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…there was the House of Hungarian Wines in Budapest.

One year later, it was followed by a night at the Cool Kids Bar in Brussels.

And this year, we hit up the North Shield Pub in Istanbul, where everyone was feeling friendly on their first drink.

The North Shield: Drink #1

By drink number two, Emily was already looking forward to drink number three, Rebecca was politely trying to discourage her from doing so (in an attempt to avoid the debauchery of last year’s events at the Cool Kids Bar), Harry was amusing himself by being sexually suggestive with items from our basket of fried foods, and KB was completely over the whole affair.

The North Shield: Drink #2

Trouble in Coupleville started at drink number three, with Rebecca shooting Harry the stink-eye (also known as the “I think you’ve had enough” face), and Emily making fun of KB’s inability to keep up. Yes, Emily and KB are a couple when they travel together. Hot!

The North Shield: Drink #3

And then came the violence of drink number four. Or at least the violence of Harry, Rebecca, and Emily, while KB tried to flag down our waiter for the check.

The North Shield: Drink #4

Drink number five caused drowsiness… which, apparently, didn’t stop Emily from being able to hold up her beer. KB benefited by enjoying the entire second basket of fried foods all by herself.

The North Shield: Drink #5

When all was said and done though, the love kicked back in with our sixth and final drink of the night. So much, in fact, that Harry felt comfortable placing his hand on his wife’s chest for the photo, thus proving that Rebecca was also drunk enough to be okay with it.

And then Emily and KB made out… but we’ll save those photos for another time.

The North Shield: Drink #6

Can’t wait for next year’s rounds,


…buy this book:

Food & Wine: Cocktails '09

Published by “Food & Wine” magazine, Cocktails ’09 is a handy little kitchen guide for all you party-throwing enthusiasts out there.

The meat of the book is its 130 drink recipes; from the standard (Manhattans, Mojitos, etc.) to the strange (Carrot Colada, Cajun Lemonade, etc.), this book breaks each drink’s ingredients down and shows you exactly how to prepare them.

If you’re new to the world of cocktails and have a fear of everything that comes with it, you’ll love the “Cocktail Clinic” section at the front of the book. Included here are all the bar basics: from a glass chart to a cup-to-ounce conversion chart, everything you need to know to get your home bar started is here.

Not a fan of booze? WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?!? Just kidding. This book has your kind covered, too, with their “Mocktails” section, a listing of non-alcoholic drink recipes.

Also included are 25 party-food recipes. Sick of chips and dip? Fill your belly with a few Shrimp Salad Sliders or Danger Tots instead.

My only complaint is about the book’s final section: a listing of the country’s “Top 100 Bars.” While I agree with a few of them, the list doesn’t even mention one Milwaukee bar. Not one!

Come on, “Food & Wine!” Milwaukee created bars long before even Jesus walked the earth!

Still, it’s a minor setback for an otherwise helpful handbook on booze.

Buy it. Read it. Mix it. Drink it.



Old Poop!