Untapped Grilling and Other Addictions

Archive for the tag “South”

Ice…..maybe the most important part of your life!!!

Why Lie?

I like to drink. And I prefer cocktails over beer and wine. I know, thats not a good habit but I do make great effort to keep this vice under control. Over the last 10 years there has been a major paradigm shift from wine back to the great ole days of cocktails. No longer is the sommelier revered and worshipped. It’s the Mixologist that is causing all the “stir“.

But there is one huge secret weapon in the perfect cocktail :



As most of you know I grew up in the deep south. I was appalled when I attending a symposium that featured famed mixologist Alba Huerta from Houston Texas and found out that The South had created very few Cocktails over it’s long and thirsty history.


Alba In Action

Well I’ll be. All that Bourbon and Rye that we consumed while being masterfully educated at Ole Miss. Is that truly possible?

Well there is good reason for this perplexing thought. Ice. You see, back in the days of The Civil War, the Yankees were starving us Rebels out of everything…….even ice! No ice, the meat goes bad. No ice, the milk spoils. No Ice, No Cocktails! The only folks that had ice were those lucky folks in New Orleans cause they had a port. And the only folks that could afford the ice (not the Bourbon) were aristocracy(big word for rich folks).

And that’s where this lovely signature Southern concoction came from:


The Mint Julep

2 oz. bonded rye whiskey (Heugel and Huerta use Rittenhouse)
2 barspoons turbinado syrup (2:1, sugar to water)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
10-12 mint leaves

Tools: muddler, barspoon
Glass: Julep cup
Garnish: mint sprigs, powdered sugar, straw


In the base of a Julep cup, muddle the mint leaves with the rye, syrup and bitters. Fill the julep cup three-quarters of the way with crushed ice. Stir until cold. Fill with more crushed ice, forming a mound. Garnish with two pressed mint sprigs, dusted with powdered sugar. Place a straw in the cup right next to the mint to emphasize the aromatics.

Alba Huerta and Bobby Heugel, Julep, Houston

 So the next time you start sipping on that 6:00 PM cocktail, remember just how lucky and blessed you really are to have Ice at your beckoning call. And there is nothing better than having pulled pork and Barbeyaki stuck in your teeth when you are enjoying your libation.

“An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.” -Ernest Hemingway”

Thanks to Alba Huerta and Bobby Huegal for these great pictures and their great drink in’ holes, “Anvil”, “The Pastry War”, and “Julep”

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Disneyland of the South

“Hotty Toddy”

I love Disneyland! And for that matter Disneyworld. It is one of those rare places that no matter how depressed, how poor, how lonely, and how angry with the world you are, if you can get there, all the bad stuff goes away. It can’t be real. It is just too wonderful to be true. But did you have any idea that over 150 years ago Walt Disney dreamed about a “Disneyland of the deep South?” One hour south of Memphis, Mickey and Donald are best friends with a dude named “Colonel Reb” in Oxford, Mississippi and The University of Mississippi, better known as “OLE MISS.

“The Grove” on game day

I grew up in the Mississippi Delta, probably the poorest county in America. Mississippi itself, is one of the poorest, most underprivileged states with the highest rate of  diabetes and heart disease rates in the country. But out of nowhere, in this tiny town in Northwest Mississippi, you will find the wealthy and privileged, the fit and beautiful, and truly, “The Happiest Place On Earth.” Ole Miss has about 20,000 students from all over the country. They come from California to Georgia, and Texas to Minnesota to participate in what has to be the greatest 4 year party, some call an education, in the United States. At Ole Miss they say, “We may not win the football game, but we have never lost a party!”

“The Square”

Now I know this is hard to believe, but the Downtown Square of Oxford is home to some of the top restaurants in the country. And  side-walks are surrounded by fashion forward couture apparel shops. You could be shopping on 5th Avenue or  Paris and you would never know it. Except for the fact that the service and kindness exhibited by shop owners and chefs is overwhelming.

My top pics for cuisine are: 1. City Grocery 2. Ravine 3. Boure 4. Ajax 5. Honey Bee Bakery (best breakfast to me). The nationally renowned John Currance is the purveyor of several of the finer establishments in Oxford and brings a fantastic fare of Southern/French/Indian melange to his dishes. For those of you Yankees visiting, that are dreaming of some good ‘ole Mississippi Catfish, try The Taylor Grocery just outside of town.

City Grocery

Taylor Grocery

Necessary Vernacular While Visiting Ole Miss and Oxford:

  1. “Hotty Toddy” (Greeting to fellow Rebels)
  2. ” You got some Jack” (hand me that brown bag full of bourbon)
  3. “Ain’t that gorgeous” ( female expression while looking at a Torrey Birch Purse)
  4. ” I gotta pee real bad” (male expression when you have to pee real bad)
  5. ” Y’all come back now” (We love your money..come back and spend more)

See Y’all

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