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Keith Lathon, Builder/ Developer (Retired)
Building Tips and Meet the Artisans
Paul R. Williams, Architect: Recognize a Great One
The World's Best

My trip to Jack Daniels

Jack Daniels Visitor Center

Jack Daniels Still

Jack Daniels Barrel Room

Jack being bottled

One barrel equals bottles

This Month the Drink: "Champagne Smoothies"

Champagne Smoothies

A Champagne smoothie is a chilled, fruity drink that can be made with or without alcohol. This recipe serves two.

  1. Put yogurt into a blender.
  2. Add chopped berries and nutmeg.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Pour into tumblers, filling each glass three-quarters full.
  5. Top off with chilled Champagne or other sparkling wine.
  6. Stir gently to combine.
  7. Garnish with mint sprigs and an orange slice.



    • Chilled sparkling water or ginger ale can be used instead of Champagne
    • Add a little lemonade or a small amount of lemon juice if the drink tastes too sweet.



2 oz apple juice
1.3 oz Stoli Vodka
0.3 oz crème de mure
8 blueberries
Dash of lime

Star fruit

 To make it

Mixxing all ingredients
Shake and strain into highball glass
Garnish with star fruit.


Raspberry Champagne Cocktail


Serves: 4-8

2 cups raspberry juice or 1-1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup water
2 Tbs. superfine sugar
lemon peel twists
2 bottles Champagne


1.       If you cannot purchase fresh raspberry juice, make your own by blending fresh raspberries with water and sugar and straining to remove seeds.

2.       Fill ice cube trays with raspberry juice, garnishing each with a lemon twist and freeze until solid.

3.       To serve, place one raspberry cube in a champagne flute and fill with champagne.


1 cup Triple Sec
1 cup brandy
1/2 cup Chambord
2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
1 quart chilled ginger ale
2 chilled 750-ml. bottles dry champagne

In a bowl combine the Triple Sec, the brandy, the Chambord and the pineapple juice and chill the mixture, covered, for at least 4 hours or overnight. In a large punch bowl combine the Triple Sec mixture, the ginger ale, and the champagne and add ice cubes.

Makes about 16 cups, serving 12.

Chocolate Martini

Pour equal parts vanilla vodka, crème de cacao and dark chocolate liqueur into martini shaker. Add some Irish crème and a dash of peppermint schnapps. Shake and pour into martini glass


2 oz Crown Royal

3/4 oz Orange Juice

Top with a Cherry

Pour over ice in a  High Ball Glass, After Three of these you are going to Court



Hot Buttered Rum


Makes 1 serving

1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
grated nutmeg
3 whole cloves
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. butter
1-1/2 shots dark rum
1 orange, sliced
sugar for rim


1.       Pour water into a pot and bring to a boil.

2.       Add cinnamon stick, nutmeg, cloves and brown sugar.

3.       Simmer for 45 minutes, strain and return liquid to pot.

4.       Whisk in butter and add rum.

5.       Rub the rim of your mug with an orange slice and dip the rim into any granulated sugar.

6.       Pour in rum mixture.

7.       Add another fresh cinnamon stick, topping with fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.


White Peach Margarita

2 parts silver tequila
1 lime, juiced
1 1/2 parts peach schnapps
1/4 cup White Peach Puree
2 white peaches, sliced

Fill the blender 3/4 of the way with ice. Add all of the ingredients except 4 slices of peach. Blend together and serve with slice of peach.


Melon Smoothies

1 1/2 cups seeded and chopped watermelon
1 1/2 cups seeded and chopped honeydew melon
Juice of 2 limes
1 cup vanilla lowfat yogurt
1 cup ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses.


Mesa Grill's Spicy Bloody Mary

20 ounces tomato juice
6 ounces vodka
2 dashes Bobby Flay's Hot Sauce
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
Pinch celery salt
Pinch black pepper
1 lemon, juiced
Celery spears, for garnish
1 jalapeno pepper, slivered, for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a small pitcher, pour into 2 large glasses filled with ice and garnish with celery spears and slivers of jalapenos.


The Best Hot Chocolate

3 cups whole milk
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup good quality Dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Place milk and half-and-half in a saucepan and heat to a simmer over medium heat.

Meanwhile, stir together the cocoa powder, sugar, and cinnamon. A few teaspoons at a time, stir the hot milk into the cocoa mixture to make a smooth paste. Scrape the cocoa mixture into the saucepan with the milk and simmer 2 minutes; do not let it boil. Stir in the vanilla and keep warm in a thermos.

Pour into small serving cups and place 4 mini-marshmallows on each serving or spritz them with whipped cream. Serve immediately


 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 ounces gin
3 ounces plus 1 tablespoon chilled Champagne
lemon peel for garnish


In cocktail shaker, combine lemon juice, sugar, gin, and ice cubes and shake to chill. Strain cocktail into Champagne flute and top off with Champagne. (Alternatively, Colin Field suggests serving drink over ice in tumbler.) Garnish with lemon peel and serve.

Serves 1.


"Keith's Me So Horny  Energy Drink"


4  ginseng tea bags
2 quarts water
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups sugar  
2 small gingko herbal tea bags


In a medium pitcher, brew all the tea bags in 1 quart of water. Add the lemon juice to a large pitcher. Add the sugar and the remaining water and mix well. Pour the tea into the lemonade mix and stir. Refrigerate and serve chilled. "And Get out of the Way."


Keith's  "The Brotha and the White boy"


Ice cubes

2 fluid ounces heavy cream

2 ounce vanilla flavored vodka

1 1/2 fluid ounces chocolate liqueur

Chocolate swizzle sticks, for garnish

Fill a cocktail shaker or small pitcher with ice. Add the cream and vodka. Cover and shake vigorously, or stir, until

combined and chilled, about 30 seconds. (In general, by the time the shaker mists up the drink is ready.) Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Slowly pour the chocolate liqueur into the center of the drink to make a layered black and white cocktail. Lay a chocolate swizzle stick across the top rim of the glass. Serve. (Stir the layers together with the swizzle stick before drinking.)




Keith’s Da Rushin' Bull


11/2-ounce vodka

4 ounces Red Bull energy drink


Pour Vodka and Red Bull over ice in Hi Ball Glass

And Hold on by the Horns


Keith's " I Got Clipped"


4 oz Jack Daniels

10 oz Coke Zero (cold)

a Shot of Fresh Lime Juice

pour into High Ball Glass

 "After three of these you will ask the Ref to throw his flag."



Classic Drinks


Tom Collins


1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons superfine sugar
1 1/2 ounces (1 jigger) gin
club soda or seltzer water
1 lemon slice for garnish

In a tall glass stir together the lemon juice and the sugar until the sugar is dissolved, add the gin and enough ice cubes to fill the glass, and stir the drink well. Top off the drink with the club soda or the seltzer water, stir it well, and garnish it with the lemon slice.

Makes 1 drink



1 1/4 ounces Absolut Citron vodka (about 2 1/2 tablespoons)
1/4 ounce Rose's lime juice (about 3/4 tablespoon)
1/4 ounce triple sec or Cointreau (about 3/4 tablespoon)
1/4 cup cranberry juice
1 cup ice cubes

Garnish: lime twist

In a cocktail shaker combine all ingredients. Shake well and strain into a Martini glass.

Garnish drink with lime.

Makes 1 drink



2 1/2 ounces blended whiskey
3/4 ounces sweet vermouth
Dash Angostura bitters
3 or 4 ice cubes
Maraschino cherry

Combine the whiskey, vermouth, dash of bitters, and ice cubes in a mixing glass and stir well. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the cherry.

Serves 1.



Cut lime
2 ounces tequila
1/2 ounce Cointreau or Triple Sec
1 tablespoon lime juice
3 or 4 ice cubes

Rub the rim of a cocktail glass with lime, then dip in salt to frost. Combine remaining ingredients in a mixing glass and stir well. Strain into the prepared cocktail glass.

Serves 1.



2 or 2 1/2 ounces gin
1/4 or 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
3 or 4 ice cubes
Twist lemon peel or an olive

Combine all ingredients, except the lemon peel or olive, in a mixing glass and stir. Strain into a well-chilled cocktail glass. Add lemon peel or olive.

Serves 1.



1 lump sugar
Dash Angostura bitters
1 or 2 drops cold water
2 or 3 ounces bourbon (or any whiskey)
Twist lemon peel
Slice orange (optional)
Maraschino cherry (optional


Serves 1




3 ounces Scotch whisky
1 ounce sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
5 or 6 ice cubes
Twist orange or lemon peel

Combine all ingredients except the peel in a mixing glass and stir gently to chill as well as dilute the drink. Strain into a cocktail glass. Twist the peel over the drink to release the oil and then drop it in. For a weaker drink, reduce the Scotch to 1 1/2 ounces and the vermouth to 1/2 ounce. In some recipes the bitters are omitted or replaced with orange bitters.

Serves 1.



1 1/2 ounces vodka
3 ounces orange juice
3 or 4 ice cubes
Dash Angostura bitters


Serves 1.




Ice cubes
2 cups sweet-and-sour mix
1 1/2 cups vodka
1 1/2 cups sweet and sour apple schnapps
1 Granny Smith apple, sliced (optional)


Fill pitcher halfway with ice cubes. Add sweet-and-sour mix, vodka and Sour Apple Pucker and stir well to combine. Push apple slices onto rims of Martini glasses, if desired. Strain mixture into Martini glasses and serve immediately.

Serves 6.




3 oz (about 1/3 cup) gin or vodka
1/2 oz (1 tablespoon) dry vermouth
1 teaspoon blue Curaçao
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, strained

Shake together all ingredients except twists in a cocktail shaker with ice, then strain into 2 Martini glasses and garnish with twists Garnish: 2 lemon twists



3 oz (about 1/3 cup) amber or light rum
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 cups canned crushed pineapple with juice
1 1/4 cups ice cubes
3 tablespoons superfine granulated sugar


Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Serves 2.


2 ounces vodka
1 teaspoon Cointreau
1 teaspoon apricot liqueur
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

In cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine vodka, Cointreau, apricot liqueur, and lime juice. Cover, shake vigorously, and strain into cocktail glass.

Serves 1.





How to have the Perfect Bar


Knowing what to serve at a party is one thing; having your bar well stocked is another. Here's a simple guide to knowing which kinds of liquor to keep in your bar, as well as non-alcoholic beverages, the necessary "equipment", and some extras to really impress your houseguests.

This is the essential form of alcohol, as it can be mixed with anything from liqueurs, to juice, to other forms of alcohol. You can even put Fuzzy Navel, Bloody Mary, and Bloody Caesar.

Vodka has also become popular thanks to the current Martini trend, since it has replaced gin as the main ingredient. So now most people have their martinis shaken, stirred and with vodka. Popular brands of vodka are Finlandia, Skyy and of course, Absolut.

Not just the name of a card game, gin is used in drinks such as Golden Cadillac, Gin Fizz, which is made with lemon juice and club soda, and the most popular, Gin and Tonic.

Rum mixes excellently with coke to make Rum Coke, otherwise known as Cuba Libre to Cubans. A Long Island Iced Tea makes for the perfect summer drink, and is also made with vodka, gin and tequila. Strawberry Daiquiris are perfect for the ladies at your party.

Popular brands of rum: Appleton and Bacardi.

There is presently a worldwide shortage of tequila, but when tequila is around, it's the main ingredient in Margaritas. Margaritas are not only the most popular way that tequila is consumed, they are also one of the most popular drinks consumed at home. Other popular drinks made with tequila: Tequila Sunrise and the more obscure Wild Thing, which is made with cranberry juice, club soda and lime juice.

Some tequila brand names are Jose Cuervo and Sauza.

Here are some drinks made with Scotch: Godfather, made with Scotch and Amaretto (bourbon can be used instead of Scotch); Rusty Nail; and Rob Roy, made with Scotch and sweet vermouth. Scotch on the rocks is also popular as it obviously doesn't require many ingredients.

Brands of Scotch: Chivas Regal and Johnny Walker (red label, black label and the more expensive blue label).

Bourbon can be used to make a Bourbon Cobbler, made with lemon juice, grapefruit juice and almond extract; Americana, made with Tennessee Whiskey, sugar, bitter and champagne. Bourbon is also great simply on the rocks.



There's nothing better to drink outdoors at a barbecue than a nice cool beer. Whether imported or domestic, beer is the perfect thirst quencher.

With brands such as Corona, Guinness, Heineken, St. Pauli, Coors, and Budweiser, be sure to keep your fridge well stocked with some bottles or cans of beer for those who would rather have beer than hard liquor. You don't necessarily have to have a Bud to ask your friends Whaaassup !?!


Not only is a glass of wine a day good for your health, but wine is the perfect drink to accompany any meal.

It's recommended to have a bottle of red and a bottle of white, since the kind to serve your guests depends on their preference and the food you serve. Remember that white is kept cold and red is kept at room temperature.



Champagne is not necessary, but a bottle of bubbly is always the perfect drink for a celebration.


Your Bar Check List







• Gin
• Vodka
Vermouth (both dry and sweet)
• Whiskey (
Chardonnay or another dry
white wine
Pinot Noir, Merlot, or another
dry red wine



Gin Fizz
Tom Collins



Bloody Mary
Salty Dog
Sea Breeze
Vodka Cooler



Rob Roy
Whiskey Sour




• Cola
• Cranberry juice
• Grapefruit juice
• Lemon-lime soda
• Orange
Soda water
• Tomato juice
Tonic water



• Angostura bitters
• Cocktail onions
• Cocktail olives
• Lemons and limes
Maraschino cherries
• Rose's lime juice
• Salt
Superfine sugar
• Tabasco
• Worcestershire sauce






• Bottle/Can opener
• Corkscrew
• Cutting board and
paring knife
• Ice bucket and tongs
• Juice squeezer
• Shaker
• Stirring spoon
• Strainer
• Towel




• Cocktail or "Martini" (4 to 6 ounces)
Highball (8 to 10 ounces)
Old-fashioned or "rocks" (8 to 10 ounces)
Shot (2 ounces)
Wine, stemmed (10 to 14 ounces)