The Stuttering Raven

The Stuttering Raven is the bar that doesn’t exist.  It’s not illegitimate, like a proper speakeasy with a peephole door, a Sicilian bouncer, and an ever shifting password.  It simply doesn’t exist, except on those rare nights when we conjure it into being.  When we conjure, spirits are on the house.  The bartender works for compliments, not tips.  Men wear fedoras tipped low; ladies shimmy into cocktail dresses.  Libations flow.  Good cheer and devilish conversations abound.

There’s always a cocktail menu.  Try this one on for size.

stuttering raven drinks menu

If you want to mix drinks like we do, this menu is also a proportional guide to the mixology of the drinks as the ingredients are listed by the order of volume, greatest to least.  There are usually a few hints as to methodology and appropriate garnishes.  In short, the drinks menu is a crib sheet for the daft tender.  You’ll also notice a great quantity of ingredient duplication, e.g., St. Germaine amongst this night’s offerings, and we do that in order to limit the quantity of spirits that are active at the bar.  The Monkey Gland on this menu is, sadly and parenthetically, not so bloody.  Normally I prefer to make Monkey Glands bloody, i.e.,  with blood oranges, which adds crimson color in the glass to the grim name, but this soiree was held when blood oranges were out of season.

Nota Bene: Lake Ice – crushed or pulverized – was a fancy…and a probability.  More than likely our molecules of water had been filling a lake at some point in their distant past.  Historic venues would have used lake ice back in the day.  On this night, however, we pulled the cubes from the freezer and smashed them in a Lewis Bag using a proper mallet from Blue Spruce Toolworks.   You make do with what you’ve got.

{Goat Note: Antifogmatic.  This is my own WOD – Word Of the Day – for 2/28/19.  This word will become a theme I’ll expand upon later.  I can imagine an entire menu of Antifogmatics, and a morning-after party that starts before dawn cracks when I set the needle down on the very name: Antifogmatic by the Punch Brothers.  The music will be rousing with the speakers set to vitalize, suddenly, the somnolent guests.  The tender will wander amongst them, balancing a tray of antifogmatics, offerings to each, as the guests peel themselves from the sofas, unslouch themselves from the recliners, and mumble for coffee – straight shots, if not intravenous.  They may look at me strange, but I won’t let them go, not ’til they’ve sampled, then slurped, a proper antejentacular brace – hair of the dog – before they’re booted, unceremoniously, into the rain spattered air or, worse, if they linger for seconds or thirds as the day clears its head, into the glare of bright sun.

Where on a winter morn does one stumble across a word like antifogmatic?  In Dave Broom’s Rum – The Manual –  and I’m sure you can understand why this WOD was lodged on The Stuttering Raven’s page.  And what is this antifogmatic concoction? suggests, “an alcoholic drink taken in the morning to brace oneself for going out into bad weather.” prefers, “a drink of liquor taken to counteract the effect of fog or dampness.”  But, really, not what is it, generally, but what’s in it, specifically?  Where better to begin the search than at The Antifogmatic League?  Enjoy your morning!}


Credit where it is due.  The featured image on this page is one of my first adult water colors, but it’s not my original image.  Nothing fancy, right?  I know that.  Blame me, not Jackie.  I was playing at a painting I discovered in a Cheap Joe’s art supply catalog.  This rough copy I splashed down is based on a far better original by Jackie Irwin, titled “Broken Branch.”  Crow or raven?  Doesn’t matter.  It suits this page well enough until I have an appropriate sign painted for the bar.  The stuttering raven in my mind, like Charon’s three-headed dog Cerberus, will have – imagine this – three heads.  The three heads, beaked faces peering past, present, & future, will utter the cacophony of caws that form the stutter of this Ruh-Ruh-Raven.  Hence the name.

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