Here’s Mud In Your Eye

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Slim Paley photo

A muddled raspberry, cointreau & vodka cocktail at the Four Seasons Biltmore, Santa Barbara


Cocktail-making is an adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence.  It inculcates purity and harmony.  The mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order.”  From BonAppetit 2008

Um- ya…what they said.  Plus, they’re just really, really good :)

Slim Paley photo (not altered in any way)

What the sunset looked like after  the cocktails :)

Happiness is the cocktail hour isn’t it?!

A post in honor of delicious libations and the places from which they are dispensed…

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A little Sinatra with your drink? please click here;


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Slim Paley Photo

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Slim Paley photo

Greece

Slim Paley photo

This is, without a doubt, my #1 Favourite Cocktail mixing book ever.  Published in 1939, it is an absolute delight; an armchair trip back to seductively slower times when One lazed around in rattan Planter’s chairs, the kind with those swivel arms for ankles to drape over in the breeze, ceiling fans whirring quietly overhead, drinking muddled gimlets into the night while reading month old New Yorker magazines and gossiping about Somerset Maugham.  Ahhh- The  ‘Slow Movement’ at it’s finest.   Sadly, the book is  very difficult to find.  At the moment, I can only see a few available online- ranging from $200 for “Good Used” condition to $999 for “Collectible- Like New”.   Word to the wise would be whenever you find yourself in an old bookshop always ask if they have a copy.  Ya never know.

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Gin Fizz

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Excerpt from the Forward.

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Slim Paley photo

Cocktails and a cigar at the Amansara hotel, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Slim Paley Photo

“One comfortable fact gleaned from travel in far countries was that regardless of race, creed or inner metabolisms, mankind has always created varying forms of stimulant liquid-each after his own kind. Prohibitions and nations and kings depart, but origin of such pleasant fluid finds constant source.” Charles H. Baker, Jr.



On my Champagne Bucket List of places I’d like to go; The Pegu Club in NYC

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Perhaps when NY Son turns 21 we will go there together for his VERY FIRST DRINK!!  :)

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A few more cool NYC Watering Holes:

Milk n’ Honey

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Apotheke NYC

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Painkiller – an old fashioned Tiki bar with supreme drinks, so I’ve been told.

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Are purported to be exquisite.

In Long Island City. (where is that?!)

You know what? I’m going to find out, in April. Personally, I’ve always loved the Dutch.

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An Emergency Martini Station in my living room

Southern Comfort…ish

The “Impractically Comfortable” side chair

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Biggest Best martinis in LA?   Lola’s on Fairfax.  Do NOT forget your Designated Driver!

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Most generous martinis in Santa Barbara-  Lucky’s in Montecito  (also,  fair to medium possibility of Josh Holloway sighting)

Hey, wait! come back, at least finish reading my post!)

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Make your own spritzers and many other fun concoctions with

Iso Twist ‘n Sparkle  available at Williams & Sonoma

I want to get one of these! Looks like fun

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Slim Paley photo

Evening sun sets on the portable bar in my den/TV room

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If you really want to make cocktails like a pro, you might want to consider investing in these ice ball molds. Spheres of ice are preferred by serious on the rocks drinkers because the reduced surface size causes the ice to melt at a slower pace.  I bought plastic molds but my ice balls looked like Tootsie Pops with berets on- sort of cute, but nothing like the one above. Made by Taisin $169

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credit unknown

What a gorgeous wine cellar- not quite sure how you get down there, or even more importantly, how you’d get back up, but it sure is gorgeous

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Nice Kitchen bar via Food & Wine Magazine

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Slim Paley Photo

Have you tried these “Instant Wine Breather” machines?  My brother bought us one- they work- You can really taste the difference.

Also available at Williams & Sonoma or on Amazon


Slim Paley

Emergency Libations Station in the library (regular readers might recognize; also home of the drunken Christmas Tree Angel)


I saw these at BEVMO which we now have in Santa Barbara.

There is a God.

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.Slim Paley Photo

Beer at BEVMO

Strangely, I’ve even come to enjoy the occasional beer in the last couple of years.  To be honest, I think I enjoy trying to pick them, as much as drinking them

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Slim Paley Photo

Kitchen drink caddy this Christmas

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Probably the most infamously Enthusiastic Cocktail Hour Couple…

Nick & Nora Charles Have  a Drink…or 10 Please click  :)

unless, of course it was

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Have I missed any obvious ones??

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Slim Paley photo

Love a good Girl’s Reunion

Name YOUR poison

Bottoms up my Lovelies :)

xx

SP

64 thoughts on “Here’s Mud In Your Eye

  1. I must have a drink – it could not look more delicious and now I want to wander around
    doing it in Ports ‘O Call everywhere-
    you did it again

  2. Dear Slim,
    Always enjoy your blog, amazing photos and Love the very witty commentary. The wine cellar in this issue of your blog was in a home designed by my favorite Designer Steven Grambrel. I think if I lived in N.Y. City he’d have a restraining order taken out against me!
    Cheers
    V.

  3. I must say that my cocktail options vary depending on the time of day. Before noon I love a loaded Bloody Mary – must have horseradish infused vodka and PLENTY of pickled beans. The afternoon calls for something sweeter … a Banana Daiquiri poolside. Early evening .. I am a Margarita gal .. Mango please! And as the evening progresses … Pour me a glass of Taittinger Comte de Champagne. Yum. And after a day like that I would remove the lampshade from my head and call it a nighty night.

  4. Lying in drug-induced haze post hip surgery, thinking if only the bottle of pain pills didn’t say, “Do Not Drink Alcoholic Beverages While Taking This Medication” (I just went and checked to make SURE))………….I’d be there with the raspberry, cointreau & vodka cocktail ………..as it is, meditating on the “unaltered in any way” sunset…..ommmmmmmm………will have to get me through.
    Thanks for the beautiful, tasty diversions.

  5. Ah the Raspberry Smash at the Biltmore. Thank you for reminding me of this favorite cocktail. I will definitely be making this for mummy happy hour on Friday.

  6. You had me at ‘raspberries, cointreau…”
    Wish I’d known of Pegu, two weeks ago in NYC! The trip was perfect but could have been perfect-er!

    Thanks SP!

  7. I got tipsy just reading this post, Slimmy.
    I’ve always felt sorry for people who can’t drink. It’s a damn shame.
    Love all the pit stops you’ve set up in various rooms.

  8. I noticed the Pimm’s on your bar and it reminded me of one of the best drinks EVER. When I was in high school, my sister’s boyfriend’s family owned a famous restaurant in Chicago. I can’t remember the name, but it had catacombs (from speak-easy days) with a fortune teller and other odd and exotic things. Not only did we have an amazingly authentic Caesar Salad made at our table, but we were served Pimm’s Cup, with a slice of fresh cucumber in a ice cold tin cup. No one asked for ID, we were treated like ladies, and I have never had the likes of a drink like that since!

  9. This is a fanfuckingtastic post. Just Perfect – especially with Frank in the background.

    How about we start with the “unpredictable Balloon Cocktail” … work our way through the tropical menu of the “Painkiller” … sneak in a little splash of Ketel One somewhere … then onto the foggy little number in the double glass from Long Island City?

    Whew. Could I be a teensy bit drunk just from reading this? What’s in the unpredictable Balloon Cocktail anyways? It doesn’t really matter – love the name and want to drink one. If it’s tasty, I could even drink two.

    • what fun it would be to work one’s way through every drink recipe in the book! (every recipe is prefaced by a quirky little tidbit)

  10. Fun – you and I clearly had cocktail hour on our brains today (oh I guess it’s yesterday now). Love The Gentleman’s Companion and your spectacular shot at The Biltmore!

  11. Hello Slim, I can see that you are my kinda gal. Cocktails, anyone? I MUST get “The Gentleman’s Companion,” if not for the type-face alone! Have you tried Ransom’s Old Tom Gin yet? Best. Gin. Ever. And I’m a martini guy. Except, Old Tom is too good for a ‘tini and I wouldn’t dream of diluting it with tonic, even from Fever Tree. Old Tom is best on the rocks with a twist of lemon in it. You will think you’ve died and gone to heaven. Seriously! Reggie

    • Thanks Reggie- I’m going to try it for sure. I love gin, although not in martinis. My favourite is Old Raj. Have you tried that??

  12. Dear Slim, the cocktail barman at my local has one of those ball contraptions, they really are quite something.

    I’ll take the raspberry cocktail, the technicolour sunset and your Martini station. What a marvellous idea! xx

  13. Ah, Slim! You’ve done it again. Combine Sinatra, civilized cocktails and my favorite heroine Nora Charles and you’ll get me every time.

    It’s five-ish in the morning now, Bloody Mary?

  14. The way my days have been going, Slim…I think I am going to put the emergency Martini Station by the Coffee Pot instead of the Library :)
    Also, a request to throw in a good Maker’s Mark recipe sometime when you are posting ’cause a Southern Belle loves a good bourbon.
    Finally, Dean Martin always come to mind when I think of Happy Hour.
    And Slim Paley comes to mind when I think of Happy anything!

    • Thank you Courtney
      Why don’t you put the emergency station by the bed? that way you don’t have to walk ALL THE WAY to the kitchen!

  15. I pulled out two photos to save from this post…….the floor in the Apotheke bar NYC and the slipcover ed chair with the ruched borders in your den………….just perfectly superb!
    Kathi

  16. If I order one of these cocktails, does it count as a fruit serving? Good way to get my 5 a day! Love the Sinatra song – not too many songs today that hail “exotic booze.” :)

  17. Fantastic post…Absolutely LOVE cocktail hour (everyday)!!!
    Try this one:
    Muddle 4-5 Kumquats in a shaker, add vodka (a lot), a bit of Agave or Simple Syrup,
    a little fresh lime juice, splash of Cointreau.
    Add ice and shake vigorously, pour into a nice big tumbler, ice and all, top off with a little Club Soda.
    Drink and eat all those vodka infused kumquats!!!
    Delish!!!
    PS: I have a Kumquat tree in my yard. ;)

  18. I just made mention a few days ago to my husband about Gin Fizzes. My parents and family
    friends would make them for Sunday brunch get together’s, then play cards all dy. They’d
    mke virgin ones for us….so frothy nd delicious. My letter, the first one of the lphbet just died.
    Hope you cn red this! ; (
    My #1 go to: Bomby Spphire mrtini, ice cold, two olives nd n onion. Works every time!
    Cheers!
    Bring bck the slow movement, nd quickly plese!

  19. I have flung this post to G. Dunn a mixologist in NY.. he makes the most delicious cocktails ( “of course! it is not because he is the fruit of my loins”-she said) Rush over to my blog for my first ever give away+love your blog Slim…

  20. Another great post to warm the gang! I have a very cool 1920s French apothecary cabinet, the glass shelves of which were filled with coral in the hamptons showhouse from 2009, when I move, I have imagined using it as a bar, and now I am further inspired – also thought it would make a great outdoor vodka bar for a porch-type room in winter. What do you think? Cheers!

  21. Isnt it amazing how parental denial gets us thru the night? (i.e your son’s FIRST drink) Got a chuckle out of that one..Lets introduce him to my beautiful 22 year old daughter who also waited until she was 21 (wink wink)

  22. Okay. You are a creature after my own heart.

    First…

    Yes, yes, yes to martini station! One for every room!!! Only problem is that my smidgets (read – children) would be all over these things..

    Second…

    I have one of those wine decanter thingies….and I have to say we n.e.v.e.r. use the thing. It takes up too much space and it’s just one more thing to clean, and I get the same effect from swirling the wine in my glass. P.S. did you know you can’t spill wine if you you set it on the table and swirl? Believe me…I’ve tried!

    Good luck on the apartment therapy contest!

  23. do you think the floor that leads down to that gorgeous wine cellar is cut out to look like a wine cork?
    or is that obvious and a stupid question?

  24. It’s just after 5 pm, so I figured it’s a good time to reply :) I’m not much of a cocktail person, though I would never turn down a champagne cocktail or a Pimm’s Cup, but having read this, now I want a libation station in my house! Yours are so appealing, especially the one in your den, photographed in the late afternoon light. Sigh. Time to go pour myself a little something. It is after 5 after all. As always, thanks for sharing! Love your posts. xx

  25. The gin fizz picture… How to do mix up a gorgous libation like that? But most important, do you know the provenance of those exquisite stemmed glasses? You? Anyone?

  26. Chin Chin! I sent a copy of this post to my son. He tells long stories of the famous Pegu Club cocktail and the guy on the plane who when asked about a great place to go in NYC sent him to try the Pegu! He loved and so do we. Love all your posts. Thank you for making us giggle and twirl each day.

  27. Congratulations Slim!
    You came in 3rd place in the Homies award against 257 nominated blogs, that is REALLY impressive considering you’re more of a Josh Holloway follower (some might say stalker.. but not me) than a true “design” blog:)

    I love it! and I love your blog, as do soooooooo many others, keep up the great work!

    I’m toasting you right now with a cocktail….seems fitting

  28. I am turning into a “beer-a-holic”. Beer is my new “whine of choice”! Sorry bout the Homies. But it’s awesome that you made it in there in the first place! Great job for my favorite blog! and one that [you know] I stalk on a bi-(tri) daily basis.
    xo
    kb

  29. Hi Slim, Great Post! I personally love a big frosty Gin and Tonic with a big squeeze of lime. Oh and I am sitting on the back of my boat in Avalon looking at the Casino building and I have a really nice sunburn from a day of doing nothing! Heaven

    xo kelley

    PS love me some bevmo too

  30. Amazing! I feel as thou I transfer into another life when I read your blog. Your pictures just make it that much easier! I am new to your blog, and look forward more adventures with it.

  31. You are a bad/good ;) influence, Slim! You could definitely drive a woman to drink with all these photos. Was strolling through Upstairs at PL and just HAD to buy Assouline’s Vintage Cocktails, pewter ice bucket and shaker. My husband is OTT on “preparedness”, but I don’t think he’d ever considered an emergency libations station. What an oversight! Have concluded they may be as important as fire extinguishers. Thanks for the intoxicating post!

  32. Thanks for another great treat for the eyes. I have never liked Martinis, could not get them past my lips, as they always reminded me of Rubbing Alcohol.. ..That was until this summer. We were in San Diego and my friend asked me to try her martini. Said okay. WOW it was great. It was made with Bombay Saphire Gin and was amazing. (As Mary T will agree) Needless to say I am now A martini gal. Also love Southern Comfort Manhattan’s. (Southern Comfort , White Vermouth and of course two or three cherries.) Slim once again thanks for sharing all of your wonderful ideas and sense of humour.

    B J

  33. Hey Slim! just read that Courtney is looking for a good Maker’s Mark cocktail. I’ve got one for her. BTW we went to high school together so I could just be sending this to her BUT, I’m going to BUTT in on your blog and share it with you. It’s called “The Mailbox Cocktail” (don’t ask me why). All it is is Maker’s Mark, ginger ale, lemon wedge and some crushed ice. Serve it in a country ball jar. It’s from my friend Martha Foose’s cookbook Screened Doors and Sweet Tea. Get it, she’s a hoot!

  34. I stand corrected Slim- it looks like there was an issue with the voting and Freshome did not win afterall- Younghouselove did…which now puts you in 2nd place!! Congrats!!

  35. Your photography and your incredible ability to make something out of nothing is remarkable. I will love you forever.

  36. Slim, Friday was a funny day, first wore the gap undies you had recommended, then tried Hendrick’s Gin – yummy!!! Thanks for the recommendations.

  37. Pingback: Valentine’s Day | Garden, Home & Party

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