Well Watered Buff: Blizzcon Drinks Edition

Waterfront spot where the drinks had a brutal chaser

There was a time when sailors were drugged and forced into involuntary shipboard service at the Old Ship Saloon. Photo: Raphael Kluzniok, The Chronicle

Its super easy – a couple of long straws and off you go. Cider Cider has undergone a massive transformation from a tacky British tipple to the fastest growing alcoholic beverage in Australia boasting a 35 per cent rise in sales in the past year. Keystone Group bars manager Jason Williams said cider has particularly filled the gap for those women who never got into beer. The category will keep evolving and expand in terms of its range there are new brands coming out every day, he said. It goes beautiful with food but youll also see people smashing them in cans as well. One of the many brands new to the Australian market is Stassen cider which is created from 100 per cent crushed fruit. The juice is extracted in cider presses and fermented using champagne or wine yeast. The Belgian line comes in sweet apple, delicate pear, juicy red fruits and zesty elderflower and lime with no other additives perfect for those stinking days. Gin Once upon a time it was perceived as a nannas drink – now gin has managed to slowly but surely push vodka off the liquor shelf. Williams said gin fell off the radar when vodka reigned supreme in the 80s and 90s but new products has created a resurgence in the good ole fashioned G & T. People have grown out of vodka to a certain extent, he said. New gin products have modern vibrant fun flavours which are a bit more versatile that work with tonic, soda or a cocktail especially in the warmer months. Pink, fruity and cool, these drinks will keep everyone happy this summer. Source: Supplied Spritzers Chef and restauranteur Stefano Manfredi says you cant go past a truly traditional Italiano spritzer to cool you down on a hot day. Its a beautiful summer drink, he said. Its really refreshing with bitterness from the Aperol or Campari which is important because it takes your thirst away. Ideally use four parts Prosecco, if not any bottle of sparkling wine, two to three parts Aperol or Campari and one part water or ice. Moscato The pink sweetness in a bottle has really taken off with Moscato becoming the fastest growing wine variety in Australia as sales increased 18 per cent in the past year. The drop goes hand in hand with summer matching well with barbecued meats, salads and cheese platters. Banrock Station has just released a Red variety which displays ripe berry flavours with a fun fairy floss twist. Craft beers Nothing can go past an ice cold beer at the end of a long summers day, but stubbies and tinnies are being shafted for the boom in craft beers.

Drinking pandaren

The next day, when the captain discovered he had been sold a stiff, the ship would be out at sea and there would be nothing to be done but toss the body overboard. A losing hand Some shanghaiers were out-and-out sociopaths, like John Devine , the Shanghai Chicken, who was arrested no fewer than 88 times for crimes including fighting, assault and battery, drunkenness and murder. One night, the drunken Chicken tried to carve up a boardinghouse keeper and fellow shanghaier named Billy Maitland with a long knife. Maitland took away the knife, but the Chicken continued the attack. When Maitland struck at him, the Chicken raised his arm to defend himself and the blade cut off the Chicken’s hand. The astonished Chicken shouted, “Give me my fin, you dirty bastard!,” whereupon Maitland kicked the hand into Battery Street. The Chicken ran to a drugstore at Davis and Pacific and asked the clerk to sew it back on. He settled for a hook. A few years later, the Chicken – who had the blood of untold men on his hands – was hanged after fatally shooting a youth in Visitacion Valley. The decline of the age of sail hastened the end of shanghaiing. The 1906 earthquake and fire, which wiped out the boardinghouses and dens along the waterfront, was the coup de grace. Last relic A relic of the city’s shanghaiing days still exists, however: the Old Ship Saloon, at 298 Pacific, at the corner of Battery. It has a wild history. In 1849, a ship called the Arkansas ran aground on Alcatraz and was towed to the Pacific Avenue wharf. Like many beached ships, it was converted into a building – the Old Ship Saloon, which featured a hole cut in the bow “to admit the thirsty.” The saloon was a major shanghaiing haunt, its bar tended by one of the most famous crimps, James Laflin .

Organic energy drinks being marketed to health food stores

Now, it’s just college students anymore. Brands are marketing to health food enthusiasts, who have taken notice. Artist Joseph Cavalieri has never been big on caffeine in any form. That changed when he saw an energy drink at the health food store. “I never drank any traditional energy drinks,” Cavalieri said. “I liked the idea that it was totally organic.” This new trend has consumers like Joseph buzzing. The drinks promise a cleaner burst of energy with organic ingredients and all natural sources of caffeine – minus artificial colors and flavors. “Consumers are savvy today,” said Gary Hemphill of Beverage Marketing Corporation. “They read labels and they know what the ingredients are in the products they ingest.” But are these drinks really healthier? Critics are worried that they are just a product of clever marketing. “Caffeine is caffeine, whether it’s synthesized in a lab or whether it’s synthesized in nature,” said Steven Meredith, a health researcher at Johns Hopkins University. “It’s still going to have the same pharmacological effects when you consume it.” in fact, many versions still pack a potent caffeine punch. Just like regular energy drinks, they are on the FDA’s radar. “There’s really no scientific foundation, that I’m aware of, that suggests that when you consume one of these types of clean energy drinks, you should feel any differently than when you’re consuming a traditional energy drink,” said Joseph plans to watch his caffeine intake. “I’m really sensitive to caffeine, so often I’ll just drink half of the can,” Cavalieri said. If you choose to have a clean energy drink, look for labels that clearly display the total amount of caffeine per serving.


Strain into a highball glass full of ice and berries. Add the bitters, then top up with the ginger ale and lemon-lime soda. Garnish with mint and lemon, and cheer on Perculia’s incredible database work at Wowhead. /salute! Pink Panser – 1.5 oz gin, 1/2 oz grenadine, 1/2 oz heavy cream, 1/4 oz lemon juice, 1.5 tbsp egg white. Sugar the rim of a champagne saucer or wine glass. Shake ingredients well with ice until the drink is cold and frothy, then strain into the sugared glass. Garnish with a cherry. The drink should be the color of Panser’s hair and just as good as she is! WoW Insider Staff If you run into any of us at the convention or at our party on Thursday, don’t be surprised if we’ve got one of these drinks in tow. What do you think gets us through con week?! Alex Ziebart’s Old Fashioned – 2 oz brandy, spoonful of sugar, 3 dashes Agnostura bitters, splash of soda water, slice of orange, 1 maraschino cherry. Add the sugar and bitters to a tumbler and muddle the slice of orange with them. Fill up the glass with ice, pour in the brandy and soda water, garnish with the cherry.


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