Confessions of a COVID Barkeep

Social distancing in response to COVID-19 has caused a shutdown of bars, clubs, and other such establishments. Without access to certified mixologists, we are now left to fend for ourselves. Unfortunately, our efforts at libationary expression have been severely hampered by impaired (pun intended) access to liquors as purveyors of fine spirits are shuttered or otherwise limited in many regions. Irregular trips to the market and reliance on reduced selection Instacart orders have also narrowed mixing options.

As always occurs during times of great trouble, the indelible human spirit rises above those temporary barriers to reach new heights and to set new standards. Here, where a good Old Fashioned is impossible to find, a phoenix of creative cocktail crafting is surly rising. Please share your concoctions with your fellow Wooters! @davejlives, you were born for this…SHINE!

I will start by offering the humble Captain and Cream. Begin with a pint glass. Pour in your day of work from home Hell’s worth of Captain, and fill reminder of glass with cream soda (regular, diet, caffeine free, whatever you’ve got). Stirring and ice are optional.


Interesting. I have the Captain but no cream soda on hand. Will try to remember this. I’m just drinking bourbon slushes now.


Lately I’ve been making Kentucky mules with (Makers) bourbon, ginger beer, and lots of limes and mint. I don’t have any official mule mugs so I just chill a rocks glass or two.

If I’m coming off a bender I’ll partake in a bartender’s ginger ale with club soda, bitters (there’s a yummy grapefruit one by Bittermens that I will sometimes fetch if I’m feeling fancy) and lots of limes again. Come to think of it, I think almost every drink I make has lime in it.


I’m sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen at the island, watching her make her afternoon rum and coke. She put me in charge of the limes once I was old enough. The little radio nested on top of the fridge was churning out mellow AM favorites, and sounds of golf trickled in from the TV in the other room. She was a fun lady.


You’re supposed to mix things into your booze?


I used the last of my Gosling’s on a Dark and Stormy. Still have some of the locally brewed ginger beer left…and a spot of Knob Creek. But no limes! As my pal @Williamdavi would say, SHIT! Oh well, hopefully Karen from Instacart can find some for me this week.

I also vividly recall sitting in the kitchen of my grandmother’s farmhouse. It had those country blue cabinets that would look out of place anywhere but a farmhouse. She was baking bread but I was not feeling well. She retrieved the stash of thermometers from the old tin on a shelf above the cellar stairs and took my temperature. After a few seconds, she took the thermometer out of my mouth and stated, “nope, that’s the rectal.” She was not having a mid day cocktail, she just forgot her glasses.


I usually prefer a good microbrewery beer, a nice amber or IPA poured into a (never chilled) beer glass or mug.
With summer coming, a nice German helles (Paulaner?) is also a nice beer.

Otherwise, the only ‘mixed drinks’ I make would be a classic margarita using a fresh squeezed lime, Patron orange liqueur, Hornitos reposado tequila, salt on rim, on the rocks.

The Scotch I have in my cabinet at the moment:
Dalmore 12
The Balvenie 12
Glenlivet 12 & 15
Grangestone 21
Glenfiddich 15
Ardbeg 10
I usually like my Scotch with either a splash of water or with 1 large cube.


YES! I’ll take a German lager over a cocktail any day. Helles is #2 behind a malty Oktoberfest. Any of the traditional Munich breweries will do but Paulaner scores some bonus points with me as official beer of my beloved Bayern Munich.


At home, I keep it simple with the Captain and Diet Coke.

But last week, I discovered Mr. Froze - carry out frozen margaritas. They last two weeks in the freezer, I’ve already made two trips to this fine establishment.


News to me too. I thought you just drank it straight from the bottle in the nice paper sack. Boy you people sure are weird.


Beer here too! I also have plenty of woot wine in the basement (I must be far below the average alcohol consumption in the US).


Yeah, that’s what all my friends at Ollie’s and dollar general do.


I’m not a huge Scotch drinker but I really enjoyed the Ardbeg the last time I bought a bottle.

I’ve been a mixed bag of alcohols. My go to are local ciders (Jack’s Hard Cider from Hauser), bourbon on the rocks (Wigle, Woodford), and then an occasional mixed drink. Mother in law bought us some cherry vodka from a local distillery and we mix it with sprite and grenadine. It’s an alcoholic Shirley Temple.

My wife is one of the founding members of Harrisburg Beer Week which would be happening this week if COVID hadn’t come around. I don’t have a favorite craft beer. We did a virtual get together this past weekend for one of the main events of Beer Week, Little Big Beer Fest. All beers had to be at least 8% to be a part of the beer festival but it was limited to a smaller amount of breweries. We popped some quads, triples, and some barrel aged stouts.

I’m not drinking that much though. I’m not one to just pop open a beer or pour a drink. Mostly during our zoom happy hours with friends.


Guys at the office gave me a bottle of bourbon for Administrative Professionals Day!


That’s a good one!


Just 1 bottle? You need a 50 gallon barrel

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No shit! I can’t wait to try it. One guy said it was George Washington’s recipe or something like that.


Oh fancy !!


From the Mrs. Wootson playbook: a ‘Rona Bloody Mary

  • Finish whatever’s left of the vodka
  • Top off glass with last can of reduced sodium V8
  • However many Spanish olives that you’ve got
  • Two packets Arby’s Horsey sauce
  • Two twists of black pepper
  • Two shakes of Mexican brand hot sauce (cause you’re out of Tabasco)

Chug while kids are watching Full House (Hey man, the show holds up!). Hope it’s enough to sustain you through dinner/bath/bed routine


I’ve been drinking a lot of vodka tonics. then I found Polar bitter lemon citrus & tonic. now that’s a good drink, using that instead of tonic water.

we also make a delicious vodka sour that I am too lazy to find the recipe for. I tend to like lemon drinks.

at the moment I have non-alcoholic blue curacao in the fridge so I can make most any drink a blue drink!

as far as beers, I mainly like red/amber/browns. malty beers and not hoppy. I also like fruity sours, but otherwise no fruit in my beer thanks.


Hit the liquor lotto today. Here in my Commonwealth, the liquor stores are closed. You can go to a state website and it may allow you to buy bottles to be shipped to your house. But probably not. The odds are…

Never tell me the odds!

(Great shirt.woot … which reminds me- Anyone seen @Narfcake? Hope you’re staying safe my friend).
Not good. Usually it just tells you to keep trying. Seriously, I bet I’ve checked 25 times and no luck.

But today I hit! My tyrannical overloads graciously permitted me to purchase up to 6 750 ml bottles (or a small bender for @davejlives) to be shipped to my home at great expense! Fortunately I was able to procure Medicinal Gin in addition to some Canadian Club (don’t you know I’m friggen Dom Draper over here) and Goslings for my Dark and Stormy’s.

My spirits (both of em) are greatly increased by these developments.