Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Vodka Tasting - Part Tres

Yes, my friends and I drank a lot again, but we did it for YOU. We're tasting more vodka so that you can select the perfect base for your next cocktail. This round included three females and one male. Again, we're tasting the classic plain vodkas straight up, with soda and in a cocktail. However different from other rounds, we didn't compare the "cheapies" to the "pricies." Instead, we just went vodka by vodka in no particular order.

The lineup: Skyy, Stoli, Grey Goose, Ketel One, Level and Effen.

Crappiest vodka of the evening: Level
The vodka designated by manufacturer Absolut as "beyond smooth" is more like "beyond crap" to us. This was the lowest scoring vodka in all categories by all tasters. "Bad and wrong" and "My mouth waters to get rid of it" were just a few comments about how ass-tastic this vodka tastes. At the evening's conclusion, we were wondering how to use the leftover Level. Most likely it will be pushed onto less discriminating friends at an upcoming fiesta.

Curiously delectable vodka of the evening: Ketel One
Ketel One was the big winner of the "flavored" tasting (see Vodka Tasting - Part Uno), and it scores high yet again. All tasters were impressed in all categories by the Ketel, noting it's "the cleanest one we've had thus far." We were especially surprised that Ketel One was drinkable straight up, a category several tasters typically don't enjoy exploring.

Cheapskate vodka winner of the evening: Skyy
While tasters don't think it's as tasty as the fine Finlandia, as a "we're drinkin' cheap" vodka, Skyy did well this round. Tasters did not have deep positive or negative feelings towards Skyy. It performed best in the "with soda" category.

Other thoughts to note: The plain Stoli was only decently rated in the mixed cocktail category. Tasters exclaimed "Smells like college!" and "Fumes!" in response to the Stoli straight up and with soda. Surprisingly, Grey Goose did not perform as highly as its price and reputation. On average, it finished below Effen, Skyy and Ketel One. One experienced vodka taster expressed a "Yech!" when drinking the Goose.

Don't worry! This isn't the last installation of vodka tasting. If you can believe it, we still have popular brands Chopin, Citradelle and Hanger One to sample, along with others.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Passing of Bam Bam Bigelow

I just learned that Bam Bam Bigelow passed away. Heck of a wrestler. I remember being impressed by him when I first saw him as a wrestler for WWF and years later was glad to catch him working for ECW.

I did a quick You Tube search for one of his fights, and decided I'd link to this one because it has him wrestling Nikolai Volkoff. Very clear who is the heel here. Nobody likes a Soviet-era Russian. Rocky IV taught us that. Unless, of course, that Russian is Yakov Smirnoff. We like him, because he helps keep the Branson, MO economy vibrant with his wacky stage show.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Creamy Goodness

American Idol, in typical fashion, is whoring its brand once again. This time it's ice cream. Actually, the "Take the Cake" flavor sounds damn good. However, I really think some better flavors would have been "Silky Simon Sundae" or "Peppermint Poppin' Paula" or even better "Razzy Ripple Randy."

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Big Big Brother problem

I would have skipped right past this new item if I hadn't experienced first hand last year Brits' love of their version of the Big Brother reality show. They eat it up. More than we obsess over American Idol. They not only run the show multiple times a week -- they have recap and chat shows devoted entirely to the show!

Anywho, jolly old England is now enjoying a celebrity version of the show (among the D-list stars we Yanks would recognize are Jermaine Jackson and Dirk Benedict, of A-Team fame). Unfortunately, the show has been tainted by bad relations between some of the contestants and their Bollywood star housemate. Enough to cause something of an international incident.

Let's hope we never get this worked up over Beauty and the Geek.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Further proof that Germans have a weird sense of humor

It isn't news that our friends in Germany love the stylings of Mr. David Hasslehoff. But yesterday I learned that they also have a strange appreciation of British humor. The LA Times printed an article recently about the German tradition of watching a short British comedy sketch which, oddly enough, has never been aired on British TV. I'll admit that it is pretty funny. But why do the Germans love it so? Yet another of life's mysteries, perhaps.

I guess Germans also love Legos. Though everyone loves Legos, so that isn't really surprising.

MLK remembered...sort of

Nobody ever confused us for a country of history scholars. WashPost reports today that a disturbing number of US college kids think Martin Luther King, Jr. was an abolitionist. Well, I'm sure he would have been anti-slavery if that had been the pressing issue of his time. So I guess these idiots aren't totally wrong.

And for more fun with distorted history, look no further than our fearless leader (OK, so it's a parody).

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Fried Crowns

The fast food industry never ceases to amaze me. First, there was the Taco Bell double-decker taco, the greatest combination of beans, tortilla, and taco ever created. Now, there are the crown-shaped "chicken" nuggets. The tights-wearing King at your local Burger King is now frying up these shapely breaded goodies for everyone, not just kids, via the value menu. I think we all know what you'll be doing with your next $1...especially since it's about the closest thing we'll all get to royalty.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Vodka Tasting - Part Deux

There's no better way to start 2007 than with our latest vodka tasting update! Oh sure, you may be hung over now, but by the weekend a quality cocktail will be required. In case you've been on another planet and missed vodka tasting numero uno, my friends and I have devoted ourselves to finding the perfect vodka for every cocktailing occasion (and to save you from plastic-bottle Gordon's vodka when you're at a loss for what vodka to request).

Anywhoodle (as "Goddess" would say), the second round of vodka tasting focused on the utilitarian plain/unflavored vodka. Our method for tasting this round was to pin "cheapie" vodkas (cheap, but not arriving in a plastic bottle) against each other, and then move to three "pricies" head-to-head. As in the previous round, we tasted each vodka straight up, then with seltzer, and finally mixed in a cocktail. This tasting included two females and one male.

Cheapies Lineup: Smirnoff vs. Finlandia
Results: The Smirnoff was reported by all tasters to have an odd sweetness and medicinal taste, thus giving it the lower overall score. By comparison, Finlandia had a clean, nondescript, and smooth flavor that the group found to be pleasant straight up, with seltzer and in a cocktail.

Pricies Lineup: Belvedere vs. Ciroc vs. Blue Ice
Results: Ciroc easily leads the pack with its high scores in all categories. This French grape-based vodka was a crowd-pleaser, with one mentioning its hint of citrus flavor. We were most dispointed with Belvedere, with one taster succinctly exclaiming that it's "nasty, nasty shit." I think we all agreed after noting the vodka's medicinal quality and general ass-tastic-ness. Blue Ice performed best in a mixed cocktail, but generally the group felt so-so toward this American vodka.

Overall thoughts: Your everday, go-to vodka should be Finlandia. Lacking an overpowering flavor, it lends well to tasty mixed drinks without breaking the bank. For your next vodka and soda, all tasters gave Ciroc with soda the highest scores. Ciroc has a pleasant flavor that comes through nicely with just soda. Finally, we were deeply disturbed by the disgusting flavor of Belvedere and urge the world at large to avoid it at all times.