Drink me? Said Mr.Basil

Drink me?

Straight out of Alice in Wonderland, I thought I’d give my work colleages a try of Mr.Basil’s Pomegranate basil seed drink. Which to be honest I thought was super weird and tasted like how I imagine drinking bubble tea is but weirder.

Of course social commentary was added before long…

Drink me?

Well done that person…

Cocktails from a bag isn’t acceptable at that price

Which cosmo came out of a packet?
Guess which one is a fresh cosmo and premixed?

A few friends and followers pointed me towards tricks of the restaurant trade on Channel4. (s1ep4)

So I watched it and saw the part which people were referring to.

They show two cocktails being made, one fresh and the other using premixed stuff. They then blind taste it and determine which one is the premix and which one was fresh.

As you can imagine, it was clear the difference but more interestingly for me, was the price point. The person from Funkin, even suggests a price point of 4-5 pounds not the average price of about 7-9 pounds (currently for cocktails).

I get it… premix cocktails speeds things up and  allows for some consistency. Except I’m not buying this at all.

…Recent interest in all things small-batch and locally sourced has led mixologists to reconsider premixed cocktails, with even the high priests of The New York Times food section lavishing praise on the nascent trend. Don’t laugh. After all, if boxed wine can be made cool, then why not a manhattan in a bottle?

Having been a barman at a  swanky bar in Leicester Square (ok only for 3 weeks before I walked) they can really help speed up the service at a busy bar; but on the other side of the bar, don’t you dare charge me 8 pounds for the privilege. This feels like a  kick in the teeth to me, and I would always complain if this happens. Fresh is what you are paying for, not to save the bar some money and time… This is pretty much what I did at the Novotel Hotel in Greenwich, London in 2012.

Decent cocktails or nothing please

Sure Mark Boas, Michelle Thorne and Cyberdees will confirm this story to be ever-so true.

The drinking society of the geeks

Moët Dom (DOM?) Perignon

Who could forget the night during the end of the @media social in 2006. To cover the bar minimum we had to drink £1300 of champagne in 90mins! That night was messy and will go down in geek history forever

 

In the blog “how to be a right old plonker”. I put the hammer down on the notion that being a man, should be defined by the drinking your doing.

Be a regular at more than one bar and A glass of wine or two with lunch will not ruin your day

So I wrote…

Please! Come on, being a man shouldn’t centre around drinking

Then @jmurphyuk wrote in reply to me…

“Please! Come on, being a man shouldn’t centre around drinking” unfortunately for MOST in this country… It does

Slightly chilling thoughts from Jmurphyuk i think. You only have to watch a episode of 24hours in A&E to get a glimpse of the problem at large. But most of those people are drinking for escapism, its sometimes what they look forward to (not my words some once said that on 24hours in A&E)

So whats the modern geek’s excuse for the drinking? This is something which hasn’t been missed by others. Does Our Industry Have a Drinking Problem? by Rachel Andrew on alistapart really brings home the problem in our industry and geek culture.

At a conference recently, I had to leave for part of the afternoon to take care of some technical support for our product. When I returned to the venue, at about half-past five in the afternoon, everyone was holding plastic glasses of whiskey and cups of wine or beer.

At an event where I spoke earlier this year, some wondered whether one of the other speakers would be able to make their talk after having drunk so much the night before.

Almost every conference’s second day opens with attendees being asked how their hangovers are. Second day early-slot speakers joke that no one will turn up anyway, or they’ll all just be staring into their coffee. It has become normal, in fact expected, that drinking and staying out late is what we do while at conferences.

And Rachel is right… it is slightly worrying how this is the norm of the conferences.

I originally thought it was just the UK and maybe parts of western Europe but that certainly seems untrue.

The alcohol-fueled nature of our industry events therefore raises an issue. As a speaker, I want to be available to people who have bought tickets and attended the event I’m speaking at, and if the parties are the place to do so, then I need to be at the parties. For me this doesn’t raise any moral or personal quandary, although I’d sometimes rather be in bed so I can go for an early run before day two begins. Some speakers or participants, however, may find it hard to attend social events where alcohol is the main theme. Of course it’s possible to attend these events and not drink, but being the sober person at a party gets tiresome.

Yes its a dilemma because you do want to socialize and also be fresh for your talk on the next day. There have been a couple of times when not so much the drink has caused me to wake up slightly unprepared, but rather being up chatting over late drinks in the hotel bar. The Mal in Newcastle, Encore in Gateshead, Holiday Inn and in Greenwich, London are included in my list of late night minimum sleep. Great times but boy oh boy could I have done with some sleep instead of debating the ins and outs of Perceptive Media.

Drinking is part of our culture/society like it or not. But I got to say the last paragraph does sum it up.

Meeting up in pubs and attending conference parties will always be part of our industry, and an enjoyable part for many of us at one time or another. If the conference you attend is your only one that year, then having the chance to let your hair down with peers you rarely meet in person is not a bad thing at all. However, I’d like for drinking not to be what defines these events and those of us who attend them. We become more inclusive the less we look like only a certain type of person is part of “us.”
Well said Rachel

Daily life without coffee

African Coffee

I was flicking through my feedly (which I switched to when Google reader stopped) and noticed a blog from Lifehacker… Why I Went Without Coffee for a Month (and May Give It Up for Good)

Provocative title, better have a look I thought.

For my first month of The Year of Living Without, I gave up coffee. That was something I thought would be very difficult, given my love for coffee and miserable past attempts. But I loved it. That was a huge surprise to me. I had absolutely no difficulty in giving up coffee, not the first day, not the first week, not at all.

They key was having a great replacement habit that I really enjoyed. Instead of focusing on sacrificing the coffee, I focused on drinking a lovely cup of tea each morning. I was grateful to be able to drink such good tea, and so the coffee wasn’t even a concern. So my first month of Living Without wasn’t that difficult, though I did learn a few things.

Absolutely! My Tea habit is slightly out of control but its cool. I learned a lot too

The smell of coffee is amazing, it certainly gets me excited (not as excited as I use to of course). Although I didn’t give up as such (maybe for good reason), I have strict rules.

  1. No coffee at home
  2. No coffee at work

I gave up my espresso machines after my brush with death. Donated one to MadLab and gave all my coffee to my work friends.

Its worth remembering how much in-grated caffeine is in our culture. And I tried to make a espresso tea once.

Every decision is made with Caffeine

Caffeine under a microscope

Simon said something to me as I left his flat the other day…

Almost every major decision in history is made under the influence of Caffeine

Its a interesting drug caffeine. Some can’t live without it and some have different levels of allergic reaction to it, as I found out the other day. No I’m not allergic but since my brush with death I’ve keeping an eye on my caffeine intake. Mainly no Coffee at home or work.

I remember seeing caffeine under a high powered microscope ages ago when looking at different drugs under a microscope. But recently I saw the above picture from DIYcouture. Its a pretty amazing drug and you can see the reaction in the shape of the drug.

 

Startup your night in the best possible way

Startup bar AB Remix

Were at it again… The startup bar is back in full force.

This time we have 4 djs, starting up at 9pm and finishing at 2am. This Friday (22nd June) and every Friday (except maybe next week, 29th July TBC).

If your in Manchester and out on Friday night, you can’t do much better than experience the House, Electro and Trance played by some great up-shots in the Manchester scene… Feel free to RSVP here.

Hope to see you all there…