I want candy – or how to make a candy bar into a shot

I’m not sure if being friends with bartenders is a blessing or a curse – but it’s definitely a byproduct of spending an inordinate amount of time in rock clubs and various local watering holes and hanging out in tightly knit music scenes. While my liver might have a differing opinion, it’s a pretty awesome feeling when the person behind the bar starts pouring your drink before you belly up to said bar. (Some of us are creatures of habit…)

I met Mike because he bartends at the High Dive and has a much better memory than I do (unless I’m the one behind the bar, at which point my memory becomes razor sharp – I guess if you want me to remember you, you should tip me?) I didn’t realize he was also the frontman in local kick-ass outfit Elder Mason, a band of scruffy, relocated Midwesterners who take the best elements of the ‘70s and turn them into a glorious concoction of melody, harmony, attitude, fuzz, contemplation, rockingness, riffs and epic dynamics and make them sound mind-blowingly fresh. Any band that emphasizes the fact that they have “bombastic drums” is a-ok in my book – and should be in yours, as well.

I’m sure it speaks volumes about me that I tend to trust my bartender friends and the folks who cut my hair more than I do most guys I’ve dated. And if Mike weren’t so effing awesome and Midwestern-trustworthy, I would never have allowed him to pour me a Snickers Bar shot. Frangelico and Bud Light?!?!? Gross!!

As it turns out, it’s miraculously delicious and does, in fact, taste exactly like a Snickers bar.

I’ll let him explain because I don’t know that I could – except to say that when I was bartending at the Brick in Roslyn, I learned to embrace a shot called the “Duck Fart” (Kahlua, Bailey’s and Crown, layered.) Sounds like a terrible idea on paper, but it’s great. Too bad the same can’t be said about those ex-boyfriends…

Here’s Mike:

The Snickers Bar (or how to make a drink out of random booze left in your house)

Everyone has one. The corner under your sink. In a cupboard above your fridge.

We all have a spot in our kitchen that is a dedicated wasteland for the unused non-perishable or kitchenware. It’s the spot that is filled with the once beloved idea of “I’m gonna use/eat/drink this, no problem!”, but you just can’t seem to get rid of it, so you hide it.That George Foreman Grill you used once (check); the bulk Top Ramen you bought at Costco that you outgrew 5 years ago (yup, that’s in there);a Mason jar, sealed, dated, and filled with an unknown yellow liquid (maybe you should throw that out).

It’s a stash of whatever kitchen item you don’t use much or (realistically) won’t ever use again in a cabinet that you rarely open or even look at.

It’s alright, you’re not going to end up in an episode of “Hoarders” – unless you’ve got a house full of those Mason jars…

So in mine (above the fridge), I have only one thing: a bottle of run-of-the-mill Triple Sec, left from about six roommates ago.

Then I got to thinking, using my photographic/selective memory, about searching in cabinets for a glass at parties and seeing a lone bottle of peach schnapps or Midori out of reach. A theory started to form: when people move out of a house/apartment/flat, they almost always leave the liqueurs. It’s like old roommates are doing you a favor by leaving you a bottle of Apple Pucker. How did they know I enjoy a sour apple schnapps on the rocks after a long day of work?

Seriously though, if they would leave a bottle of vodka or Tullamore Dew or better yet, Pappy Van Winkle 12 year (leave the 20 year and you are legendary), you would totally forget the time they ate the last of your pizza or the week-long spanking fetish that kept you up till 5 AM.

But they never leave liquor, just liqueur. Rat bastards!

Fortunately, your forgotten kitchen treasure trove is stocked with a bottle of Frangelico, an Italian hazelnut liqueur. If you don’t know what the bottle looks like, just imagine a Mrs. Butterworth’s bottle, but dressed in a robe and with no racial stereotypes. Chances are, somebody brought it over for brunch to drink with coffee or you bought it ‘cause a dessert recipe called for it (it’s delicious poured over vanilla ice cream). But you are thirsty for a shot. Something tasty. It’s after hours and all you’ve got in the house is that bottle of Frangelico and a few beers. Ok, a bottle of Frangelico and a couple of Bud Lights. Why do you have a couple of Bud Lights? The same reason you have Frangelico: it was just in the back corner of your fridge. As an emergency reserve. A nuclear option, if you will.

Crack open the Bud Light and get the step stool out so you can reach the Frangelico: you’re making a shot…

THE SNICKERS BAR
1-2 oz. Frangelico
Add Bud Light to taste

You don’t have to be precise with this recipe, it’s all how you like it (as with a lot of cocktails). Just make sure you add more Frangelico than Bud Light, ‘cause the last thing you want to do is tell your friends you made a Bud Light cocktail. Instant loss of respect, not to mention their growing concerns of your alcoholism. This is merely a concoction comprised of two red-headed step-children in your kitchen.

It’s not high in alcohol content (Frangelico- 28% or 56 proof, Bud Light- 4.2% per 12 oz.), but it’s tasty, and absolutely ridiculous.

One of the many problems (laundry list actually) with the Snickers Bar is that it’s sugary and if you ordered it in a bar or drink one at all, you are probably a bit tipsy, or drunk. Sugary drinks always give me the can’t-get-out-of-bed hangovers. My best suggestion would be 1.) drinking gallons of water (obvious), and 2.) stocking up on Rockstar Recovery drinks. They get you back on your feet by giving you 16 non-carbonated ounces of caffeine, all your B vitamins (plus milk thistle, ginseng, taurine, etc) and are not sugary so you don’t get the sugar-shock (2 grams of sugar). They make a lemon (best), orange (ok) and grape (like a Fla-Vor-Ice pop), so take your pick. I’m not trying to get sponsored by Rockstar or anything (mail the cases to P.O. Box…), this is just my way of beating booze off with a stick.

If you don’t have the energy to get out of bed and head to the store to buy the recommended hangover cure, then stay in bed. You need heaps of sleep. But you can’t go back to bed, ‘cause your head hurts too much.

Get a big glass of water, put it next to your bed. Grab your laptop or iPad. Go to Project-Free TV (http://www.free-tv-video-online.me/) or alluc (http://www.alluc.org/). These sites are streaming (ie, you won’t get a cease and desist order in the mail from illegal downloading) free movies and television shows. Pick your favorite one(s) out and veg. If your attention span is waning, then head over to Pandora. Normally, being a whole album kinda guy, I wouldn’t suggest this, but you’re not in the mood to pick out songs for a hangover playlist, or put on some vinyl. Start with a station that is acoustic and then work your way to the more upbeat. Stationwise, I’d go Gillian Welch or Leo Kottke for a bit. My Morning Jacket or Wilco next. By this point, you are ready for the Booker T and the MG’s.

Now get out of bed and go to the bar.

www.myspace.com/eldermason
www.reverbnation.com/eldermason


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