AD JERSEUM 18: Ballantine Ale Halloween Party!

We all know there’s nothing scarier than…OLD BEER!

Growing up in the ’80s, there were plenty of Halloween and Beer ad tie-ins. We were pretty spoiled in that regard, although it’s been going on for many moons before Elvira showed up in a Coors Light ad. Above, you can see an example of such a thing from 1943, except without a beehive haircut and cleavage.

Today’s ad features one of the oldest beer brands in the country, Ballantine Ale, which is deeply rooted in New Jersey. I wasn’t around during it’s heyday, but growing up, we had a few pieces of Ballantine paraphernalia in my house, so I was familiar with it, even as its popularity throughout the country waned.

In the house I lived most of my life in, we had an actual bar in our house, not one that you would buy at a furniture store or at a place that sells bars, but an actual bar complete with leather stools transported from a real bar in Newark.

It was permanently installed in our den, which was basically our play room. Yes, we played in a room that had a giant full wet bar. Once the huge family gatherings started to become a rarity because family moved away to various parts of the country, the bar room eventually evolved into my own personal play room and wrestling arena for the better pat of my childhood.

We didn’t change anything in the bar so it pretty much stayed the same way since the late ’70s. There were colored lights and lots of authentic liquor trays coasters, branded glasses and mugs, and lighted fixtures with various brands of beer and soda like Schaefer, Carlsberg, Heineken, 7Up, and others.

I can’t really say I ever cared to sample anything until I got older. Maybe crème de menthe because it was green and looked somewhat more appetizing than say, Seagrams 7. The Frangelico bottle in the monk costume didn’t look to shabby either, mostly because it reminded me of the figural shape of Mrs. Butterworth’s, but I hadn’t developed a taste for it yet.

Trust me, just because this thing was in my house didn’t drive me to boozin’ at an early age. If anything it removed the temptation that a lot of my other friends had. Why would I beg my sister or ask an older friend to go to a liquor store for me when I stared at these dusty bottles that no one ever drank every day of my life? Eventually, as I got a little older, there were a few times when I had to enlist some help, similar to the Goldslick Vodka fiasco in Superbad.

While clicking through eBay, and definitely not intentionally looking for Ballatine Ale memorabilia, I came across a vintage Halloween themed ad for this beer which is perfect for our column AD JERSEUM. Print ads are rarely this enticing anymore and finding one oozing with so much old school Halloween spirit makes it even more tremendous!

The ad is pure persuasive Halloween magic. The kickass bar didn’t drive me to drink, but this ad makes it seem like the most fun and appealing activity that anyone could ever take part in. Whenever a product or company completely embraces holidays and makes them the basis of an entire ad campaign, that’s gold in my book.

The ad recalls a time before I was born when parties with a slew of guests were a common practice and entertaining on a weekly basis was the thing to do. Finger foods were a hot commodity and quirky adult beverages were always on the menu.

Let me break this scene down for you. A spooky witch, A knight, and Mr. Pumpkinhead with the argyle shirt are all at a dinner party. It looks as if the witch is attempting to scare the letters in the word BOOO and those letters are shooting back sarcastically with one of those “shakin’ in their boots” mocks back to her as if her attempts are not really scary at all, cause he knows the drill. Boo has been around the block many times with this witch. Cannot pull the wool over his eyes anymore…or the sheet.

The main focal point, of course, is the beer, which looks so damn appealing. It almost looks more like an ice cream soda with whip cream swirled on top than a plain old beer. And look how this brew is making these m’fers HAPPY. You can almost hear Pharrell Williams singing the background song of this ad.

The Knight is completely psychotic and will without a doubt KILL Mr. Pumpkinhead after the first round of hors de ouvers. Hopefully he’ll let everyone grab a cocktail wiener on a toothpick before he chops this poor guys head off and puts it over his head to reenact the legend of Sleepy Hollow out front to the delight of the snobby drunk well-to-do folks who attended this soiree. I just realized, cocktail wieners were completely out of the question for this party, CORRECTION – Crab Puff pastries, my bad.

If you can read the very tiny verbiage, it describes talking with our hands as if it was an ancient thing, which is interesting. Jerseyans and New Yorkers are often described as people who talk with their hands, so this part of the ad works on two levels. Here, hand gestures are referred to as a “Handy.” Stop smirking. This is serious beer business.

The handy mumbo jumbo doesn’t make much sense to me, but I chalk that up to it’s age. Maybe at one time it made perfect sense to readers. We don’t really need to connect with this lingo, because apparently, all we need to know is that the “OK” hand signal means this Ballantine stuff is a superlative beer.

According to Wikipedia The new Ballantine is not the same exact brew as it once was because the original recipe from over 100 years ago has been lost to the ages. Presently, it’s been said that the brew is reminiscent of it’s original flavor. I’ve tried it actually found it enjoyable, and easy to drink. If you want to add a vintage flair to your Halloween party this year, give Ballantine a shot, look how happy it made the Knight and Mr. Pumpkinhead!

*Long after I wrote this, a coincidental thing about this beer happened. I was driving home last weekend from Weehawken, NJ on the NJ Turnpike with Miss Sexy Armpit and we saw a giant Ballantine billboard. It looks like this beer is attempting to make a comeback! I had no clue about that either because this post had been in the can for about a month before I even saw that billboard!

Facts about Ballatine from Wikipedia:

– Founded in Newark in 1840, the company stayed in the Ballantine family until the brewery close in 1972.

– Ballantine, based out of Newark, exists in name only nowadays. The brand is owned and marketed by Pabst while the actual brewing is outsourced to Miller.

– Ballatine was a longtime sponsor of the New York Yankees

– Martin Crane on Frasier was a fan of Ballatine beer

“Santa Gria” Sangria Recipe from NJ’s Valenzano Winery

Making Christmas a success for the kids can get pretty stressful. Trying to buy gifts for every kid in the immediate and extended family and verifying that everyone was treated fairly is a huge pain in the ass and a lot of work. There’s traffic getting to the mall and Target, there’s crowds everywhere, there’s annoying people at your family gatherings, and sometimes, it’s just a lot to deal with. For this reason I’m doing a public service and posting this recipe for “Santa Gria” Sangria that I found on a bottle of Santa’s Little Helper Wine from the Valenzano Winery in Shamong, New Jersey.

The Valenzano Winery always puts out cool special edition wines, and to see one this Christmasy is tremendous. Santa’s Little Helper wine wears its holiday cheer smack dab on the front of the label which includes holly, a silver backdrop of snowflakes, and Santa kicking back with a Christmas cookie and his favorite drank. Yes drank. It was my choice and I’m owning it. I established that the label is holiday themed, but the contents are to an extent as well. It’s made with both cranberries and white cranberries, as well as blueberries and grapes. It’s probably really sweet and perfect as a base for Sangria or Santa Gria as shown in the recipe below from the back of the bottle.

Usually, a lot of imbibing goes on during the holidays. If you’re like me and you don’t have kids, having some cocktails is less about “needing one” and more for sheer amusement. Let’s be honest, Aunt Rhoda’s intense perfume is a lot easier to handle when you’re buzzed and Uncle Todd’s lame jokes become somewhat to even mildly funnier. Don’t want to give that rat bastard too much credit.

Parents have a huge responsibility on their shoulders to make Christmas special for their kids. Christmas can be amazing at any age, but this is a holiday engineered for the children. As much as we think it’s still ours because the naughty Mrs.Claus costumes come out of the closet and we drink spiked egg nog, it’s not for us. But it’s important to not get stressed out and enjoy the festivities, so mix yourself up a drink!

We raise our tipsy hands, which are presently holding moose mugs, to you, the hard working parents who bust their asses to give their kids the best Christmas possible. I know my parents did it each and every year and I am so very thankful for that. Ahhh! Let’s go find your sister!

How To Have A Sexy Armpit Style Christmas

saxmas2013
The Christmas celebration is just beginning up in here. December is in full effect and it really crept up on me quickly. If you celebrate Hanukkah, I hope you have been enjoying it! I’ve had my Christmas tree up for the past few weeks because I wanted to maximize my holiday enjoyment. Now is the time to really soak up the holiday fun, so I’ve compiled a short list of tips on how to have a Sexy Armpit style Christmas. And remember to stop by all month long for a lot more Christmasy crap! Now, here’s a list of things you can do to have a Sexy Armpit style Christmas.

elftreeornament 


7. ORNAMENTS
Everyone seems to have pop culture ornaments on their trees nowadays. It’s become a huge business too. Some of these limited edition Hallmark ornaments go for big bucks on eBay. If you have any of these cool ornaments you’ve probably noticed that they seem to have become heavier as well. Clearly the ornament makers aren’t abiding by the weight limit anymore. Many of them need to be attached to two branches which is complete idiocy if you ask me. Any ornament that either bends a branch after you hang it, or needs to have some intricately designed support system, can suck it. I have a bunch of these pop culture ornaments, but I also have my fair share of ornaments I hung onto from my childhood. Take this Elf on the Shelf phenomenon. They really ripped off generic Elf ornaments from the ’70s and early ’80s. Look at this Elf on my tree pictured above. He’s so damn old, but I keep him because it reminds me of Christmases from years ago. The Elf on the Shelf people need to admit that the overall look and design of their character is definitely reminiscent of these kitschy elves I grew up with.

6. HOLIDAY FATIGUES
When I was a kid basking in the toy section of Alexander’s in Menlo Park Mall with my Dad, I used to see all the Star Wars figures that I wanted and I wondered what the hell did “fatigues” mean? Luke Skywalker in Bespin Fatigues. As a little Sexy Armpiteer, I had no clue what in the world it meant. Even sounding it out just made matters worse. FAT-IG-YOUS. Actually, to the 3 year old me, FAT-IG-YOUS translated to what we now know as WTF. Now that I’m older I realized that I have my own type of fatigues. In contrast to my regular getup, which is usually comprised of a t-shirt, sunglasses, jeans, hoodie, and a leather jacket of some type, as you can see above, I just modify the colors for the holidays. If I was a Star Wars figure, these would be my Holiday Fatigues. Add in some red or green and you too can have your own holiday fatigues.

A lot of people are wearing the ugly Christmas sweater gimmick, but I’ve just never been a fan of wearing sweaters. But you have to go with what you like, what you’re comfortable in, and what you look good in. Do you only like to wear Terry Cloth? Because anything red and green terry cloth will work. Keep in mind, it’s probably not a good idea to be taking fashion tips from a guy known in online circles as The Sexy Armpit. In my case, it’s a red t-shirt, red bandanna, and for some reason, a black jacket that I bought because I saw Jason Statham wear it in the first Expendables movie. HIGH FASHION! Then in addition to whatever ensemble you choose, why not throw in Santa hat or those fun headband with reindeer antlers? You might feel like an idiot, but who cares. Would I ever wear antlers? F*ck no. A Santa hat, YES. Unfortunately, I can never wear that specific Santa hat again since Sludgey has a habit of saturating all cloth material he comes in contact with in smelly green goo.

archiecomic615 


5. READING IS FUNDAMENTAL
Read some holiday themed comics. I’m a sucker for comics and superhero stories with a holiday theme. Off the top of my head I have a few holiday comics that I plan on reading this season including DC Universe, Archie, and Ghostbusters. I’m looking forward to relaxing on the couch in the glow of my gaudy oversized Christmas lights and reading some comics.

toastedcoconutcashews 


4. YOU WANT TO GET NUTS? LET’S GET NUTS! 
Lots of people get nuts because the holidays make them that way. This is a stressful season, so people who are nuts should just calm down, decompress and have some…nuts. Lots of people put out bowls filled with all kinds of mixed nuts, but who needs mixed nuts when you are really only ever looking for that one very special kind of nut. Some people put out Andies Candies, others put out peppermint bark, others opt for assorted chocolates. Whatever. I’m about to change your life. Well, not your whole life, just your holiday nut preference.

Toasted Coconut Cashews by MMMine! I tasted these during Thanksgiving and WOW they are good. Their catchphrase should be “They’ll blow your MMMind!” If you like toasted coconut bits and cashews, this is an out of this world concoction for you. This takes the act of snacking on some nuts to a whole other level. If these nuts were an appetizer at a fancy restaurant they’d be the jumbo coconut crunchy shrimp. Affordable and satisfying. I say affordable because they’re available at Costco, but that still means they were probably $14. Although I have no grounds for saying that because they were a gift to me. Thanks to Miss Sexy Armpit’s mom for getting them for me!

russellstoversmores00 


3. BIGGEST F*CKING SMORE YOU’VE EVER SEEN 
Russell Stover is at their usual shenanigans again. I’m sure this giant s’more in festive packaging is part of their seasonal offerings every year, but I don’t pay attention. I only noticed it at Kmart because it was f*cking HUGE. I would never intentionally buy something this big since it would take me 3 1/2 years to finish it. I ripped a sample off and it was certainly delicious, but I found the marshmallow to be overly sticky like no other marshmallow has ever been. It was to the point that I felt like I was Clark Griswold with sap all over my hands, or The Sexy Armpit with liquid cement all over my hands. Naturally it’s impossible to replicate an actual marshmallow that you just toasted over a fire in your friends backyard. It’s obviously not as authentic. If you’re a s’mores fanatic you’re obviously better off making them yourself, but if you err on the lazy side when it comes to food preparation, these are great and one package could probably feed a party of 49 people.

shastatikipunch 


2. BEVERAGES
You’re going to need to wash down the smores and the nuts with some liquid refreshments. Considering Egg Nog is virtually all fat and cholesterol, why not just load up on sugar drinks? I recommend a swank Tiki Punch by the classiest of carbonated beverages, Shasta. If only I had red and green drink umbrellas we’d be all set. This stuff tastes like Fruit Punch soda with a kick of Pineapple soda. Most fruit punches and fruit punch sodas have a hint of pineapple already, but this seems to taste like it has a little bit extra, which is where they get off referring to it as “Tiki.” Will this enhance your Christmas celebration at all? Absolutely not. Unless your wasted. Hell, I don’t even drink soda on a regular basis, but this stuff is reddish-pink so it’s perfectly acceptable for a holiday party. What I failed to mention is that a 4-pack of these only cost a buck at Big Lots.

toxicwastedshotglasses 


1. SHOTS
Tequila? Red Licorice Vodka? Everclear? Pour whatever you like, but preferably into these kickass ceramic Toxic Wasted shot glasses buy Big Mouth Toys. I picked them up on Amazon for under $10 bucks. These fit right in at Sexy Armpit Headquarters since it matches our vibe. Matter of fact, I like them so much that I was fine getting stuck with the yellow one the last time I did a shot with Dinosaur Dracula. FULLER GO EASY ON THE PEPPERMINT SCHNAPPS!

Blue, Blue Wine!

Photobucket
F*ck politics. The Sexy Armpit is no place for politics, although it’s appropriate that I mention that New Jersey is a blue state. We’re not just a blue state because of our democratic leanings, but also because we’re known for our blueberries. In the song “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” Billy Joel sings about “a bottle of red, a bottle of white,” but what if Billy was feeling patriotic and wanted to cap off his bender with a bottle of blue? Jersey Wine can make that happen with their Blueberry wine which I picked up the other day and tried it with Miss Sexy Armpit.

Photobucket 

I’m far from a wine drinker, but I’m totally a sucker for gimmicks. For those of us who aren’t into wine, Chianti or Pinot Noir doesn’t mean a damn thing, but show me a variety of fruit flavors and I might just fall for it. The liquor store at the local Wegman’s had a display of Jersey Wine which is made from Jersey grown grapes, or in this case blueberries. Out of the various flavors and varieties staring back at me, I went for the blueberry since it was a flavor of wine that I’ve never tasted. I’ve had cherry and several others, but they’re all too sweet for me nowadays. Not sure why I thought blueberry would be any different, but I wanted to support the local wine company.

After bringing the bottle home, we let it chill in the fridge for a few days since that’s what the label instructs. Last night it was time for the taste test. In the back of my mind I knew it wasn’t going to be a life changing experience, but I figured it was worth a shot. It was merely a coincidence that Miss Sexy Armpit had a new glass that she wanted to christen. What better way for her to taste this fruity concoction than in this hand painted Jersey Girl wine glass by Lolita that her mom found at Macy’s!

Photobucket 

On my first sip, the blueberry flavor was prominent, but so was the sweetness. The taste wasn’t overly sweet, but it was still a few levels too sweet for my liking. It lacked any bite which was nice, but drinking one small glass was quite enough for me. The fruit flavor would be good for a mixed drink, but the problem is that blueberry is a novelty flavor and isn’t used much in mixed drinks, or elsewhere, so I don’t see it taking the world by storm. It’s probably best used as an after dinner drink. If you enjoy blueberry and prefer your wine sweet, then I recommend this, but otherwise I’d pick up one of their more mainstream varieties. If you want something with more kick, another alternative is to buy the Jersey Wine Chianti and make the Jersey Girls drink that’s painted on the bottom of the wine glass:

Photobucket 

The Jersey Girl Wine Glass is available at this link via Designs by Lolita 
(A Martini glass is also available.)

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 64: Hoboken and Beer

hobokenbeertshirt
Heineken and Budweiser Hoboken T-Shirts

I spotted these tees in a window somewhere on Washington Street in Hoboken. What comes to mind when you think of Hoboken, NJ? I wager it’s either Frank Sinatra, The Cake Boss, or On The Waterfront. If none of those options came to mind, there’s a pretty good chance that something alcohol related popped in your head. A favorite past time of folks from the NY/NJ area is to go to Hoboken and get shitfaced on really expensive drinks, or if you’re the frugal type, you might stick with beer. This post is for those beer lovers, whether they actually hail from Hoboken or they just like to go and get trashed there.

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 62: The Beachcomber in Seaside Heights

This past weekend I took a trip with my girlfriend and some other friends to The Beachcomber in Seaside Heights, NJ. I wanted to check out It Ain’t Pretty, a band churning out modern rock and pop cover songs. The band is made up of Dennis Zimmer, P.J Farley (Trixter, Ra), Shawn Mars, Mark Hall and Dave Clauro. They rocked the place and helped the Beachcomber live up to it’s renewed reputation as a fun place to go to drink and let loose.

Photobucket

When your establishment’s claim to fame is “This is where Snooki got punched,” it’s easy to attract business. Even their t-shirt has become a collectible with the stamp of approval: The Beachcomber Bar and Grill: The Official Bar of MTV’s Jersey Shore.

While walking around the Seaside Heights boardwalk that night, I realized why MTV chose the Seaside Boardwalk as opposed to the other stretches of the expansive Jersey Shore. Why not Point Pleasant, Atlantic City, or Wildwood? The answer is because the Seaside Boardwalk is unbeatable. There’s so much crap to do! There’s games, stores, bars, and rides; you’re almost guaranteed to have some sort of fun. So, for those watching Jersey Shore repeats thinking that Seaside Heights has a cheap, shlocky mess of a boardwalk, well, you’re absolutely right and that’s why it’s awesome.

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 59: Sharks Rugby

Photobucket

Here’s a tee of the rugby team that was originally called The New Jersey Sharks, but is now known as the Bucks County Sharks. They moved to P.A and they made New Jersey short one rugby team. “What’s one less rugby team?” I always say. But meanwhile, in another part of the Garden State, there was another rugby team also called The Sharks, but these were The Jersey Shore Sharks! These guys were around longer than the other Sharks, and no, they don’t replace the Gatorade with Ron Ron Juice. So, in the end, New Jersey remains successful in filling it’s quota of having at least ONE rugby team named after Sharks!
Photobucket
If you read the history section of The Jersey Shore Sharks website, you’ll see that they are living up to the Jersey reputation. You’ll read more about drinking shots, starting fights, naked bodies, and wet t-shirt contests than you will about their games. That’s the way it should be, because I’m sure getting involved in rugby is all about the after parties and the travel games anyway.

Get Tanked This Weekend…SHARK Tanked!

Photobucket
Selected from the Drink Menu
If you’re in Atlantic City and you are looking for a place to eat but you aren’t interested in paying $50 dollars a plate, head over to The Reflections Cafe at Harrah’s. It’s a pretty swank moderately priced restaurant that also features a noodle bar that serves all kinds of Asian dishes. The decor amused me, especially the cool and furry cow skin chairs and booths tucked into coves with slate walls . Whoever decorated the place needs to come and redo my condo. Out of the several times I have eaten there, the food has been delicious. They also managed to supply me with an entry for Shark Month. The drink menu has the Shark Bite which you can try mixing up at home when you’re getting hammered this weekend. The drink provides a cool visual effect of “blood in the water” when you drop in the final ingredient.
Shark Bite
Captain Morgan 
Bacardi Rum
Blue Curacao
Sweet and Sour Mix
Small Splash of Grenadine

Jersey Girl Cocktail

beverage,jersey girl,new jersey
from the menu of Windansea in Highlands, NJ

After having dinner at Windansea in Highlands, NJ recently, I noticed The Jersey Girl was the first specialty drink listed on the menu. If you’re feeling creative, here’s the ingredients to make your very own Jersey Girl drink. Keep in mind, this sounds super sweet so it will most likely cause hangovers galore.
Laird’s Applejack

Triple Sec

Pineapple Juice

Cranberry Juice

Lemon-Lime Soda

Ad Jerseum 5: Absolut Jersey

Ad Jerseum: So much Jersey advertising it’ll make you vomit!

new jersey,vodka,diner
For many people, diners are immediately associated with the state of New Jersey. This Absolut ad depicts the Vodka bottle in the shape of an old fashioned stainless steel Jersey Diner. You can hit up this diner next time you are hungover from too many Vodka tonics. I’m sure you can order a pork roll, egg, and cheese sandwich there. You can find pretty much every Absolut Vodka advertisement ever created over at www.absolutad.com.