Living life between the barrel staves in Bourbon Country

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Independence Day Live Blogging

Want to see all the food and fun from Lexington’s Fourth of July festivities, follow along on our Facebook page at Life, Laughs and Lobster!

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Five O’clock in Kentucky

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Geography matters. What is true in one locale is not necessarily the case in other locations. Margaritas, Rum Drinks…those are the libations of the tropical latitudes. In Kentucky, however, five o’clock means bourbon. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Angel Wings…

Sampling the new Angel’s Envy 95% rye 100 proof whiskey, which has been finished in Caribbean run casks. Oh my word, rye with a sweet rum finish. Outstanding. Run, don’t walk, and get a bottle.

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Extraordinary Popular Libations and the Madness of Crowds

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“Men it has been well said,  think in herds; it will be seen they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly and one by one.” ~ Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1852)

In the early 19th century Charles MacKay examined how groups of people could quite spontaneously develop a communal form of self-delusion, or even madness.  If one were to sit at a bar over a period of hours and observe, from the early fluctuation of post work cocktail sippers to the rowdier crowds of late night, one might see a transformation as  fantastic as that of Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde.  The later the hour grows, the more the madness sneaks into the crowd, like a contagion passed – usually in liquid form – from one person to another.  It will start out innocently enough, and the first to succumb rarely expects to as they are in the safe confines of their group of friends.  But that is how the madness works, by eluding us into believing there is strength in numbers.  The truth is we would have been safer drinking on our own.

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The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

A fascinating article from the New York Times Magazine on the science behind junk food addiction – as informative as it is frightening.  Well worth the read, and the author’s book is one that is now definitely on my “to read” list.  

One Cocktail To Rule Them All

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Making every hour “happy”…

When it comes to irony, never let it be said that the gods themselves are immune.  How else then do you explain that the ubiquitous cocktail of New Orleans – and therefore of Mardi Gras – is the Hurricane?  For me it’s unfathomable that anyone nowadays can order such a drink in New Orleans and not acknowledge the very large elephant in the room.   Garden & Gun (a magazine I simply adore, by the way), appears to do just that in its current issue by offering up three variations of the classic drink by New Orleans mixologists without any mention of the devastation wrought by Katrina 7 years ago.  Maybe we’re far enough down the line now that it’s no longer necessary   Maybe New Orleans has crawled its way back to the point where such a reference would be out-of-place. I don’t know, part of me thinks that is not the case.  I suppose next week while I’m there I’ll get the chance to have my questions answered.

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On Mint Juleps and Margaritas

A true Kentucky Mint Julep, from The Bluegrass Tavern in Lexington, KY

In social settings, regardless of what city I’m in, one question comes up repeatedly as soon as I reveal that I hail from the Bluegrass State.

“Do you drink mint juleps?”

It could be the third Thursday in November, and for some reason all anyone wants to talk about from that moment forward is the Kentucky Derby and its ubiquitous cocktail.  Inevitably someone in the crowd either makes “the best mint julep” or knows someone else that does.  Sidebar conversations tend to break out at that point over whether the julep should be “strong” or “sweet”, whether the mint is incorperated as an essential element or used more as garnish.  It’s no wonder there is confusion among outsiders over how to make a proper mint julep.  Kentuckians can’t agree on the correct preparation either.  Books have been written on the subject.  It would not surprise me to discover a thesis at the University of Kentucky has been written on “The Psychological and Social Aspects of the Proper Preparation of the Mint Julep Cocktail”, such is the level of diverse opinion on the subject.

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