Archives for category: Skepticism

About a month ago Rebecca Watson put into words something I’d been thinking myself. Women’s rights are not being taken as a series priority by the secular movement in this country. I’ll go further and say that LGBT rights and racial equality are also not being taken as seriously as they ought to be. Rebecca asked “Why aren’t more of the big secular organizations decrying what’s happening?” I have an idea why, and it has to do with privilege. Straight, white, male privilege. The skeptic movement is overwhelmingly straight, white, male, and economically comfortable – and that is a problem.

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Them: Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson

Probably most well known for The Men Who Stare at Goats, Ronson specializes in books where he takes an open-minded ride-along with a weirdo to see what the real story might be. In  this one he travels the world meeting up with political and religious extremists to see what truth, if any, there is to their wild-eyed conspiracy theories.

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I was in my NerdBunker all weekend so I didn’t attend the West Coast Rapture Ram here in Oakland. We ended up not being raptured, and today we have two articles by Jen McCreight and Greta Christina about some clueless dudes at the event, including – apparently – one on the stage.

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If you’re in northern California during Memorial Day weekend, you should really consider coming to SkeptiCal 2011. SkeptiCal is an annual conference on science and skepticism I’ve been helping organize for the last two years. It’s taking place on Sunday, May 29, 2011 in Berkeley, CA.

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In this episode Sasha talks to the always awesome Swoopy from Skepticality ( to talk about absinthe and absinthe cocktails.  Swoopy talked to Cheryl Lins of Delaware Phoenix about absinthe on a recent episode of Skepticality called “La Fée Verte” (

Other links mentioned in this episode:

Cheryl Lins & Delaware Phoenix

Behind the Bar Show – Obsello Absinthe—obsello-absinthe

Behind the Bar Show – Absinthe Drinks—absinthe

Hendrick’s Gin

Drinks mentioned in this episode:

Death in the Afternoon

  • 1-1/2 oz absinthe
  • 4 oz ice brut champagne

“Pour 1 jigger of absinthe into a champagne glass. Add iced champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly.”

Monkey Gland Cocktail

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 3 dashes absinthe
  • 3 oz grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Mouresque Cocktail

  • 2 oz absinthe
  • 1 oz orgeat syrup

Build in a tall glass with ice. Stir and top with water.

New Orleans Coffee

  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Herbsaint
  • 4-5 oz hot coffeee
  • whipped cream

Pout whiskey, Herbsaint, and coffee into a mug. Top with whipped cream.

Nine Pick Cocktail

  • 2 oz absinthe
  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 1 dash simple syrup

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.

Poisoned Apple

  • 2 oz absinthe
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 12 oz hard cider

Pour all ingredients into a pint beer glass.

Pierce Brosnan Cocktail

  • 1-1/2 oz chilled vodka
  • 1/2 oz chilled champagne
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 1/2 oz absinthe

Pour vodka and champagne into a cold cocktail glass and stir. Soak sugar cube in absinthe, light with a match and drop into the drink.

Tremblement de Terre

  • 2-1/2 oz cognac
  • 1/4 oz absinthe

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon.

Rattlesnake Cocktail

  • 2 oz rye
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/8 oz absinthe

Dry shake to froth, then shake with ice to chill. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Remember the Maine

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/4 oz cherry brandy
  • absinthe to taste
  • Angostura bitters to taste

Stir with ice in a clockwise direction and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


  • 3 oz rye
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 1/4 oz absinthe

Rinse a chilled cocktail glass with absinthe. Stir other ingredients with ice and strain into glass. Twist lemon peel over drink and drop in as a garnish.

The Swoopy Manhattan

  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/4 oz absinthe
  • 2-3 dashes bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a fresh raspberry or a lemon twist.


Sasha starts things off right away by venting his spleen about Dan Ackroyd and his new crazy-ass Crystal Head Vodka. (

You can find out what’s really up with the crystal skulls on the Skeptic’s Dictionary. (

The real meat of the show involves talking about Harry Craddock and The Savoy Cocktail Book.  (Which you can buy in my new Amazon store:

Be sure to check out Underhill-Lounge where Erik Ellestad is mixing, drinking, and blogging about every recipe in the book. (

A FEW HINTS FOR THE YOUNG MIXER (According to The Savory Cocktail Book)

  1. Ice is nearly always an absolute essential for any Cocktail.
  2. Never use the same ice twice.
  3. Remember that the ingredients mix better in a shaker rather larger than is necessary to contain them.
  4. Shake the shaker hard as you can : don’t just rock it : you are trying to wake it up, not send it to sleep!
  5. If possible, ice your glasses before using them.
  6. Drink your Cocktail as soon as possible. Harry Craddock was once asked what was the best way to drink a Cocktail : “Quickly,” replied that great man, “while it is laughing at you!”

Nineteen Cocktail

2 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz kirsch
1/8 oz simple syrup
1 dash absinthe

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Clover Club Cocktail

2 oz gin
1 egg white
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/8 oz raspberry syrup or grenadine

Dry shake and then shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Little Devil Cocktail

1 oz gin
1 oz white rum
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz Cointreau

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

It’s not what I was expecting, but I got an interesting email today. A nice man named James dropped me a line to let me know he wouldn’t be listening to my show any more:

I listened to your podcast show but I’m writing you to tell you that I can’t listen to any more.

I am a Christian and you claim to be an ATHIEST. I encourage you to try and read the bible. Since you like wine and things, you will find out that GOD created alcohol to bring joy to MEN.

I will pray for you and your family.


Thanks James!