Friday Happy Hour, Episode 1


Welcome to Molotov Cocktail’s first edition of our Friday Happy Hour series. Here you’ll be able to catch up on booze-related news, get some recipes, pick up some info on events, and generally get some situational awareness on things outside the national security community so you can unwind for the weekend. So here’s to our readers, and enjoy!

Start with the Classics: We know our readers are all well-traveled, bright folks, so teaching you how to mix a Martini or Manhattan when you’ve probably shared one with a head of state seemed redundant. That said, there are a number of lesser-known classics out there that are just as good, and worthy of your (and any erstwhile prime minister’s) attention. Whether it’s the Pegu Club or one of the other cocktails on this list, Serious Eats shows you the way with these often overlooked classics.

Maybe Mixing’s not your Thing: Plenty of us like to drink a nice cocktail, but when you’re throwing a party, it’s no fun to be stuck behind the bar making drinks for your guests. Thankfully, someone’s curated a list of pre-bottled cocktails that are ideal for freeing yourself up at your next fete. Now we’ll be honest, we’re normally against bottled cocktails, but the quality of ingredients and the proof (50% ABV on one of them) in these tipples let’s us put aside our reservations and endorse the practice heartily.

Scotch Returns to its Roots: For those of our readers savvy about whisky, the debate about which of the prominent regions produces the superior Scotch (Highland or Speyside) is nothing new. However, Highland advocates counted a big coup this week with the announcement that distilling would finally return to the “spiritual home of Scotch whisky,” Fife. Across the Firth of Forth lies the county of Fife, whose Lindores Abbey served as the first recorded distillation site for Scotch whisky in 1494. The abbey was destroyed in 1559, but a team of investors plans to turn the site into a brand new, state-of-the-art distillery and serve over 30,000 guests annually. No word on whether or not this will finally get Speyside fans to shut up about how superior their stuff is, but we suspect it won’t.

Spanish Wine Goes Colonial: When we think of Spanish wine, our thoughts immediately go to Rioja and the region’s rich Tempranillo. You can understand our surprise then to learn about the Canary Islands and the fact that those little plots of land in the eastern Atlantic are Spain’s next big wine region. Historically, the Canaries were a fortified wine hotbed, but now they’re much more adept at producing summer sippers and wine for your next barbecue. We know what we’ll be drinking come June 20th.

Weekend Projects: Now that the weather is turned, some projects for the weekend to keep you busy inside or out.

  • Cocktail: Give one of our favorite cocktails, the Bijou, a try. Simple to make, and it relies on one of our favorite ingredients, Green Chartreuse.
  • Infusions: Infusions are simple to make and perfect gifts for a last minute procrastinator. In this piece, we talk about how to make your own liqueurs and infused spirits, and in this one, we tell you how to make homemade Zubrowka, or bison grass vodka.
  • Brewing: Brewing is certainly the most ambitious project we’ve got on this list, but also one of the most rewarding when you’ve done it well. If you’re looking to brew beer, here’s a soup-to-nuts recipe we used to brew a Russian Imperial Stout last summer. If cider’s more your style, can’t go wrong with this recipe.

Drink, or Rather Mark your Calendar: In case you weren’t aware, today is World Whisky Day. While this piece from Britain’s Telegraph is less of a “read” and more of a “view,” the rare whiskies contained therein are truly a sight to behold. See if you can find a bottle of any of the whiskies on this list to enjoy this weekend, we’ll be looking along with you.


Alex Hecht is the editor of the Molotov Cocktail channel at War on the Rocks.

Image: CC, Pixabay