Real Drinks Have…Gummy Bears?

So I stumbled across an article the other day about the World Bartender Championships–at least, I thought it was–when a couple of things jumped out at me.

First, the article I first found featured a bartender who’s signature drink is a “White Gummy Bear Martini”.  That sounds wrong on a couple of levels–a “martini” that features peach schnapps, lime juice and Sprite (along with raspberry vodka), or a drink in general that tastes like a white gummy bear.

Something else bothered me about the article, though–what are the odds that a bartender from TGIFridays could make something as prestigious as the World Bartender Championships?

And how could something as prestigious as the World Bartender Championships base 50% of the score on “flair-tending”?

So I did some deeper digging–turns out, this wasn’t the World Bartender Championships, but a regional qualifying round for the real World Championships, which are held in the spring.

Oh, and it’s technically called the TGIFriday’s World Bartender Championship–so the final “Champion” is really the best bartender for a chain restaurant, the best of a group that makes up what, probably less than 1% of all bartenders nationwide?  Yeah, congratulations.

I’m a bit shocked that this gets coverage from places like the NBC affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth–you’d think they could find some kitten stuck in a tree or something that is more newsworthy and less corporate sponsored than the World Bartender Championships (unless that cat in a tree was brought to you by Little Giant Ladders).

If you ask me, something named the World Bartender Championship should be a real event, with bartenders from any bar eligible, and broadcast on ESPN6–it’s got to be as much sport as poker.

As for who would get my vote?  It’d be the guy (or gal…hell, more likely the gal) that can get me my drink the quickest, and without spilling a drop.  I’d add strongest, but I usually drink my whiskey on the rocks, which is tough to screw up (although I’ve seen it happen…very possibly at TGIFriday’s).

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Wisconsin Ready to Raise Beer Tax to Fight Alcoholism

Some lawmakers in Wisconsin are ready to increase the tax on beer in the state, from just over $0.02 per bottle and $2 per 31-gallon barrel, in an effort to raise funds to pay for more alcohol treatment programs and law enforcement efforts to fight drunken driving.

We don’t really have anything to add to this–we just thought it was kind of funny.

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Chicken Wings, the New Chicken Breast

As the economy continues to struggle, strange things are happening in markets that usually don’t see a lot of change–like the chicken wing industry.

Chicken wings, for a long time the red-headed step child to the chicken breast, has recently become the most expensive chicken part at wholesale prices–largely due to high demand, as many wing chain restaurants (Buffalo Wild Wings, Hooters,  etc) have seen strong growth despite the down economy–apparently as wings are considered a cheap luxury.

In September, average wholesale price for a pound of wings was $1.48, vs. $1.21 for a pound of boneless chicken breast.  This is compared to $0.94 for wings and $1.15 for breasts as recently as May 2008.

The trend has also led to an increase in the number of restaurants offering “boneless wings,” which are actually the now cheaper breast meat shaped into pieces that vaguely resemble the wing–or, as they were known before wings became popular, chicken nuggets (or McNuggets, if you’re a McDonald’s aficionado).  These boneless wings, which seem to generally be priced at a premium over the authentic wings, are actually making more money for restaurants.

Personally, I’d just stay home–find some good chicken wing recipes on the web, and fry up your own.  They’re cheaper, usually better, and you don’t have to deal with some moron restaurant manager who prefers playing video games to actually doing anything.  And if you’re really nice, maybe your wife will put on those orange shorts…

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Candles For Men?

My brother asked me a question this morning that jogged a memory–he asked if anyone had invented a bacon scented candle, because that would be…pretty much awesome.

It reminded me of an idea I had several years ago, when I was still single, living in an apartment with a couple other guys.  One day at the local retail behemoth, I found myself in the candle isle, because it was right by something else I needed, and I had come to the conclusion that if we ever had any girls over to the apartment, they weren’t probably going to be impressed by the funk of my roommates.

Figuring that a candle could potentially serve the dual purpose of impressing a girl AND covering up that funk, I set about to find an aroma that would be suitable.  After a couple minutes of looking (because who can take more than that), I had a EUREKA moment–although it was not named as such, I found a candle that smelled exactly like stripper perfume.

After telling a friend of my find, we quickly hashed out a few other scents that could make up a potential line of candles for guys–beer, bacon, and new car scent being a few that I remember.  The idea was then promptly forgotten.

Beer & Stripper Candles

Beer & Stripper Candles

Until yesterday, when my brother mentioned the idea of a bacon scented candle.  So I jumped over to Google, did a quick search, and sure enough, found HotWicks Candles, which featured not only a bacon candle (just introduced), but beer, whiskey, football, sawdust, and of course, the stripper scented candles.

Unfortunately, they also have some rather lame scents available–hippie and ‘The Man’ candle in particular seem like strange scents to present to a theoretically manly audience.

So check them out if you have some time, and let us know what you think of their scents–and if you go ahead and order, let us know if the candles smell as good as advertise.

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Federal Package Stimulus – NSF is NSFW

The cost for employee misconduct investigations in at least one federal government agency increased sixfold in the past year–largely the result of government employees using their work issued computers to access pornography.

The inspector general at the National Science Foundation (NSF), which is a taxpayer funded foundation that provides billions of dollars in scientific research grants, was forced to cut back on its primary mission of investigation grant fraud and recovering misspent tax dollars to focus on the porn issue.

Amongst the offenders was one senior executive that spent at least some time looking at porn and chatting online with strippers on at least 331 days.  Assuming that’s over the course of the year, that means he was putting in some significant overtime.  The cost to the taxpayers?  Somewhere between $14,000 and $58,000 (way to narrow that down a bit, guys).

When caught, the official promptly retired–and offered up a humanitarian defense, claiming that he “frequented the porn sites to provide a living to the poor overseas women.”

Of 10 NSF employee misconduct cases closed in 2008, seven of them involved employees accessing porn online–and those numbers don’t include active cases.

One would have to wonder if similar investigations in other government offices would net similar results–although I would guess most politicians are far too busy to spend time looking at porn.

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Guiness Turns 250 Years Old

Back in 1759, Arthur Guiness signed a lease for a brewery in Dublin, Ireland, to start brewing his now famous stout beer.  To celebrate the anniversary, stout-lovers around the world lifted a glass of the foamy black brew to Arthur Thursday at 12:59 PM CT, on what the company has dubbed “Arthur’s Day.”

Guinness parent Diageo PLC celebrated the anniversary with a invitation only party at the brewery at St. James’s Gate, while other parties were held in more than 150 countries around the world.

While Guinness has now been around for 250 years, Diageo still has a while to go on that lease that Arthur signed–with options, the lease will run until approximately the year 10,759 AD, at £45 per year (about $72).  A copy of the lease is on display at the Guinness Storehouse.

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