The Seven Deadly Jenns: Introduction and the First Jenn

Oh, for a muse of booze, that would descend

The dimmest dive bar in New Orleans

A Carousel for a stage, barmen to pour

Drunkards to behold, and antics to ensue!

Then should the Deadly Jenns, like themselves

Assume the port of the Sins, and at their heels,

Leash’d in like Furies, should luges, laybacks and slushies,

Crouch to be emptied down throats, laying waste to all.

 

Apologies to William Shakespeare, but the Seven Deadly Jenns seemed to need a better introduction than I could give on my own.  Who are the Seven Deadly Jenns and why name them thusly?  Well, these ladies all happen to be named Jenn in one way or another, whether Jenn, Jen, Jenny, Jenifer, and so on.  They are also every single one of them wonderful and amazing people, until the drinking starts.  Then, they’re still awesome, but now they are also deadly to your liver, your brain, your health, and sanity.

I have decided to put this guide together so that if you should encounter any of them you can either run screaming to or from them.  On the one hand your body will thank you, on the other your life will be the poorer, because no matter what these ladies represent something that is near and dear to my heart. Wait, is that my heart?  Hmmm, it might be my stomach. What’s that gurgly feeling when you can feel a craving for something but your stomach starts rebelling at the mere though of it?  Either way, these ladies represent some of what is best in the spirits and cocktail world, style, knowledge, panache, and an inability to take themselves too seriously.

 

Jennifer Morgenthaler Brooke – The Sniper

Yes, the sister of that Morgenthaler and recently made Joe Brooke one of the best and nicest gentlemen in the industry one of the luckiest as well.  She sits from afar and just waits for you to settle in and get comfortable at the bar. Then, wham!  Out of nowhere shots appear, and I’m not talking the “Yipee!  We got shots!”  Oh no, she uses her network of informants your own complacency to figure out exactly where you are, then figure out who’s working and then the batphone rings and your doom is sealed.  We’re talking about the wince inducing, head starts to hurt pre-emptively, sort of shots.  Of course she knows that none of us are ever going to turn them down, just curse her name, cheers her reach (I did that for you J. Mo), and slam them back.

Don’t let that innocent smile lure you into any false sense of security.  Behind those shades lies a calculating and far reaching lady, who strikes when least expected.  Watch out for her, but you won’t see her coming.

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Ante and Bottoms Up!

Every now and then I like to head off and play a couple hours of blackjack.  Besides the fact that I like the thrill of a good gamble and matching skills and statistical universes against each other casinos also have one very important thing.  Free drinks.  We all know the routine, sit at a table or machine and eventually you’ll be offered a free cocktail or beer. Lately though, I’ve also noticed that more casinos have added an option to pay a deeply discounted price for your drink in order to upgrade to a better spirit or microbrew.

It’s hard to beat free, but you know what, the longer I live and the longer I sell booze, I realise something.  Life’s for enjoying, and if I can make my life more enjoyable for a pretty nominal fee, I’m going to be pretty tempted.  Hell with tempted, seize the opportunity with both hands.  Now you may ask why not just stay home and play in an online casino and drink my own considerable stash of booze?  I like the interaction with other players.  I like being able to smack the idiot next to me who can’t play and is screwing it up for the table.  I also like the other temptations that casinos have added to their offerings to separate me from my money.

In the last few years, the addition of cigar and cocktail lounges with ambitious menus and programs have started to pop up.  Not just in Las Vegas either where every form of excess is lit up and put on display.  Regional and tribal casinos have realised that people like to enjoy themselves and once having made the decision to go to a casino why not make a night of it and go all out, especially if they’ve had good luck.  After all, they may have won it at the tables, but that cash doesn’t actually have to leave the building.

Consider the Petrossian Bar at the Bellagio, probably the first bar in Vegas where I felt that things were starting to turn around.  I can say that I have spent far more time at the Bellagio over the years because of that bar than I would otherwise have.  I think that this is a trend to be encouraged and I think I’m going to have to start compiling a serious list of casinos where the drinking experience has been elevated.  Time to ante up and order a drink.

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AYCJ Creole

When I first started looking at this whole whirlwind around the country the ting that decided me was the ability to go to St Lucia and Martinique.  For the rhum obsessed like me it was my golden chance to go visit the mother ship.  Islands rising out of an azure sea, full rigged ships plying the waves, lush jungles, and most importantly cask upon cask of rhum as far as the eye could see, as soon as that image sprang to mind clicking the button to buy the ticket was pretty much a foregone conclusion.  Crossing the continent again and then heading for points south, I swear I could smell the rhum in the air as the plane got closer and closer to St St Lucia AYCJ 01 Continue reading

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AYCJ Texas – Gawd it’s big

Everything really is bigger in Texas, especially the amounts of excess you can indulge in.  I mean, one of my mottoes in life is ‘Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.’  Texas seems to embrace that ideal.  Everything is just as you know it, just carried to the nth degree.  For example, during my stay in Austin one of the days was a Saturday during college football season, so I needed to find a bar in which to watch my Huskies play.  I looked up a few likely candidates and went to check them out.  I knew I had found the right bar for me when I walked in, went up to the bar and amidst all of the requisite sports bar fixtures found Zwack, on tap.  Let me say that again, Zwack, on tap.

I imagine the conversation that resulted in that decision probably went something along these lines.

“You know, Jäger on tap is everywhere, and I like daring people to take shots of black, herbally, bitter things.  What’ll make us stand out?”

“Yeah, shots on a dare are great!”

“Let’s go to the liquor store and get one of everything from the shelf that Jäger is on and try them all!”

Time passes, many bottles, shots, and beers later…….

“Holy hell what was that last one?!”

“I think it says Zwack or something, you should have seen your face pucker!”

“That’s the one!  Let’s put it on tap, and not some weak ass cooler machine, it gets a tap!”

For me though, it was a nirvana moment.  Clouds parted, hosannas were sung, and I had found my home for the next several hours.  That Zwack handle became my friend as the need to dull the pain grew more and more acute as my team sucked it up.  We were terrible that day, and ice cold amaro dispensed in volume made it so much better.

I’d also like to take this moment to thank the genius who invented breakfast tacos.  You sir, or madam, need one of those Bud Light Real Men of Genius commercials, except not ironic.  In this wonderful time we live in of combining two things that are great into one awesome mashup, this has to be one of the most successful ever.  Breakfast food, good.  Tacos, good.  Place one in the other and enjoy, what’s not to like?  Thank you Texas. Continue reading

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AYCJ California Adventure

My All You Can Jet travels would begin in San Francisco.  Taboo Absinthe in hand, it was nice to visit a familiar city that I had been to many times in the past to kick off the long trek.  I visited a multitude of bars by day hawking my hooch, and then visiting even more by night for “research” purposes.  I would get a lot of “research” done over the course of the month, a lot of research.  Familiar places and new, there had been some really great new openings in San Francisco in the recent past.

One of the ones I was most excited about was Bar Agricole.  Rum is my first love among all spirits and rhum agricole is first in my heart among r(h)um.  Bar Agricole if you can’t tell from the name makes an especial emphasis on rhum agricole, making my heart leap with joy and anticipation. There is a phenomenal patio out front, exactly the most perfect place possible to have a refreshing beverage on a late summer night.  I knew I’d be spending many visits here in the future.

Eater Inside: Bar Agricole

Photo courtesy of Bittermelon a Flickr

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