into a cocktail shaker and add ice. Shake vigorously until cold and strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Top with club soda and garnish with a thin orange slice. Enjoy!

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Wednesday Shakespeare: The Soothsayer

Wednesday Shakespeare: The Soothsayer

Since tomorrow is March 15th, otherwise known as the Ides of March, there was really only one direction that today’s post could go in. The Soothsayer in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar has a total of about nine lines, yet he is extremely important to one of the play’s central themes. Then again, is he really? We’ll get to that in just a few minutes. Let’s talk first about the origin of the concept of the Ides of March, which dates all the way back to the earliest Roman calendars. In 753 BC, March would have

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Monday Booktails: Turnpike

Monday Booktails: Turnpike

For this week’s Monday Booktails post, I’m making the switch over to Regarding Cocktails, a post-humous compilation of Sasha Petraske’s recipes and essays that was published by his wife, Georgette Moger-Petraske in 2016. Petraske is almost single-handedly credited with bringing elegant cocktails back into fashion, as well as kicking off the cocktail renaissance at his bar Milk & Honey in New York City in 1999. Petraske influenced an entire new generation of bartenders whose priorities were to make

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Wednesday Shakespeare: A Modern Girl

Wednesday Shakespeare: A Modern Girl

It can’t be denied that there are some powerful female characters in Shakespeare’s world to whom we might actually be able to relate. Let’s take Lady Macbeth for example. She’s that incredibly ambitious woman who we tend to admire because she’s able to get things done through the sheer force of her will alone. She’s also bitchy, controlling, and downright cruel, so while we may admire her type, it’s often best to stay as far away as possible. And then there’s Ophelia from Hamlet. She’s pure and

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