12 December 2017


We had just finished dinner and were wrapping things up around the kitchen when Sharmila, who had a flashback of a moment from her art show today, said: “Something very funny happened today…”

Interrupting her almost instantaneously, Nikita asked “What? Did you look in a mirror?”

I am not terribly sure what happened next – since I hightailed it from the kitchen area immediately so that nobody could hear me laughing my head off 🙂

11 December 2017

I just don’t get these two-legged animals…

I can get them to light the fireplace for me so I can cuddle up and sleep. I can get them to follow me wherever I go. I can even get them to clean up my poop after me.

And I hear they are worried about Artificial Intelligence??

How about some Natural Intelligence like me?

[PS. Note added by the thoughtful dog’s so-called master – the proper sentence would have been “Natural Intelligence like mine” and not “like me”, but then no dog – with all their natural intelligence and all – has ever been known to construct grammatically correct sentences]

10 December 2017

From the bartender’s corner – Gin #27: Tanqueray Rangpur

I was introduced to this gin a few years back by Neil Bhattacharya. Both Sharmila and I took an immediate liking to it. I am sure part of that was driven by our noses recognizing some aromas from the long past in India.

First, the root of the name “Rangpur”. Rangpur is an area (there is a city and a district by the same name) in north Bangladesh. There is a particular citrus fruit that is very popular there and the fruit itself is believed to have originated from there. Although it is referred to as “Rangpur lime”, in reality it is a cross between a lemon and a mandarin. It is reddish-orange and not green like a lime. The aroma is floral and is somewhat sour in taste like a lemon.

It is this Rangpur lime that lends this gin a memorable and a fiesty citrus profile. On top of that, this gin has bay leaves and ginger – something Sharmila and I grew up with all our childhood (very common ingredients in a Bengali kitchen). Of course, the gin has to have the juniper in it to be considered a gin.

Like the Harahorn gin, this gin met with great success in the San Francisco World Spirit Competition within one year of being born (2006). In fact, it bagged top awards three years in succession starting from 2007.

The nose, palette and finish – all are overwhelmingly citrusy – and a lot of different notes of citrus too. The juniper makes its bitter presence felt only towards the end. There is a chance that some puritans might consider the smothering of the juniper by the citrus in such a pronounced fashion to be rendering less of a “gin” character to this drink.

If you like citrus, you cannot go wrong with this. I tried on the rocks and it was delicious.

4 December 2017

Something was amiss !!

Do you see something not quite right with the picture? That’s right, my running shirt and running shoes did not match in color!! That was predominantly because I did not have my running shoes with me!!

After hospice work, I went to the trail head with the idea of putting in a 3 to 5 mile run as the sun set. Moment I opened the trunk after parking the car, I realized that I had forgotten to throw my shoes in the gym bag in the morning.

Reluctant to give up on the time invested to go to the trail head, I, instead, settled for a 2 mile bare foot run on the tarred roads inside the park.

Second time in four years I have forgotten to pack my running shoes. I must be getting old!!

3 December 2017

From the bartender’s corner – Viking Corpse Reviver #2

This is the first cocktail I made with the Harahorn gin. Of course, given the origin of Harahorn gin in Norway, I had to call this a “Viking” Corpse Reviver. I stayed mostly true to the formula of the traditional Corpse Reviver with the sole exception that instead of mixing in the absinthe, I rinsed the cocktail glass with it and threw the excess part.

Next time, I will probably go with a lower amount of fresh lemon juice than the original recipe calls for. To me, at least, the sour citrus is overwhelming any traces of the sweet citrus (orange) or the junipers (and in this case the blackberries too).

Otherwise, as promised, with 92-proof gin, lillet blanc and Cointreau – not to speak of the 148 proof absinthe, this is sure to revive most corpses!!!

P.S. The way the Vikings played today, I might actually need a Falcons Corpse Reviver next 🙂

3 December 2017

From the bartender’s corner – Gin #26: Harahorn Gin

Here is another interesting gin from an interesting country – Norway!! I was not aware before this that Norway made any gins. In fact, this brand gin has been made for only 2 years (started in 2015). In their second year – 2016, they won the coveted San Francisco World Spirits Competition!

The name is derived from a mountain in the Hemsedal area (he distillery is in Grimstad) but their web site claims that they have been inspired a mythical figure – which looks alike a hare with horns. You can see the picture on the bottle label. As an aside, the word “harahorn” seems almost like the two English words – “hare” and horn” have been put together. Is Norwegian that close to English? I understand all SAS flights serve this gin.

Slightly more potent than standard gin at 46% ABV, this gin has the unique influence of blueberries. Other than the blueberries, it has juniper, of course, and rhubarb, angelica, wild marjoram, orange and bladderwrack (had no idea what this is till I looked it up; pretty interesting medicinal qualities; look it up).

The nose is predominantly juniper and citrusy. The palette is decidedly mellower than most gins. The sweetness of blueberries do a good job of softening the edges of the bitterness in juniper.

I will try some cocktails later with this. Corpse Reviver #2 is top of my list.