By Paul Nelson

I didn’t grow up on James Bond. I wasn’t allowed to watch the movies until I was a teen, and even then it was only the edited-for-television broadcasts on ABC. I may have seen one James Bond film in the theater, and I watched Skyfall on Netflix a few years ago. But in general the films have been too over the top for my tastes, whether on the scale of explosions and car chases or in the realm of drop-dead gorgeous femme fatales.  I’ve never even read any of the books.

By Paul Nelson

Legend has it that the Negroni came to be nearly a century ago when the Italian Count Camillo Negroni asked a bartender in Florence to make his favorite cocktail, the Americano, stronger. The bartender substituted gin for the traditional soda water, resulting in the Negroni. Whether or not you believe this particular story isn’t terribly important, but it’s another example of the fascinating and by and large thoroughly unsubstantiated world of cocktail lore. It’s also an example of a classic cocktail that makes gin somewhat palatable!

By Paul Nelson

There is a comfort in settling in with a set of drinks that you know you and those around you like and enjoy. It takes a certain amount of pressure off. That’s where I’ve been settled for the past couple of months. Content. Preparing a rotation of a dozen or so drinks (when we’re hosting), and more often enjoying a subset of those with my wife when we’re making dinner together (mojitos, Manhattans, pisco sours, sazeracs, and Aperol spritzes). 

By Paul Nelson

Our recent family trip to Europe cemented this reality in my mind – whether traveling through Europe, the Middle East, or the Orient, cocktails are far more of a rarity than here in the US. But one cocktail advertised heavily throughout the many countries we passed through in Europe is the Aperol Spritz – sometimes just referred to as a Spritz. We loved it there as a refreshing and light drink in the midst of a hot day of sightseeing. We continue to enjoy it now that we’re home, despite the fact that it’s not a very common drink in the US.

By Paul Nelson

It isn’t that I haven’t been drinking, I just haven’t taken the time to do anything compellingly different in a while. However Billie kindly provided me with an amazing bottle of aged dark rum for my birthday, and it seemed only fitting to find a good use for it (other than just sipping it straight and smelling it!). This led me to the Acapulco, which is quickly becoming a go-to alternative to the Manhattan  for my wife.