Summertime with the Jug

bikes outside the jugIt’s hard not to associate the Jug with summer —  especially with FIBArk and other festivals that happen downtown. Since the Jug is across the street from Riverside Park it’s in the heart of the action. But, of course, we see evidence of the Jug everywhere. Happy summer!

This is the place to be.

This is the place to be.

Part of the landscape.

Part of the landscape.

FIBArk — the mark of summer in Salida.

FIBArk — the mark of summer in Salida.

Ferris wheel fun

Ferris wheel fun during FIBArk.

Boaters doing their thing during FIBArk.

Boaters doing their thing during FIBArk.

Catching air.

Catching air.

Catching fish.

Catching fish.

Two registers! Double time.

Two registers! Double time.

Always service with a smile or a crazy look.

Always service with a smile or a crazy look.

Waiting in the shade

Waiting in the shade

Raise your can.

Raise your can.

Busy good times. ,

Busy good times. ,

 

Calm waters.

Calm waters.

Mike Potts kicking back on a summer float

Mike Potts kicking back on a summer float

Dan Zettler — real men do wear pink.

Dan Zettler — real men do wear pink..

Keeping good company.

Keeping good company.

Cheers.

Cheers.

Summertime in Salida.

Summertime in Salida.

Boating on the River with another Cool Liquid

michael and steve on boats

The river water glistens and shimmers with the western sun. Waves lapping the sides of the raft occasionally rush over in a splash. The winter runoff feels frigid yet refreshing.

It doesn’t take long before another shimmery, cold, refreshing liquid enters the scene. And this one you can drink. We’re talking about beer.

Beer and Boating Just Go Together — Why?

“Because it has from the beginning of time,” says librarian and veteran boater LaVonne Meek. To her, it’s simple. “Hot Day, Cold Beer.”

© Jill Davis

© Jill Davis

“It’s natural,” says CEO of Epic Valley Salsa and boater Tim Markel. When on the river, according to Markel, “drinking beer is an automatic thing you do. There’s a natural synergy between boats and beer.”

Part of the connection is the social nature of river rafting says Meek’s coworker and fellow librarian Susan Mathews. And when you’re with friends and family on a hot day of rafting, beer is a bonus.

“It’s having something special,” she says. “We have beers, and then we let the kids have flavored soda water.”

Many boaters have that same attitude since beer often tops the list of things to bring on both single or multi-day river trips. Retail Buyer for Salida Mountain Sports Amy Reed has been on several multi-day family trips. She says beer is a must. “A lot of cheap, canned cold beer and soda for the kids.”

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Shot glasses for the Masses

300px-Great_train_robbery_still

Two scowling outlaws lift their whiskey-filled shot glasses while staring each other down in a dusty saloon. Silent patrons watch as the gunslingers flick the liquor from the glasses into their mouths while still looking eye to eye.

After slamming the glasses back down on the bar, they both move their hands slowly to their sides where they both rest their fingers on the holsters. “How ‘bout we take this outside, pardner,” one of them says.

According to gunslinging procedures, generally, outlaws consume shots and then fire them during a gunfight — at least in Wild West movies.

220px-Cocktail_1988

Or in another movie scene, we’ve got cocky, pre-kooky Tom Cruise igniting shot glasses brimming with neon liquor before he slides them down the bar to amply endowed female customers who gush over his bartending bravado. And, as always, the camera zooms in for a shot of the shots.

What would these classic movie scenes be without the shot glasses? The “Hangover” would have been just another average day if Stu, Alan, Phil and Doug hadn’t clinked and downed their roofie spiked shot glasses of Jagermeister.

Hangoverposter09

It’s not just Hollywood that touts the shot glass. These receptacles have been practical and popular in mainstream society for decades. They are collected as souvenirs by travelers and cradled by inebriated college kids around the country.

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Arlie Dale’s Jug Liquors Celebrates Birthday Number Nine

Almost ten years ago….

Dikkins Liquor Store

Dikkins Liquor Store

How could downtown Salida not have a liquor store? Ever since Prohibition ended, F Street had been host to a bottle shop.

For years, local residents relied originally on Dikkins Liquor Store and later the Jug to find their libations. Sadly, the owners of the Jug closed the shop in 2001 due to family health issues. Essentially, it was gone.

Well, how about a real estate office instead? Nope. How about a massage studio? Nope. Salidans wanted their favorite liquor store back.

Chad Hixon

Chad Hixon

Fortunately, our heroes, Jerry, Sally and Chad Hixon, entered the scene and bought the former Jug property in the fall of 2003. They decided to run a specialty liquor store. With a focus on high-end wines, specialty liquors and craft beers, the Hixons opened the new version of the Jug on February 21, 2004.

So, the store had a new look and a new name (sort of) Owner Chad Hixon wanted to include his grandfather’s name in the full name of the bottle shop. Thus, Arlie Dale’s Jug Liquors it was.

Now Arlie Dale’s Jug is a nine-year Colorado institution. The store offers a selection of more than 300 wines and carries more than 200 microbrews and imports. And who doesn’t recognize the famous Jug logo on stickers, hoodies, koozies and hats around Salida, (and the US for that matter)?

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Here’s to the “Bourbon Legend”

© Decatur Wine & Spirits

© Decatur Wine & Spirits

Bourbon whiskey is pretty much badass. Not only is it uniquely an American spirit, but it also has been known, historically, to suppress coughs, add flavor to other liquors and beers, and not to mention, its distilleries were used to produce penicillin. Bourbon also made a guest appearance on Star Trek as Captain Kirk and Spock downed the amber liquid during a Wild West gunfight episode.

Its origin

Back in the1700’s, Scottish and Irish immigrants, who were also pretty B.A., began making whiskeys and distilling bourbon in Bourbon, Kentucky, which, ironically is mistakenly thought to be a dry county today (shipcompliantblog.com). A popular saying: “You can get a drink in Christian County but not in Bourbon County,” has led to this bourbon legend. Actually, Bourbon is a “wet” county, but no longer has any operating bourbon distilleries.

Painting by Emanuel Leutze

Painting by Emanuel Leutze

Supporting the troops

When the British were putting a halt to importing sugar and molasses, which were key for Rum production, colonists began to make bourbon instead.

Soldiers greatly appreciated it and took to bourbon during the Revolutionary War (sexcigarsbooze).

Medicinal magic (or so we thought)

In the 1800’s and into the earlier 1900’s, doctors also liked the smooth aspect of bourbon in terms of a cough suppressant. They often prescribed it — even to children. In fact, bourbon was such a popular way to treat coughs and sore throats that it was the only liquor, along with other whiskies and sacramental wine, that was legal from 1920-1933 during Prohibition. However, you had to have a doctor’s prescription to get the “Medical Bourbon.”

Today, doctors do not recommend alcohol as medicine, pointing out that it causes dehydration. Despite warnings from the medical community, people still make bourbon Hot Toddies to combat a cough and throat tickle. Additionally, in general, many people like the warming effect bourbon brings on.

“It definitely gives you a really warm rush throughout your body. It really warms you up; that’s why it’s a winter drink,” says bourbon fan Alison Manthey.

“I totally understand why the men with the funny little Scotty hats sat at the bar and sipped whiskey in Ireland when it was freezing and cold,” she adds.

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Tasty Terms

Painting by Antonio Casanova y Estorach

Painting by Antonio Casanova y Estorach

When connoisseurs talk about wine, it often sounds like they are referring to moody relatives with a lot of personality whom they just ran into at a family reunion.

It’s always so wonderful to see my noble, brilliant and mature grandmother. But wait… oh great. Here comes the buzz kill: my uncle who can be so austere, bitter and aggressive.

Where should I sit? Maybe at the table with my bright, focused and elegant cousin? But I’d probably have more fun with my other cousin and her friend who’s racy, foxy, hedonistic and complex.

Wine terminology has always gone along with swishing the glass, sniffing the wine and mentioning the bouquet (which is a desirable combination of several aromas)

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Taking Tequila Seriously

© Alan Light

Tequila = crazy, wild parties, questionable judgment, a submerged worm and Pee Wee Herman — right? Sometimes, sure, in the US. Mexico, however, takes its famous liquor very seriously. Tequila, which comes from the blue agave plant, is the national drink of Mexico and a symbol of cultural pride.

In the early 1990s, the country established The Tequila Regulatory Council (El Consejo Regulador del Tequila.) Essentially “tequila” is trademarked and no other country can use the name or officially distill the blue agave beverage as tequila.

In fact, there is actually a town called Tequila, which, of course, is where the liquor comes from. And the central Mexican region that includes Tequila as well as Guadalajara is the only place 100 percent agave tequila can be officially produced.

The tequila and agave region in Mexico
© Marrovi

Even adding flavor was a huge no-no in the eyes of the Tequila Regulatory Council of Mexico, which put the hammer down for many years on flavoring tequila. Distillers who added flavor to tequila could not call it “tequila.” Recently, however, the council eased the restrictions, allowing the name “tequila” to be used for flavored tequilas (except for pure 100 percent agave tequila.)

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