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October 2017

So Good It's A Crime -- The Racketeer

A lot of colorful people, both real and fictional, have been and are racketeers.  Meaning someone who's engaged in an illegal business, the word isn't used much anymore (it dates to the 1920s) and usually refers to someone in organized crime.  Even Bugs Bunny posed as one in the 1946 cartoon "Racketeer Rabbit."  The Racketeer cocktail isn't nearly as old as the word, as it seems Stephen Cole created it no later than 2009, and the Floppy Disk Repair Company in Austin introduced me to it.

Racketeer1 ounce rye
1 ounce mezcal
.5 ounces sweet vermouth
.5 ounces Benedictine DOM
.25 ounces yellow Chartreuse
3 dashes Peychaud's bitters

Rinse the inside of a chilled glass with a smoky Scotch.  Combine the ingredients in a shaker with ice, stir with the intense purpose of an aspiring you know what, and strain into the chilled glass.

The Racketeer is a very strong drink.  It contains rye (like the Scofflaw, another criminal themed cocktail), mezcal (tequila's smokier cousin featured in drinks such as the Pura Vida) and two herbal liqueurs, none of which are even remotely weak.  Fortunately the Benedictine DOM and sweet vermouth keep the Racketeer from fitting you with cement shoes, alcoholically speaking. The many ingredients may seem exotic, but you can find them at most liquor stores.  Like most tricky scores, the payoff is worth it.

So what can you do as you have a Racketeer? If you film tastes run towards something more serious than Bugs Bunny (I love classic Warner Brothers cartoons), I suggest a classic like "The Godfather," which is my favorite movie, or "The Sting."  Depending on what music you like, you can listen to songs such as "Bad To The Bone" by George Thorogood or "Smooth Criminal" by Michael Jackson.

Don't have too many Racketeers at once.  We don't want you to have to take the Fifth (not a fifth) and need a lawyer. 


Be A VIP To Bartenders

You want bartenders to like you?  Of course you do.  Why annoy the people who work hard to create your favorite libation of the moment?   This good article in the New York Times gives you some tips about what to do, and perhaps more importantly, what not to do.  Many thanks to my friend Chuck for posting a link to this article.

Here's my summary -- be nice, be patient, and know what you want to order.  If the place isn't busy, put down your phone and have a real live conversation with your bartender. Trust me, you'll be fine. It's not about how much you spend (but you should tip generously).  Let me give you an example ..... Ms. Wulf Cocktail Den and I have been patrons at our favorite watering hole for more than 15 years. Compared to other patrons, we spend far less but we always get great service.  Why?  Because we speak with, not at, our bartenders (and we tip generously).

Be a good person and your bartenders will love you.  My liver can vouch for it.