Highbrow/Lowbrow Holiday Punch Tuesday, Nov 27 2012 

Two Holiday Party Punch Offerings:

 Are you having friends and family over for a jaunty holiday soiree this year?  Why not make a punch?  Punch cocktails date back to the mid 1600’s. Most saloons kept a punch bowl on the bar as far back as the 1700’s. 

As most of you know DBG and The Hubs consider themselves to be on the higher end of lowbrow, but that doesn’t mean all Cherry readers slum it like they do. So pick your poison and whip up a batch before the clock strokes midnight on December 31st

The Highbrow—Algonquin Bar Punch

(This classic punch was once served in the bar at the Hotel Algonquin in New York City. DBG heard something about a famous round table there. Today it can be found at the Clover Club in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn)



Peel from 4 lemons (removed in strips with vegetable peeler)

1/3 cup superfine sugar

2 cups fresh raspberries, divided

3 cups Plymouth Sloe Gin

2 cups fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 cups dark rum

1 ice block (See instructions below)

2 cups chilled brut Champagne

Lemon slices


Place lemon peel strips in large bowl. Add sugar and mash with muddler or wooden spoon to infuse sugar with lemon. Add 1 1/4 cups raspberries and mash to blend. Pour in sloe gin, lemon juice, and rum. Stir to blend. Refrigerate punch 20 minutes. Place ice block in punch bowl. Strain punch over ice block into bowl. Add Champagne; stir to blend. Garnish punch with lemon slices and remaining 3/4 cup raspberries.

The Lowbrow—Hop, Skip and Go Naked Punch

(As served at DBG’s Grandmother’s fifth wedding.  It is like a Shandy only dirtier!)



1 fifth vodka

1 six-pack beer

2 liters 7-Up or ginger ale

1 large can frozen pink lemonade

Orange slices

Lime slices

Ice block (See instructions below)

Mix well, pour over ice block, and serve garnished with oranges and limes.


An ice block is essential in order to give your punch longevity.  If ice cubes are placed in your punch, they will melt too quickly—and no one likes a weak drink! DBG likes to take a decorative bundt cake pan, fill it with water and fruit slices, and freeze overnight.  When you are ready to free your ice from the pan, just run a small amount of hot water over it, and it will come right out. But make sure the pan you are going to use for your ice block will fit into your punch bowl! Now you have a slow-melting decorative ring that bobbles around in your bowl. 


Don’t have a punch bowl?  Put your low brow offering in a bucket.  Or borrow the good ole punch bowl from grandma. Dollar Tree also has disposable punch bowls as well. 


Cheers to the season,



DBG’s Bar Tour of Las Vegas and San Francisco Wednesday, Nov 21 2012 

Dive Bar Girl and The Hubs hit a few watering holes on their honeymoon.  Here is what they had to say about their favorites.

DBG’s Picks:

The Peppermill Fireside Lounge

2985 Las Vegas Blvd

Las Vegas, NV


Wrap-around velvet banquettes, the glow of endless neon, waitresses wearing slinky black evening dresses, champagne cocktails, fish bowl drinks, and a fountain that spews fire—this is the Peppermill.  It is romantic, kitschy, and an old school Vegas landmark all at the same time.  It was the perfect place for a wedding reception. Guests watched the LSU-Mississippi State game while playing video poker and drinking Blue Hawaiians.










Frankie’s Tiki Room

1712 West Charleston

Las Vegas, NV


This local’s hangout recaptures the essence of the Tiki culture of post World War II America.  Carefully crafted cocktails and authentic décor make it the kind of place Don Draper could have taken clients in order to seal the deal.  If a bar is worth an off-Strip cab ride…this is the one.





















The Tonga Room

950 Mason Street

San Francisco, CA


This is the grandfather of all Tiki bars.  Many, many moons ago, the Terrace Pool at the Fairmont Hotel was transformed into a legendary experience.  The band floats on a barge at the center of the lagoon. The Mai Tai’s are strong, and every 30 minutes it rains.  To quote The Hubs: “Any bar that makes is own weather is worth a visit.”













The Hub’s Picks:

Double Down Saloon

4640 Paradise Road

Las Vegas, NV


The Double Down Saloon is a punk rock toilet, and I mean that in the absolute very best sense of the word. You remember the Bayou on Chimes Street, how it was so filthy and full of degenerates and the cigarette smoke was so thick you could cut it with a knife? The Double Down is a bigger, nastier version of the Bayou. They serve a drink called “ass juice” which is allegedly made of runoffs from other mixed drinks. The motto of the Double Down is “Shut up and drink”. It stands in proud contrast to the glitz and nouveau riche excess of the Las Vegas Strip.









The Toronado

547 Haight Street

San Francisco, CA


The Toronado is considered to be one of the best beer bars in America. At first glance, it looks kinda sketchy, just a dirty dive bar with blaring heavy metal and a crowd of lunchtime drinkers. But the Toronado has an amazing selection of beers on tap, from California microbrewers and Belgian firms. They have Pliny the Elder, one of the top beers around, on draft. The prices were also reasonable, although the bar is cash-only. If you love beer and you’re in the Bay Area, check out the Toronado. It lives up to its reputation in beer geek circles.











Shanghai Kelly’s

2064 Polk Street

San Francisco, CA


If I lived in San Francisco, Shanghai Kelly’s would be my neighborhood bar. Heck, I would look for a place to live in the neighborhoods around the bar. Shanghai Kelly’s has everything a great neighborhood bar needs: a nice selection of reasonably priced beers, a clientele made up of interesting characters, a well-stocked liquor section, hooks under the bar to hang a purse from (something that DBG looks for) and a painting of a reclining naked lady. Oh and they have an autographed picture of Neil Young hanging right by the bar.