Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Sazerac

Although it's a minor travesty, I had never had a Sazerac until last year. However, it's now one of my favorite drinks to make, and I feel like it's one of the most underrated out there. In honor of Mardi Gras being just around the corner, I thought I would whip one up and raise a toast.

Commonly known as America's oldest cocktail, it was invented in New Orleans around the middle of the 19th century. The ingredient list is pretty simple, with just sugar, Peychaud's bitters, rye whiskey, and absinthe, but the details are in the way that it's put together. I'm not going to attempt to describe the process of how to make it because Chris McMillan from the Library Lounge did such a great job doing it in the video below. Watch the video and make yourself one this weekend.

Speaking of Sazeracs, be sure to check out Ryan Waldron's series on the Krewes of Mardi Gras over on his blog, Seersuckers and Sazeracs.

Blog of Note: Tomboy Style

Do you like looking at pictures of beautiful women doing awesome things like shooting guns, fishing, skiing, driving fast cars, wearing tweed, and generally looking beautiful? Then Tomboy Style is the blog for you.

I don't know much about its author, Lizzie Garrett, but I know that she's got a good eye and runs a great blog. It's also awesome that she uses such large pictures. I'm adding it to my blog roll (on the right side of the screen), in case any still looks at it, so be sure to keep an eye out for it. Below are some highlights.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Review: LL Bean Signature shoes

With my Christmas money I picked up two new pairs of shoes from LL Bean Signature. I got a pair of the Signature Waxed Canvas Maine Hunting Shoe (in the original Marsh Brown color), and a pair of suede Eastport blucher mocs, in the Dark Khaki color. Here are a few thoughts on each pair.

Although there were a number of reviews for these boots when they first came out, I've got to say that really like the Waxed Canvas Maine Hunting Shoe. Not only do they look good, and also provide a different look from the typical Bean Boot, but they also are really light, especially compared to the leather 10" Maine Hunting Shoes that I have (they are the same height). As a result, they'll probably be more comfortable to wear as the weather gets warm.

As for the blucher mocs, I certainly like the appearance. The suede seems nice and I like the color, especially with jeans (though some of the indigo from my jeans has begun to rub off on them). I like the fact that they have the old type of moccasin sole (not the kind used on the regular LL Bean blucher mocs), and they seem like they might have a slightly rounder toe box than the regular kind. However, the thing that I'm not a big fan of is the insole.

The regular Bean blucher mocs come with a removable insole with a leather liner underneath. The Eastport blucher mocs have a leather insole that is not removable. As someone who wears Superfeet removable insoles with my shoes for arch support, I'm unable to use them with these shoes, and find that the insole that comes with the shoe is not quite as comfortable. Also, I've got a feeling that the insoles may get gross pretty quickly if they are worn sockless (though this isn't really a problem for me). It's not a dealbreaker for me, but it is something that I would change if I could.

On a somewhat related note, many people are aware that LL Bean Boots can be resoled for around $40 when the soles get worn down. Something that people may not be aware of is the fact that Bean Boots can be resoled to a different size. So, if you've found a great pair on Ebay but are one size too big or too small, you should be able to send them back to Bean for resoling into the size that you need.

Confession: I wear tiny women's socks

When I started A Trip Down South, I purposefully decided that it would not be a blog in which I shared my deepest thoughts and feelings. There can be a lot of oversharing in the blogosphere (I have a college-era LiveJournal, now buried in the recesses of the internets, to prove that), and I did not want to go in that direction. However, this will be one of those times. I will let you in on a secret, one that only my closest friends know: I wear tiny women's socks.

It all started back with a pair of Banana Republic loafers socks. They were small socks that were, as the name suggests, cut really low to be able to be worn invisibly with loafers. I got two pairs of them a number of years ago and found that they worked really well with my LL Bean rubber mocs, allowing me to finally wear my rubber mocs "sockless" without having disgusting sweaty, smelly feet. The problem with them was that there wasn't really any elastic around the top and they would easily slip down off my heel.

Fast forward a couple of years and while visiting my friend Sean, who works at the Atlanta shoe store, Abbadabba's, I spotted some small socks that looked similar to my loafer socks. They were, however, marketed as women's socks. Seeing as how I wore those loafer socks fairly often, and how I was getting tired of the obvious results of wearing boat shoes sockless in the heat of the South in the summertime, I picked up a couple of pairs.

They are No-Show Socks made by Hue (which most women readers will likely recognize as the maker of tights, leggings, etc.). Unlike my Banana Republic pair, these have elastic around the upper portion, which allows them to stay up better. However, the best part about them is that they have a little silicone pad on the back heel which helps prevent them from slipping down off the heel. While I'm not going to say that they never slip, I would say 85% of the time they manage to stay up, regardless of what type of shoes I'm wearing. I currently wear them with boat shoes, blucher mocs, Wallabees, LL Bean rubber mocs, penny loafers, and other types of dress shoes. I wear them probably 95% of the time nowadays.

So, I recognize that a number of you, especially Dusty if he is reading this, are questioning my manhood. While that's not something that I'm really concerned about, I would like to present my logic in deciding to wear these for those who can't seem to wrap their heads around it:

1. I like the sockless look. It is one that I feel presents a touch of casualness to any outfit. I also feel like it looks better with shorts than any type of sock.
2. Feet sweat, no matter who you are.
3. Because feet sweat, wearing shoes without socks will make your feet and shoes smell horrible. Using powder is only a stop-gap solution.
4. No one likes feet and shoes that smell bad.
5. Shoes that are worn sockless simply do not last as long.
6. These socks allow one to have the sockless look while absorbing enough sweat as to avoid having smelly shoes and feet. They also provide more warmth than true sockless wear, allowing one to go "sockless" even in cold weather.
7. Because no one will see these socks, unless you remove your shoes of course, you don't have to worry about what others will think. If a person wears tiny socks and no one sees them, is he really wearing tiny socks?

So that is my argument for these socks. If you live in Atlanta, stop by Abbadabba's and pick some up. If you don't live in Atlanta, pick some up from Nordstrom. I wear a size 9.5 shoe and the large works for me, but if your feet are much larger they may not be work for you. You can also check out Mocc Socks, which are similar, and marketed towards men, though I cannot attest to their quality or ability to stay up.