Tonight's Negroni #20: The Stay at Home Bartender's Bucket List

FYI: This is an archive of my Tonight's Negroni email newsletter.

(A quick note about the SaHB title: I may be running with it and even turning it into some weird kind of pseudo-brand, but it was my friend Andrew who coined the term. I like to think he was aware of this particular parallel when he did...)

Oh, cool! Number twenty!

OK, kids, I'm going to try to keep this one tight (I'll never say "short" because HA! have you seen these things?) because I had a hangnail this weekend that has left me with a gash that refuses to heal on the outside of my right thumbnail that refuses to heal and continues to flirt with angry infection but never quite commits. As such each primary-handed space causes me great discomfort, so be happy everything so far hasn'tlookedlikethis. Blame typos on my thumb instead of my drink (for once).

The first order of business is that MOST RYE WHISKEY IS A LIE!!! Seriously, I'm all kinds of bummed about this. (It also applies to other categories of booze, so - if you care - you might want to start doing more research.) I'm going to have to do a side-to-side with Bulleit and Templeton, because I am convinced the latter tastes better. Even if it does, though, I'd rather go a few buck higher and get delicious and actually hand made rye whiskey from Denver's own Leopold Brothers distillery.

In other news, I'm excited to play with my Neat Ice Kit, which just arrived in my mail box today.

Now on to the listicle!

No really, I'm doing a listicle in an email newsletter. Better yet, I stole the idea! Props, though. You only steal what you like, right?

First the direct thievery:

  1. Have a cocktail named after me. For real, how awesome would it be to go into a bar and order a drink that bears your name?
  2. Have a shot of fernet with Anthony Bourdain. I'm as big a Tony fan as anyone. Screw the fernet, though, I want to make the man a Negroni. He loves them!

    Where did my pants go, and who are you?

  3. Take a distillery tour in KY. I like bourbon a bunch and I grew up in East Tennessee, so it would probably be a lot of fun.
  4. Go to Tales of the Cocktail. I'm on the fence with this one, still. To part of me it sounds amazing, and I love New Orleans. Another part of me thinks is sounds like the third ring of Hell. A recent viewing of Hey, Bartender on Netflix has me leaning toward awesome right now.
Then there's my list, several of which are directly inspired by the those above:

  1. Distillery tour of Scotland. I mean, I claim Scottish heritage and love to drink the peaty brown water, so it seems natural.
  2. Trade gin & tonics with José Andrés. Just go read this.
  3. Have a cocktail recipe featured on a menu. Much like #1 above, this would be a nice feather in the old cap.
  4. Be published in a physical medium. I don't know if I would ever be able to write about booze in a book or magazine article of my own, but I would also be happy to appear in somebody else's. (As I've mentioned before, I have basked in some shared online light recently. That's pretty darned cool, too.)
  5. (I'm only a little sure I even think I want this, but...) Get behind the stick. While I don't doubt my mixing abilities within the confines of my own kitchen, I've never tested myself in a real bar setting. Maybe I should try that once. Maybe...

That last one's is a doozy. It goes to my own questions about the legitimacy of my internal thoughts, my projected knowledge, and my voiced opinions in the realm of cocktails and booze in general. We do people even listen to me if I've never been a REAL BARTENDER?



I fell like Paloma is almost a generic drink name now. Try looking up recipes and they are all over the map. So confusing...

Welp. This is how I like 'em.


  • 2oz Reposado tequila (or go crazy with mezcal if you like that smoky flavor)
  • 1oz Pink grapefruit juice (or more, to taste)
  • ½oz Lime juice (half a lime)
  • ~3oz Grapefruit soda (I use Squirt most of the time, but sometimes I get the fancy Italian stuff.)


  1. In a large rocks or highball glass (optionally with a salted rim), add booze and juices.
  2. Fill with ice and top with soda.
  3. Stir and serve with a straw.

Now that you are done with this silly email, go watch a cool video about why grilling really makes your food taste good!