Saturday, January 07, 2006


There’s a new e-zine in town...and I’ll be a contributor to it. It’s called “The Spirit World,” and you can check it out here.

No, no,’s not an e-zine dedicated to contacting the ghost of Elvis. That would be silly. Elvis is still alive.

It is, rather, dedicated to the wonderful world of liquor...and all the fun stuff you can do with it.

Regular features will include mixology, craft beers, cooking with liquor, drinks around the world and “happy hour at home.” I will be contributing as often as inspiration strikes. My first post is now on-line, and you can find it here.

The Spirit World’s cuddly and capable Editor is our friend Brenda from Culinary Fool.

Hey Brenda...thanks for giving me the opportunity to write-off my bar bills as a business expense!


At 5:19 PM, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

hey Sal - great plug. I'll be sure to check in more..

At 6:20 PM, Blogger Culinary Fool said...

It's a great benefit, isn't it? :-) And it's not just the bar bills, but the new set of martini glasses, the mixology books, etc, etc - Life is good!

Glad you decided to join us!

~ B

At 9:33 PM, Blogger christina said...

Well there you go! More great writing from Sal.

I may just have to start drinking again...

At 11:30 PM, Anonymous jo said...

Oh my Sal! Are you limited in location? Ya know, Mike is a beekeeper and folks with ridiculous amounts of honey are bound to make meade. We even have some stuff that is nearly 7 years old now that we made for our wedding back in '99. I'll be looking forward to checking this column out!

At 11:44 PM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Hey Granny Jo:

I once went through a homebrew (beer, that is) phase in the early '90's and read about meade. But I never did try any.

So to answer your question, yeah...I'll fly across the Pacific to drink Maison Mike Meade...if Brenda will pay for the airline tickets.

First class isn't necessary, Brenda. Business class will be fine.

I wonder if meade goes well with kimchee?

At 7:15 AM, Anonymous Jo said...

Kimchee? Well, depends on what temp your drinking it. Room temp would probably do very well with several spicy varieties. Do you know that meade come in dry as well as sweet varieties? Room temp and heated (mulled) are the usual ways of drinking. Also, are you familiar with the "amenities" of Korean style meals and the roll which kim chee plays in them?

::grinning:: did you know you were asking such loaded questions?

On another drinking note altogether, a friend of Mike's is also into making his own wine and liquors. A while back he gave us a small quantity of homemade "Limoncello". Ever hear of it? Citrus zest of choice, touch of sugar, clear alcohol (everclear, vodka, sochu, or the like). Anyway, we tried mixing a tad of the limoncello in eggnog and the result was very tasty! You'll have to give that a try when you have an opportunity.

At 9:29 AM, Blogger hippo_pepperpot said...

love the new site... xxx

At 9:11 PM, Blogger christina said...

Sal - have you ever tried the Hierbas Tunel from Mallorca? Even I quite like the stuff.

We also made beer behind the sofa (where it was nice and warm)once back in the early 90's. The bottles that didn't eventually explode

At 9:09 PM, Blogger ironporer said...

I must say that the 'Sol y Sombra" may not have been the best choice for initiation into the world of Spanish drinks...may be a bit to hard core. I myself was always partial to a 'Revueltillo" (Anis and Muscatel) in the mornings. Of all things Spanish, the one thing that I do wish would take America by storm would be expresso coffee in general, and the "Carajillo" in particular. I always prefered mine to be of a good Spanish Brandy- never anise or rum as I have seen others drink. Whether it is for breakfast to purge yourself of last nights spirits/hangover or at 4am to try and wake up a little bit (and to keep the buzz going) during a hard night's partying, or as it is usually drank- as an after lunch pick-me-up, there is just something special about it.
My all time favorite carajillo story was in Zarautz, Guipuzcoa (Pais Vasco). I entered the bar in the train station (all non Spaniards or Ex Pats living in Spain may find it odd that a train station should have a bar...what do they know!) and ordered a carajillo de coñac, only to be informed that "in PV, we don't have carajillos. We can give you a copa de coñac and a coffee, and you can do with it as you please"...where upon he poured about 5 shots of brandy in a wide mouth cocktail class, steamed it, caught it on fire, added a bit of lemon zest and squeeezed the lemon, dropped a fre coffee beans in....and let it 'cook' a few seconds. Next he made a similar sized expresso cafe solo and gave me the two. A Basque's sense of independence from Spain I suppose, but it was so classic- the biggest and best non-carajillo I have ever had.

At 9:11 PM, Blogger ironporer said...

Sal- forgot to mention...Congratulations on your new position!!

At 9:28 PM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Hey Iron Man:

Whoa, what a story. I've never seen a concoction like that in the thousands of bar-trips I've made. I'd love to try one, but am not sure how I'd explain it to a Manchego bartender. He'd probably pour five shots into a snifter, then dip his lit cigarette into it to ignite it.

I've always been a carajillo con anís guy. It's a nostalgia-thing, I suppose...because I had an aunt who used to make a similar drink for me when I was way, way under the legal age. I have about three carajillos per year. Perhaps I should have more. You've inspired me.

And you're right. I guess most non-Spaniards would find a bar in a train station to be odd. I find it unthinkable that a train station wouldn't have one.

U da man!

At 2:12 PM, Blogger euro-trac said...

So how are the natives coping with the new anti smoking policy in Spain??
Ignoring it?? - Thought so! :-)

At 8:34 PM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Hey Euro-trac:

Bearing in mind that I don't exactly live in a booming metropolis, the law seems to be working. The few restaurants in my town have been enforcing the ban, and I don't sense that people are upset.

I work from a home office, so I haven't seen first-hand the effects on the workplace. But I suspect it's a non-issue. If the law says no smoking in the office, then I'm sure that most employers will enforce it strongly. And the employees are certainly in no position to argue.

The tricky bit is its application to bars. There's a loophole. It doesn't apply to bars less than 100 square meters in size. These, of course, are the only bars that I go to. I'm far too old to go to large, noisy nightclubs. My bars here in town proudly advertise that smoking IS no issues there. I'd suspect, however, that owners of large bars and night clubs are the ones suffering the most from the ban.



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