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Boozie Friday: Drinking Rituals, A Guide To A Successful Night Out

6780129892_53c5c95ec8_bAccording to folklore, Vikings used to aggressively collide their steins of mead together, exchanging a bit of each persons beverage. This was done while making eye contact as a show of trust that no poison had been administered to either party.

There are lots of different associations that go along with drinking. The drink that you order may be a sign of your social status, group affiliation or even national identity (or the association of it). These are not necessarily rules but they have, historically, been influential to social trends revolving around drinking alcohol. The act of offering to buy a drink for someone, for instance, can be perceived in a variety of ways. Is it a simple act of kindness? A romantic ploy? Or, is it mercy for a person with less wealth than yourself? Perspective and personal experience will ultimately lead you to accept the drink or not.

Perhaps the most insightful individual to confront with these mysteries would be your bartender. The age old profession goes back approximately two thousand years and has always been a key role in many, if not most, communities around the world. A therapist, mixologist, entertainer, and all around go-to for what ails you, bartenders see us at our best and worst. Although the fast-paced modern lifestyle has taken this profession away in some larger restaurant and bar chains, we can rest assured that the folks behind most bars got our backs. That said, it’s important to remember that they aren’t selflessly working for free. Tip them. The better you treat them, the better they will usually treat you. Your cocktails might get a little stronger and come with more haste when your bartender is happy with you.

Here are some tips and etiquette for the modern bar goer.  The advice shared here is meant for entertainment and is by no means a complete guide. It’s different for everyone. Cheers!
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Comedy Outliers: Customer Service Tips!

COholiday2Today we feature another guest post from Comedy Outliers. They offer great advice to comedians, or performers in general, on how to survive and thrive in today’s competitive artistic climate.

The Comedy Outliers have their annual holiday show coming up this Saturday, December 21st at Lilly O’Brien‘s in New York City. Their shows are free but we highly recommend you pick up tickets so you don’t show up to a full house.

If you’re in New York or headed that way, be sure to check out their show. It’s rare to see comedy of this calibre without a cover charge or drink minimum. That said, if you want them to continue bringing these great shows to the Big Apple, we highly encourage you to support their efforts by hitting the “Donate” button on their website.

This month, their column was written by Tatiana Albandos who handles their customer service and outreach during their shows. Without further ado, we present Comedy Outliers: 

We are often asked, “How do you always have a full audience?” The secret to a loyal audience is actually no secret at all! Along with an awesome line-up for each show, great service helps us bring them back every-time! Here are three things you should always keep in mind when providing the best customer experience possible:
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Comedy >

Boozie Friday: Signature Cocktails and Other Fun Ideas

6540592675_bee065c187_bTis’ the season to be merry, jolly and, for some of us, buzzed. Winter is a perfect time to try your hand at your very own signature cocktail. Since we usually relax our calorie counting when it’s cold outside,  sweeter liqueurs, cream and half and half are more-than-welcome ingredients for a winter cocktail. This also means you can work with the spices and flavors of the season. This, my friends, is the perfect opportunity for mixologists of any skill level to try their hand at signature cocktails. Fun garnishes, interesting flavor combos, and lots of practice can easily turn a dull and dreary winter evening into a lively and festive soiree.

So, before you can start mixing, you will need a few things to get started. First, stock the bar with a few key liqueurs and pieces of hardware. A well stocked bar should contain at least one bottle each of gin, vodka, whisky, bourbon, tequila, scotch, rum (both light and dark and/or spiced) and brandy. I may have left out something here but you get the idea. Just make sure it’s quality booze. If you drink cheap stuff you might not feel like doing much of anything the next day. If you don’t want to lay down a bunch of cash on all these different flavors pick your three favorite, that’s a good start.

The next thing to add to your collection are liqueurs. Now there are lots and lots of these so you might break the bank trying to buy all of them. Add to your collection a little at a time. A bottle of Frangelico here, a bottle of Grand Marnier there will quickly turn into a respectable collection. Think seasonally when selecting your liqueurs. In the winter time, what flavors are most inspiring? Orange, hazel nut, chocolate, raspberry, maybe even pear? There is a liqueur out there for just about anything you are going for so play around. If you aren’t sure and don’t want to dedicate to a large bottle try buying the airline bottles until you find what you are looking for. These smaller bottles allow you to have lots of different things on hand to mix with.

Now that you have the hard stuff figured out, you can add the finishing touches. Fresh fruit and other garnishes are going to make your cocktail pop. Get creative and don’t be afraid to taste things as you go as this tends to “inspire” people. Play around with variations on classic cocktails by subbing a portion of the liqueur or adding spices. Cranberry, orange, and cinnamon? Yes these things taste good together.

Now that you are well on your way and hopefully have some great ideas, go out and get your drink on. Included below is one of my favorite concoctions. Please drink safely!
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Food & Drink >

The 3rd Annual Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival and Other Great End-Of-Summer Music Festivals!

I hate to say it but summer is almost over. We’ve already started to feel the autumn chill in the air here at Brown Paper Ticket’s home base of Seattle, Washington. The bummer is that the end of summer also means the end of summer music festivals. We’ve ticketed some great ones this summer and there are still a few left to go before fall hits.

One that looks especially great comes from the folks over at Porterhouse Productions in Traverse City, Michigan. They’re the folks behind popular events like Paella in the Park and the Up North Fourth Festival and they’ve once again secured a solid lineup of great music and delicious local libations for the 3rd Annual Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival happening this weekend. Musical headliners include folk rocker Martin Sexton and the Grammy-nominated Rebirth Brass Band from New Orleans. There will be over fifty breweries pouring tasty malt beverages and a cider, mead and wine court. The festival will also feature a silent disco tent where festival-goers dance to music spun by popular local DJs broadcast via a FM-transmitter to wireless headphones. The silent disco tent allows up to 200 dancers to shake their things in what appears to be total silence to the outside observer. The festival is billed as a “celebration of craft beer, local harvest and live music” and it sounds like the perfect way to say goodbye to summer. Tickets are flying out the door so pick yours up right over here before their all gone.
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