Scott Robbin

A web developer from Chicago, Illinois

The Summer of Gin

30 July 2012

For the past few years, I've been getting to know liquors by setting aside an entire season to explore them. First there was the winter of whiskey, followed by the summer of tequila. This year, it's been gin. And, while I've been enjoying the standard gin and tonic, I've taken the opportunity to have some fun making cocktails.

A few years ago, Toby from the Violet Hour was incredibly generous and shared some recipes of theirs on the LTHForum (Note: if you've never been to the Violet Hour, you should go. Immediately).

I'm reprinting a couple of gin-based ones here for easy reference. I haven't followed them to a T (e.g. I use regular ice, no rose water, and put them in whatever glass is clean) , but I've come close, and they've been delicious. Hope you enjoy them, too.

Juliet & Romeo

2 oz Beefeater
.75 oz Fresh Lime Juice
.75 oz Simple Syrup
3 drops Rose Water
3 drops Angostura
3 slices Cucumber
3 sprigs Mint
Tiny pinch of salt

Glass: Coupe
Garnish: Mint leaf and 1 drop rose water/3 drops of Angostura Bitters. Ice: None

Muddle cucumber, mint and pinch of salt. Add rest of ingredients. Let sit for 30 seconds (time allowing). Shake. Strain. Garnish with 1 floating mint leaf and 1 drop rose water on top of leaf, and 3 more drops of angostura on the surface of the drink.

You can buy rose water at Sultans Market on North Ave. I would get an eye dropper at the container store as well as a couple of extra drops will make this drink way to much like the jewerly box of a very old southern belle.

The pinch of salt is really, really small. It should be muddled with the cuke to bring out it's freshness.

Briar Patch

1.5 oz Plymouth Gin
3⁄4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1⁄2 oz Simple Syrup
1⁄4 oz Home made Blackberry Cordial

Glass: Collins
Garnish: Blackberry and Knotted Pigtail Lemon Twist Ice: Crushed

Build in shaker. Shake hard 3 times with Kold Draft Ice. Strain into Collins Glass filled with Crushed Ice. The crushed ice will recede. Top with more crushed ice then lace with blackberry cordial.

To make the Cordial take one pint of blackberries and muddle in a non reactive container. Donate one cup of room temp (70*ish) simple syrup, hit with three (3) heavy dashes of Angostura Bitters. Let sit for about an hour then force strain through a fine chinois.

Photo by rocketlass

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Responses to an Informal Survey on Tequila

10 June 2010

Last year, I sent out a request for Scotch whisky recommendations, and the results were fantastic. I spent a large part of the Fall and Winter sampling your responses.

Now that it's getting warmer out, I wanted to switch to a Summer drink. So, I asked for your favorite tequilas. Here are the answers that were submitted. Hope you enjoy them as much as I'm sure I will.

Distillery Type
* Many thanks to Nick for pointing out an excellent tequila primer written by bbum.
Oro Azul Reposado
Herradura Añejo
Cazadores -
El Tesoro Blanco
Partida Reposado
Los Abuelos Blanco
Milagro Silver
Centenario -

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Concept: iPad Split Keyboard

27 January 2010

Concept: iPad Split Keyboard

Aesthetics aside...

It seems like the iPad's keyboard, in landscape mode, leaves you no choice but to hold the device in one hand and hunt-n-peck with the other. What if the keyboard was split into two, and placed in the lower-right and left corners? Then, you could hold it with both hands, and type a la the iPhone.

It'd be a sacrifice to the key size, for sure, but it might be more comfortable and functional.

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Responses to an Informal Survey on Scotch Whisky

29 September 2009

I was looking to buy a new bottle of Scotch whisky and posed the question, "What's your favorite?" Here are the answers that everyone submitted. Hope you find a new, enjoyable drink. And thanks for your help.

Distillery Region Type Age (yr.)
* Honorable mention for 12-year, Redbreast Irish whiskey, which does not get to stand with its Scottish brethren, though is recommended as a good alternative.
Laphroaig Islay Single malt  
Oban Highland Single malt  
The Macallan Speyside Single malt 12/15
The Glenrothes Speyside Single malt 12
Compass Box Highland Blended malt/grain  
Benromach Speyside Single malt  
Bruichladdich Islay Single malt 15
Rosebank Lowland Single malt 15
Bowmore Islay Single malt  
Glenkinichie Lowland Single malt  
The Balvenie Speyside Single malt  
Lagavulin Islay Single malt 16
Glengoyne Highland Single malt  
The Glenlivet Speyside Single malt 18
The Dalmore Highland Single malt 12
Isle of Jura Highland Single malt  
Scapa Highland Single malt 12/14


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Sparks Cake

09 October 2008

Sparks Cake: The Ingredients

It's no secret to those that are close to me: when it's drinkin' time, our drink of choice is often Sparks. For those not it the know, Sparks is a malt liquor energy drink favored by those who are not sophisticated enough to drink Red Bull and vodka, but need that extra little kick to keep them up past the 10pm bedtime from a night of consuming beer.

Last weekend, when it came time to find an appropriate way of ringing in Shawn's birthday, I could think of no finer way to celebrate this joyous event than by combining two of his greatest loves: cake and malt liquor.

Months prior, I had been reading about another sweet oddity: The Diet Coke Cake. Essentially, it involves purchasing an off-the-shelf box of cake mix and supplanting eggs/oil with a can of Diet Coke. Surely, I thought, if you're able to make a delicious cake by using a can of soda, then a dessert of equal measure can be created with a can of Sparks. Turns can. I submit to you, dear reader(s), the recipe for Sparks Cake:

  • One 24oz Can of Sparks
  • 2 Boxes of Cake Mix (I used Duncan Hines White Cake Mix, but any ol' mix will do)
  • 2 Packages of White Frosting
  • Food Dye
  • Decorative Goo

It's really no secret: just combine them and cook as the package indicates. In this case, I chose to decorate the cake to resemble a can of Sparks. Note: Expletive and other decor courtesy of Jeff Skinner.

Sparks Cake

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Stevie Wonder Drum Solo

06 April 2007

When Stevie Wonder comes to mind, most envision the virtuoso hammering away behind his organ, spewing forth a cacophony of passionate vocal phrases and funky keyboard riffs. Many too will reminisce on his mastery of the harmonica, however it's often forgot just how masterful Stevie is as a multi-instrumentalist, most notably his drumming. Have a look/listen. Thanks, Dan.

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Top 10 Weird Al Videos

27 September 2006

Scott Robbin's Top 10 Weird Al Video Post

Before I go ahead and offend the whole Weird-Al-Lovin' World (Close Personal Fans of Al, I'm looking in your direction), let me get an electronic word in edgewise and say that the following is a personal list of my favorite Weird Al videos in my personal order. I know that there are those of you out there that will spend countless hours debating the subtle nuances of why "White and Nerdy" eeks out "Fat", but let me say this...Weird Al fans of new and old, can't we all just get along?

For goodness sakes, hold hands, sing some parodied version of Kumbaya, and enjoy....

#10: Gump
Parodies: The Presidents of the United States of America - Lump

#9: The Saga Begins
Parodies: Don McLean - American Pie

#8: Smells Like Nirvana
Parodies: Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit

#7: Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies
Parodies: Dire Straits - Money For Nothing

#6: I Lost On Jeopardy
Parodies: Greg Kihn - Jeopardy

#5: Fat
Parodies: Michael Jackson - Bad

#4: Like A Surgeon
Parodies: Madonna - Like A Virgin

#3: Amish Paradise
Parodies: Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise
(which in itself is a parody of Stevie Wonder's Pastime least I think so.)

#2: White and Nerdy
Parodies: Chamillionaire - Ridin'

#1: Eat It
Parodies: Michael Jackson - Beat It

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