Sarah Bruce is married to the guy at the top right of that photo - the one flossin' that baller pencil-thin goatee. His name is Terry Bruce, and he is the majority leader of the Kansas Senate. Yesterday afternoon, around 3 p.m., Sarah crashed her car into another vehicle on Main Street in Hutchinson. Nobody was hurt, but Sarah was subsequently jailed for both driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance.
When (if?) the temperature finally drops this fall, there will be a new summery beer in town for sipping at your favorite bar. Santa Fe Brewing Company today announced that it's going to release Imperial Smoked Rye Porter in Kansas City in mid-November. The New Mexico brewery teamed up with local distributor Central States Beverage Company on the cold one.
The brewery says the beer is designed to pair well with Kansas City barbecue. "We decided to go bold and do an Imperial style porter so its character would stand up to the big flavors of smoked meats. Not only will this beer scream Kansas City, it will also give a wink to Santa Fe with subtle notes of chipotle chile peppers, " Santa Fe head brewer AJ Condit said in a statement. We've had enough of this late summer heat, but if the upcoming winter is anything like frigid snow dump of last year, any beer that reminds us of sun and barbecue will likely be a hit.
As regulars of many, many watering holes around town, we've found a funny trend: Bars without their own breweries offering their own brands of beer. It's not a bad gimmick for tavern owners, who buy some not-so-great beer from breweries, slap the establishments' names on the kegs and hang up signs in restrooms touting the impostor suds.
In anticipation of a summer spent regulating our body temperature with cold drinks in dark bars, we sampled five bar-branded brews.
At the new Port Fonda restaurant in Westport, there are currently 13 imaginative craft cocktails on the drink menu, including a Technicolor pink Roselle Margarita (made with house-made hibiscus syrup and Solerno blood orange liqueur). The unexpected offering on the list is a classic cocktail that dates back to the early days of the 1900s, if not before. It's so classic, in fact, that Port Fonda is one of the few places in Kansas City — besides Manifesto, of course — where you can find one.
The cocktail in question? The Jack Rose — a combination of applejack brandy, lemon juice and grenadine — that
was the featured alcoholic beverage (the only one, actually) in one of the most lavish private homes in New York City: 840 Fifth Avenue, the mansion owned by the imperious Mrs. William Astor. The Mrs. Astor, who ruled New York society wearing fabulous diamonds and a purple-black wig from the mid-1800s until 1905. Guests at her dinner parties were permitted one cocktail before dinner: a small glass of Jack Rose.
"The 1980s ruined the reputation of the daiquiri," says veteran bartender Shawn Moriarty, currently the featured mixologist at the Majestic Restaurant. "Before they became known as a fruity blender drink, the original daiquiri was a very light, simple cocktail of sugar, rum and lime juice. Very refreshing for hot climates, like Cuba."
Or Kansas City during a blistering hot July, as it turns out. The first daiquiri was concocted in Cuba in the 1890s, reportedly by an American mining engineer then living near the town of Daiquiri. This true daiquiri cocktail bore absolutely no resemblence to the mushy, slushy, sweet concoction that now bears that name. Although the daiquiri was considered a sophisticated summer cocktail in the 1930s — it was a favorite of many hard-drinking celebrities, including Ernest Hemingway — its real heyday was in the 1960s. During that decade, my mother ordered daiquiri cocktails in lounges and restaurants and, more often than not, took a sip and sent it right back to the bartender.
When life hands you lemons, make something. Lemonade will do, particularly as a way of cooling down during the blistering hot afternoons we've been experiencing lately. The beverage isn't as old as wine or beer but has a distinguished history: The Egyptians sipped an alcoholic concoction of honey, dates and lemons in the 14th century, and the less intoxicating shikanjviin Northern India and Pakistan is tarted-up lemon juice with ginger, saffron and cumin.
Kansas Citians have long been fans of the citrusy beverage, even when fresh lemons were a luxury. (A local company, the George A. Fox Products Co., made lemon syrup for drugstore soda fountains during the 1930s and 1940s). Because it's not so easy to find a neighborhood drugstore soda fountain these days for a refreshing lemonade, lemon soda or lemon phosphate, it's up to Fat City to point out places for the best lemony beverages in the city. Here are five choices for your consideration.
But where do you find them? Many local watering holes don’t include nonalcoholic drinks on their menus, and finding a place that has put some thought and craft into its mocktails is a time-consuming, frustrating task. (Don’t even try a Google search with the words virgin and drink, an errand that yields unfortunately eye-opening and soul-crushing results.) Bartenders often are up to the challenge of de-boozing a favorite drink, though, so sitting at the bar helps.
Boulevard brewmaster Stephen Pauwels and founder John McDonald announce in this YouTube video that some batches of its popular Chocolate Ale had flavors that were not anticipated. So they're offering refunds on batches 2011-01, 2011-02 and 2011-03. Go to Boulevard.com for more details.
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