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Max Watman

Entries by Max Watman

A Christmas Punch

(32) Comments | Posted December 22, 2010 | 2:17 PM

John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" is the perfect Christmas carol -- not the whole thing, actually, just the line "And so this is Christmas." There's a resignation to the lyric that fits the occasion. One memorable Christmas, the pipe under an upstairs toilet cracked and began leaking into...

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Building the Perfect Bourbon at Buffalo Trace

(13) Comments | Posted November 18, 2010 | 11:58 AM

Last summer in New Orleans at Tales of the Cocktail (the annual festival of cocktails, cuisine, and culture), Mark Brown, the CEO of Buffalo Trace Distillery, gave a talk on what the company calls the Experimental Collection. Buffalo Trace produces their eponymous whiskey, as well as many excellent...

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Hot Fun in the Summer: Wrapping Up Tales of the Cocktail

(0) Comments | Posted July 30, 2010 | 9:47 AM

The international drinks community (bartenders, brand ambassadors, public relation firms, distillers, cocktail writers, geeks, bar owners, and everyone who can tell you the difference between Plymouth Gin and London Dry) descends upon New Orleans for five sweaty days in July to attend Tales of the Cocktail. This...
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69 Clams (PHOTOS)

(17) Comments | Posted July 19, 2010 | 1:10 PM

I rented a house on Block Island with some friends a couple of weeks ago, and the days leading up to our departure were punctuated with brief, animated phone calls. We didn't talk about the beach, how much fun our respective children would have, or what we should bring. We...

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Grilled Soft-Shells

(26) Comments | Posted May 30, 2010 | 6:40 AM

Soft-shell crab season begins, according to lore, with the first full moon of May, which happened to come last Thursday, just in time for Memorial Day weekend. I've been looking forward to that full moon ever since I read the uplifting news that the harvest limits put into place a...

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Room for all at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic

(1) Comments | Posted May 28, 2010 | 4:32 PM

The Manhattan Cocktail Classic swept into town like a tidal wave when 2500 revelers, dressed to kill, swayed through the New York Public Library the other week, sipping, laughing, and hugging each other until the last Luxardo cherry had been speared and the last glass fell to the floor. It...

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Bourbon and Brine

(51) Comments | Posted May 7, 2010 | 5:06 PM

A Pickleback

A shot of whiskey backed up with a shot of pickle brine tastes good (way better than it sounds), but I feel as if there's something more to the pickleback: sentimentality, comfort. The pickleback is the macaroni and cheese of the cocktail world.

When I...

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RECIPE: Mint Juleps by the Batch

(9) Comments | Posted April 29, 2010 | 4:30 PM

I've come to realize that the Kentucky Derby is a pagan holiday: On the first Saturday in May, a lot of people don ritual costumes, sing ritual songs, and drink ritual libations while they attempt to foresee the future by interpreting a coded and vague bit of...

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The Barrel Giveth, and the Barrel Taketh Away

(7) Comments | Posted April 12, 2010 | 10:18 AM

Years ago, my wife and I sat down in the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, to taste some bourbon with Joe Castro, who was the chef at the time. At one point he grinned mischievously, excused himself, and returned with a small flask of white dog from a major distiller...

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