The King is dead. Long live the King!

Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge

The spirit of Elvis was certainly alive last Friday at Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge, where a crowd gathered to celebrate what would have been the King’s 75th birthday.  Blue Hawaii and Viva Las Vegas were playing on separate screens, peanut butter & banana sandwiches were the featured snack, and Elvis-themed cocktails were flowing.  Six members of The Antifogmatic League turned out to pay tribute to the King and toast him in grand style…repeatedly.  It was only fitting to start off the evening with one of the six featured Elvis cocktails, so we ordered a round of Blue Hawaiians.  FI’s version of the Blue Hawaiian was creamy and sweet with plenty of coconut and rum.

Blue Hawaiians for the King's 75th

Our intrepid members then sampled a cocktail as showy as the King himself, the Burning Love: a flaming drink made with two kinds of rum, lime, and homemade pomegranate grenadine.  Our fearless explorers then branched out on different paths, some continuing on the Elvis trail, while others sampled libations from FI’s extensive list of Tiki drinks.

Burning Love x 3

Other Elvis cocktails sampled included the “King Creole” which was really a Sazerac.  A rare misstep of the evening, The King Creole suffered from a heavy hand with the absinthe and we politely discussed our expectations for a Sazerac with our bartender, Paddy.  Paddy, I must say, was a perfect gentleman, and a wicked good bartender, and he took the drink back and delivered another that was spot-on.  Another AL member tried the “Girl Happy” which was Forbidden Island’s version of La Floridita Daiquiri.  Petite, but delicious, the Girl Happy was a classic combination of fresh lime juice, rum, and Maraschino Liqueur.  The Burning Love proved to be more than a flash in the pan, and Paddy was more pyromaniac than bartender at points in the evening as he lit fire after fire for the throng.

Paddy, our pyromaniac bartender

Drinks sampled from FI’s extensive menu included The Monkey Pod, an original cocktail featuring rum, lime, coconut and tamarind served with a sprig of fresh mint. Virgin Painkillers were the drink of choice for our AL member with the bun in the oven, and somehow that seemed so àpropos.  The Nui Nui didn’t disappoint either with its kickass combo of allspice, cinnamon, rum, and citrus.  Hail to Don the Beachcomber! (The creator of this drink, one of my favorites.)

Virgin Painkiller, Burning Love, Monkeypod

Nui Nui

Towards the witching hour, our stalwart AL members carried on, venturing off the beaten menu paths.  Dr. John sipped Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old rum, while your fearless leader tried the same on the rocks with falernum (kind of a Corn n’ Biodiesel, instead of a Corn n’ Oil).  Our ever accommodating bartender, Paddy, even whipped up an old-skool Aviation complete with a dash of Crème de Violette for one of our members, who was celebrating his last day at one job, before moving on to the next.

Aviation with Tiki-style garnish

A little after midnight, our crew decided to head for our respective little grass shacks. As we started to leave, a new wave of patrons started to trickle in. Will the Thrill grilled them as he had everyone who ventured in during the evening, “Are you over 21, and do you know who Elvis Presley is?”

“Yes, and of course we know who Elvis Preston is!” they replied indignantly. We took that as our cue to leave. I think Elvis would’ve headed for Graceland too.

Published in: on January 18, 2010 at 11:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Raise Your Glass to the King!

Happy Birthday, Elvis!

Happy Birthday, Elvis!  I will be celebrating what would have been the King’s 75th birthday tonight at Forbidden Island in Alameda, CA.  They will be featuring Elvis-themed cocktails, Elvis movies on their big “indoor drive-in” screen, Elvis music, and the King’s favorite snack: Peanut Butter & Banana sandwiches.  What better way to celebrate Elvis’ 75th than Tiki style?

This will be the first official outing of The Antifogmatic League.  Check back for a full report.

Until then, Hau’oli lā hānau, Elvis!

Published in: on January 8, 2010 at 4:36 pm  Comments (1)  
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The Benz

Zirbenz, Stone Pine Liqueur of the Alps

Today I denuded the Christmas tree, a pretty little thing that cheered our hearts and scented our home for the holiday season.  I thought it fitting that I used the last drop of Zirbenz, Stone Pine Liqueur of the Alps, as I completed this bittersweet task.  In a roundabout way, Zirbenz is responsible for The Antifogmatic League.  I was one of the lucky few to get a golden ticket to the first sneak peek opening of Smuggler’s Cove on Dec. 4, 2009.  One of the drinks I sampled that night was the Calibogus, a “blend of Zirbenz Stone Pine liqueur, spruce tincture, molasses, seltzer and Smuggler’s Cove Private Reserve rum with a dash of lime”.  I was curious about the name, Calibogus, and while I was googling it, I stumbled upon the term antifogmatic, which of course, I fell in love with.  Anyway, I was intrigued enough with the Calibogus that when I chanced upon a bottle of Zirbenz at Blackwell’s I snatched it up.  I’ve been experimenting with it for the last few weeks and liking most of the results.  My favorite of the Zirbenz cocktails was created by accident this past week during our Tahoe vacation.  I was in the middle of mixing up some Montreal Gin Sours from Embury’s The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks when I ran out of gin.  I substituted Zirbenz for half the gin and the result was enthusiastically received by all.  And so, dear reader, I give you the Zirbenz Gin Sour, otherwise known as …

The Benz

The Benz

  • 1 part Simple Syrup
  • 2 parts Lemon Juice
  • 4 parts Gin
  • 4 parts Zirbenz
  • 1 Egg White to each 2 drinks

Embury uses proportions rather than measurements, so you can adjust accordingly.  If you let 1 part equal an ounce and use 2 egg whites this will make 4 cocktails.  Add the egg white, simple syrup, and lemon juice first and shake with ice to get the egg frothing.  Then add the gin and shake again. Finally add the Zirbenz and shake one last time. Strain into chilled glasses.

Don’t let the “pretty in pink” color fool you.  This is a nice, fairly dry cocktail.  Yes, my pictures stink, but if you click on this pic you can see the color better.

The Antifogmatic League

Antifogmatic: a nineteenth century term for an alcoholic drink.  Source: Vintage Vocabulary.

Straus Family Creamery Egg Nog & Bourbon

After enjoying good friends and good cocktails at our Christmas party this weekend I was inspired to start a little something I’m calling The Antifogmatic League. What is it? Well, basically an excuse for some like-minded friends to get together and go out for a finely crafted cocktail!  Sounds much more official if we have a society, huh? “Hey honey, I have a meeting with The Antifogmatic League tonight. Can you get home from work to watch the kid?” Also, ever since I attended Jeff Hollinger & Neyah White’s “House-made Ingredients” cocktail class at Absinthe during San Francisco Cocktail Week, I’ve been hooked on learning more about this fascinating and delicious subject.  Why the blog? Well, instead of boring people on Facebook with pictures of fancy cocktails I can bore people here, and at least they’ll know what they’re getting into.  So here you have it folks, The Antifogmatic League: Classic Cocktail & Tiki Drink Appreciation Society!  Merry Christmas!