Month: December 2015


Bar 2015

Regular TDE readers know I’m not a big fan of New Years Eve. Well, that’s not exactly accurate. Relative to Thanksgiving Eve, I’m not a big fan of New Years Eve. Also, I’m more of a fan of New Years Eve afternoon, rather than night. This is the day that I gather with men to settle the last year’s sports betting, drink, watch football, and talk about whatever comes up under the sun. So although Thanksgiving Eve is my favorite drinking night of the year, today features my favorite drinking afternoon.

We’re gathering at a new drinking establishment in town. My eldest daughter went there last night. I texted her, “Hey, ask if they serve the Moscow Mule. I think that’s what I’ll drink tomorrow night.” Alas, she asked, but the waitress seemed confused and said she’d look into it. She never did, so I’m guessing they don’t serve the Mule. I’ll probably have to opt for vodka tonic or one of their funky drinks.

“What,” dear TDE reader you ask, “is a Moscow Mule?”

It’s vodka, ginger beer, and lime. More than that, it is the drink that put vodka on the map in the United States:

Until the late 1940s, vodka was virtually unknown outside Russia, Poland, and Scandinavia. In the West, America’s enthusiasm for whiskey and gin overshadowed any interest in vodka, which was known simply as a spirit vaguely linked to dark Chekhov plays and Tolstoy novels. That all changed, however, due in no small part to a Russian refugee named Vladimir Smirnoff, whose family previously ran the Moscow distillery that was the official purveyor of vodka to the czar. . . . By 1946, vodka had begun to make a discernible ripple in the American cocktail culture, when a Smirnoff representative named John Martin

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In case you missed it, the next Sherlock comes out on Friday.

Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) return as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in the acclaimed modern retelling of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic stories. But now, our heroes find themselves in 1890s London. Beloved characters Mary Morstan (played by Amanda Abbington), Inspector Lestrade (Rupert Graves) and Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs) also turn up at 221b Baker Street.

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The 26th

Today is the Feast of St. Stephen. The good old Catholic Church loves its paradoxes: The day of intense joy followed by a day of sobering reality (with the bloody feasts of the Holy Innocents and Thomas Beckett coming shortly).

Joy and martyrdom, love and hatred of love, Everlasting Life and grisly death.… Read the rest

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

“He rules the world with truth and grace.” —Isaac Watts ++ “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” —Charles Dickens ++ “The Incarnation…illuminates and orders all other phenomena, explains both our laughter and our logic, our fear of the dead and our knowledge that it is somehow good to die, and which at one stroke covers what multitudes of separate theories will hardly cover for us if this is rejected.” —C.S. Lewis ++ “Regarding not the day, let us give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son… If it be possible to honor Christ in the giving of gifts, I cannot see how while the gift, giver and recipient are all in the spirit of the world… [B]ut we have a Christ gift the entire year.” —Charles Spurgeon ++ “Holiday and Holy Day, Christmas is more than a yule log, holly or tree. It is more than natural good cheer and the giving of gifts. Christmas is even more than the feast of the home and of children, the feast of love and friendship. It is more than all of these together. Christmas is Christ, the Christ of justice and charity, of freedom and peace.” —Francis Cardinal Spellman ++ “The place that the shepherds found was not an academy or an abstract republic; it was not a place of myths allegorized or dissected or explained away. It was a place of dreams come true.” —G.K. Chesterton… Read the rest