Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Trust In Your Travel: 5 Reasons Travel Programs Are A Sham

After returning home from a  year long expedition and adventure throughout Australia and Thailand I'm still getting accommodated to being back stateside. As anyone who's traveled for an extended period will tell you, it's hard being back home. Granted Australia is pretty Westernized, but the subtleties in culture and general philosophy are still pretty drastic.

Having been back for a little over a month now, I've had some time to reacclimatize and get myself back in a U.S. mindset. I've also had some time to reflect on my year abroad and realize the biggest mistake I made when traveling. Actually that's not right, I made it before I even started traveling, when I was still super anxious and worried that I would be homeless in the streets after just a few weeks. You see before I left for Australia I signed up for a work and travel program. If you're not familiar with this term and thinking about traveling abroad at some point during your research you will most likely come across a derivative of this idea.

Basically work and travel programs, promise a sense of security to interested young travelers in exchange for a fee. Some promise pre-lined up jobs before you even leave your home country, others promise a extensive database of companies they work with, basically guaranteeing you a job within a few weeks of landing. Here's the thing... it's a sham. They know people get anxious when they are getting ready to make such a life altering decision, and by offering a sense of security they bushwhack you into paying for services you will either never get, or don't need. If you're thinking about traveling to Australia or anywhere else and you're considering using a work and travel program, here are five reasons you should reconsider:



The main reason I joined with the company I did (Greenheart Travel) is because I was scared. I had traveled outside of the country before and I have a massive amount of work experience, but I was still worried that I would be stuck without a job, without a place to live, and my savings would burn up faster than jet fuel. When I found Greenheart, it seemed like the perfect solution. They had two options at the time, but have since cut down to just a single option, called the "Freestyle". For a mere $950 you can have access to their entire support system for the length of your stay. This includes access to job placement services, housing support services, and 24/7 customer support. In retrospect I can't believe I was this naive, but unfortunately for me I was. I didn't take a moment to consider that pretty much all the things they were offering were available for free with an internet connection. There are hundreds if not thousands of free job sites, and just the same amount if not more offering housing availability. But instead of using that thousand dollars as a cushion to get setup when I got there and find these things on my own, I spent it hoping someone else would do it for me, big mistake.


The next thing I realized upon arrival and receiving new emails from a different company was that Greenheart Travel is a 3rd party travel service. Many of these companies are based out of the U.S. and act as 3rd party sign-up services for the actual companies who will be taking over those duties upon arrival. This was something I should have also figured out sooner, seeing that Greenheart is actually based out of Chicago (so how the heck could they help me in Australia). Essentially these companies act as a sign-up service for the actual companies overseas. I don't know what the exact figures are but I would have to assume this means they receive a portion of your sign-up fee then pass the rest off to the next company you will be involved with, mine being WTC (The Work Travel Company). So all the correspondence and rapport I had built with my Greenheart rep was now traded for someone totally new, that I didn't know, with a different company in Australia.


What I did get for my money was a 3-night stay in a fairly decent hostel upon my arrival in Sydney with transport from the airport and help setting up my new bank account. All things that eased the transition coming to a new country, but worth $950? On the second day after my arrival we went to an orientation with the new company who would now be taking over our services. Aside from getting slightly acquainted with Australian culture and some general guidelines, basically this "orientation" was just a time-share pitch. They continued to try and get us to purchase additional services (once again playing into our fears) and they even had a representative from a surf camp come in and try to sell everyone on spending another $500 to learn how to surf (it was the middle of winter at this point).

Aside from helping in setting up our bank accounts we learned that everything we had been promised was all "almost" true. They did have an extensive list of clients and job opportunities, but it was up to us to scroll through and find them they wouldn't be actively sending out applications on our behalf. And they did have some recommend housing options available, but they were all with companies and residencies that would receive a kick back should we sign with them. The biggest blow here however, was when I found out that jobs available and the "full service" was only available in the city limits. This means 95% of the jobs they had access to were within Sydney, and if you were to travel outside of Sydney, you were pretty much on your own in securing work. Some people may be different, but I didn't go all the way to Australia to stay in one city the whole freaking time.


Australia is SUPER expensive, like ridiculously expensive. Now is a great time to go because the American dollar is so strong, but at the time of my arrival is was pretty much even. The estimates I received when initially talking with Greenheart, was to expect to spend around $40 a day, except a single one room apartment in Sydney (and not even a nice one at that) can go for upwards of roughly $300/week (they charge by the week not the month). According to those estimates I'm already in about a -$3/day hole without even eating, drinking, or shopping yet. What they don't tell you, but what you quickly find out on your own is that most backpackers do something called "shared housing". Basically cramming as many people as they can into a single room or apartment. Still expensive for what you're actually getting, but much cheaper than attempting to get a place on your own. For example I had a friend from Holland who was paying about $150/week to stay in a three-bedroom apartment, with 11 other people!

If you want even a remote amount of your own space, you usually have to get out of the cities, but to get work you have to be within the city limits or deal with transit. But here's the thing, there are soooooo many places available for much cheaper if you can get a little outside the city limits. Australia is filled with travelers and housing is super accommodating to that life style (part of the reason rent is weekly). There are also numerous websites, the main being GumTree (think Aussie Craigslist) that have thousands of postings for anything from rooms to bikes. I ended up not staying in Sydney, which meant I didn't use WTC's housing services, but I did download the free GumTree app and had no problem finding places to stay wherever I went.


Are you a highly functioning, intelligent, outgoing individual? Heck, are you even slightly articulate and speak english? If so, you will have ZERO problems finding work overseas. My biggest fear when leaving was that I would blow through my savings because I couldn't find a place to work. The reality was, without any assistance from WTC I was able to find work within two days in every city I went to. Granted, I'm in hospitality and have been for a long time, and it's easier to find something in serving or bar tending than any other profession, but if you have ANY real life work experience and you're not completely incompetent, you can get a job without much effort at all.

I wanted to meet people, go out, and have fun, and for me working in bars was the perfect way to do that. But even if you don't have hospitality experience you can find jobs everywhere. GumTree again, is a great resource for this, but even walking around town handing out resumes at any place that looks cool will almost certainly get you an interview or two. The other thing plays back into the travel culture overseas, most people don't expect you to stay very long, especially if your on a work/travel visa. So you can simply get a job, any job, to make some money (minimum wage is like $14/hour but most places pay more), and in your spare time find something else you wanna do more. The problem with the WTC jobs is that aside from one or two cool event jobs, most of what they offered was physical labor based, and only part-time (or one-time only). Now there's nothing wrong with physical labor, but their are super strict regulations for working in Australia, which means you have to take a course (offered through your travel company), and buy certain work clothes/equipment (which costs a pretty penny) and even if you work a job it's not guaranteed. I've heard a few stories of people getting qualifications and appropriate clothing, that actually ended up spending more money on getting the job then they made from the job itself.

The point is if you want to travel, you should save up, sell your shit, and go. And if you're brave enough to make such a life altering decision, then you should trust yourself to hit the ground running when you get wherever it is you want to go. By simply saving money, doing your research, and being smart about how you travel, you can rest assured that the only person you need to depend on to get you a job and housing overseas... is you.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Jack Warner

Cocktail of the Week: 7th Edition
I love making drinks that are inspired by people, places, or things, basically if you're a noun, I wanna make a drink for you. This weeks drinks is inspired by a gentlemen who was all threw the media over the last couple of months. If you don't follow soccer, or football, or whatever you wanna call it, then you may have no idea who Jack Warner is. However, if you have heard anything about the FIFA scandal that has been ridiculous, to say the least, you have probably heard this fellas name mentioned once or twice. Warner is a prominent politician in Trinidad and Tobago, former FIFA Vice-President, and among a myriad of idiots who has recently dared to get in a social media war with English Comedian, John Oliver. Long story short, Oliver destroyed Warner (multiple times) and basically made him look like one of the world's foremost jackasses, but in doing so inspired me to put a twist on a new-classic in his honor. This week's Taylor Made Cocktail is all things Trinidad, and I can already assume 1000 times more likable than it's namesake. This is TAYLOR MADE: THE JACK WARNER.
The first time I was introduced to a Trinidad Sour I didn't know what to think. As I saw the recipe and noticed that it called for a full ounce of Angostura, I assumed I was reading it wrong. However, pushing my apprehension to the side and actually trying the finished product, what I tasted was something amazing. If you know anything about bitters you know they are, well, strong, pungent, not something you would normally want to consume more than a few dashes of (which is why most recipes call for just that). After my initial introduction and my new found fascination with this FIFA villain I decided my own recipe would have to be tweaked and made into an homage of a great country, with a terrible dude in charge. The Jack Warner is a sour, so like most sours, it's pretty straight forward, not too many ingredients, not too complicated to make. Here's what you'll need:
  • Angostura Bitters
  • Angostura 7 year Rum (or another nice dark Caribbean rum)
  • Some fresh lime juice and limes for slicing
  • Orgeat Sugar Syrup
  • Some egg whites
  • Get all your ingredients laid out and ready, juice pre-squeezed (an ounce per drink), egg whites pre-um... whited
  • You'll want some fancy martini glasses for this that hold at least six fluid ounces
  • You'll need all your normal bar tools for this as well (shakers, strainers, etc.)
MIXING: one drink at a time or just multiply for however many you're making
Add the following to your shaker:
  • 1 oz Angostura Bitters
  • 1 oz Angostura 7-year
  • 1 oz Fresh Squeezed lime juice
  • 1 oz Orgeat Syrup
  • 1 egg white per drink
Once everything is in the shaker, proceed to dry shake (without ice) for about 20-30 seconds. This allows the egg white to pulverized and makes your sour extra fluffy.
Add your ice and shake again for another 20-30 seconds and double strain into a martini glass.
Cut a super thin lime wheel (cut of about a 1/3 of the tip of the lime and cut horizontally) and drop into the martini glass. To give you an idea it should be so thin that the actual wheel floats.
Finally, adjust to the fact of how dark and intimidating this drink is, take your first sip, follow that with two more giant gulps after realizing how delicious it is, make a new one, and repeat until soccer becomes entertaining.
This is a great, fun drink that I think you will all enjoy, and the perfect rum based concoction to compliment this transition to winter.

How Star Wars Ruined Cinema

With the impending release of the new trilogy of films coming this Christmas, I thought it would be appropriate to write about the greatest sci-fi odyssey of all time, Star Wars. I sat down and thought about it for a while, I looked into the depths of what I remembered from my years minoring in film (which basically equated to watching old movies, in a dark room with a crazy teacher and writing a one page paper about it... yay college!). The more I examined this cinematic masterpiece, the more I realized something as deep, dark, and twisted as the empire itself, the implications Star Wars had on the entire film industry...

Even the idea of this subject matter pains me to think about. I love Star Wars! It's one of the first films I remember seeing as a child and it's one of the few movies from an era of great films that had CGI that to this day refrains from looking corny and hokey. However, the more I've thought about it, the more I realize that Star Wars was the beginning of the end to cinema as we used to know it.

If you're a film buff the way that I am you know that the late 60's, through the end of the 70's, is pretty much regarded as the "Golden-Era" of film making. This was a time when writers and directors had such creative freedom that they gave us one countless masterpiece after another. Without the worry of budgeting or commercial appeal, directors and writers were free to do exactly what making films is all about, telling stories, and getting us lost in a world different from our own. This was truley an era of "Movie Magic". I've seen thousands of films, that's not an exaggeration, thousands. Between Netfilx and a childhood filled with cinema along with a minor in Film from college I've collected a rather large sample size. If you ask any movie buff you're hard pressed to find someone who truely adores film, that would argue against the following assumption. In today's film industry there are a few dozen films a year released that are true to what film was originally all about, and that's probably on the high end. The majority of the films released today and for about the last 30 years are simply a way for studios to make money, the once great art form is now simply industry. 

If you look at any list of the 100 greatest movies of all-time, I'd say at minimum 70% were made on or before the year 1985 (80% according to this imdb list... http://www.imdb.com/list/ls055592025/), this is simply when directors and writers started losing their creative freedom. They got greedy and started making movies other directors and writers would want to see. They spent enormous budgets and created 4 and 5 hour monstracities (at least in the eyes of the viewing public), and basically they pissed away all the credibility they had worked so hard to gain. Although a lot of the blame for this can be placed on the directors for pushing the limits of their creative "leashes" if you will; a lot of the blame also falls on a series of films I dearly love, Star Wars. 

Before Star Wars, CGI was a joke, and movies were meant to tell a story with great dialouge and even better story telling. Movies that were popular were also thought provoking (which is rarely the case anymore), and they touched on matters that were important to the social climate. Star Wars changed all of this. It showed producers that a big box office Sci-Fi fantasy could create astronomical sales revenue by telling a mediocre story, but also by dazzling audiences visually. And since the demise of directoral freedom, and the rise of Star Wars coincided so closely, it is my point to argue that Star Wars in fact doomed cinema... as we used to know it. 

When you see a box office smash hit today it usually involves two things, a huge budget, and a shit load of CGI, characters and story are many times secondary, if even relevant at all. If you were to look at a list of the biggest box office successes of the last 10 years, you would be hard pressed to find a dozen movies  that didn't start out with enormous budgets. Combine that with huge amounts of CGI, or at least crazy amounts of stunts and action sequences and you have the "modern" box office smash. This isn't to say that there are not exceptions to the rule (paranormal activity, the purge) but the rule is pretty much law. This is why we've seen so many production companies turn to superheroes for an easy buck. It's got everything you'd want in a summer smash already built in, and all you have to do is adapt these characters that were written 40-plus years ago to today. 

How is this Star Wars fault? Star Wars opened the flood gates, it made story telling secondary. Now I love the films, and the dialouge, and everything about all three of those films, but even die hard Star Wars fans must admit the whole trilogy is pretty caddy. It just happened to be perfectly caddy, with the right characters played by the right people, but there's no denying it's cheesiness. No one will be comparing the integrity of Star Wars as an altruistic art form next to the Godfather for instance, but then again, they represent two opposite ends of the spectrum. In a perfect world both could exist, but in reality, audiences in mass prefer to think less and be entertained more, or at least that's how big studios have come to view the public at large. They believe we want to leave the theater feeling comfortable, and knowing that everything worked out the way it should. Star Wars helped in conforming this belief that the audience must be fulfilled. With the exception of, "Empire Strikes Back" which ended on a rather glum note, but everyone knew the tables would eventually turn for good, they had to.

Now there is a rising segment of film makers who've basiclaly given the finger to this idea of complacency in cinema (Quentin Tarantino comes to mind). They've worked long and hard to create this niche, and it's not easy for new up and comers to break into that segment. But even though these films still exist, they are few and far between. I remember watching Guy Pierce in Momento for the first time and thinking "this is what film making should be". And by that I don't mean all stories told backwards, but something that engages the audience. If you've ever seen this cult favorite you know you can watch it a dozen times and still pick up a little subtlety you missed the first 11 times around. But for the most part we as a general public desire visual anesthetic from our cinema. Something that will entertain us but also numb the reality we have to go back to when we leave. We desire comfort, and George Lucas helped make us comfortable, and in doing so killed the film industry. 

When I was in college I remember watching many classic films, some I had watched as a kid but for the most part they were films you just heard about. Robert Dinero, "Oh ya Raging Bull, and Taxi Driver" but most people who consume media now have never seen either of those films. I remember watching both in class and leaving going, "What the fuck just happened?" In the hey day of directoral freedom, there didn't need to be any happy endings, and most times there weren't. Most films I've seen that were critically acclaimed from that era left me feeling uncomfortable as the lights came up in the auditorium classroom, but the more I watched, the more I realized that's why they were so valuable. When all we desire is complacency, and simplicity from the media we consume, we slowly allow that to become all we desire from our lives. This is not just in film but in all types of media. That's why Justin Beiber will always be more popular than Ray Lamontagne, Ray may be more critically acclaimed, but the masses don't want to hear songs that end up make you feeling more depressed than when you started listening. They want, "Oh Baby, baby baby, OH!" In the wise words of prophetic poet/comedian/Youtube sensation Bo Burham, "Repeat Stuff, Repeat Stuff, Repeat Stuff, Repeat Stuff, Repeat Stuff, Repeat Stuff." And that's exactly what popular music as well as popular cinema has done. In music the equation is Douchey Boy+Overexaggerated Love Song = Platinum Record. For film its similar Regurgitated Super Hero + CGI = Billion Dollar Box Office.

Now I can't go so far as to blame George Lucas for the Biebs, but I can definitely consider him a main contributing factor for why Michael Bay keeps getting 100 million dollars to make cars explode in the air. Or as South Park put it:

FBI Agent: "Mr. Bay those aren't storylines, those are just special effects."
Michael Bay: "I uh... I don't know the difference."

So what's the answer, the silver lining, the potential solution to return our lost art to the once great medium it was. Honestly, there probably is none. That may seem bleak, but unfortunately unless the masses decide they don't want to line up three days early to see ANOTHER TRANSFORMERS MOVIE then we are probably doomed to have an endless cycle of recirculated garbage. The truth is the studios own the movies now, the directors just point and yell action. But there is something you can do. You can choose to decide what you spend your money on, that's not to say that all indie movies are awesome but do some research and find some filmmakers you like and go see their next movie instead of Michael Bays. You can, not listen, to your friends when they say, "That new Batman movie was the greatest thing I've ever seen! You have to see it!" Let's be honest (Ben Affleck, are you KIDDING ME!) Michael Keaton is the best Batman, Christian Bale is the coolest Batman, and everyone else is just dressing up in a suit with hard nipples. Support your filmmakers who make films, not movies, there may not be many of them still out there, but there's a few and with our help we might not be able to turn this whole thing around, but we can at least make sure they don't get wiped out completely. And now if you'll excuse me, I have to go watch, the new Star Wars Trailer, again!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sloe Collins

Cocktail of the Week: 6th Edition

After last weeks delicious, but slightly more difficult margarita re-envisioning, I decided this week would be ripe for something simple, easy, and most importantly, delicious. So I've taken a classic go-to standard that's been around a lot longer than I have, and made the smallest of tweaks. Unfortunately summer has come to a close, but before we get into full on Fall mode, I thought we might enjoy one last warm weather drink to tidy us over until the flowers start blooming again. With that in mind this weeks cocktail will be about as simple as it gets, the Tom Collins, with a twist. This classic summer standard is perfect for beginners to experts, as it's as simple as mix, stir, and serve, but not without a little twist we enjoy with all our Taylor Made Cocktails. This weeks is no different as we delve into the TAYLOR MADE: SLOE COLLINS.


When it comes to cocktails, they don't get much easier than the Tom Collins, but that doesn't mean this drink isn't up to par. The classic version of this drink only has four simple ingredients, and this one is no different, except we're changing out the main alcohol element, and substituting Sloe Gin for more tradition London Dry Gin. If you've never tasted Sloe Gin, you are definitely missing out. Think all the earthiness and botanicals you love in regular gin, but with a subtle sweet undertone of dark fruit on top. That's what makes this SLOE COLLINS unique, and I think you'll find, exactly what you're looking for on a hot summer day. Or maybe now, while you're reminiscing of all those hot summer days. Here's what you'll need:

- A nice mid-level Sloe Gin, Plymouth and Sipsmith are both nice and affordable
- Some fresh squeezed lemon juice and lemons for garnish
- Gumme or regular sugar syrup
- Soda Water
- Collins Glasses (or any tall glassware)
- And a couple of raspberries if you're feeling fancy


- Get all your ingredients laid out, juice made and pre-cutting some garnishes can save time (you'll be cutting lemon wheels, cut 1/2 inch circular wheels out of the lemon horizontally)
- It's not required, but definitely preferred to have crushed ice for this little concoction, it helps the drink distribute and blend more easily, but to be honest, these things go down easy so it's really up to you

MIXING: in as many different glasses as you want

- Add the following:
* 2 oz Sloe Gin
* 1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
* 1 oz sugar syrup
- Once you've got all your glasses prepped simply add crushed ice to the top
- Top with club soda and give it a nice 10 second stir
- Add your lemon wheel, and throw in a couple of raspberries if you're feeling fancy
- Sit back, kick your feetup and enjoy this refreshing adult "Berry Lemodade" of sorts

The Tom Collins is a perfect summer drink, and since it's not really summer anymore, this Sloe Gin version makes the perfect transition into fall. With the rich taste of plums and a hint of your fresh raspberries, this is a great way to say goodbye to the long hot days and welcome in the changing leaves and the fluffy jackets. You'll be amazed at how this simple, refreshing cocktail hits the spot and makes the prospect of winter, seem not too bad afterall.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Guys Can Fake It Too: 4 Signs You've Been With A Dude Who Faked An Orgasm

It's the ultimate low blow. A kick in the juevos. A knife in the back.

"Et Tu Brutus!"

Every girl has it at their disposal, and while it's not always used as a weapon, it can crush a man's spirits if it is.

"O ya, well, I FAKED IT!"

This is not to say that all women use this tactic, in fact sometimes when they do, it's simply because they are actually trying to save the feelings of their current partner. I once dated a girl who would get the sniffles after she orgasmed. This was kind of the way I knew I'd done my job. But more than once I wasn't quite sure I had actually rocked her world into a case of congestion, or if she was simply trying not to hurt my feelings. But there's something many women seem to be unaware of... guys fake that shit too. Not all the time, and definitely not for the same reasons, but women seem to think they are alone in this art of deception. I'm here to tell you ladies, you are not, and if you've been with a decent sample size of dudes, odds are at one time are another you too have been on the losing end of a bad acting performance, whether you knew it or not.

This is, "Guys Can Fake It Too: 4 Signs You've Been With A Dude Who Faked An Orgasm."

4. The "Pull-Out and Run"

Have you ever been with a gentlemen caller, and things seem to be going extremely well for both parties, but it's lasting... a while. In your 20's this is great, and I've had many a whiskey fueled marathon session for one, two, even three hours, but as you get older, sometimes that shit just needs to end. You could probably see it on his face. The sweat building up, he's tried a few times to build up speed and momentum, but continues to lose steam. Maybe he's out of shape, maybe he's just fucking tired. 

Sometimes guys just know, after the fourth or fifth time jack-rabbiting, doesn't lead to a frutuitous conclusion, sometimes, you just want to finish. It probably played out that you were really enjoying this last attempt, so much so that you yourself were about to or in the process of climaxing. Your beau sees this on your face, times his grunt and facial distortion with your own, and then BOOM! Like a flash he springs out of bed like Usain Bolt from the starting blocks, and B-lines it straight for the bathroom. This might not seem so crazy, maybe he's a neat freak, but don't you think after that long he'd be a little too tired after finally cumming to shoot up like a rocket ship? Maybe, just maybe, he's running to cover up the evidence (or lack there of), with a quick hand wash, maybe a shower, and some time to let his little buddy stop standing at full attention. Sometimes you know it's just time to cash in your chips and try again in the morning. 

3. The "Phantom Grunt" 

When you've been with someone for a while, or if you just have amazing sexual chemistry, you get to a point where you can start to figure out their bodies. What they want, how they want it, and what it looks like when you're doing things the right way. This next sign is usually not a bad one, but rather a result of running on empty. Men unfortunately (unless they are trained in Tantra) only have so much fuel in the proverbial tank (i.e. sperm in their nuts) in any given session. Well it's great to find someone you can have sex with three, four, five (my record is seven) times in a single marathon session, unforunately we as men only have so much to um... give. 

After a certain amounts of times, even if we do cum, it's really no more than dust firing from an old starter pistol. If you've ever been with someone in one of these sessions and they seem to all of a sudden "finish" with a satisfied sigh, but there doesn't seem to be any evidence of a discharge, it can mean one of two things. Either one, something came out, but barely, or two he's reached his limit, he appreciates your enthusiasm, but it's time to cuddle, or netflix and literally "chill".

2. The "Quickie Condom Flush"

This one is very similar to the "Pull-out and Run", except this one assumes you're practising "safe sex", whatever that means (kidding safe sex is smart kids). For those of you who are old enough to remember "40 days and 40 nights" with Josh Hartnett should remember the infamous condom scene. Basically, sometimes you can't get your head right no matter who your with or how hot they may be. It could be (in Josh's case) the walls are literally caving in, or maybe it's stress from work or another part of everyday life. Now, I can't reasonably imagine a girl wanting to "see the evidence" of your sticky Trojan, but if you've ever had a guy pop off and race to destory said evidence as quickly as possible, odds are he was faking it.

1. The "David Blaine"

This is not to be confused with the Urban Dictionary version, of a much dirtier more graphic sexual episode (really innappropriate, but pretty funny if you have the time to check it out). This is rather when the guy your with seems to make his "evacuation" completely disappear. Maybe he does a quick wipe on the sheets, which somehow don't seem to look very wet or sticky after, or maybe he simply says he went inside, but you can find no evidence of this later. This could be for a variety of reasons, but most likely it all ties back into the same theme, sometimes you just can't cum. Unfortunately, unlike you lovely creatures, we are not so subtle, creative, or convincing in our acting techniques. Just know, unlike many women, this is not something we see as a bad thing, sometimes all the pieces just don't connect right. If you suspect you have fallen victim to any of these techniques, just ask yourself if the relationship ended after? Unless it was a one time thing, more than likely this didn't deter the guy from staying with you, he was simply too embarrased to admit he couldn't reach the finish line, and he didn't want you to feel bad about it.

And people say chivalry is dead. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Prefer the Player: Why The One That's Hard To Catch Is Worth It... If You Can

It's simple laws of nature. The same way the peacock flexes its feathers to attract its mates, or the Bonobo Monkeys solve all their disputes with sex (it's true look that ish up). Females, no matter what species, want the biggest, baddest alpha-male in the herd. While it's not quite as simple in the human animal kingdom, the same general rules still hold true. There are certain men who reign above the rest, men want to be them, and women want to be with them, but there's a catch. In this age of Political Correctness, and "Dad Bods" it seems women are trying to rationalize their way out of their natural desires. The truth is you want the best, because that's what we're programmed to do. The reality is, women believe by persuing the best, in our world "The Players", they are simply falling victim to the deadly dating game. But if you value yourself and your own personal self worth, you should always aim for the stars. That's why I've compiled a list of reasons you should "Prefer the Player: Why The One That's Hard To Catch Is Worth It... If You Can."

5. Confidence is King

There's something about him. You can't quite put your finger on it, but he just has an aura about him that's irresistable. It seems like every time you see him he's with a different girl, and everyone of you and your friends do a double take when he walks by. Maybe he's simply built like a Male-Super Model, maybe it's just his overall demeanor, whatever it is, it's there, and you're not the only one who sees it. 

There's no one thing that makes a man attractive to the opposite sex, but all succesful lady killers seem to have one thing in common, they're confident. Next to "sense of humor" and "honesty", confidence is sure to break the Top 5 in almost every women's check list. Many of the most accomplished players I know, really don't have the most going for them physically, but they carry themselves in such a way that it's irresistible to the opposite sex. Any dating book will tell you, the main barrier standing between you and the girl of your dreams is simply having the confidence to introduce yourself. Player's exude this, and it's something you should definitely value highly in a potential mate.

Confidence means being comfortable in your own skin, not taking yourself too seriously, and knowing when to admit you're wrong, whether it's in an argument or in the bedroom. A player has this through and through, and it's something you should value in whoever you end up with.

4. They're most likely great in bed

There's no guarantee because a guy is a player he knows what he's doing in the sack, but you have to guess your odds improve dramatically. Now rumors are rumors and many a woman scorned might not be the nicest in telling you exactly how things went down, but if he's getting that much action, he is proabably doing something right. 

In order to be a player, you have to now what women want. That means knowing you almost always need to preheat the oven before you stick in the dinner. A guy who gets around will most assuredly know this, he'll also know that every women is different and they're all unique when it comes to what turns them on. This all goes back to he confidence thing. Having enough bravado to trust his gut, but enough confidence to ask if something's wrong if things don't seem to be going according to plan. A player will feel comfortable giving you exactly what you want, and what you need, because he wants you in his back pocket. And most likely he knows, the best way to keep a lady coming back for more is to make a lasting impression.

3. He'll show you respect

As we get older certain things start to change, and the tough guy act, or the jerk act tend to go out the window. I'm sure we all know a guy who still acts like he's 17 with women and somehow has more than he knows what to do with, but for the most part, being an adult goes a lot further when you grow up a bit. A real player knows there's a difference between treating you with the respect you deserve when you're together, and actually wanting to be with you... and there is a difference.

This is what many times gets women tricked down the wrong path. 

"He was so nice and polite."

"He acted like such a gentlemen."

Well ya, he was, and he is, but not because he wants to be with you forever, simply because he wants to be with you tonight. A little courtesy and respect go a long way, you can still mean it just because you don't follow up on it, but you'd be suprised at how women react when they meet a real gentleman. The thing is, he may not be looking to be tied down, but if you can, you can be assured that, that is his natural demeanor, and not just for show.

2. He's loyal

Most guys I know that have mastered the art of being a player have a very close knit team. Whether it's a group of guys or a couple select girls he confides in, you can be sure he's got some help in his corner. Now just because he doesn't seem to show this loyalty to the women he pursues doesn't mean it's not important to him. When you're a player in the field, the world of dating is just a game, an endless array of pursuits and conquests. But if you're lucky enough to lock this type of guy down you can rest assured that he is loyal to the core. 

It's all about perspective. If you're on the outside looking in, of course he's not going to be the most forthcoming and open, but if you can penetrate the inner circle, you know you've locked down someone true to the core. Many times players get the rep that even if they settle down, they're still always on the prawl, and this is most definitely not the case. If you're with a guy who you think is a player, and you suspect he's still playing, then unfortunately you're not really "with him". A player will take pride in the fact that he's tied down, will respect the women still throwing themselves at him, but he'll also know he got out of the game for a reason, you. And if you can manage to lock this guy down you can know many women will still be knocking on his door, but you're the one he wants to come home to at night.

1. It validates you

In the same way rich older men hang out with sexy 20-something models, is the same thing locking down a player can do for a woman's confidence. It means they chose you, above all the rest, and there's a reason for that. Player's tread lightly when it comes to relationships, so if you manage to snag one and it becomes official, you know you've accomplished something.

Women, whether like to admit it or not, are a competitive bunch, and the same way a guy takes pride in bringing out a "Perfect 10" is the same pride a woman feels when she's locked down a reformed player. You're friends will be jealous, but in a good way, heck maybe he even conquered a few of them. But knowing that you took this guy out of the game will boost your confidence in ways you never though possible. Everyone loves a little eye candy, and if you can snag yourself a guy like this, you'll be the envy of all the girls around town who swore it was impossible. Men can change, and even though "Players gonna play", at some point every star player wants to hang up his cleats and retire on top. 

Orange Dreamsicle Margarita


I shall warn you from the get go, this drink is not for the faint of heart. It takes time, preparation, and quite a bit of, well, ingredients, it just takes a lot of ingredients. But if you are like me and you love these three things, Tequilla, Coconut, and the Ice Cream Man, then allow me to take you on a magical journey to flavor town. This weeks cocktail is another original recipe, and a twist on a classic, that brings together your adult alcoholic, and your inner child. So if you're man (or woman) enough, then grab your grocery list, open your Amazon account, and start ordering some ingredients for this week's concoction: The TAYLOR-MADE: ORANGE DREAMSICLE MARGARITA.


Like I said the biggest challenge with this drink is simply collecting everything you will need to make it. The mixing and serving is pretty easy and straight forward, but compared to some of the other cocktails we've featured this one simply just has more in it. Now the recipe calls for coconut tequilla, but this is more to add a little extra zing, it is not mandatory, and any nice silver high quality tequilla will suffice, but if you're going to go through all this trouble, you may as well get the coconut, trust me you'll use all of it. Besides the tequilla here's a full list of what you'll need:

- Cointreau or a similar triple sec orange liquor
- Coconut Tequilla (1800) or a nice mid-top shelf silver agave tequilla
- Lime juice (1oz per drink) and fresh lime wedges
- Coconut Milk 
- Coconut Water
- Fresh Orange Juice (either squeeze or a nice brand with pulp 2oz per drink) and orange slices
- Vanilla Sugar Syrup
- Orange Infused Honey
- Vanilla Bean Sea Salt
- Nice rocks glass or mason jars

PREPARATION: one drink at a time
- Get all your ingredients laid out, juices juiced and fruit pre-cut
- For your garnishes, you'll want one lime wedge and one orange "wheel" for each drink (for an orange wheel, place orange horizontally and cut off the tip of the orange then cut another piece about 1/2 inch thick into a wheel shape)
- You'll need two small plates for adding the Vanilla Bean Rim to your glass, one with some orange infused honey poured onto it, and one with a small amount of vanilla bean salt poured onto it
- You'll need all your traditional cocktail mixing equipment (i.e. shaker, strainers, etc.)
- Before mixing everything into your shaker, rim your glassware by dipping the rim of the glass into the honey so you get a small thin layer of honey around the entire rim. 
- Next dip the glass into the vanilla bean sea salt to create a smooth even rim around the edge of the glass
- Allow the glasses to sit and dry slightly while we start the mixing

MIXING: for one drink at a time
- In an empty shaker add the following:
* 2 oz Cointreau
* 1 oz Coconut Tequilla
* 1 oz Lime Juice
* 1 oz Coconut Milk
* 1 oz Coconut Water
* 2 oz Orange Juice
* 1 oz Vanilla Sugar Syrup
- Add Ice to shaker then shake vigarously for 20-30 seconds, double strain into rimmed glass over ice
- Squeeze in one fresh lime wedge
- Drop fresh lime wheel on top
- Instagram, and enjoy

Margaritas are great, not just because tequilla is awesome, but because there's so many variations you can make on this classic recipe. Personally this is one of my favorite recipes, not just because it's delicious but because it's so fresh and different. The ingredients are a little more expensive, and some things you may need to source online or from a local organic market, but it's definitely worth the effort. This is also a great drink for a girls night out as it can easily be converted to a Margarita Martini. The  coconut adds a refreshing twist and the Vanilla Bean Sea Salt is a revelation that will have you coming back for over and over and over again!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Glasgow Kiss Sour


Some of the best drinks are the one's that have a good story behind them. As a professional bartender, I'm also basically a professional salesman. Ya, anyone can sell you a pint, but it takes a little bit of silver-tongued loquaciousness to get someone to upgrade to forking out $20 for a cocktail. That's why I love when bars I work at have a good theme, and why I especially love drinks that have a good story behind them. The "Hemminway Daiquari" for instance is an easy sell, simply because it automatically makes people feel like they're sharing a round with Ernie. But I also love creating my own little concoctions that have been inspired by different events or people I've met over the years, and that's exactly what this cocktail is. 

The Scottish have got to be some of the nicest, friendliest, drunkest people on the planet, and I've yet to meet one I haven't liked. But based on my experience, it seems every person born in Scotland is born in Glasgow. Though this might simply be a coincidence, I would wager it's mostly because the Scottish are delightfully full of (insert four letter word here). Now this is fine, it makes for amazing banter, and no one has better banter than a scotsman, but it also gave me an idea. A drink that's fun and exciting but not quite exactly what it seems to be, and so became the TAYLOR MADE: GLASGOW KISS. 


One of the best ways to make something new and exciting is to simply add a little spin on an old classic, and it doesn't get much more classic than a Whiskey-Sour. With that in mind, and with my Scottish friends serving as the inspiration, I created a modern twist on this old classic, that I think will be something everyone can enjoy. As with most sours we have just four main ingredients, our liquor, lemon or lime juice, sugar syrup, and egg white. But as with most great cocktails, it's not simply about the ingredients, it's about the little extra you put in to make it great, in this case that will be Buckfast Tonic Wine, and Maraschino Cherries soaked in whiskey. So here's what you'll need:

- A nice mid to high-end scottish whiskey (of course). I prefer a blend for this drink with a nice balance (you don't want something to peaty or smokey, but a little more smooth on the palate). A great affordable blend is Monkey Shoulder.
- Lemon or Lime Juice, normally for a whiskey sour I would recommend lemon, but with this particular drink the extra punch of tart from the lime is a nice touch (1 oz per drink, squeeze accordingly).
- Gumme or plain sugar syrup (need 1/2 oz per drink)
- Egg Whites (pre-maid is probably easier if you've never cracked egg whites before, 1 oz per drink).
- Buckfast Tonic Wine, this is essential, because nothing else quite tastes like "Bucky". You may need to search a higher end import store depending on where you live (which is rather ironic if you know anything about 'Bucky', it's not exactly classy).
- Marschino Cherries, depending on how many people your making drinks for is how big of a jar you should get, but they're good in everything so probably opt for the big jar.  
- Normal cocktail making equipment (shakers, strainers, etc.)

- This is not a mandatory step, but definitely worth the extra effort if you're going to be entertaining some guests and really want a little something extra. You should do this at least 24 hours before hand.
- In a large cup or glass add as many cherries as you will need for the night (without the juice), try to get at least two per drink, but three if you've got the time and energy.
- Next (depending on the size of the glass and the number of cherries, fill up with 2 parts whiskey, 1 part Buckfast, and 1 part Marschino Cherry juice. 
- Give it a little mix to distribule the liquid and place in the fridge for at least 24 hours to allow the mix to infuse with the cherries (testing whenever you feel the need of course).

- Firstly, as always, make sure all your ingredients are set out and ready to go (juice squeezed, cherries prepped, egg whites either cracked or pre-made package ready).
- For this cocktail you want to use a nice see-through high-ball glass (6-8 oz capacity), so have the appropriate amount of those. The presentation of this drink is just as important as the drink itself.

MIXING: for one drink at a time
- In an empty shaker add the following:
* 2 oz Scottish Blended Whiskey (Monkey Shoulder)
* 1 oz Lime Juice (or Lemon if you prefer)
* 1 oz Egg White 
* 1/2 oz Gumme (Sugar Syrup)
- Firstly, "Dry Shake" the drink, firmly closing the lid and shaking for 10-15 seconds
- Remove the lid, add ice, then proceed to "Wet Shake" for another 15-20 seconds
- Double strain over ice into your high-ball glass
- Next, pour 1/2 an oz of Buckfast into a seperate shot glass and slowly and carefully pour over the top of the drink to create a "Bucky Float", the two should stay relatively separated and you'll notice a beautiful juxtiposition between the yellow/brown of the sour, and the deep burgandy of the wine.
- Finally, add however many of your soaked Marschino Cherries as you desire, Instagram that bad boy, and enjoy.

The thing I love about this drink is the simplicity, the sophistication, and also the general debauchery which it implies. A whiskey sour is a cocktail a man like Don Draper would drink, while Buckfast (at least according to all my Scottish friends) is directly linked in around 70% of all alcohol related crimes in Scotland. The two juxtapose together perfectly in this Taylor-Made Cocktail of The Week, and I hope you enjoy drinking it half as much as I enjoyed making it. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Berry Sorbet Martini


If you've ever bartended before, or most likely if you've ever been to a bar period, at some point you've heard this phrase uttered, "I don't know... make me something yummy." This phrase comes in a variety of forms, you may have also heard any of these:

"Just... I don't know... whatever's good."

"What would YOU drink?"

"Make me something special!"

The majority of the time it's not their fault, these people are not professionals, they are simply customers. While it may be frustrating for us behind the bar, I wouldn't expect to be able to walk into whatever it is you do for a job and pick it right up either. We are the link between you, and some delicious concoction, and you are willfully admitting your ignorance, and trusting us to deliver. This exchange used to frustrate me, all I could think was, "You've been waiting ten minutes, and you didn't stop to think about what the %^$& you wanted to order?!" But after many years, and continuing to increase my knowledge over time, I learned to embrace this. I created a list of go to drinks for the undecisive. Simple, easy to make, and most importantly, delicious. This week's cocktail is an old favorite off that list, The Taylor-Made: Berry Sorbet Martini. It's the perfect response to any girl looking for something sweet and delicious, but has no idea what she wants. This is one of the simpliest drinks I make, but chicks love it (and dude's they just won't admit it), and I'm sure you'll love it too. 


This is the perfect drink for a girls night out, or better yet, if you wanna be fancy and have a girls night in. It's super simple, and super delicious, and a lot stronger than it tastes (so be careful). Like I said it's also super easy to make, even though it has five ingredients (but all in equal portions), but with a little creative flair you can make it look like a $20 cocktail. Here's what you'll need:

- A nice bottle of vodka (I love Tito's, but any mid to premium is great)
- A bottle of Chambord Raspberry Liquor 
- Some fresh squeezed lemon juice (an ounce per drink, so squeeze accordingly)
- Gumme (Regular Sugar Syrup)
- Fresh or Boxed Egg Whites (probably boxed if you don't have experience cracking eggs)
- If you wanna get fancy, a bottle of Maraschino Cherries and a straw
- That's it... simple

**Side Note: If you've never made cocktails before and are unsure of the reason for needing eggwhites, it's simply about creating a frothy creamy drink. If you drink a lot of Martinis you've almost assuredly had a drink made with egg whites before. Don't get grossed out, they are totally safe and healthy, and hey protein! So now your getting drunk... and healthy!**


- Firstly, get everything laid out (all your bottles, egg whites and juice)
- Make sure your martini glasses are rather large (at least 6 oz) as the drink will thin slightly when mixed and you don't want to overflow
- It's possible to make two drinks at a time, but you will need a very large shaker, or simply get small cute martini glasses and split each drink into two
- You will need all your basic cocktail making tools again (shaker, strainer, etc.)
- Let's get started

MIXING: for one drink at a time

- In an empty shaker add 1oz each of the following:
* Vodka
* Chambord
* Lemon Juice
* Gumme
* Egg White
- If your know what you're doing, here is where you would first "dry shake" then add ice and "wet shake"... If you don't know what that means, just add ice and shake for about 15-20 seconds
- If you simply want to drink this is where you double strain into the glass and enjoy, however, if you have a flair for the dramatic, and presentation, then you can add one more step.
- Using the juice from the cherries, dip the straw into the bright red juice and plug the other end with your finger so no juice comes out
- Bring the straw to the foamy, yummy martini glass and allow some juice to drip out (one drop at a time) around the edge of the glass, using four drops total to create a cross shape with the red cherry dots
- Once you've got all four of your dots, dip the straw lightly into the center of one of the dots and draw a circle with the straw going through the center of each of the red dots, and finishing back at the top
- Voila! You've created a beautiful set of four red hearts encircling the glass... Post that shiz to Instagram and drink up!

This cocktail is great for bachelorette parties, birthdays, and/or simply just a girls night out (or in). It's sweet, but not overly sweet, and it's got just the right amount of kick, mixed with deliciousness. I hope you enjoy and remember to comment, share, and even send in your own recipes for us to try out. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Perfect Storm

For the better part of the last decade I have been a bartender to pay the bills. As anyone who has bartended for this long knows, this also means I am also a certified therapist, relationship counselor and official late night "booty call", because who else is just getting off work at 4am? What it also means is over the course of that time, I've learned a thing or two about the art of cocktail making. When I wasn't busy explaining the difference between a Vodka and Gin Martini (or my preference for stirring no matter what James Bond may think) or trying to get one of my regulars laid, I was messing around with all those fancy bottles behind the bar. With this knowledge gained and now in collaboration with Taylor Magazine we will be presenting a weekly cocktail, to get help power you through your week. Many of these will be my own personal concoctions, and some will simply be slight twists on old classics. Regardless, start taking screen shots and bringing these with you to your swankiest cocktails bars in town, and bask in the glow of the bartender finally asking you, "Wait, what's in that?"


Sometimes you just need to channel your inner pirate, and when that day comes there's really only one drink that will do... RUM! In this second installment of Taylor-Made Cocktails, we will be exploring a small twist on a old favorite, the Dark and Stormy. For those of you that have never experienced this delicious cocktail, just know from the start you are in for a treat. There are many impersonators, but any real bartender will tell you, there's nothing quite like a real Dark and Stormy. So with that in mind we will explore this old classic, but give it a little extra punch up.


Rum drinks are great, because they always make you feel like you're at the beach, even if you're in the middle of the mountains. There's a reason rum was the drink of choice for writing great Ernest Hemminway, a good rum cocktail, especially one like this, warms the soul, and gets the creative juices flowing. So let's explore the art of classic Tiki cocktails and channel our inner Jack Sparrow with a drink that will sure to make you exclaim, "Where's all the Rum Gone?!" Here's what you'll need:

- Gosling's Black Seal Rum (80 proof)
- Gosling's Black Seal Rum (151 proof)
- A few cans of Gosling's Ginger Beer
- A few stalks of fresh Lemon Grass
- One fresh chunk of ginger
- Lots of fresh limes (for juicing and cutting)
- Gumme (Plain Sugar Syrup)
- Tiki Mugs (or some nice High Ball Glasses)

- Firstly, get all your ingredients laid out (you'll probably want a juicer for this)
- You will also need some basic cocktail making equipment for this drink (shakers, strainers, muddler, jiggers, etc.)
- Depending on the size of your shaker, you can make up to two drinks at a time, but there's no shame in enjoying a couple of these bad boys by yourself
- Get all of your juice ready, you'll need an ounce of lime juice per drink, so juice accordingly
- Make a lime boat for your 151 floater. To do this cut a lime horizontally and use the knife to cut out the pulp inside the skin. You want to make sure there's as little pulp remaining as possible.
- Let's get started

MIXING: for one person at a time
- Cut about 2 cm of the lemon grass stalk and about the same size portion of the fresh ginger
- Muddle these two in the shaker, until they are pulvarized and you can see the juice from the ginger
- Add the following:
1. 2 ounces Gosling's Black Seal (80 proof)
2. 1 ounce fresh lime juice
3. 1/2 ounce Sugar Syrup
4. Fill up the rest of the shaker with ice
- Shake for about 30 seconds and double strain over ice into Tiki or High ball glass
- Top with Gosling's Ginger Beer
- Throw your lime boat on top and add another 1/2 ounce to 1 ounce of Gosling's Black Seal (151 proof)
- Light the rum in the lime boat on fire, post picture to instagram, and enjoy (make sure you blow out the fire before you add your float).

Aside from looking awesome, this classic cocktail has everything you want from a rum drink, spice, sweetness, and a beautiful extra kick. You'll be sure to impress all your friends with your new bartending skills, and you'll definitely love this amped up version of an old classic. Just don't be suprised when you find out how easy these bad boys go down, and how much rum you'll go through before you even realize it. Cheers!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Passionfruit Sangria

For the better part of the last decade I have been a bartender to pay the bills. As anyone who has bartended for this long knows, this also means I am also a certified therapist, relationship counselor and official late night "booty call", because who else is just getting off work at 4am? What it also means is over the course of that time, I've learned a thing or two about the art of cocktail making. When I wasn't busy explaining the difference between a Vodka and Gin Martini (or my preference for stirring no matter what James Bond may think) or trying to get one of my regulars laid, I was messing around with all those fancy bottles behind the bar. With this knowledge gained and now in collaboration with Taylor Magazine we will be presenting a weekly cocktail, to get help power you through your week. Many of these will be my own personal concoctions, and some will simply be slight twists on old classics. Regardless, start taking screen shots and bringing these with you to your swankiest cocktails bars in town, and bask in the glow of the bartender finally asking you, "Wait, what's in that?"


Unfortunately, summer is almost over, but that shouldn't stop you from drinking delicious summer cocktails like you don't have to worry about work on Monday. With that in mind I'm pleased to kick off the new "Cocktail of the Week" section for Taylor Magazine with a delicious spin on a summer classic.


Sangria is a staple in any summer drinking diet, but this classic needed a new kick. By changing up some basic parts but still keeping the heart of the drink the same, I've created a drink that's sure to keep you keep you saying "Does this even have any alcohol in it?" while you slowly start slurring your words and getting handsy with your best friend's boyfriend. It's definitey possible to find all these ingredients in stores but you might have to look a little harder for the passionfruit syrup (you can always make your own as well!). So let's get started, here's what you'll need:

- Brandy, any mid-shelf brand will do, you don't need XO for this as it'll simply be part of the larger mix.
- Lemon juice, I would recommend having a juicer if your making this for a party otherwise you will be squeezing a lot of lemons.
- Orange Juice: something nice and fresh not from concentrate, I prefer heavy on the pulp but that's up to you.
- Passionfruit Syrup: you can either find this in a large alcohol store (like Total Wine) or order some online (you can use if for a bunch of recipes) or simply make your own.
- Passionfruit Pulp: should be easier to find in the canned fruit section at higher end organic grocery stores, or you can pulp your own passionfruit (but this is a pain).
- Moscato: I prefer a nice pink, bubbly version (Jacob's Creek), but it's perfectly acceptable to use a non carbonated (rule of thumb, men would prefer no bubbles, but once they try it they'll love it either way). 
- A variety of fruit: In a classic Sangria you'd be using apples, oranges, strawberries, and maybe lemons or limes, but you can really add whatever you want here to spice up. 
- Mason Jars: The best and classiest way to serve real sangria in my opinion, you can usually find these at Costco or the like for just a couple bucks a glass and they can be repurposed often.

PREPARATION: For a group of 5
- Firstly, get everything set out, so the mixing will go as smoothly as possible. 
- How many people are you making drinks for?: If it's a large group I would recommend doing something in a jug that people can just pour for themselves, the drink is not hard to make, but it takes some time if you have to do it for 30 separate people.
- Gather and cut your fruit, for the purposes of this we will stick with the classics and say Oranges, Apples, and Strawberries. Typically you'll want about half a larger fruit for each person (so 1/2 apple and orange) and two whole smaller fruits (so two strawberries per person). 
- Juice your lemons: you will need 1oz of lemon juice per person. Depending on the lemon size and juiciness, it should be anywhere from 1-2 lemons per person. 
- Once all your fruit is cut and your lemon juice squeezed, and your jug for mixing is ready, we can move on to the actual mixing. 

MIXING: Per Person (5 people) in your Jug
- Firstly add all your fruit: we will be mixing later so its ok for this to sit there for the moment
- Ingredients per person:
1. 1 oz brandy (5 oz)
2. 1 oz lemon juice (5 oz)
3. 2 oz orange juice (10 oz)
4. 1/2 oz Passionfruit syrup (2 1/2 oz)
5. 1 oz passion fruit pulp (5 oz)
6. 1/5 bottle of Moscato (1 Full Bottle)

Mix all the ingredients together (except Moscato) in your jug (You want something that holds about 3 liters), and add ice so that the jug is about 2/3's full. Stir everything for about 30 seconds before adding your Moscato on top. Stir agin for another 20-30 seconds making sure to mix up from the bottom as you stir. Add ice to fill up the jug the rest of the way and you are (almost) ready to serve.

Fill each of the Mason Jars about 2/3's of the way with ice. It can be nice here to have some extra fruit pre-cut that people can add a little scoop to their drink before pouring on the Sangria (as it sometimes tends to stick to the bottom of the jug). Pass around and enjoy!

If you are planning on serving a larger quantity (5 people and up) I would recommend not adding ice to the mixture before serving (as it will water down as it sits there). Rather mix everything together as before, without adding the ice, and simply fill people's Mason Jars with ice to the top, to insure a delicious ice cold Sangria.

Now get out there and say "Winter be Damned!" as you sip this delicious concoction and dream about bikinis and tan lines. We'd love to hear your feedback, or if you have any owns twists on this classic recipe you'd like to offer, chuck it in the comments section below. But for now, sit back, relax, and enjoy.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Tantra for Dummies: Use These 3 Tips to Tap Into a Tantric Orgasm, and Start Your Journey Towards Being a Sex God

What do you think of when you hear Tantra? For some they jump to the texts of the ancient religion dealing with the process of using our worldly beings as a way to access the outer limits of reality and bring ourselves closer to Samadhi or enlightenment. But you weren't thinking about that were you? No, I know you, you were thinking about sex, crazy, never ending, ultimate, blissful sex, and maybe Sting, for some reason a lot of people think of Sting. 

Well fine if that's what you wanna talk about, that's what we'll talk about, sex. Just keep in mind sex only plays a small part in the actual ancient texts of Tantra, but because we're all have a collective, naughty mind, let's just focus on the naughty. But what exactly is Tantric sex? And how can you use elements of this style of getting down to make yourself a better lover? All in good time.

First, let's talk a little bit about the premise of this whole thing. Tantra has roots in ancient Indian (like from India) times, like 5th Century AD kinda ancient. This is not going to be a lecture on ancient philosophy and religion though, so excuse me if I skip over some details. Basically the ancient yogic texts were all about the search for Samadhi (enlightenment). Most of the traditional philosophies believed that in order to reach this state of pure consciousness, one had to go above and beyond the temptations and pleasures of a normal human existence. This meant going beyond good and bad, right and wrong, pain and pleasure etc. Only by commiting oneself to this lifestyle could one go beyond this state of normal human existence into this higher level of consciousness. 

Tantra arose as an alternative viewpoint from this more traditional sect. Though it was not originally focused on sex (as it's now usually associated), what tantrics believed was you could use certain elements of the human experience to also elevate yourself to this higher plain. 

Enter Sex...

If you've ever had an orgasm (and let's hope for your sake you have) you know that in those brief few moments of ectasy, the entire world goes blank. Your mind completely clears, and for a brief second, you enter into another state of consciousness. You are completely and utterly in the present moment, totally conscious, and then... it's gone. So Tantric Sex attempts to train oneself to extend these moments. Women have a natural advantage, which is why they were revered in the tantric community. Multiple orgasms really are a thing of beauty when you're trying to get closer to enlightenment... or whatever. Men unfortunately aren't so naturally gifted. We get a small glimpse at the light, then it's over from anywhere from five minutes to an hour (depending). However, there is hope! With proper training a willing partner, and lot's and lot's of practice (poor you I know), you can tap into your inner tantric God, and be well on your way to finding Samadhi (or just having really awesome sex). With that in mind I present:

"Tantra For Dummies: 3 Quick Tips To Tap Into Your Tantric Orgasm, And Start Your Journey Towards Being A Sex God!"

3. The 80% Rule

This is the most straight forward and most simple intro tip. When practising to channel your inner tantra, treat sex like it's a scale. Imagine 0-100%, 0 obviously being nothing, and 100% being that brief moment you have your final "Vinegar Stoke" (The League Anyone?). For men the key is staying in a certain range, you feel good enough that you can stay um, at "attention" but not so good that you cross the point of no return. This is why having a excited, willing partner is key. When you first start out on your road to tantric glory, you will need to take some breaks along the way. Breaks are cool if your partner is on board, not so cool if it's some chick you picked up at the bar, who is wondering why you keep pulling out and breathing hard every five minutes. 

For Tantric Sex you have to refine what it means to have an orgasm. For men we associate the orgasm with ejaculation, but these are actually two seperate processes which through a life of training we've become accustomed to having mere nanoseconds apart. In reality, the chemicals released in our brain upon orgasm and the release of sperm from the ejaculatory ducts are two seperate occurrences. So by training ourselves in this 80% zone we can learn to control this impulse, and eventually seperate it. With practice (lots and lots of practice) you can slowly increase your pleasure threshold past the 80% mark into 90 even 95%. Resulting in the chemical release associated with the orgasm, without the physical release typically associated with the orgasm. With lots of practice and commitment (life is hard I know) you can actually train yourself to experience the male equivalent of the female multiple orgasm. Just be careful, even with a bunch of training the threshold still exists, and once you pass it, anatomically there's no going back. So if you're planning on practicing the Tantric "Pull-Out Method" just be wary, let's just say, "accidents" can happen.

2. Sublimation

This one is a little more tricky. If you want to look a little farther into it, simply google "Tantric Sublimation" and you can spend a few hours looking up different techniques and guides to keeping cool under pressure. In lamens terms what this basically means is "tighten that shit up". Sublimation is a Yogic and Tantric process of moving energy up through our bodily system. Without getting too sophisticated this essentially means practicing tighetening techniques of the prostate gland and the urethra (the hole in your ding-dong). 

As you continue to practice and engage with your partner, you use these breathing and tightening techniques to move the flow of energy away from your downstairs, upwards. There's a variety of ways to do this, but a few are more effective then others. Like I said hop on google and check some out for yourself. Just to give you an idea, imagine your partner is on top. It's starting to feel, really, really good, pushing past your 80% threshold. By focusing on tighetening the muscles downstairs and taking deep breaths, you can attempt to overcome these sensations and move the energy away before it's too late. The key again is making sure you have someone who is on board (literally and figuratively) so they won't question all those strange faces you're making. Which brings us to our last tip.

1. Communication

If you're really committed to giving Tantra a shot, the biggest thing you need is  partner who's on board. Doesn't matter if it's a long time girl friend, former babysitter, or maybe just some chick who was doing yoga poses on Tinder, having a willing, enthusiastic partner is key. Make sure you have discussed this and they know what they're getting into, but honestly if you say "I wanna get better at sex so we can have marathon sessions together", they probably won't argue. Also realize, this is something that takes time, and it goes against everything we see in our "normal" exposure to all things sexual. There are no "money shots" in Tantric Sex, well, at least there's not "supposed" to be.

Once you've found a partner and they've agreed, just realize at first things can be a little frustrating. Many women struggle to have an orgasm period, so the idea of prolonging yours might sound all well and good, until she's super close and you decide it's time to pull out and sublimate. But focus on the long game, make sure your partner knows what they're getting in for, and the rest is all about practice.

So go out there, get someone willing, and get to it! 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Damaged Goods: What To Do When You Find Out a Women In Your Life Has a History of Sexual Abuse

Before we go any further, let's take a moment to address that headline... "Damaged Goods". Is that really how we think of women in this country who have been victims of some form of sexual assault? Unfortunately, a lot of the times the answer is yes, and I for one think that needs to change. The reality is more staggering than you can imagine. Each year there are close to 300,000 sexual assaults in the U.S. with most of these going unreported. What that means is that number could be even higher, and in my experience it definitely is.

The truth is, that the majority of women have experienced sexual assault in one form or another at some point in there lives. This doesn't mean every women walking the streets has been a victim of rape (though the numbers on that are shocking as well), but most have been victims in some sense. Whether it's rape, unwanted sexual advances, sexual harrassment or anything else of the like, the point is most women have an experience involving their sexuality they'd rather not share. For me this topic hits home. Many of my best friends on this planet happen to be women, and for one reason or another they all seem to confide in me at some point. I'd like to say the idea of hearing these stories gets easier with time, but the truth is I always find myself infuriated at whoever the perpetrator may have been. I find myself asking questions like,

"Who would do this?"

"Why wouldn't you come forward?"

"Is there anything I can do to help?"

But as I've met more and more people with age, and encountered more and more stories like these I've learned quite a few things. The most important being how similar many of these stories are, and what it says about the person who's finally able to share it with you. 

This is an article for men who may be in the dark on this topic. It seems many of my own guy friends are oblivious to this disturbing trend. If this sounds like you, or you've recently found yourself in a situation wondering, "How do I deal with this information," then take a few minutes and learn from my own experience. Whether it's your best friend, your girl friend, fiance or wife, doesn't matter, what matters is how you deal with receiving this new information, and what you can take away from it. 


When a women you care about and cares about you decides to open up to you about this topic, it's usually not something done casually and in passing. If you find yourself in this situation and you don't know what to do as you process this new information the best advice I can give you is simply don't DO anything. Realize that for her, this isn't easy, but she cares enough about you, that she wants you to know. This can be a huge step in a relationship when someone opens up to you with this type of story. The best thing you can do is simply hear her out, don't interject, don't get upset, simply let her tell you in her own time this story and how it's played a role in her development.


The first time a women opened up to me about a sexual assault in her past I was in college. It was my best friend at the time, I was 18, and I simply didn't know how to handle it. As I grew up and I continued to be confronted with this trend, I found that many (in my experience, the majority) of women had situations when they were younger. It disgusts me to think about, but the statistics show that the majority of assaults are committed by someone the victim knows, and many times someone older. This means by the time this person is opening up to you this is something that happened a long time ago. That doesn't by any means make it easier, it simply means they've spent the years in between dealing with it, what they need from you is for you to understand how it has shaped them. Especially if it was in the past one of the worst things you can do is talk about reporting it, or doing something about it, sexual assault is one of the trickiest crimes to prosecute, especially if it's been years. They don't want a solution from you, they just want you to know, to understand this difficult part of their life, and that they trust you with this information. 


I can't speak for every women who's ever been assaulted, but I do know they come in all shapes and sizes and backgrounds, but the one's I've known have all shared one similar quality, strength. This is not to say that women can't be strong and independent without trauma, but those who have faced these travesties and dealt with them, and become better women because of them are a sight to behold. Unfortunately, many women never get over the issues associated with such an event, and even the one's who get "over" it, are never really over it. What they share however is a belief that they are stronger than their circumstance, they will not let one situation change the person they want to be. For some women it takes years, for others not as long, but just know if she's telling you these things it means to some extent she's dealing with it, she's not letting it define her, and she wants your support. 


"I don't want you to think any differently of me." This is something I've heard uttered far too many times for my liking in past relationships, and again when I was younger, I didn't quite know how to process it. My first thought used to be, "But you were raped, how could this NOT change things," but the truth is it's not about you, it's about her. If someone feels close enough to share this information with you and your view on them changes, then you probably didn't deserve to be with her in the first place. The truth is however, you view SHOULD change, but for the better. She doesn't want to be viewed as a victim, she doesn't need your pity, and if those are your first thoughts, then you have some growing up to do before you're ready for the real world. However, if you see her through a new filter, admire her courage, stand by her side in silent support, then you just affirm the reason she trusted you in the first place. 

Whether you know it or not, in relationships past or future, you've probably been or will be with someone who has been a victim of sexual assault. Remember that her situation doesn't change the person she has become. Remember that she doesn't want your pity. Remember that she's telling you this because she trusts you, because she wants you to know. Finally, if you've been affected by this situation make a change of your own. Remember how it felt when someone you cared for opened up to you about this for the first time, and realize if we want to stop this trend, it starts with all of us. We can't change the past, but if we really care for the beatiful women in our lives, we can hold each other accountable for a better future. 

And remember ladies, you're beautiful, because you're you, and no one can take that away from you.  

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

10 Reasons You Need to Stop Letting People Tell You There's Only 10 Reasons to Do Shit

1.) Just Kidding

That would be pretty stupid right? If I was writing an article about why you should stop reading articles about lists telling you how to live your life... with a list. The truth is something has snapped in our singular consciousness, and I am not immune. In fact, I've made the majority of my strides in the blogging world by creating just that, lists. "6 reason to do this", "21 Reasons why you shouldn't do that". What is it about bullet points that makes it the only way we can seem to process culturally relevant information anymore?

In this age of social media, why does it seem that we can't focus on anything that doesn't tell us exactly what we need to do? I mean, none of us are the same right? All of our situations are slightly if not significantly different right? So why are the vast majority of the articles I see spread throughout social media founded in this principle that you have to have some kind of checklist guideline to live your life by?

Why are your "6 Reasons Not Quitting Your Job to Travel is a Waste of Your Life" relevant to me? Maybe I don't want to fucking travel! The truth is I actually wrote that article that gained a huge amount of internet traffic, but as it was doing that I couldn't help but think, why? Why, couldn't I simply write an article about my passion for traveling, not wanting to be tied down, and wanting to see the world, without singling out groups of people that would feel left out. The truth? Because nobody would publish it. So what is it about these articles that we find so appealing? Is our generation so riddled with ADD, that we simply can't focus on anything that will challenge our mental capacity outside of a clear and concise list? I certainly don't think so, and I certainly hope not. 


This is a hard question to answer. Maybe it's simply due to the fact of relatability. If people see a list that relates to them, they are instantly interested, they are the ideal target market. The same way people who swing conservative watch FoxNews, and liberals watch Bill Maher. It seems that we all have a need to fill our own set of customs and beliefs, and the easiest way to do that is to see something that instantly pops out and says, "Oh... That's Me!". 

This all plays back to social media and this age of interconnectivity. You can literally find a group for EVERYTHING now. Star Wars geek... check. Anime Fiend... Check. Lesbians Who Love Ruby Rose... Check. Crazy Cat Videos... TRIPLE CHECK! We are so accustomed to getting exactly what we want whenever we want it, that the idea of reaching outside of our comfort zone and our preconceived world values seems silly. If I'm a staunch liberal, why would I bother reading anything Bill O'Reily has to say? Through our need for singularity we've taken creativity, debate, and social commentary out of the equation.

It's the same reason that every week it seems like some long time sports personality or TV host is in hot water over a comment deemed too politically incorrect in this day and age. People don't like hearing things that make them uncomfortable, and media pays attention to that. It doesn't matter if the rest of your viewership agrees, if one person feels attacked, it can sink the whole ship. This is why media has become so one-sided. Left is left, right is right, there can be no more inbetween, because unless there's 50 Shades of it, gray makes us feel uncomfortable. 


The simple answer would be, challenge yourself, challenge your opinions, think outside the box, but c'est la vie, life is not always so simple. So here's what I propose. Stop being so goddamn sensitive. This includes myself as well. I'm just as guilty of ignoring things that challenge my worldview as the next person, but I'm trying to make an effort. I try to avoid articles that I know won't make me think, but will just confirm the beliefs I already hold dear. "8 Reasons Tom Brady is a Cheating Douche"? I can probably figure that one out for myself I don't need to read 2,000 words from someone that will most likely end with, "but no matter what you think... he's still banging Giselle". 

As far as sensitivity is concerned, that ones a little harder to address, but let's give it the old college try. I've spent the last month at a yoga retreat to get my teaching certification, and in that time of study and practice I've come to a few conclusions. People are all very, very different, but also very much the same. There's not many of us who let everything roll off our shoulders with ease, but that should be the goal. This doesn't mean not standing up for what you believe in or taking arms against an action or statement you believe to be truly reprehensible. But it does mean taking a deep breath before taking action, and realizing that we are all fundamentally entitled to our own opinions, no matter how dumb they may seem to others. The 1st Ammendment was chosen first because it's a foundation of what this country was founded on. If we let all the little things affect us and cause us grief, how can we expect to be taken seriously when something really egregious comes up. We all have the right to our own opinions, even if some are more stupid than others, but just because you don't agree with it, doesn't mean they don't have a right to say it. As George Carlin once said: 

"Rights aren't 'rights' if someone can take them away - They're privileges. That's all we've ever had in this country: a bill of temporary privileges. And if you read the news, even badly, you know that the list gets shorter and shorter."

The truth is the only way we are able to grow is exposing ourselves to the beliefs of others. And this works both ways, whether to affirm what you already believed, or sometimes to make you question things you once considered to be the foundation of your belief structure. If we never changed, never questioned anything, we would all be still stuck in our 10 year old minds. Every boy would be a super hero, and every girl would be a princess, but this is not reality. Things change, we adjust, we learn, and we grow, but all of a sudden it seems we've come to a hault. All this progress, all this new era of thinking has slammed on its brakes. Now all we seem to want to do is stay complacent, comfortable in our bubble, and we use social media and blogs, and other websites to simply perpetuate our own world views. You wanna know the solution, stop. It's as simple as that. Stop being complacent, stop spinning your wheels, and dare to be uncomfortable. Next time you have the choice between more cat memes, or an article or youtube video questioning something you hold sacred, pick the latter. Who knows it might even reaffirm what you already believe. But we all know cat memes only lead to one thing... more cat memes.

This isn't to say that you need to question EVERYTHING constantly, and live in this perpetual world of non-knowing and non-commital. But every once in a while, it's nice to take a walk on the wild side. Who knows you might even like it. And besides if you're a Gen-Y kid like me, and you don't yet know "The 10 Real Reasons Guys Love Blowjobs", well I'm sorry to tell you sweetheart... but you probably never will.