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Take your place at the table

The Cranky Kaplan Cocktail. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

The Cranky Kaplan Cocktail. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

As my dear friend, the eminent biographer, Blake Bailey, knows, I am not to be trifled with in the morning. He actually tweeted that he’d sooner breakfast with a cobra. I’m angry that I’m conscious, I’m angry at the world, I’m angry at the stupidity in every direction, the mirror most of all. After I get a few hundred words under my belt and the writing work is underway, well, birds start to chirp and hope begins to dawn. So it was last Friday was when I made the error of checking Twitter first thing only to find this weird Dr. Hyde version of venerable journalist Peter Kaplan, making demands of me. He’s lucky I checked my twitter feed after today’s 750 words of deathless prose as he’s started it up again. Who the hell is this @CrankyKaplan asshole?

Here’s last week’s thread. He tweeted that he hoped my Friday Cocktail Hour had some gin in it. I’m a fan of gin, but it was the way he said it. Soon, a nasty little exchange was underway.

@CrankyKaplan: Where the fuck is @ruhlman’s Friday Cocktail? AND IT BETTER HAVE SOME FUCKING GIN IN IT.

It was morning. Hope had yet to dawn.

@ruhlman: not this time you pussy


@ruhlman that’s not a cocktail that’s the enema you need, you cocksucker

As I said, grumpy. After @CK suggested that my cocktail—a lovely elixir of whiskey, ginger, vanilla, and Meyer lemon—was “A FUCKING TASTY BEVERAGE. FOR LADY LACROSSE PLAYERS” I decided enough was enough, be a man and let him veer off the Taconic on his Segway into a granite outcropping.

But then, sure as the sun, hope dawned several hours later. I thought, well, that’s not sounding so bad after all, bottle of gin, two straws, maybe that old crank was on to something. My dear old dad was a gin drinker—often it was a simple well-gin, on the rocks, with a squeeze of lime.

So the Friday Cocktail Hour is indeed, with dawning hope, a warm bottle of gin and two straws. And, overachievers, have one for The Ripper, over ice with a squeeze of lime.

The Cranky Kaplan

  • 1 pint bottle of cheap gin
  • 2 straws
    1. Insert straws.
    2. Suck.
    3. Berate @ruhlman.

Makes 2 servings.

The same drink for the overachievers out there:

The Ripper Ordinaire

  • 2 ounces cheap gin
  • 1 juicy wedge of lime
  • Ice
  1. Combine all in a glass, squeezing that juicy lime manfully.

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© 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.




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I write about food, cooking, recipes and technique, because the world is better when we cook for ourselves.