May You Never Thirst, Part 5: The Most Interesting Man in the World

This is the last post in the “May You Never Thirst” series.  A new series will be starting soon.  Make sure, after you read this post, to scroll down to the bottom of the page for the new giveaway rules and regulations.  We’ve got some really cool prizes this month.
If you do not know who “The Most Interesting Man in the World” is, then please watch the following video.  Be warned: by the end of it, you’ll want to buy a case of Dos Equis Beer.
When I first saw these commercials, I became instantly fascinated by the main character.  He’s who all the men want to be and all the women want to date.  He’s real enough that his character seems plausible to our sensibilities, but he’s fantastic enough that we all want to meet him and be close to him.  I suppose it’s that magnetic personality that keeps him from owning credit cards.   He’s daring, debonair, blunt, gentlemanly, cosmopolitan, ruthless but oddly compassionate.  He’s like sand paper: he has both a rough and a refined side.  He’s also very much like Ernest Hemingway’s public life, minus the alcoholism and complexes.
What is it about older men like “The Most Interesting Man in the World” character or Sean Connery that attracts us to them?  For some people it’s a biological sexual attraction.  Females of many species are biologically hardwired to want a mate that is older than them and more experienced.  I think it has to do with survival and finding that perfect balance of a mate that’s old enough to have experience and resources for support and survival but not so old that they can’t mate or do the work required for survival. People of both sexes and all persuasions like to associate with physically attractive people.  It’s one of those brain chemistry/evolution/science things that make us all appear shallow.
Psychologically, people of all sexual persuasions are attracted to this type of man because of the perceived experiences that they’ve had and the supposed wisdom that has been acquired from these experiences.  This leads into the sage archetype.  Many folks, Pagans include, mistakenly think that the sage represents dried decrepit old men that can barely move around and are certainly not sexually attractive.  This is not true!  Sages are still virile (and often know a lot more tricks than the youths or the father types) and they can still actively procreate, which is something they have over the crones.  Oh, quit your booing, crone fuckers!  We all know why old women are best according to Benjamin Franklin, but even he admitted that they didn’t swell, and the ability to swell and make others swell is a quality that most cultures still value.
“The Most Interesting Man in the World” character is a nice face for the sage.  He’s like a modern Odin with both eyes intact.
If you listened to the commercials where “The Most Interesting Man in the World” dispensed advice, although he sounds flippant, most of his advice is sound.  You really shouldn’t trust a woman who is only around when you’re winning.  Perhaps, in a divinely comical way, these commercials are a modern oracle for the sage to dispense his wisdom to the masses.  Obviously, I don’t think the AllFather or any other God-Sage wants us to run out and buy Dos Equis beer, but the modern oracle concept is something to think about.  Oracles and other deity mouth pieces are technological items, so it only makes sense that they would change and evolve as the other technologies around them did.  Just something to think about.

These folks don’t always make love to sages, but when they do, they prefer The Most Interesting Man in the World!
Quadrivium Supplies
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May you never thirst, Part 4: Whatdaya mean you didn’t bring any beer?

I see a lot of beer in your future.  And considering that yesterday was Independence Day in America, I see a lot of beer in your past too!  Despite its ancient roots and global appeal, there is nothing more American than beer.  Grilling out?  You drink a beer.  Exploding things?  You drink a beer.  Going to go open a can of whoop ass on the neighbors? You drink a beer.  Going to ritual?  Of course, you’re going to drink a beer!

I love beer. Beer is probably my favorite beverage. In the words of my partner, beer is perfect because it’s liquid bread. That’s how many ancient cultures, including the Egyptians whom some sources claim invented beer, viewed the mystical liquid.

While home brewing beer is not as popular amongst Pagans as making mead or wine, it is incredibly popular all over the United States. Yuppies, in particular, seem obsessed with seeing how many specialty beers they can come up with. Pay attention the next time a Samuel Adams commercial comes on. The ads rarely advertise the same beer twice since they are constantly switching out their seasonal brews (because only poor people drink the same beer all the time).
Hawthorne, a Pagan who has been brewing beer at home since 1995, enjoys playing with the wide varieties of beer that can be produced at home. “I tend to brew types/flavors you can’t buy in the store. My favorites are an American style brown ale, a spruce beer, and a lemon beer. The lemon beer was an experimental batch last year. This year I made a batch with basil, oregano, and rosemary – people tell me it tastes like pizza. I tend to agree. ”

Even though Hawthorne describes himself as Wiccan, he keeps his brewing life and Pagan life separate–or at least so far.    
While witch’s brews may not always be simple, brewing beer is more simple than a lot of people realize.
Bring water to a boil, stir in barley malt and hops for bittering. Constantly stirring, boil for a while. During the last 2 – 5 minutes, add more hops for flavor or aroma. Pour into a fermenter with additional water, and seal to prevent bacterial contamination. When it’s about room temp, add brewing yeast. Wait 1 – 2 weeks for fermentation to complete, add some boiled water with corn sugar to the fermenter, and bottle. The beer should be carbonated in 3 days – 2 weeks. I tend to wait at least a couple weeks to allow maximum carbonation. If you can, wait a couple months to give the flavor a chance to smooth out.

That’s the very basic process – you can make it much more complex like the commercial brewers if you have the time and energy.

The Internet is a great resource [for more information], but most cities have at least one home brew store. You can also find Zymurgy magazine around – zymurgy is the science of brewing.”
Like anything dealing with alcohol, there are legalities. “You can legally brew up to 200 gallons per year for personal use, no licensing or permission required, provided you are over 21. To sell any of it, you have to be licensed, but you can purchase a licence to sell up to 500 gallons before you’re classified as a commercial operation.”

Brewing can also be a fairly cheap hobby.  ”If you’re frugal and get a kit, you can get in with an initial investment of $100 or so. The cost to brew a 5 gallon batch (about 2 1/2 cases) is about $40-50 or more, depending on how fancy you want to get.”

 Ever get bitched at for not pouring a beer right?  Ever wondered what the fuck did it matter if you were just going to drink it, piss it, and drink another one?  Hawthorne has the answer to that.  ”The best way is to get the right beer glass – it usually has a slight bulge that ends just below the lip of the glass. Those you can pour straight in the glass. Otherwise, tilt the glass a bit while pouring the beer in to prevent excessive foaming – too much head makes it harder to drink, or worse, overflows the glass.”  (Too much head makes everything harder to drink and always overflows the glass!)
So, crack open a beer, sit out under the stars, and have your own private esbat tonight.  Don’t forget to libate!

These folks know about getting their balls wet:
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May you never thirst, part 3: You’re a grape because you’re full of whine!

What do fancy dinners, Wiccan rituals, Ernest Hemingway, and my favorite punch all have in common? Wine! Pagans and yuppies in particular seem to be fond of wine. For some reason, and I suspect that it goes back to mistaken thoughts about ancients and carry overs from Christian communion, many Pagans feel that they can only use wine for cakes and ale. This of course is ridiculous, but wine is still the most popular beverage in circle. Wine is incredibly easy to make, which probably explains why most of the world’s cultures have some version of it. Kordwainer, who has been Wiccan for 20 years, makes wine at home.

Several years ago he was looking for a new project to take on. ” A friend of mine suggested that I look into wine making. It was good timing too, because there were a couple of learning opportunities right around the bend. I ended up attending a workshop by the agricultural extension service and enrolling in a short class at a local farm just a month or so later. ” Since learning about wine making, Kordwainer has made several batches of wine, from both kits (like making a cake from cake mix) and crushed fruit (like making a cake from scratch), some of which have been used in rituals for cakes and ale and libation.

Wine holds a sacred spot in Kordwainer’s religious beliefs. “I am, in particular, a devotee of Dionysos, God of wine (among other things). He is the Divine aspect that resonates most deeply with me and I see His story played out in the actual wine making process itself,” explains Kordwainer. “In a body of Myth associated with Orphic cults, we are taught that humanity was originally made partly of the remains of the infant Dionysos and partly of the Titans who kidnapped and dismembered Him. When Zeus discovered that the Titans had killed the child and were preparing to make a meal of him, He showered the entire scene with His lightning, destroying both the attackers and the victim. Hermes swooped in and carried away Dionysos’s still beating heart, from which He was later reborn. The soot and ash that was left over served as the raw material from which Zeus formed mankind. The material was a mix of the remains of the baby and His murderers, therefore each of us has something of the God in us as well as more base and wicked impulses.

“Dionysos’s bodily destruction at the hands of the Titans is mirrored in the crushing of the grape, and the gradual separation of the new wine from the must and lees reflects His role in elevating our own spirits, drawing out more of our Divine nature and leaving behind our titanic influences.

“What I’ve enjoyed more than anything else has been muscadine wine. I love the flavor, and the grapes themselves have an untamed quality that I admire. I think of them as embodying more of the wild Dionysian spirit.”

As I stated above, wine is really easy to make. It is also completely legal to make at home, as long as you don’t sell your wine or make more than around 100 gallons. Of course, like anything, there’s always somebody willing to sell their sqeezings regardless of the law.Kordwainer said that his initial investment was about $200, which included yeast and fruit for his first batch and a bundled kit from a wine shop. The typical kit includes a primary fermenter, two secondary fermenters, a hydrometer (a tool that measures sugar/alcohol levels), and some tubing for racking. With this set up, you’re ready to start making your first batch.

According to Kordwainer, “You basically start with some sweet liquid, like fruit juice, and place it in a controlled environment where you can manage things like temperature and exposure to oxygen. Fruit pulp or whole crushed fruit is often left in the juice to help provide aroma and color. This juice/fruit combo is called “must”. Into your must, you introduce some yeast and give it time to convert the sugar into alcohol, making sure to keep an eye on the process. 

 ”At some point you’ll have to separate the wine from the sediment (called the “lees”) or the wine will take on some unpleasant flavors or odors. The separation is accomplished by draining the wine into a new container, leaving the lees behind (this is called “racking”). You’ll probably have to rack a batch of wine at least twice before you get an acceptable level of clarity. 

“When the wine is clear, and the fermentation process is complete, you’ll hopefully have a very dry wine. Any sweetness left at this point means that the fermentation process was halted before the yeast could eat all the sugar, and that can be a bad sign. Most winemakers will sweeten their wine at least a little after the fermentation process is done and before final bottling, but for fans of dry wines, it’s not strictly necessary. It is important to stabilize the wine (kill any remaining yeast) before bottling, though. If fermentation restarts after the wine is bottled, it can have explosive results (literally). 

“You have to make sure the sugar level in your juice is high enough to get the potency you want in your wine, and you have to be careful about what strains of yeast you use and make sure that the risk of contamination from other bacteria is minimized. My best tip is Sanitation is king. Keep everything sanitized; even the slightest contamination can ruin a batch of wine. Next, I’d advise you to do your homework. Read some books, take a class or attend a workshop if you’re able to. Try to at least partially understand what you’re trying to accomplish on a chemical level. I’m no chemist, but the little bit I learned has really help immeasurably. Finally, I’d say to be prepared to exercise some patience. Wine takes a long time to mature. You’re looking at 3 or 4 months at least before a batch is drinkable, and letting it mature longer after bottling greatly improves its quality.” 

Just as wine and ritual seem to be a natural pairing, food and wine seem to be quite natural as well. While many wine aficionados spend endless hours biting their nails over pairing just the right wine with their food, Kordwainer says that it’s not a big deal. “It’s a bit like magick, actually. In a way, wine/food pairing follows the law of attraction. Like calls to like. Red meats go with red wines; and white meats like poultry or fish go with white wines. Rich foods pair nicely with more robust wines, and milder food match with lighter wines. Of course, the most important rule is to drink wine you enjoy with food you enjoy, preferably in enjoyable company. “ 

Just as pairing the right wine to the right cuisine is important, pouring wine properly is also important. “There are differing opinions about that. There are a LOT of variables, honestly: the exact temperature at which to serve the wine, the shape of the glass, how long to let it breathe before pouring, whether or not to use a decanter, etc. Pouring a glass of wine can be an art, or even a science. To add to the confusion, it can all change for different varieties of wine. You pour a still wine into the center of the glass, but you pour a sparkling wine against the edge to keep it bubbly. White wines are more commonly served chilled than reds, although sweeter red wines sometimes break this rule.

 ”My own favorite serving method is highly unorthodox, but it does have some historical justification. The Greeks, in accordance with the edicts of Dionysos, always mixed their wine with water. To them, the drinking of unmixed wine was a sign of barbarism. I prefer to mix my wine with club soda and serve it over ice. I also favor sweet, full bodied wines which work out well with this method. I know that there are some cultured wine buffs who would have my head, but I pour it to drink and enjoy, and I think that’s the real secret to the perfect glass of wine.” 

With that said, imbibe some wine and try not to act like a maenad (at least not too much!).

May You Never Thirst, Part 2: I’ll Bring the Hooch and You Bring the Cooch!

I always wanted a flower making machine!  For a lot of folks of a certain generation or folks who grew up in the Carolinas, most of our images of untaxed homemade liquor came from The Andy Griffin Show, old time NASCAR (before it crossed the Mississippi), and our grandparents.
In the spirit of full disclosure, my first experiences with moonshine was my grandmother telling me stories about her two older brothers bootlegging in their “peg leg” model T for a family they married into.  Evidently, they would come and hide at the house when the law was after them.  My grandmother remembered her mother bribing all the children with candy so they would not to talk to the police when they came to the door. Grandma always ended the stories with “But that’s not something we tell folks.  That poor girl couldn’t help her daddy was a bootlegger.”  Sorry Grandma.
Moonshine is not a thing of the past.  Any random viewing on cable or satellite TV will offering up several different television shows and documentaries on the practice, especially since the suicide of Popcorn Sutton.  Moonshine is still being made by lots of people: young and old; Pagan and Christian.  Mr. Mt. Dew is just such a distiller–former distiller.  While he started out Christian (like many of us), he’s followed a more or less Druidic path for the last four years.  He started out learning the family recipe for moonshine from his grandfather when he was a boy.  After his grandfather passed, Mr. Mt. Dew continued to distill for the next six years.
Mr. Mt. Dew has made it all, from bath tub gin to fruit brandies (just white liquor made from fruit) to corn liquor to wine and mead.  He use to raise some of the corn and fruit himself, but at other times the materials were outsourced.
Mr. Mt. Dew also incorporates whiskey and distilling into his religious practice. “I fully believe in using spirits in spiritual practice. Whether it be to honor, or show reverence, or to feel ‘closer’ to them. In almost all branches of religion, Pagan, Christian, etc. some form of wine, beer or other distilled spirit has always been used in ritual or ceremony. And in the process of making the alcohol, I feel an almost divinity, in the sense that it amazes me that I can take something of this earth and create something for pleasure, relaxation, and worship from it.”

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Distilling involves science, math, and common sense.  Without these things, you’re making poison. According to Mr. Mt. Dew, “The generalized, most basic premise is this: You have a substance that contains the broken down raw material. This is called mash, or sour mash. It can be of most anything you want, the most common is equal parts of cornmeal, to water, with active yeast added to start a chemical reaction which breaks down the starches in the corn meal.
This mixture has to sit for a selected period of time, which can vary, depending on the size of the batch, and what you’ve made it from. This is to allow the alcohol to form, and “ferment” the mixture.  After this process, the mash is pour into a large vat, or pot, and brought to a very VERY specific temperature. Water boils at around 212 °F, while ethanol boils at around 173 °F. Methanol, that can make you blind and is what you really want to avoid, boils around 148 °F.  So, you have to be specific in watching the temperature and controlling and monitoring it constantly.
The liquid is boiled and travels through a copper tube called a “worm”, which is usually coiled inside a box filled with ice or very cold water to condense the steam vapor back into liquid. When the first few drops of liquid come out, it is a general practice to throw the first couple shots away because they are the most likely to have contaminants.

“If you want to distill at home, I recommend the stove top method. There are plenty of informative websites now that can tell you how to build your own basic still from a coffee pot and styrofoam cooler. I would recommend you research it very diligently, and make sure you know what you’re doing before you start, simply because you can cause yourself, or a loved one to go blind, get nerve damage, and possibly death. It’s something I DO NOT recommend anybody doing, simply for the legality and health risk. Having said that, it can be fun and adventurous as you learn more about the craft and begin experimenting with different flavor combinations.”  A small kitchen batch can be run for about $50.
Distilling alcohol can be illegal, and selling untaxed whiskey is very illegal.
Who really wants legal whiskey?
While Mr. Mt. Dew has never been caught, he is well aware of some close calls.  ”There is a United States excise tax of $2.14 for every 750 ml of distilled alcohol, 80 proof or better. Compared to 21 cents for wine, and 5 cents for a can of beer. It is primarily illegal for this reason: lost United States government revenues. The other reasons they have listed are the possibility of contamination, bacterial and otherwise, from the home distilling process. It is legal to own and operate an alcohol still, but only with an ATF permit, and only for fuel.

I have never had too much trouble, as I didn’t get caught, haha, except for one time when I was 21. I ran the liquor in my van, and it got to a point that there was always a dark blue sedan or SUV following me when I drove that van. If I drove my small sedan, it was never there, but as soon as I hit the road in the van, there they were. So, at that point I quit for a while, and have only recently thought about starting back up.”

Not a big fan of straight white liquor?  Make a cordial out of it.  The most famous cordial,  and maybe the most historic, is Cherry Bounce.

It was a favorite of George and Martha Washington, and it greatly influenced North Carolina history.  While there’s tons of recipes, cherry bounce is basically liquor, sugar, and cherries. With this recipe, substitute white liquor for bourbon.  For a little extra kick, imbue your Bounce with magical intent as you make it and ferment it.  Say a chant every time you turn the jar.  ”Cherries pop, and cherries drop, but I’ll always bounce, bounce, bounce!” [My cherry bounce chirp.]

These folks bounce cherries:
Erotic Sensations
Tonia Brown:

Mr. Mt. Dew’s Drinking Song selections:

May You Never Thirst, Part 1: Dark, Sweet, and Hot!

This is the beginning of a whole new series.  The last series was mainly about food; this series is mainly about drinks.  If you’re a Pagan mead brewer, or just a regular person who makes mead, please email me:
By the way, if you’re a photographer, and you’re worried about your photos being used without your permission on the Internet, then don’t put the fucking picture on the Net or at the very least, water mark the bitch!
By Mistress Marmot

Espresso, percolators, French presses, K-cups, instant and good ol’ plain drip coffee. Nothing wakes you up like a cup o’ joe. And whether you make it yourself or have a local coffee shop employee to make it for you, it provides a sense of comfort akin to Mom’s chicken soup or warm chocolate chip cookies.

I’m a career barista (as in, yes, I do this for a living) at a major well-known coffee shop chain. I started working with coffee after I developed a severe daily habit for expensive lattes and the sort. Working 80 hours a week means that coffee is with you most of your day. Eventually the people at my local shop offered me a job and as it turned out, the benefits were better than what I was getting as a bank teller. Seven years later I’m still schlepping caffeine and still enjoying it. The term baristais Italian in essence, it basically means “bar person” in reference to the Italian custom of having coffee bars. So, your local coffee shop girl is your all day bartender! I could talk all day about the training, finer points and skill set of a barista, but let’s just cover the basics of brewing a great coffee at home.

I’ve got quite a few tips for you in order to perfect your coffee at home. The 4 major aspects of a good cup of coffee are freshness, water, grind and temperature. If you can buy your beans whole and grind at home or grind at the point of purchase, I HIGHLY recommend it. While pre-ground freshness techniques have improved in recent years, grinding as close to the time of brewing is best. And, this will blow your mind: DO NOT PUT YOUR COFFEE IN THE FRIDGE OR FREEZER. “Why?! My grandma always did!” You might exclaim. Your grandma also thinks that black people belong at the back of the bus, that doesn’t mean she’s right. Not only will your coffee absorb odors and pick up unsavory tastes from your fridge, but anytime you open your cold coffee in a warmer room, you invite condensation to accumulate within your coffee container. That moisture settles into the ground coffee and undoes the roasting process. Ideally, put your freshly ground coffee in an airtight container or large Ziploc bag and store in a cupboard. While your prime freshness window is one week from time of grind, you probably won’t notice a severe decline in taste for at least a month. You want your coffee fresh and dry for the next step of brewing.

As much of a pain in the ass as it seems, use filtered or pre-boiled water whenever possible. Slight minerals that you might be accustomed to in your drinking water can have an adverse affect on the natural oils in your coffee. If you are not using a commercial coffee maker, invest in a candy thermometer and make sure that your water is approximately 180-200 degrees before you introduce it to the coffee. What your preferred brewing method is will also determine how fine of a grind you should have for your coffee. Here is a rough breakdown of how fine or course you should have your beans ground based on your coffee maker.
French Presses and percolators need as coarse of a grind as is possible.
A flat bottom metal or paper filter (typical basket style) needs a medium grind. This has the highest surface ratio and therefore it is better if the water passes through the coffee a little bit faster.
Cone-shaped filters will take a slightly finer grind than a flat bottom. This is so that the water sits in the cone longer since there is less surface area.
Espresso machines require a fine grind so that the machine is able to compress the coffee into pucks for the extraction process. Espresso is a concentrated shot that is force brewed quickly.
The finest grind (which may not always be available in some grocery stores) is for Turkish pots. It is extremely fine, almost a powder.

Now that you know how to make a tasty cup, now you can enforce getting it perfectly made everyday! Many BDSM relationships have little customs, rituals or schedules that provide much-needed structure for some submissives. Every person takes their coffee a specific way and nothing says dedication like knowing just how much cream and sugar should go in Master or Mistress’ mug in the morning. And nothing says fun like learning from the mistakes during the process!

Even spilling on the floor is fine, as long as a bare-ass pointed up in the air being hit with a serving spoon while they clean it up provides enjoyment for the whole gang. Along with that, coffee can be used in sleep deprivation scenes or in coffee enemas. Plus, used grounds can be made into facial masks as part of a beauty regime with pampering. Many stores sell fun accessories like serving trays as well. Imagine having your slave prance into your bedroom, the perfect cup of steaming coffee delicately balanced on it. What a way to start your morning, right?

Personally, my favorite aspect of coffee is the serving! I spend all day serving it to the public as my job, and I’ll be damned if I will go home just to do it all again. Nothing says comfort like coming home to some Nina Simone songs, kicking off my shoes, stretching out and having a scantily clad boy bring ME a hot cup of java.

These folks love coffee too:
Erotic Sensations:
Tonia Brown: