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.




33 Wonderful responses to “Friday Cocktail Hour: The Cranky Kaplan”

    • MonkeyBoy

      I don’t think that it is so he can share with a friend. I think sharing is more common with bum wine than cheap spirits.

      2 straws however does double the rate at which you can suck in the booze.

  • Ed

    Minimalist simplicity (and folly). Brought back memories from the 60s of a guy I saw in a liquor store. He bought a fifth of rum, a lime, and a 6.5 oz bottle of coca cola. The cashier asked the guy if needed more coke. The guy said that he was going to run out of rum before he ran out of coke. 🙂

    • Conor

      I have a friend who calls that a “rum macchiato.” If the rum’s good, it’s actually a great drink.

  • Ryan Winkels

    The straws in the photo remind of of the scene in Goodfells when they are talking about the painting. “Oh, I like this one… One dog goes one way, the other dog goes the other way, and this guy’s sayin’, “Whadda ya want from me?”

  • Bob R

    I wanna drink with CK though I readily admit that I’m not quite man enough to enjoy gin at room temperature. For what it’s worth here’s a couple more fine uses of gin: a classic Martini and an Aviation Cocktail.

  • Auntie Allyn

    Gin and limes . . . you really don’t need much more than that! But I am intrigued by the gin & tonic cake recipe that you’ve linked to . . . gotta try that!

  • Elsewhere

    My fave is the Corpse Reviver No. 2 —

    • ¾ oz. Dry Gin
    • ¾ oz. Lillet Blanc
    • ¾ oz. Cointreau
    • 2/4 oz. lemon juice

    Shake with cube ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with lemon twist. Lives up to its name, too…

    PS Mr. R. never feed the trolls. They live only to bait people with lives.

      • Darcie

        Do it! Doooo it! I’ve worked my way through a goodly portion of the PDT Cocktail Book and this is still one of my absolute faves. Typo in the recipe above; all ingredients are the same measure. Plymouth Gin is the best but London dry gin is acceptable 🙂

  • Allen

    They should’ve featured this in the New York Times article on gin and tonics.

    I tried a few of them, kumquat clove, grapefruit and cardamom. They had good flavor, but too much crap floating in the drink.

    They need to be strained.
    I think I would prefer a kranky caplan, I’m not a morning person either, especially after a night of kranky caplans.

  • Michael Villar

    Someone who turns a negative into a positive with humor is one who has perspective. Don’t let the jokers get into your head. That being said, next week’s cocktail better have some ^%*& Bourbon in it!

  • John C. Lowe

    Michael, I found your website linked to the Lakewood Daily Snap. Also running a blog linked to Kimy’s site is my “Seeing Things”, a silly blog, and also a Lakewood thing.

    I became interested in mixology and after some experimenting, I came up with a drink I call the “Peachy Keene”. If you like it, maybe you will post it with one of Donna’s fine photographs on the Friday Cocktail Hour:

    2 Parts Cruzan Aged Rum (Amber)
    1 Part Peach Vodka (I made my own)
    1/2 Part Sweet Vermouth
    Several dashes of Peach Bitters

    Chill a cocktail glass. Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with a peach slice and maybe a maraschino cherry.

  • Zora Margolis

    Add a splash of water to your gin and lime, and it’s a Gin Rickey, which is supposed to be the original American cocktail.

    • ruhlman

      my dad actually did do that, glad to know the name, and his name was richard so also glad for the symmetry.

  • Kelly M

    If that Gordon’s is in a plastic bottle, even better.

    • ruhlman

      glass unnecessary danger. can lose all the gin with a thoughtless bat of the hand. or flinging it at your companion for that matter.

  • Tags

    Joe Satran’s post on Huffington Post today mixed up 26 different combinations of nine kinds of gin and three kinds of tonic water, and the “Best in Show” G&T was Gordon’s and Fever Tree tonic.

  • Andrew Kaplan

    After all these years, you have finally managed to offend me.

  • annietiques ever!!! My dad was a Gordon’s Gin man…….with a twist of lime…so many wonderful memories…a toast to you @CrankyKaplan

  • Sonnie Swenston

    I’ve known some “lady lacrosse players” and you wouldn’t want to mess with them… Also: if you like to drink, you WOULD like to drink with them!


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